This Penn Stater’s job is ‘out of this world’

September 29, 2023

By Mike Dawson

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Penn State News. It features Pavara Ranatunga, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from Penn State in 2016.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As a boy growing up in Sri Lanka, Pavara Ranatunga was intrigued by airplanes. When he’d hear the whir of a jet engine from inside his house, he’d run outside to see the plane flying overhead. The way those large metal objects could fly like birds fascinated him. 

Because of a life-changing decision his parents made, Ranatunga has made a career out of working with flying objects, and his work today supports the International Space Station. 

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