SURANGAACADEMIC PERSONAL PROFILE
.01

ABOUT

I am an Associate Professor at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute the University of Auckland (UoA), appointed by invitation under strategic entrepreneurial universities scheme. Before joining UoA, I was an Assistant Professor at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and a Postdoctoral Associate at the Fluid Interfaces group, MIT Media Lab. I received his PhD in 2010 and BEng in 2005 from the  National University of Singapore. In 2011, I founded the  “Augmented Human Lab” to explore ways of designing intelligent human-computer interfaces that extend the limits of our perceptual and cognitive capabilities. For the totality and breadth of achievements, I have won many awards including young inventor under 35 (TR35 award) in the Asia Pacific region by MIT TechReview, Outstanding Young Persons of Sri Lanka (TOYP), and INK Fellowship 2016.

EDUCATION
  • 2005
    2009
    SINGAPORE

    PHD in ELETRICAL & COMPUTER ENGINEERING

    NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

    Research Attachment: Music Computation and Cognition (MuCoaCo)Laboratory, University of Southern California. Advisor: Prof. Elaine Chew
    Thesis: Enhancing Musical Experience for the Hearing-impaired using Visual and Haptic Feedback. Advisors: Dr. Elizabeth Taylor, Prof Lonce Wyse, Prof Ong Sim Heng

  • 2001
    2005
    SINGAPORE

    B.ENG in ELETRICAL & COMPUTER ENGINEERING (1st CLASS)

    NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

    Student Exchange Program: University of Birmingham, UK.
.02

APPOINTMENTS

CURRENT
  • Now
    2018
    Auckland, New Zealand

    ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

    University of Auckland

    Director of the Augmented Human Lab at Auckland Bioengineering Institute.
  • NOW
    2020
    Auckland, New Zealand

    CO-FOUNDER

    KIWRIOUS LTD

    Kiwrious’ social mission is to foster a scientifically literate generation through their Kiwrious (Curious) Science Experience.
  • NOW
    2020
    Auckland, New Zealand

    CO-FOUNDER

    Maia Limited

    Maia empowers your clients to make and see progress outside the therapy room.
  • NOW
    2018
    Colombo, Sri Lanka

    CO-FOUNDER

    SayHello Pvt Ltd

    Empowering Sri Lankan youth by creating tools that will enable them to converse confidently in English.
  • NOW
    2020
    Colombo, Sri Lanka

    CO-FOUNDER

    SPARK Academy

    Change agent in the Sri Lankan IT industry, created to develop talents and ensure anyone can realise their maximum potential.
  • NOW
    2016
    Colombo, Sri Lanka

    FOUNDER

    DT@SL Initiative

    Nurture technically-grounded leaders, problem solvers, innovators and entrepreneurs to make a positive influence in serving societal needs.
  • NOW
    2019
    Auckland, New Zealand

    Trustee

    Linked Horizons

    Charitable organization committed to advance education for underprivileged children in New Zealand.
  • NOW
    2014
    Singapore

    Academic Advisor

    CreateLab, Pte Ltd

    Empowering schools, enrichment providers & social impact organisations across Asia to raise up a generation of 21st Century Leaders.
PREVIOUS
  • 2018
    2011
    Singapore

    ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

    SINGAPORE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY & DESIGN

    Founding faculty member of the 4th public University in Singapore, established in collaboration with MIT.
  • 2019
    2019
    Singapore

    TAN CHIN TUAN EXCHANGE FELLOW

    NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

    School of Computer Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University.
  • 2018
    2013
    SINGAPORE

    EXTERNAL EXAMINER

    Ngee Ann Polytechnic

    Automation & Mechatronic Systems Course.
  • 2014
    2012
    Singapore

    ASSOCIATE FACULTY

    SIM University

    School of Science and Technology.
  • 2012
    2011
    Cambridge, Boston

    VISITING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

    MIT Media Lab

    Fluid Interfaces Group, MIT Media Lab. Mentored by Prof. Pattie Maes.
  • 2011
    2011
    Singapore

    RESEARCH FELLOW

    National University of Singapore

    Interactive and Digital Media Institute, National University of Singapore. Advised by Prof.Lonce Wyse.
  • 2011
    2010
    Cambridge, Boston

    VISITING POSTDOCTORAL ASSOCIATE

    MIT Media Lab

    Fluid Interfaces Group, MIT Media Lab. Advised by Prof. Pattie Maes.
  • 2010
    2009
    Singapore

    RESEARCH ENGINEER

    National University of Singapore

    Marine Mammal Research Laboratory.
.03

RESEARCH

My research vision is to create Assistive Augmentations: designing intelligent human-computer interfaces that extend the limits of our perceptual and cognitive capabilities.

