Imadh Mashoor


Colombo, Sri Lanka

Academic Interests

Mechanical Engineering & Environmental Science and Policy

Fun Fact

Growing up I spent more time by the beach, amongst a neighboring fishing community, than I did in my own house (that coincidentally was a farm of sorts).

To me the world consists of logical connections. Each phenomenon existing because of some rational interaction with another variable. Testing the boundaries of these interactions, is what gravitates me to mechanics: designing efficient systems that are creatively limitless but intrinsically bound by logic.

As my school did not have a robotics club, I started exploring robots independently: websites, tinkering with broken remote controllers, and learning computer aided design with the few computers in my school’s library, led to the creation of countless anime figurines, an ultra-sonic alert system for my blind cat, and the opportunity to captain Sri Lanka at the FIRST Global Robotics Competition. These experiences were truly liberating. Being able to take risks on unconventional designs knowing success was improbable paradoxically gave me freedom to create and imprinted in me a genuine desire to continue to study mechanical engineering at Duke.

Growing up in close proximity to the coast and being surrounded by diverse ecosystems and fishing communities has played a significant role in shaping my life. My evenings were often spent either accompanying local fishermen on their daily journeys or perched on top of a banyan tree, trying to mechanically decipher my pet hen's short-lived attempts at flight.

Having personal interactions with these communities offered me a firsthand understanding of the delicate balance that exists within the environment. For example, I have witnessed

how a change as minute as adding a motorized boat to a fishing fleet, significantly disrupted the aquatic ecosystem for marine species like stingrays and ultimately led to not only the pointless loss of aquatic life as bycatch but also the loss of livelihoods for many traditional stilt fishermen. Amidst such changes there was clearly an alarming lack of government infrastructure and effective policy measures to evaluate such problems, and this is hence why I'm deeply passionate about combining my mechanical engineering background with environmental science and policy.

Ultimately, my goal is to leverage robotics and technology to leave a lasting impact on marine conservation and address climate change more broadly.

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

Duke seems to offers the best of both worlds—a demanding academic environment that prepares you, and gives you boundless resources so that you can really have a real world impact, combined with a vibrant and joyful community amongst whom I have had a great time so far!

Imadh Mashoor
Imadh Mashoor