New Zealand’s innovator of the year
Electrical engineering senior lecturer Nihal Kularatna from the University of Waikato was named New Zealand Innovator of the Year at the New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards at a gala dinner at Te Papa on 27 November 2013.
The award recognises Kularatna’s work in the field of electronic engineering during his career, which spans 35 years.
Kularatna’s interest in electrical engineering began at an early age as he was growing up in Sri Lanka.
“I used to walk home from primary school across town with my friends. I started digging around in the garbage bins of radio repair shops picking up discarded components, which I didn’t know were resistors and capacitors.
“I enjoyed playing with them, and by the age of 10 I was able to use step-down transformers instead of batteries to light up bulbs.”
He has contributed more than 100 papers to journals and international conference proceedings.
Initiated in 2005, the New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards are the premier awards for engineering professionals in New Zealand.
Leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship and young engineers are also recognised along with the use of leading-edge technology.
Nihal Kularatna has been named New Zealand Innovator of the Year 2013.