Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Research Excellence 2018

Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Research Excellence 2018

The Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Research Excellence 2018, are presented during the Postgraduate Convocation 2018 on 6th of December 2019 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall for the contributions made by the senior academic staff in their outstanding research works.

Professor Marie Perera had her primary education at Good Shephered Convent Panadura and her secondary education at Holy Family Convent Bambalapitiya and graduated from the University of Peradeniya. She joined the teaching profession and taught in Piliyandala Central College, St. Agnes Balika Maha Vidyalaya Balangoda and Visakha Vidyalaya Colombo 05. In 1990 she obtained a merit pass for the Post Graduate Diploma in Education, Teaching of English as a Second Language from the University of Colombo. After obtaining the necessary teaching experience and the professional training Marie Perera joined the Faculty of Education in 1995 as a probationary lecturer in Humanities Education. She also obtained two Masters Degrees – Master of Philosophy in Education and Master of Science in Applied Psychology from the University of Colombo. She was awarded a Professional Development of Teacher Educators Fellowship, by the World Bank to pursue Doctoral Studies at University of Wollongong, Australia in 1998. She obtained the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in 2001. Professor Perera was promoted as senior lecturer in 2001, Professor in 2007 and Senior Professor in 2014.

Professor Perera’s research interests cover many areas in Education with more focus on her specialization applied linguistics. She has over sixty peer-reviewed research publications and several book chapters in internationally recognized publications. She has won several research awards including the prestigious AILA Solidarity Award at the World Congress on Applied Linguistics in 2011. University of Colombo annual research award recipient for excellence in research in the Faculty of Education in the year 2015. Winner of Zonta Woman of Achievement Award for Education 2017, and Senate award under open category for research excellence -2017 and the best joint oral presentation award at the Kotalawela Defence University international conference -2019. Professor Perera has also contributed to university administration. She was the Head of the Department of Humanities Education for seven years, Director, the Staff Development Centre University of Colombo for one year, the Dean of the Faculty of Education for three years and since 2015 up to now the Director of the National Education Research and Evaluation Centre (NEREC) of the University of Colombo. She was instrumental in obtaining a 30 million HETC QIG 3 grant for the Faculty of Education to improve Post Graduate studies in 2013. This enabled the Faculty to develop a new MPhil leading to the PhD programme which she coordinated and resulted in producing more than 10 Phds and several MPhils during the last two years, including the ones who graduated today.

Senior Professor ERHSS Ediriweera was born in 1955 and educated at Visakha Vidyalaya, Bambalapitiya. She entered the then Government Ayurveda College; now Institute of Indigenous Medicine, Rajagiriya, in 1976 and obtained DAMS with a class pass from University of Colombo in 1981. In 1984, she joined the Department of Ayurveda as a medical officer. She was awarded WHO fellowship in 1986 to study quality control of Ayurveda drugs at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. Having joined Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo 1990 as an Assistant Lecturer, she won a commonwealth scholarship to complete Postgraduate studies and obtained the degree Doctor of Medicine Ayurveda in Kayachikithsa with specialization in Panchakarma from Banaras Hindu University, India in 1993. She obtained her Doctor of Philosophy from University of Peradeniya. She is also accredited as a teacher in Higher Education by Staff Educational Development Association (SEDA), United Kingdom.

Dr. Sujatha Ediriweera was promoted to the post of professor in 2009 and to the Post of Senior Professor in 2017. She is the first female Professor and Senior Professor of Ayurveda in Sri Lanka. Senior Professor Ediriweera is a Consultant physician in Panchakarma and Kayachikithsa at Ayurveda Teaching Hospital, Borella. She has held various offices at IIM including Head of Department, Chairperson of Board of Studies (2012/2015) and has served as a visiting lecturer at Gampha Wickramaarchchi Ayurveda Institute, University of Keleniya and Department of Siddha Medicine, University of Jaffna. She has supervised more than 15 Postgraduate students who are studying for MD, MPhil, Postgraduate Diploma in Ayurveda. Senior Professor Ediriweera has presented and published more than 170 abstracts in International and National seminars. She has also published 80 clinical, animal and parasitological researches in local and International peer reviewed indexed journals. Most of them are clinical researches based on the field of Panchakarma. She is serving as chief editor, member of editorial board in several International and local journals.

