Senanayake publishes research paper, is intern at NASA

PhD candidate Nishan Senanayake and Associate Professor Jennifer Carter recently published a research paper, Computer Vision Approaches for Segmentation of Nanoscale Precipitates in Nickel-Based Superalloy IN718. The work in this paper was real “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade moment.” Covid-19 closed the labs, reducing Nishan’s ability to work in the lab. It provided him an opportunity to continue exploring machine learning to facilitate faster, more accurate measurements of superalloy structures, finally building a tool that industry can use for quality control during in-line manufacturing operations.  

Senanayake, who won first place in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering’s art contest earlier this year, said this research project brought together his main research interests in materials science: Ni-based superalloy, machine learning, and data science. “I study the process-structure-property relation in Nickel-base superalloy by using data science approaches combined with experimental methods,” he said. “Understanding the science of material behavior always impresses me.” During the research project, Nishan believes his critical thinking skills improved and that he grew in confidence as an independent researcher. He praised Carter, his advisor, for being “the one who always supports me during my years at CWRU.”

Recently, Senanayake received an internship and opportunity to work with engineers in NASA Glenn center. At NASA Glenn, he is participating in a project where the goal is to understand the impact of powder variability on the microstructure and mechanical behavior of SLM 718 heat-treated to Aerospace Material Specification (AMS) 5664F. He is analyzing high dimensional data by using statistical and machine learning techniques to achieve the mentioned goal.

Prior to coming to CWRU, Nishan earned his Master of Science in Physics from Bowling Green State University. After he graduates in Spring 2022, he hopes to work as a research scientist or engineer and experiment with his own research ideas.