Nipuni Karunaratne | IVY TECH


Nipuni is the Digital Technology Manager at Rolls Royce, an Entrepreneur and the Vice chair for the Rolls Royce Gender Diversity Network in the UK.

She comes from an engineering family background where her parents always motivated her to learn and thrive for more in life without any barriers. Little did she know that becoming a female engineer in a male dominated industry could be so challenging yet exciting.

After her early education in Sri Lanka and in Dubai, she started her MEng in Aerospace Engineering at an early age of 16 which made her the youngest in every situation that she faced. In her second year of university she was offered a role at a research centre in Cambridge as a Technical research assistant. This is where her passion for new technology and innovations fruited.

After her graduation in 2014, she was offered a role at Rolls Royce Civil Aerospace as a Graduate Manufacturing Engineer. During this time, she worked in various departments within the company progressing her career and gaining a wider understanding of the business. During this time, she became a Lean Six Sigma practitioner supporting the continuous improvement culture at Rolls Royce. As an example of this, she successfully closed out a major project which saves £1.2M yearly and increasing for the company.

After successfully completing her graduate scheme as an overperforming employee of the company, she was offered a technical leadership role in Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul department to lead the new global facility setup in North America and Asia. One of these factories being the world biggest repair centre for the Aerospace industry.

In 2018 as a business-critical requirement, she then joined the Supply Chain Management Team supporting the service operations while looking after the German vendor network. In this role she was technically responsible for continuous supply chain of several critical parts of a Jet engine.

Nipuni’s passion in Science and Technology always motivated her to look for new technologies and improvements in industries. In 2019 whilst being at Rolls Royce, she started her own company in Research & Development with a focus in fourth generation Industry solutions.

As the world moves to this digital transformation, Nipuni is now working as the Rolls Royce Digital Technology Team Manager for the Model Factory team. She will be working with a team of experts to deliver a major digitalisation program.

Through out Nipuni’s career she has been actively involved in STEM activities and helping the young generation by mentoring, coaching and inspiring. She has been a motivational and a STEM panel speaker in many leading events in the United Kingdom. During these events she have supported both young male and female participants by mentoring and coaching them from an early age to support in having a successful career in STEM industries. She has been elected in 2019 as the UK chair for the Gender Diversity Network at Rolls Royce and currently she is working as the Vice Chair supporting the company in positively changing the working environment to be more diverse and inclusive. This network has grown to be the biggest employee resource group with 1000+ members in the company. She has been involved in designing and developing a personal development session within the company which has become very popular and helped many female engineers to do well in their day to day job.