Senior Professor Kamani Tennekoon currently holds the Chair of Molecular Life Sciences at the Institute of Biochemistry Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. Prof Tennekoon holds a MBBS degree from the University of Colombo and a PhD from the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. She commenced her academic career at the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo in 1981 and was appointed to the Cadre Chair in Physiology in 2004. She was the Director, IBMBB from 2007 to 2012 and was appointed to its Chair of Molecular Life Sciences in 2010. Her current research areas include Cancer Genetics, Reproductive and Developmental Biology, DNA Identification and Anti Cancer Drug Discovery. She has supervised 16 PhDs, 2 MPhils and currently training further 10 MPhil/PhD students. She has received many awards for her research including Presidents Research Award and NRC Merit Award on several occasions, SUSRED Award from NSF in 2016, University of Colombo Senate Research Awards for 2016 and 2017, Vice Chancellors Research Award in 2001, 2014; Kandy Society of Medicine Health Research Prize in 2000. Professor Tennekoon has served the Special Programme on Human Reproduction, World Health Organization, Geneva in several capacities. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka and a member of several professional associations, local and International. She has delivered several orations and memorial lectures for several Professional Associations and has published extensively in peer -reviewed indexed journals.

Arosha Adikaram is a Professor in HRM in the Department of Human Resources Management at the Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo. Professor Adikaram graduated with Honours from University of Colombo in 2001 with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree. She obtained her Master of Arts in Labour studies and PhD in HRM, from the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo in 2006 and 2010 respectively. She is currently the Head of the Department of Human Resources Management and had held many other posts in the University of Colombo including, Coordinator of Executive Master of Business Administration, University coordinator of University Development Grant and the Faculty Coordinator of the Quality and Innovation Grant under the HETC (Higher Education for the 21st Century), a World Bank funded project. She recently completed a tenure in another World Bank funded project, AHEAD (Accelerating Higher Education Expansion and Development), as the Academic Expert – Management, Monitoring and HRD under the Ministry of Higher Education. Professor Adikaram has many publications in peer-reviewed journals and has published a number of text books and book chapters in the areas of labour law, labour relations and human resource management with national and international publishers. She has received a number of awards locally and internationally honoring her contribution to the academia and to the industry; she was awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) of the year 2010 by Junior Chamber International, Sri Lanka, and the ‘Pride of HR’ award by the World HRD Congress in Mumbai in the same year. She was also awarded the University of Colombo Vice Chancellors award for research excellence in Management and Finance in year 2017.

Further, Prof Adikaram has served as a resource person in many local and international forums and conferences. Her main research interest resides with industrial relations specially trade unionism, gender and harassment at workplaces. She has received research fellowships from International Labour Organization, Geneva; University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia; and Sri Lanka Foundation and Fedrick Ebert Stiftung. She is also the Chairperson of the Education Reforms Committee of Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) and a member of the Charted Institute of Personnel Management, (CIPM) and the Center for Women’s Research (CENWOR). Prof. Adikaram is a SEDA Certified Teacher in Higher Education, UK and a Certified Teacher in Higher Education, Sri Lanka.

