| 08 May 2023

Meet Anuka Bulankulame, graduate member and structural engineer

Anuka chats to us about his experience studying in Sri Lanka, Germany and the UAE as well as his involvement as an Engineers Australia volunteer. 

What inspired you to choose a career in structural engineering?   

I was interested in applying mathematics to solve problems throughout high school, so I decided to pursue a bachelor's degree in engineering. I wasn’t sure of my choice of specialisation in engineering, and I tried my hand at different disciplines during my first year of university.  

After speaking to lecturers as well as professionals in various disciplines, I was able to understand more about different engineering career paths. I realised I was curious to learn more about structures, particularly about the construction of high-rise buildings.  

You have studied in a few different countries including Sri Lanka, Germany and the UAE. How have these experiences helped you broaden your knowledge and skills?  

My experiences in the countries I studied in varied immensely because not only did the countries differ in terms of culture and educational systems, but the experiences happened at different stages of my life. Overall, I believe, these experiences shaped my personality and improved my professional skills such as adaptability, teamwork, resilience, and independence. 

I believe the opportunity to meet people from different cultures who have different perspectives was invaluable. Understanding diverse opinions and points of view has helped me to communicate more effectively and learn more in both professional and personal environments. 

You were a volunteer at university as a student ambassador? What inspired you to volunteer? 

I am very grateful for the many mentors throughout my life who provided support and guidance to me. I believe that being able to talk to someone who’s already experienced similar things that you’re about to experience is invaluable. I enjoyed volunteering at university because it gave me the opportunity to give back to the community. It also allowed me to meet new people and learn from their experiences. 

Volunteering at Engineers Australia as a student ambassador during my final years at university enabled me to meet the next generation of engineering students, hear about their aspirations and pass on my knowledge. I was also able to network with professionals in the industry during meetings and events held by Engineers Australia. I would recommend applying to be a student ambassador to any passionate university students. 

What advice would you give to engineers who may be in a similar position to yourself?  

Surround yourself with the right people who will push you to be the best version of yourself, don’t be afraid to try new things and always believe in yourself.