Looking at an empty page, trying to figure out a creative way to introduce myself in this blogpost, early in the morning, is perhaps not the most productive approach. At the risk of succumbing to the most cliché way, hello my name is Jay. Well, not really. It’s Jayaruwan Gunathilake but I’ve been “Jay” for at least the past 7-8 years, for obvious reasons.
I hail from a small tropical island in South Asia; Sri Lanka. I arrived in the Netherlands just two moons ago, meaning that I’m just at the beginning of my PhD journey. There have been few intermediate (extraordinary) stops in-between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands. I received my bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in the United States. In retrospect, the place I lived there resembled a small Dutch town.
After my bachelor’s degree, I too went through the typical “what now?” contemplation phase. And that’s how I ended up in Europe. I moved to Estonia and started a joint master’s program focused on metrology and analytical chemistry, at the University of Tartu. After a year in Estonia, I found myself in Malta, working on my internship in Quality Assurance. A warm summer in the Mediterranean went by too fast and then it was time for me to move again, this time to Finland. I finished my master thesis at the Åbo Akademi University, specializing in electrochemistry. After all these hops and jumps in between countries, and moving half way across the globe, I came to The Netherlands to start my PhD at Wageningen University and Research, just last month. So I’m one of the new faces around the department. My work here focuses on recovering high-value nutrients, and desalination of water, using an electro-driven process.
Apart from all that jazz, I’m also a seasoned photographer, a traveller, and I also enjoy reading non-fiction. Going on photo-ventures is one of my favourite random activities.
All-in-all, I’m very enthusiastic about this upcoming PhD trip and exhilarated to be given the opportunity to be a part of it.
Until my next blog post!