My work is most important to the people whose lives it most directly impacts: those who face challenged to function in the world due to sensory deficits in hearing or vision. Because of the emphasis on “enabling” rather than “fixing,” the technologies that I have developed have a potentially much broader range of applications. With publications in prestigious conferences, demonstrations, patents, media coverage and real-world deployments, I have demonstrated the potential of advancing the state-of-the-art in Assistive Human Computer Interfaces.

AUGMENTED HUMAN LAB


To realise my research vision, I set-up and direct internationally renowned research lab, Augmented Human Lab, since 2011.

 

Humanizing technology @ INK, 2016
.04

HONORS AND AWARDS

  • 2021
    ABI Awards

    Excellence in Graduate Supervision

    Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland

    In recognition of outstanding achievementsacross the various dimensions of excellence in supervision including the extent and range ofsupervision activities; the positive outcomes for students; and broader contribution to thedevelopment of supervisory practice across the University.
  • 2021
    ABI Awards

    Excellence in Research Translation

    Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland

    In recognition of Project Kiwrious
  • 2020
    University of Auckland Awards

    Research Excellence Medal

    University of Auckland

    In recognition of individuals who have made anoutstanding contribution to one or more disciplines.
  • 2020
    Velocity 100K Challenge

    Social Entrepreneurship Category Winner

    Velocity 100K Challenge, University of Auckland

    In recognition Kiwrious Ltd
  • 2020
    BEST DESIGN AWARDS

    Gold Award (Lighting Design)

    Designers Institute of New Zealand, Best Design Awards

    In recognition of project Pride in Lights.
  • 2020
    BEST DESIGN AWARDS

    Gold Award (Exhibitions & Temporary Structures)

    Designers Institute of New Zealand, Best Design Awards

    In recognition of project Pride in Lights.
  • 2020
    BEST DESIGN AWARDS

    Gold Award (Exhibitions & Temporary Structures)

    Designers Institute of New Zealand, Best Design Awards

    In recognition of project LightTank.
  • 2020
    BEST DESIGN AWARDS

    Gold Award (Student Digital)

    Designers Institute of New Zealand, Best Design Awards

    In recognition of project Prospero.
  • 2020
    BEST DESIGN AWARDS

    Silver Award (Student Digital)

    Designers Institute of New Zealand, Best Design Awards

    In recognition of project Jamify.
  • 2020
    BEST DESIGN AWARDS

    Bronze Award (Student Digital)

    Designers Institute of New Zealand, Best Design Awards

    In recognition of project GymSoles.
  • 2020
    BEST DESIGN AWARDS

    Bronze Award (Student Spatial)

    Designers Institute of New Zealand, Best Design Awards

    In recognition of project Jamify.
  • 2020
    BEST DESIGN AWARDS

    Bronze Award (User Experience)

    Designers Institute of New Zealand, Best Design Awards

    In recognition of project Maia.
  • 2020
    Innovation by Design Awards

    Winner (Best Design APAC)

    Innovation by Design Awards by FastCompany

    In recognition of digital platform BadGood.
  • 2020
    Innovation by Design Awards

    Finalist (Apps and Games)

    Innovation by Design Awards by FastCompany

    In recognition of digital platform BadGood.
  • 2020
    Innovation by Design Awards

    Finalist (Best Design APAC)

    Innovation by Design Awards by FastCompany

    In recognition of project Lemo.
  • 2020
    Innovation by Design Awards

    Honorable Mention (Experimental)

    Innovation by Design Awards by FastCompany

    In recognition of project Lemo.
  • 2020
    World Changing Ideas Awards

    Honorable Mention (Best World Changing Idea APAC)

    World Changing Ideas Awards by FastCompany

    In recognition of project M-Hair.
  • 2020
    World Changing Ideas Awards

    Honorable Mention (Experimental)

    World Changing Ideas Awards by FastCompany

    In recognition of project M-Hair.
  • 2020
    World Changing Ideas Awards

    Honorable Mention (Student)

    World Changing Ideas Awards by FastCompany

    In recognition of project Prospero.
  • 2020
    World Changing Ideas Awards

    Finalist (Student)

    World Changing Ideas Awards by FastCompany

    In recognition of project M-Hair.
  • 2019
    BEST DESIGN AWARDS

    Gold Award (Public Good)

    Designers Institute of New Zealand, Best Design Awards

    In recognition of project MussBits.
  • 2019
    Innovation by Design Awards

    Honorable Mention (Student)

    Innovation by Design Awards by FastCompany

    In recognition of digital platform MussBits.
  • 2019
    Innovation by Design Awards

