Praveen Vidusha Narangoda
Mechanical Engineering BS, 2013
I got accepted into the Erasmus Mundus Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion or MESC program, coordinated by Université Picardie Jules Verne in Amiens, France. The program has seven partner universities, including Drexel University.
I was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. After high school I decided to come to the US and chose Drexel University to study Mechanical Engineering for my undergraduate degree. I did three co-op placements at three different companies, including Parker Hannifin and Danaher Corporation. During my studies, I got interested in renewable energy and power generation, and for my senior design project, I was able to work on a concept design for a wind turbine for household power generation.
In the MESC program, we study material sciences, electrochemical and chemical engineering with a focus on developing the next generation of energy storage and conversion devices such as batteries, fuel cells, solar cells, and supercapacitors. These technologies have important applications in wind and solar power generation, transportation, and electronic device and related product development.
For my first semester, I am studying at Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France and my professors include top scientists and researchers in the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), who in the past have collaborated with organizations like NASA, EADS and ESA, on the Mars Discovery Rover, for example.
My experience in the program has been beyond satisfying so far. I have met people from many parts of the world, including students from Europe, who are heavily involved in exchange studies and travel. I also get the privilege to not only represent my country, Sri Lanka, but also a little bit of Philadelphia, which was my home for nearly 5 years. With my scholarship I get the opportunity to travel around Europe, experience the unity and the diversity on the European continent and learn not only science and engineering, but also culture, custom and languages.