Danula Hettiachchi

Melbourne · Australia · danula.hettiachchi [at] unimelb.edu.au

I am a PhD candidate at School of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne where I am part of the Interaction Design Lab. I have previously worked as a Full-Stack Software Engineer primarily focused on data engineering and analytics.

I also work as a tutor at the School of Computing and Information Systems and the Manager of Usability Lab at the Interaction Design Lab where I support a wide range of HCI research projects.

  • December 2019 : Will be presenting our work at OzCHI 2019, Perth, Australia
  • September 2019 : Presented our work at INTERACT 2019, Paphos, Cyprus
  • May 2019 : Presented our work at the Workshop: Designing Crowd-powered Creativity Support Systems and was a Student Volunteer at CHI 2019, Glasgow, UK
  • December 2018 : Was a Student Volunteer at OzCHI 2018, Melbourne, Australia


Software Engineer

Sysco Labs

Worked in the data and analytics team. Principal engineer of customer profiling project, a solution to gather customer insights from over 2000 restaurants. Also engaged with a real time ETL built using Apache Storm, a data warehouse for reports and data archival project.

April 2016 - February 2018

Visiting​ ​Instructor

University of Moratuwa

Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering.
For the modules CS 3042 (Database Systems) and CS 2963 (Presentation Skills).

April 2015 - February 2016

Google​ ​Summer​ ​of​ ​Code​ ​Intern​


Integrated a data cleaning tool to WSO2 Machine Learner by creating data transformations in Apache Spark to enhance the data preprocessing capabilities of the platform.

May 2015 - September 2015

Software Engineering Intern


Built an R extension for WSO2 Machine Learner to generate and execute machine learning algorithms in R. Created an application to monitor Jenkins build failures using WSO2 Complex Event Processor.

October 2014 - April 2015


University of Melbourne

PhD in Engineering
Computing and Information Systems

Supervised by Dr. Jorge Goncalves and Prof. Vassilis Kostakos

February 2018 - Present

University of Moratuwa

B.Sc. (Hons) in Engineering

First Class. Specialized in Computer Science and Engineering

October 2011 - April 2016

Royal College, Colombo

Secondary Education
January 2002 - August 2010



D. Hettiachchi, N. van Berkel, S. Hosio, V. Kostakos, J. Goncalves (2019). Effect of Cognitive Abilities on Crowdsourcing Task Performance . Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT’19). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11746. Springer, Cham. [doi] [pdf]

D. Hettiachchi, J. Goncalves (2019). Towards Effective Crowd-Powered Online Content Moderation. In Proceedings of the 31st Australian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (OzCHI '19). ACM. [doi] [pdf]

D. Hettiachchi, N. van Berkel, T. Dingler, F. Allison, V. Kostakos, J. Goncalves (2019). Enabling Creative Crowd Work through Smart Speakers. In International Workshop on Designing Crowd-powered Creativity Support Systems (CHI’19 Workshop), 1-5. [doi] [pdf]

Z. Sarsenbayeva, N. van Berkel, D. Hettiachchi, W. Jiang, T. Dingler, E. Velloso, V. Kostakos, J. Goncalves (2019). Measuring the Effects of Stress on Mobile Interaction. Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (IMWUT), 3(1), 24:1-24:18. [doi] [pdf]

N. van Berkel, J. Goncalves , D. Hettiachchi, S. Wijenayake, R. M. Kelly, V. Kostakos (2019). Crowdsourcing Perceptions of Fair Predictors for Machine Learning: A Recidivism Case Study. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 3 (CSCW), 28:1-28:21.[doi] [pdf]

Z. Sarsenbayeva, N. van Berkel, W. Jiang, D. Hettiachchi, V. Kostakos, J. Goncalves (2019). Effect of Ambient Light on Mobile Interaction. Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT’19). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11748. Springer, Cham. [doi] [pdf]


Eranjith, H. M. D., Fernando, I. D., Fernando, G. K. S., Soysa, W. C. M., & Jayasena, V. S. D. (2016). A visualization and analysis platform for performance tuning. In 2016 Moratuwa Engineering Research Conference (MERCon) (pp. 72–77). [doi] [pdf]


Technical Skills
  • Programming Languages - Java, R, Python, Javascript, NodeJS, SQL, C
  • Technologies - Apache (Spark, Storm, Kafka), AWS (Lamba, S3, Kinesis, DynamoDB), Hadoop Data Platform
  • Tools - Maven, Git, Jenkins, IntelliJ

Language​ ​Proficiency
  • English - Full Professional Competency. (IELTS Score - 8.5)
  • Sinhala - Native Proficiency


  • Best Paper Award, CIS Doctoral Colloquium, School of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, 2018
  • Intrapreneur Award, Sysco Labs, 2017
  • Dean’s List, Faculty of Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, 2011-2016 (Semester 1,7 and 8)
  • Runners up, Hall of Fame for Engineering Excellence, Sysco Labs, 2016
  • Process and Quality Compliance Award, Sysco Labs, 2016
  • Inclusive Student Leader, Unilever Youth Forum, Sri Lanka, 2015
  • Cecil Perera Memorial Scholarship for academic excellence, 162nd Prize Giving, Royal College, Colombo, 2010. (received 9 awards at Royal College Prize Givings, 2002-2010)
  • Sri Lanka Mathematics Olympiad, High Distinction, 2008, 2009 and 2010

  • Melbourne Research Scholarship for graduate studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia. 2018-2021.
  • Mahapola Higher Education (Merit) Scholarship for undergraduate studies at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. Sponsor: University Grants Commission (UGC) of Sri Lanka, 2011-2015.
  • Eagle Higher Education scholarship for secondary education and undergraduate studies. Awarded for obtaining highest marks in Puttalam District in Grade Five Scholarship Examination, 2007-2016.

  • Spiralation Hackathon - Runners up, World Conference on Youth, 2014
  • Ranked 52nd globally, IEEEXtreme 7.0 programming competition, 2013
  • Ranked 57th globally, Bitwise 2013 programming competition, 2013
  • Ranked 93rd globally, IEEEXtreme 6.0 programming competition, 2012

Volunteering and Leadership