    Finalist (Best Design APAC)

    Innovation by Design Awards by FastCompany

    In recognition of digital platform ChewIt.
  • 2019
    Innovation by Design Awards

    Finalist (Experimental)

    Innovation by Design Awards by FastCompany

    In recognition of digital platform ChewIt.
  • 2019
    Innovation by Design Awards

    Finalist (Student)

    Innovation by Design Awards by FastCompany

    In recognition of digital platform ChewIt.
  • 2019
    Innovation by Design Awards

    Honorable Mention (General Excellence)

    Innovation by Design Awards by FastCompany

    In recognition of digital platform ChewIt.
  • 2018
    Discovery video competition

    People's Choice Award

    Discovery video competition by Royal Society Te Apārangi

    In recognition of the video of FingerReader.
  • 2018
    World Changing Ideas Award

    Finalist

    World Changing Ideas Award by FastCompany

    In recognition of the project FingerReader.
  • 2018
    iWOAR '18

    Best Short Paper Award

    iWOAR '18

    In recognition of the research paper ‘Exploring Accelerometer-based Step Detection by using a Wheeled Walking Frame’
  • 2017
    D&AD Impact Awards

    Finalist

    D&AD Impact Awards by D&AD

    In recognition of the research project FingerReader
  • 2017
    Golden Pin Design Awards

    Finalist

    Golden Pin Design Awards by Taiwan Design Center

    In recognition of the research project FingerReader
  • 2017
    AH'17

    Best Short Paper Award

    Augmented Human Conference

    In recognition of the research paper `InSight: A Systematic Approach to Create Dynamic Human-Controller-Interactions'
  • 2016
    SUTD Awards

    Excellence in Research

    Singapore University of Technology & Design

    In recognition of research excellence over a period of time with impact in scholarly field, interdisciplinary contributions across fields, broader impact to society, translation to practice, commercialisation, and teaching practice.
  • 2016
    INK 2016

    INK Fellow

    INK India

    Awarded by INK, which is India's foremost platform for the exchange of cutting-edge ideas and inspiring stories. Every year, INK identifies the minds that are redefining their field of work, and the world around them.
  • 2016
    InnoveFest unBound

    Most Promising Technology Award

    InnoveFest unBound

    Awarded for the Project zSense at InnoveFest unBound 2016, South East Asia's largest innovation festival.
  • 2016
    Singapore Design Awards

    Singapore Design Award (Product - Gold Category)

    Design Business Chamber Singapore

    Awarded for the Project FingerReader by Design Business Chamber Singapore.The Singapore Design Awards (SDA) honours outstanding designers, design students and design practices from across the world and it remains the leading design award in Southeast Asia.
  • 2016
    OZCHI'16

    Steve Howard Award for Best Paper

    Annual CHISGI Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference

    In recognition of the research paper `MuSS-Bits: Sensor-Display Blocks for Deaf People to Explore Musical Sounds.'
  • 2015
    TOYP'15

    The Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Sri Lanka (TOYP)

    Junior Chamber International Sri Lanka

    An award given by Junior Chamber International Sri Lanka for outstanding achievement in Scientific and Technological Development.
  • 2014
    MIT TR35

    Young Innovator under 35, Asia Pacific region

    Junior Chamber International Sri Lanka

    An award given by MIT Technology Review for top young innovators under the age of 35.
  • 2014
    OZCHI'14

    Best Paper

    Annual CHISGI Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference

    In recognition of the research paper `PaperPixels : A Toolkit to Create Paper-based Displays'
  • 2014
    GYSS'14

    Finalist, Singapore Challenge

    Global Young Scientist Summit

    In recognition of the white paper `Smart adaptive interfaces for ageing gracefully'.
  • 2005
    2009
    NUS

    NUS Research Scholarship

    National University of Singapore

    A full scholarship awarded by the National University of Singapore to pursue Doctoral research.
  • 2008
    NUS Cricket

    Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the year

    National University of Singapore

    Awarded in recognition of outstanding contribution towards the promotion of cricket in the National University of Singapore.
  • 2002
    NUS Dean's Office

    Engineering Dean's List of Excellence

    National University of Singapore

    Awarded by National University of Singapore in recognition of the outstanding academic results.
  • 2001
    2005
    NUS

    NUS Undergraduate Scholarship

    National University of Singapore

    A full scholarship awarded by the National University of Singapore to pursue undergraduate studies.
  • 2000
    2000
    Royal College Awards

    Best Student of the College (academic)

    Royal College, Colmbo 7, Sri Lanka

    In recognition of the best overall academic results in all academic streams in the school and GCE A level Examination results.