Nalin A Ratnayake began his career as a aerospace research engineer, a role he continues today despite a detour along the way. He holds a B.S.E. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering and has published 11 peer-reviewed technical papers on supersonic air-breathing propulsion, environmentally responsible aviation technologies, and advanced access-to-space systems.
After changing careers, Nalin completed an M.Ed. through the Boston Teacher Residency, focusing his studies on the connections between scientific literacy and social justice, particularly in the context of urban schools and communities.
After five years of teaching Physics and Engineering at an urban public high school in Boston, Nalin recently returned to engineering, at a research center near Norfolk, Virgina. He currently works in launch vehicle aerodynamics, and is in training to become a flight project manager.
Nalin writes fiction under the name N.A. Ratnayake. His speculative fiction has appeared in Crossed Genres Magazine as well as the post-colonial SF anthology We See A Different Frontier. His short story Remembering Turinam received an honorable mention in Gardner Dozois’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Thirty-First Edition. His Mars novel Red Soil Through Our Fingers was published in January 2016 and explores a future of corporate-controlled space settlement.
Though later a New Englander and presently a resident of the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, Nalin was born and raised in the American West — a region whose history and character continue to strongly influence his writing. The mountains, rains, coasts, and deserts of the West have been the backdrop for a rich interplay of conquest, struggle, identity, and hope. These themes often emerge entangled in Nalin’s fiction.
As an engineer, writer, and educator, Nalin is strongly committed to exploring ideas for creating a more positive and sustainable future for all people.