Supun dreams of becoming a pioneer in modern aviation | Sunday Observer

Supun dreams of becoming a pioneer in modern aviation

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, how will you get it? If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” This is the motto of Supun Nirmal, the winner of AMT Next Gen 40 (under 40) Maintenance Professional Award 2018.

Supun was the fortunate one to be selected out of thousands of young professionals around the world, for the award. He says, he’s very happy and honoured to have represented the country and to win the award.

‘Aircraft Maintenance Technology’ recognises 40 young men and women selected to receive the awards each year with thousands of young professionals who are involved in the aviation sector vying, from around the world. This year’s winners all have a passion for aviation, irrespective of whether it’s maintenance, education, executive management, general aviation, business aviation, antique aircraft, rotorcraft, military, MRO, or airline. “It’s great that the organisers have broadened the areas this time to cover every sector in aviation. It’s a great encouragement for those who are involved in the field to do what they really love to do and want to keep improving themselves and the industry,” said Supun.

Supun was always enthusiastic about airplanes. As a child, he was curious about flying machines and he loved and enjoyed looking at them. “Actually my dream was to become a pilot and I was clear about my choice. Therefore, soon after my A/L examination, I met professionals in the Aviation Industry to get guidance on the next step I should take. Then, in consultation with my parents and elder sister, I selected aviation engineering,” he said.

Supun’s father was working for Sri Lankan Catering Services, and their house was located near the airport, so he had a good view of aircraft from an early age. Nirmal graduated in aeronautical engineering at General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana. Currently he is working on his MBA from the London Metropolitan University at ESOFT, Sri Lanka. His first job in aviation was at Sri Lankan Airlines as an engineering intern in the engineering department. Then he advanced to Fits Aviation as a junior aircraft technician in the engineering department. Currently he is a civil aviation inspector for the Civil Aviation Authority, Sri Lanka.

“I love my work and I have a passion for it. So when there is a new task, I’m up for it. I take it up as a challenge. Also in my life, meeting with people, I have learnt that what you have, you must share. So if I know something and if I can help someone out, I will do so willingly.”

As a young graduate seeking knowledge in Aeronautical Engineering, Supun’s passion is to stride in all learning possibilities. To improve his skills and to get more experience of society, he joined International Youth Alliance for Peace (IYAP) as a Volunteer in 2016. IYAP is a youth-led volunteer organisation involved in social work, leadership programs and others. He was a Task Force Member of IYAP (2016/2017) and currently works as the Director of Administration (2018/2019). For the past few years he has been involved in many projects. He lead a workshop for Uda Mattala Vidyalaya, Tissamaharama under the IYAP project – Youth One Nation, lead and tutored a teaching project under the IYAP project – Peace in Action in collaboration with Uda Mattala Vidyalaya and SERVE supported by British Council Active Citizens.

“I have discharged duties assigned to me during my work period with dedication and enthusiasm and IYAP has given me the opportunity to improve my self-esteem and confidence. It was a great way to learn and develop my skills and interests for the good of society,” he said.

Supun’s belief is that if one has the mind set to do his task well, he will not just end doing it well but his best. Even a rock could be moved, if you have set your mind on moving it. Determination is the best weapon one should be equipped with, of which Supun is a good example.

As he says, his greatest strength is his positive attitude, even during the hardest of times. He never gives up on his team, and he prefers to work in a team.

“I’m always open-minded and always eager to learn. I never give up. My dream is to become a pioneer in modern aviation while making a positive and effective contribution towards the development of the aviation industry,” he said.

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