Ms. Hirushie Karunathilake, PhD '18

“I wanted to challenge the conventional belief and social norms which dictated that mechanical engineering is not a field where women can succeed — to prove that gender has no bearing on one’s suitability for a profession.”

Hirushie Karunathilake is a mechanical engineer who received her Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a first class from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, in 2014. Her PhD research focuses on developing net-zero energy systems for communities. She is the recipient of the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship, and the UBC University Graduate Fellowship. Hirushie is a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, and has also worked as a sessional lecturer and a teaching assistant at UBC Okanagan. In addition, she is a graduate writing consultant at the UBC Okanagan Centre for Scholarly Communication, and previously worked as a consultant for undergraduates at the UBCO Writing and Research Centre. The end goal of her PhD research is to develop decision support tools to enable hybrid energy systems planning at community level. During the course of this work, she has worked on a number of research collaborations with the involvement of local governments of British Columbia and other industry partners and has held a Mitacs internship. She is the author of several journal articles, conference papers, and technical reports.

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