Working on future networks to make everyday life smoother

After completing his Master’s degree at the University of Oulu, Thushan Sivalingam chose to continue his studies further in Oulu. Now he is a doctoral student at the university’s Center for Wireless Communications (CWC).

“I have enjoyed my time in Oulu and learned a great deal. Thinking from a technological research perspective and the tech industry, this is really the right place to be. I am sure this is one of the greatest decisions I have ever made in my life,” Thushan says.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Thushan has settled well in his new home, even though he still marvels how there can sometimes be temperature differences of over 60 degrees Celsius between the two countries. Thushan says that the darkness is the hardest thing to get used to, snow and the cold is not a big deal. But weather aside, he has also acclimated to his new study environment well.

“I find the study environment here very well suited for me. I’ve taken advantage of the self-study methods which we were encouraged to do in the Master’s programme. I’m very comfortable with that,” Thushan says.

Thushan worked in the telecom industry in Sri Lanka and had a position with the largest service provider in the country, before coming to Oulu. Even though he is continuing with his academic studies, he wants to combine industry and research in the future. With the launch of 5G, Thushan expects to have massive opportunities in the field, not to mention other future developments. The University of Oulu is home to the 6G Flagship project, which is about researching and defining the sixth generation of wireless communication, linking many academic and research institutions with the big industry players.

“The 6G Flagship project really motivated me to learn more here in Oulu and to create something new to the next generation telecommunication era. That’s the reason why I decided to continue my doctoral studies here in Oulu. Our future society will be even more digitized and hyper-connected, and I feel that my area of research has the potential to make everyday life smoother and safer,” Thushan ponders.

Thushan has also a keen interest in meeting new people and explore new cultures, and he has been able to do so in Oulu.

“I’ve met so many nice people from very different countries. This place is great for leading an independent life and having contact with friendly, good people. Like the Finns, quiet but good people,” Thushan says.

To balance his work on his PhD, Thushan cherishes social events. He’s also volunteered with local organizations, for example going to homes for the elderly to play bingo and gathering donations for local schools. The UniOulu Ambassador Programme is another chance he’s taken to be more socially active.

“I wanted to collaborate with more people, and I also need to work on my presentation skills. So far it’s been wonderful, learning about different cultures, culture and food. The programme is an easy opportunity to get to know new people,” Thushan says.

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Last updated: 12.6.2020