Student Spotlight: Nalin Samarasinghe

What drew you to Texas A&M University and particularly, the Biological and Agricultural Engineering department?

After completing my undergraduate degree in chemical engineering in Sri Lanka, I was looking for an opportunity to pursue a graduate program. I had already developed a taste for research and was particularly interested in doing my graduate studies on renewable energy. During my search, I found out about the renewable energy program in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering department, which perfectly matched my interests.   BAEN’s agricultural engineering program was one of the best in USA, therefore, I think that the department is the reason that I was drawn to the university. Additionally, the significant size of the international student population, especially Sri Lankan, was another factor that attracted me to Texas A&M University. This made it a lot easier for me to get used to this new environment.

Have you been abroad?  Tell me about your experience.

As an international student, studying in the USA is my “study abroad” experience. Compared to the academic environment in Sri Lanka, I find the US academic environment to have a greater focus on research. Additionally, the amount of funding that goes in to scientific research is a magnitude larger here. Therefore it is much easier to work on research activities in the US compared to my home country.

What do you want to do when you graduate?  Why do you want to go that direction?

I believe that pursuing new knowledge and sharing it with others is the only way to advance society. Therefore I want to get involved in research and teaching. I think my best chances are in academia and therefore, want to pursue an academic career.

Article by Whitney Steinmann

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