Dr Galpayage Don Susantha Prasad Wimalaratne obtained his BSc Special (Hons) in Computer Science from the University of Colombo with first-class honours, securing the Mohan Munasinghe award for Computer Science in 1994. He holds a PhD from the University of Salford in the UK, specializing in Virtual Environments. His PhD research has 6 citations in US patents by Boeing, Siemens and Cannon. Dr Wimalaratne is a Senior Member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (USA) and a member of Computer Society of Sri Lanka. He has made research contributions to the fields of Computer Graphics and Simulations, Assistive Technology, Mobile Computing, and Secure Software Systems.  He has over 100 research publications which include 9 Web of Science Indexed journals since 2016. At National level, he has edited ICT Textbooks from grades 6 to 11 and, several Teacher Guides in ICT which are published by the Ministry of Education. He has also served the Department of Examinations as a resource person.

He has won the Presidential Awards for Research in 2016, ICT Researcher of the Year award by the Computer Society of Sri Lanka in 2019, University of Colombo Senate Award for Research Excellence in both 2016 and 2017. He was awarded Student of the Year by the Computer Society of Sri Lanka in 1994. He has co-authored several conference papers which have won the best paper awards.  Among the many undergraduate projects, he supervised, 9 projects have won awards at the international and national level. He has served as a principal investigator and co-investigator in the research projects funded by IDRC, JICA and NRC. Dr Wimalaratne has served as the Head of the Department of Communication and Media Technologies, as well as the Head of Post Graduate Programmes at UCSC since 2015. He has also served as the Director, Career Guidance Unit of the University of Colombo from 2005 to 2011. He has been a member of Advisory council of National Archives Department, member of Academic Affairs Board of National Institute of Education.

Having received his primary education at Sri Devananda Vidyalaya Ambalangoda, Dr. SSN Perera received his secondary education at Royal College, Colombo. In 1994 he entered the University of Colombo and earned B.Sc. in Mathematics Special with First Class Honours in 1998. Under ICTP/UNESCO Fellowship programme, he received both his Diplom (PG Diploma) and M.Sc. (by Research) in Modelling & Complex Realities from ICTP / SISSA, Italy. In 2008, he obtained PhD in Mathematical Modelling & Optimal Control from University of Colombo under a DAAD fellowship programme in collaboration with Kaiserslautern University, Germany. His research interest includes Mathematical Modeling on Epidemiology, Biology, Ecology and Finance / Actuarial Science. Dr. Perera is currently working on Dynamics of   Dengue Transmission. He received many research grants from University of Colombo, National Science Foundation and DAAD.  Dr. Perera has authored 60 journal publications, of which 30 appeared in indexed journals and over 120 publications at local/international conferences and symposia through collaborative research. He has authored 5 book chapters, 3 books and has edited one book. He has supervised 7 PhDs and 2 MPhils and currently he is supervising 4 MPhil research projects. He was awarded Junior Associate Membership (from 2006 to 2011) in recognition of multidisciplinary research activity by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Italy) and in 2011, ERASMUS MUNDUS MAHEVA Fellowship to attend the Collaborative research programme at Department of Electronics, Uppsala University, Sweden.

In recognition of his research contribution, he was awarded the SLAAS (Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science) Postgraduate Research Award (Merit) once, the NSF – SUSRED award twice, the NRC merit award twice and University of Colombo Senate award twice. He served as the keynote speaker / plenary speaker / invited speaker / resource person in more than 40 international conferences / symposia / workshops related to Mathematical Modelling. Dr. Perera upraised postgraduate education and research by introducing M.Sc. in Financial Mathematics and by establishing the Research & Development Centre for Mathematical Modelling. He was the founder coordinator of M.Sc. in Financial Mathematics and he served as the coordinator for 10 years. He was the founder coordinator of Information Technology Unit, Faculty of Science and founder coordinator of IT Degree Program and he served nine years for both posts. He was the member of proposal writing and implementation team of HETC External Degree Grant and activity coordinator of the Faculty of Science. He was the founder coordinator of B.Sc. (external) in Financial Engineering and he still holds the post. He served as the Deputy Director of Virtual Centre University of Colombo for six years. He also contributed towards introducing and implementing many course units in M.Sc. in Financial Mathematics, B.Sc. in Financial Engineering and Industrial Oriented and Research Oriented Degree Programs at Department of Mathematics. He was the member of proposal writing and implementation team of HETC PG Grant and served as the activity coordinator of the Department of Mathematics. He was the Chair of International Mathematical Forum 2014 and 2015 which was organized by Research & Development Centre, Department of Mathematics in collaboration with Kaiserslautern University, Germany, Kathmandu University, Nepal, Institute of Technology Bandung, Indonesia and DAAD. He was the Co-Chair of International Conference on Computational Modeling & Simulation 2017 which was organized by the Faculty of Science, University of Colombo in collaboration with South Asian University, New Delhi, India, National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka and DAAD. Dr. Perera is currently serving as the Head of the Department of Mathematics, Chairperson of Quality Assurance Cell, Faculty of Science and the Director of the Open Distance Learning Centre, Faculty of Science. He is also serving as a member of Editorial Board of Journal of National Science Foundation.

