Moving from Electronical Engineering to Industrial Automation was a keen move by this EIT Master of Industrial Automation student.

While working as an electrical engineer Don Roshan Sanjeewa Subasinghe realized there was a global shortage of automation, instrumentation and control engineers and he decided to fill that gap.

He graduated this year with a Master of Engineering (Industrial Automation) and managed to secure a new job in a new field just some weeks ago.

We asked him a few questions about his life, work, studies and of course engineering.

MIA graduate Don Roshan Sanjeewa Subasinghe. Picture: Supplied.

Where do you live?

I am in Dandenong North, Victoria (Australia) with my wife.

What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced, in completing your Master's degree with EIT?

I got practical experience in PLC programming, professional report writing experience, helped to submit journal articles, and helped to expand the industrial connection in Australia,

On the lighter side, what is one of the cheat codes you’ve figured out in terms of being a good student?

Complete the coursework on time! And also communicate with your lecturer and ask questions when you don’t understand.

Do you think you’ll continue to study, and why?

I have a dream of doing a PhD in the future.

How did you cope during 2021 combining education, work, and life in general, and how did you apply yourself in 2022?

Last year was a little bit difficult a year for me because of the situation around Covid-19. My wife gave me support mentally and assisted my education. But 2022 is a good year for me because I completed my coursework with the final thesis project. The supervisor gives good guidance for my final semester work and we submitted a journal article for the thesis that I did. Furthermore, I got a job in my field to develop my career.

What is a normal day in your life?

Most of the time I like to be in the house with my wife and complete my studies. I also worked as an UBER Eats driver part-time to help make ends meet while studying to contribute to our household income. In my free time, I watch films – and I love to travel and test Australian cuisine.

What do you love about your field of engineering?

I love engineering because we can learn new things and topics in technology and solve impactful problems that the industry faces. And engineering is fun.

You’re planning an office event and you can select any speaker, who would you invite and why?

I like to invite Barack Obama because he started his life and career from a place where he had to build himself up - and then he became an American president. His life story is very helpful and shows everyone how to handle hard times and how to become successful.

What is the strangest thing to happen to you in the field or on campus or during work?

The strangest thing that happened on campus was that I could submit a journal article to my supervisor and get an opportunity to implement my final thesis project in the EIT Melbourne-Campus lab!

What is the greatest invention ever, and what do you consider to be the worst invention ever?

I think the greatest invention is the computer because today all our work happens on it. And the worst inventions are weapons because it was made to kill humans and animals.

Do you have a favourite engineering joke you like to tell?

The optimist says: “The glass is half full.”

The pessimist says: “The glass is half empty.”

The engineer says: “The glass is twice as big as it needs to be.”

Ideally, how would you like to use your education, interests, and skills to better the world?

To do a good job at work, naturally – but to use my knowledge to help someone struggling is also important.

What do you read or watch regularly?

Most of the time watch some videos of different programming languages and try to practice codes myself.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I have a good knowledge of Python and JAVA coding and in my free time, I’m a keen photographer.

Why do you think it is important to be involved in your education as an ambassador or even just be vocal about studying or using education as a career advancement tool?

This will help to improve our leadership practice, people management, and communication skills. In the future, these skills assist us to develop our profession.

What’s your best advice to a first-year EIT student?

Make a time planning schedule and complete your coursework on time. And take some time off, have a trip or outing with your wife or friends and it will refresh your mind.

What was the one moment in your life, when the penny dropped, and you knew you were interested in engineering?

It happened during secondary school. I went to my mother’s office. It was the big Holcim cement factory in Galle, Sri Lanka. While I went there I saw some engineers and electricians trying to fix a faulty packer machine issue in the factory. This scene made me an engineer.

How has the transition been from completing a postgraduate degree to work? This transition is a little bit challenging and some of my previous knowledge of the technical field was forgotten because I committed two years to complete a Master’s degree. But I like challenges and like to learn new things.

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