About Us

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Advisor : Prof. Vernon Cooray

Prof. Vernon Cooray (IEEE Fellow) is a senior professor at the department of electrical engineering, Uppsala University. Uppsala University. From 1999 – 2003 he was the head of the Division for Electricity. He has supervised 28 Ph.D. students both from Sweden, Sri Lanka, Columbia and Malaysia.

He has supervised 28 Ph.D. students both from Sweden, Sri Lanka, Columbia and Malaysia.

Professor Vernon Cooray was the president of the International Conference on Lightning Protection (ICLP) from 2014-2021 and the recipient of the Berger award for his contributions to lightning research. In 2015 he was awarded a D.Sc. degree from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, for his contributions to lightning research.

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President : Prof. Mahendra Fernando

Prof. Mahendra Fernando is a professor at the Department of Physics, University of Colombo. Prof. Fernando obtained his PhD in Physics of Lightning and Lightning Protection from University of Colombo and has been a Post Doctoral Researcher at Uppsala University Sweden. He was the head of the organizing committee of the 35th International Conference on Lightning Protection (ICLP) held in 2021. At present he is a member of the ICLP scientific committee. He has authored or co-authored around 150 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings and 3 book chapters on lightning. Prof. Fernando has been actively involved in research work on Lightning and Lightning Protection at the Atmospheric Physics and Lightning Research Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Colombo for over 25 years and has contributed towards the betterment of the world with a vast number of new inventions in the field of lightning and lightning protection. He was awarded with the prestigious scientific committee award by the ICLP for the contribution on tropical lightning research.

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Secretary: Dr. Nilantha Sapumanage

Dr. N.C. Sapumanage is the Director Inspectorate for the public utilities commission of Sri Lanka. He is also a chartered Electrical Engineer of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka and Member of the IEEE. He has been a pioneer in uplifting and ensuring the safety and quality of utilities of power sector in Sri Lanka. His expertise and knowledge on standards and regulations in the field directly benefits SLPRD to deliver the best products and services. His research interests include Lightning induced transient over- voltages, Lightning protection, power quality, renewable energy, and demand management. He was the secretary to the local organizing committee of the 35th International Conference on Lightning Protection (35th ICLP) held in 2021.

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Treasurer : Mr. Lasantha Chandimal

Winner of two presidential awards, two technical scholarships to Japan, Chandimal is a techno- entrepreneur and an experienced administrator. He holds two Master’s Degrees (MSc and MBA) and currently a PhD researcher from the University of Colombo. His wealth of experience in organizing and managing stake holder requirement to its micro details, benefits SLPRD decisively. His current research interests concentrated on lightning protection grounding, with special attention to Earth Enhancing compounds. He was also the treasurer of the local organizing committee of the 35th International Conference on Lightning Protection (35th ICLP) held in 2021.

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Head Technical Operations : Dr. Sankha Nanayakkara

Dr. Sankha Nanayakkara is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Physics, University of Colombo and is actively engaged in research work related to lightning physics and protection. He is an experienced entrepreneur and an industry professional with over a decade of experience in the field of lightning research and telecommunication. Being an expert in the field, he directly overlooks innovative instrumentation design segment of SLPRD. He was also a committee member for the local organizing committee of the 35th International Conference on Lightning Protection (35th ICLP) held in 2021.

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Head of international partnerships: Dr. Ujitha Abeywickrema

Dr. Ujitha Abeywickrema is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Physics, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He received his Phd in Electro Optics and Photonics from the University of Dayton, U.S.A. in 2015. Before joining the University of Colombo, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Electro-Optics and Photonics at the University of Dayton, U.S.A. With his vast experience as an academic he is contributing in designing, developing and supervising industry oriented research in the field of lighting and telecommunication more actively. He further achieved his MSc in Physics from the University of Akron, U.S.A. in 2011 and obtained B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Colombo Sri Lanka. He was also the international coordinator for the local organizing committee of the 35th International Conference on Lightning Protection and 16th International Symposium on Lightning Protection held in 2021.