Dr. Wimal Hewamanage earned his B.A. with first-class Honours in 2001 from the University of Kelaniya. Then he obtained his M.A. and M.Phil from the same University. He joined the academic staff of the Department of Buddhist studies at the University of Colombo, as a temporary assistant lecturer in 2005 and in 2006, he was appointed to the post of probationary lecturer. In 2011, He was promoted to the post of senior lecturer. He earned his Doctoral Degree from the Wuhan University in 2016 for his doctoral thesis on “Approaches to the stages of realization: A study of the problem of religious realization in early Buddhism, its development of Theravāda Mahayana and Chinese Chan perspectives” under the Chinese Government Scholarship Program In 2016, he was appointed as a Co-editor of the ColomboArts E-journal of the Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo. In 2016 He was appointed as the Faculty Member of the Confucius Institute, University of Colombo.
In addition to his teaching at the University of Colombo, he has been working as a Visiting Lecturer of Postgraduate Degree Programs of the national and international higher education institutes. International Buddhist College, Thailand, Malaysian Buddhist Academy, Malaysia, Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya are few of them. He has published a number of books on Buddhist Hygiene, Buddhist Rituals, and Pali language and also research papers in national and international refereed journals. Further, Dr. Hewamanage can work in English, Chinese, Pali, and Sanskrit except for his mother tongue Sinhala.

Dr. Ranil Jayawardena is a senior lecturer in the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and a visiting fellow of the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Following his medical graduation from the University of Colombo in 2005, he completed his MSc from the University of Glasgow, UK and subsequently the PhD in Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Dr. Jayawardena’s research interests include non-communicable diseases, epidemiological aspect of dietary habits, conducting clinical trials on herbal and dietary supplements and body composition. He has a vast array of research experience which includes conduct of multi-national clinical trials, national wide epidemiological surveys, case-control studies, systematic reviews and meta-analysis, and research projects using qualitative methods. He has to his credit over 70 full paper publications in international peer-reviewed journals, four books and over 100 abstracts. He has an H-index of 23 and over 2000 citations.

According to the UGC research performance scheme, Dr. Jayawardena is one of the youngest to reach the “Tier 4 star” (highest rank) in the Sri Lankan university system. In recognition of his outstanding achievements, he has received many national, university and professional level awards including presidential awards/NRC Merit awards consecutively since  2010, the Early Career Senate Awards for Research Excellence in 2016 and 2017. He was named as the “Top Outstanding Young Person in Medical Research” in 2014 by  the Junior Chamber International. In 2018, he won “TWAS Prize – Sri Lanka” for Young Scientist by the World Academy of Science, Trieste, Italy. He was awarded the CVCD Excellence Award for the most outstanding young researcher in the field of Health Sciences including Medicine, Dental Science, Veterinary Science and other Allied Sciences in 2018 making him the only academic in the University of Colombo with all three young national level awards. The presentation of the University of Colombo – Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence for  2018 (Faculty of Medicine) is indeed a tribute to this eminent scholar.