Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Engineering student applies passion for robotics to career in medicine

Photo courtesy of Dimitri Seneviratne

With a passion for engineering and robotics, Dimitri Seneviratne has embraced a unique pre-med path. Seneviratne is a senior studying product design and manufacturing engineering and has recently taken on the pre-med track. 

“I want to pursue medicine because I’ve always been fascinated with the human body in general and the condition of humans as well,” Seneviratne said. “But I’d never really thought that was the job for me. I couldn’t see myself in a hospital.”

After visiting his home country, Sri Lanka, last summer, he noticed the impact of political instability on medicine and living conditions. 

“I hated seeing that my family, my cousins, my friends couldn’t trust the doctors they went to; they couldn’t trust the medicine they were taking,” he said.

This experience led to his interest in the medical field.

“I realized that the issue, while a lot more drastic over there, is still apparent here in Wichita and all over the world,” Seneviratne said. “I wanted to have a small part, if anything, to try and alleviate that issue.”

Senevirante’s blend of disciplines includes a passion for robotics. He has worked on various creative projects — like a 3D-printed Iron Man suit.

“I put a missile launcher in there and accidentally set a field on fire, but the firemen were really nice about it,” he said.

His other work consists of “a flame thrower watch, a Thor hammer only I could lift, a Captain America shield, and a whole host of other things that probably put me on a list in the CIA.”

Seneviratne has also gained experience in robotics at Wichita State, which he calls the “king of opportunity” for college experiences. He has built a diverse background while working at the National Institute of Aviation Research and exploring medical opportunities. 

“I’ve been able to work in a real professional environment with other professionals … and I can learn from their skill sets,” Seneviratne said. “I get to work with robotics and technology that I have never seen before — the world has never seen before — and we get to make groundbreaking research and pursue things that will genuinely benefit the industry as a whole.”

Seneviratne also serves as president of the Student Ambassador Society, which works with the admissions office. The society helps the university through productive outreach programs to prospective students locally and nationally.

As president of the group, Seneviratne tries to keep an open mind. 

“It’s very easy when you’ve come to college, no matter where you go, to get very tunnel-visioned and focus only on your major and only interact with people in your discipline,” he said. “But the cool thing about Student Ambassador Society is that it brings together people from all over the college.”

Last fall, Seneviratne founded the Sri Lankan Cultural Association at WSU. It is a community for both international and local Sri Lankan students. The association assists students in acclimating to life in Wichita.

“One of the cool things we get to do with them is help other incoming students find food, housing, transportation and give them general advice so … they can find a home away from home,” Seneviratne said. 

Seneviratne plans on attending medical school after graduation. He hopes to utilize both disciplines of engineering and medicine in his career.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Fatima Touffaha
Fatima Touffaha, Reporter
Fatima Touffaha is a first-year reporter for The Sunflower.

Comments (0)

All The Sunflower Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *