Green Talent award winner was motivated by SZE to research sustainability

Malika-portrait.jpgFormer student at Széchenyi István University, Malika Nisal Ratnayake, from Sri Lanka, has been awarded the international Green Talentprize for his doctoral research on sustainability. The outstanding student, who is currently studying for his PhD in Australia, was recently presented with the award by Dr Michael Meister, Parliamentary State Secretary to the German Federal Minister of Education and Research. The doctoral student gave an interview to our portal, in which he explained how his studies in Győr contributed to his recognition. Anita Czeiner-Szücs / Széchenyi István University, SZEAlumni, SZEnews

Malika Nisal Ratnayake, an mechatronics and manufacturing engineer, is focusing his research on improving the potential of information technology to facilitate insect monitoring, which could lead to breakthroughs in both agriculture and ethology.

The German "Green Talent" jury recently awarded the researcher, who also studied at Széchenyi István University in Győr, an award for his scientific work, which it believes contributes to an increase in the sustainability of agriculture and natural ecosystems. The pollination monitoring technique he has developed offers new perspectives: his approach can help to understand the contribution of different insects to pollination, potentially allowing farmers to use the most efficient species for this purpose.

"My time at Széchenyi István University gave me an insight into the European research community. I had the opportunity to see first-hand the continent's efforts towards sustainability. These experiences paved the way for me to increase my knowledge and motivated me to do research on sustainability, which eventually led to my winning the Green Talent award," explained Malika Nisal Ratnayake, who is currently studying for a PhD in Information Technology at Monash University in Australia.

He holds a Master's degree in Manufacturing Engineering from the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand. Meanwhile, he has been awarded an Erasmus scholarship to study in Europe. He said that he chose Széchenyi István University in Győr because he thought it was the best place to understand and learn about European culture. "I was attracted by Széchenyi University's research collaboration with the world-renowned Audi and saw it as a great opportunity to experience the European research environment in this setting," he recalled of 2016, when he applied to Győr.

He said the Széchenyi University was a great place to study and meet people from different countries. "And I found Győr to be a very calm and friendly city with a special atmosphere. I loved walking the streets of the city centre and being present at the various events, where I experienced the colourful Hungarian culture and its rich gastronomy," he added.

 Asked what his favourite memories from this period were, he said that the friends he made here were the most important. "My Széchenyi friends and I travelled all over Hungary and Europe. These experiences made our time here unforgettable," he said.


The Green Talent Programme is run under the auspices of the German Federal Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek. Since 2009, 307 talented researchers from 72 countries have been awarded. The award promotes a global exchange of innovative ideas on sustainability and provides a platform for young scientists to share their views on green concepts for a better world. This year, a high-level jury of German experts selected only 25 emerging researchers from among 467 applicants from 78 countries as winners of the Green Talent Award. The lucky winners will have the opportunity to establish links with the German scientific community, laying the foundations for new intercultural collaborations.

Malika Nisal Ratnayake made friends and gained valuable research experience at Széchenyi István University. (Photo by Thusitha Dayaratne)

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