PhD student @ NTU 🇸🇬| Logophile | Artist | Wanderer | Sri Lankan|

Photo of author in 2019 at NTU, Singapore (Photo credits: Daniel Ng)


I’m Rochelle Silva, a second-year PhD student at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. I was born and bred in Sri Lanka, a beautiful country aptly called “The pearl of the Indian Ocean”.

I completed my undergraduate degree in Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, with a first-class, a minor in entrepreneurship, and focusing on “Food and Biochemical Engineering”.

I’m dedicated to the work that I do. Because of this, I have been recognized at different organizations including being awarded as the most outstanding student at school in 2012 (Holy Cross College, Gampaha, Sri Lanka) and…

Reflections on researching as an undergraduate

Design by Rochelle Silva

1. Tell me a bit about yourself.

I am Malsha Samarasiri, a first-year PhD student in the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore with a focus on food processing research. I graduated from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka with a first-class honours degree in 2018. My major was Chemical and Process Engineering and my focus area was Food and Biochemical Engineering. After graduating, I worked as a Business Systems Analyst at IFS R&D International (IFS) (Pvt) Ltd, Colombo, and then I worked as a lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of…

Poetry prompt: weird cravings

A dish of Mala xiang guo prepared by a dear friend of mine (Photograph by author)

Mala xiang guo,
Masala chai,
Nasi lemak,
And many more…

Strange food names,
Totally unknown to me,
Before I set foot in this strange land.

But now they make a regular appearance,
In the “cravings” section of my brain.
Along with kottu roti, watalappam, and vadei

This dish- I mean poem- was inspired by a conversation I had with a dear friend of mine. She was telling me about how she enjoyed “kottu” at a Sri Lankan restaurant in Singapore. I was overjoyed to hear it, and I mentioned how much I enjoyed the Chinese food she prepared too…

Fun Poetry Prompt: something with the initials HR

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

A lub dub, lub dub,
Strong and weak, racing and slow,
Signal of a life.

Thanks to Lucy Dan 蛋小姐 (she/her/她) for the fun prompt. You can read her poem here.

It got me thinking. What do the initials HR mean to me? Human Resources? Hrithik Roshan? Heart Rate? I chose to write about the third one. It is an indication that our hearts are beating, an indication of whether we are stressed or resting. Isn’t it magical? (P.S. I’m not a medical student)

Tagging: Jenine Bsharah Baines| Michael Burg, MD| Dr. Preeti Singh| Kasun Ranasinghe | Melissa Bee if…

The good, the bad, and lessons learnt

Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

I used to be a Facebook-a-holic. I had tried being sober once in a while. However, about a week into the so-called “Facebook Detox”, I would get the heebie-jeebies: What were my friends up to? What’s the news trending right now? How were my posts doing?

About two months ago (possibly triggered after watching “The Social Dilemma”) I thought of taking a longer break. I finally realized that it was taking too much of my attention — I couldn’t really afford it since I was going through an important phase in my PhD program. I realized that I became more…

Photos by author

Cooking a hard-boiled egg doesn’t have to be hard.

If you told me that two years ago, I would have laughed at you. It was an adventure for me back then; either the egg would disintegrate into wispy trails in water or I wouldn’t be able to get the shell off properly. “How can you think of cooking if you can’t do this simple task correctly?”, I often berated myself.

However, I wanted to master this task. I found a video that helped me. Here are some little tips to make it easier.

  • Add some salt to the water
  • Once the water starts boiling, leave it boiling for about 3 minutes before you turn off the cooker
  • After you turn off the cooker, leave the eggs in hot water for about 15 mins
  • Transfer the eggs to cold water and remove the shell inside the water.

Voilà! Enjoy your treat!

Poetry Prompt: your favourite kind of sandwich

A nice breakfast with an egg sandwich with bonito flakes and Kewpie mayo (Photo by Lars Millberg on Unsplash)

Protein and Carbo,
A warm, soft, and creamy delight,
Joy on a plate.

Whenever I go to a sandwich place, I look for one of my favourite combinations of all time: egg mayo! Yes, it might seem a bit strange to have two egg components, but it means double the “eggcitement”, and I thank Lucy Dan 蛋小姐 (she/her/她) for prompting me to think about it.

You can read her eggcellent take at it here:

Tagging: Kasun Ranasinghe| Amy Marley| Jenine Bsharah Baines | Cooking at Home | Dr. …

Do you believe that pigs can fly?

Image by sandid from Pixabay

A few weeks back, I received an incredibly cute ‘angel pig’ from a friend. While admiring the sheer creativity of the gift, I remembered an article another friend of mine had written sometime back. Titled ’cause pigs can fly’, it elegantly explained the whys and wherefores of making pigs fly. In brief, it was about the need to ‘believe in the possibility of the impossible in order to survive’.

All of us have some seemingly impossible dreams within us. We have talents that, if nurtured properly, could stun the world and bring about a positive change in society. Yet we…

Reflections on researching as an undergraduate

Design by Rochelle Silva

Tell me a bit about yourself

Hi! You can call me Harsha Chamara, a fresh graduate from the Department of Transport and Logistics Management, University of Moratuwa. I am currently employed as a Business Analyst at ITX360, a subsidiary of EXPO LANKA group. In terms of my academic career, I am pursuing my MSc at the University of Moratuwa in the domains of Machine Learning and Human Behaviour in the retail sector.

Can you tell me more about the achievements you had for your undergraduate research?

Sure, I received the following accolades.

  • Best Undergraduate Research Award for the year 2019…

Rochelle Silva

PhD student @ NTU 🇸🇬| Logophile | Artist| Wanderer | Coffee Lover | Sri Lankan| | Buy me a ☕

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