Sri Lankan-born PhD student Ruwangi studies at Victoria University’s Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities and as a sessional lecturer. She has received accolades for her research, which focuses on how computer algorithms can predict and plan for traffic disruptions caused by significant events, such as football games or concerts. Before joining Victoria University, she completed the Bachelor of IT degree from the University of Colombo and the Master’s degree in Information Technology from Wolverhampton. She was the top student of her batch and was awarded for her Academic Excellence.
Ruwangi believes in giving back and set up STEM Sisters in 2017 to retain, support and celebrate female international students and migrants (women of colour) in science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) fields. She has received encouragement and recognition as a STEM Women Changemakers of 2020 by the Australian Academy of Science for using knowledge, experience, and networks to share their ideas and solutions for gender equity in Australian STEM. Ruwangi was named a finalist in the 2019 EduGrowth’s business plan competition for STEM Sisters. Recently she nominated and shortlisted by Pro bono Australia for the #2021Impact25 Awards, which recognise innovators and collaborators making a positive impact in the social sector.
Ruwangi has also appeared as a panellist for a range of events promoting women and diversity in STEM, including a ‘Learning on the Edge’ event, International Women’s Day celebrations at Victoria University, Future Female Conference organised by study Melbourne, Future Founders Festival 2020 organised by State Library Victoria, Catalysing Gender Equity 2020 (a conference organised by The Australian Academy of Science, in collaboration with Science in Australia Gender Equity) to name few.