Professor Athula Kulathilaka
Professor Kulathilaka obtained joined the Department of Civil Engineering as a Probationary Assistant Lecturer in July 1981.
He obtained his doctoral degree from Monash University specialising in the field of Geotechnical Engineering.
He was appointed Senior Lecturer Grade in April 1991, promoted to Professor on merit in April 2006 and Senior Professor in 2014. He is a Chartered Engineer since 2004.
Professor Kulathilaka was the Head of the Department of Civil Engineering from March 2019 to June 2021. He served the University as Chairman - Staff Development Centre, from September 2008 to September 2013.
Professor Kulathilaka pursued research in the areas of Earth Retaining Structures, Ground Improvement Techniques, Unsaturated Soil Mechanics, Rain induced Slope Failure and Stabilisation of Slopes. He has published over 100 refereed research articles in conferences and refereed journals.
Professor Kulathilaka has provided guidance to Road Development Authority and National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) through his expertise in the field of geotechnical engineering in construction of expressways in the country in the areas of Soft Ground Improvement, Stabilisation of Cut Slopes and reduction of the risk of landslides. The experience gained through these projects led to the upgrading the teaching materials and formulating research projects, thus benefitting both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Professor Kulathilaka has contributed immensely to the advancement of Geotechnical Engineering through numerous activities conducted by the Sri Lankan Geotechnical Society as; Honorary Secretary from 1994-2004, Vice President from 2005-2011 and President from 2011 to 2021.
Professor Amal S. Kumarage
Professor Kumarage was pivotal in introducing transport into university curricula and establishing the Department of Transport and Logistics Management in 2005 which provides the most recognised university qualification in transport and logistics in Sri Lanka. His most recent endeavour to make Logistics and Transport a new engineering discipline in Sri Lanka, received recognition as the 23rd engineering discipline.
He served briefly as the Head of Department of Civil Engineering in 2004 and two terms as Head of Transport & Logistics Management. He was instrumental in introducing two undergraduate and four master’s level programs. He led nearly 50 national study teams thus establishing the university as a centre of excellence in transport & logistics.
Professor Kumarage is a Chartered Member of the IESL, and a Chartered Fellow and former International Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and was a President of the CILT Sri Lanka. To develop an indigenous professional society, he founded the Sri Lanka Society of Transport and Logistics (SLSTL) in 2015, which was recognized by the prestigious Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies or EASTS.
Prof Kumarage took the challenges of serving as Chairman of the NTC on three separate occasions, also as Acting Chairman of the RDA, and the SLTB. He has served on over 50 national-level boards, committees, and task forces during the last three decades. Prof. Kumarage has been at the forefront of modernising transportation practices in Sri Lanka. He introduced several people-friendly initiatives such as the bus fares formula, Sisu Saeriya, Gami Saeriya, and Sahasara Bus Modernization, as well as Traffic Impact Assessment.
Prof. Kumarage has developed several software tools in the field of transportation including a Transport Data Warehouse for Sri Lanka. A salient feature of his research has been developing applications for Sri Lanka and developing countries. On no less than three occasions, he was awarded the E.O.E. Pereira Prize for Best Paper by the IESL. In 2016, he founded the Research for Transport & Logistics Industry (R4TLI) conference to encourage the presentation of local research. He followed this by launching the first journal in transport and logistics published in Sri Lanka, the Journal of South Asian Logistics and Transport (JSALT), of which he is currently the Editor-in-Chief. His papers have a wide readership of around 200,000, mostly across developing countries. He is a Tier 4* researcher per UGC standards.
In addition, his expertise and contributions have extended beyond Sri Lanka. He served as an Advisor to the Government of the Maldives and as a consultant in over 10 developing countries. Prof. Kumarage has authored several books related to transportation. His latest work is on "Leadership in the Public Square". He has served on numerous Boards in educational institutions, civil society organisations and religious establishments. He continues as a mentor for youth and is invited by the media regularly for his forthright views and opinion on issues ranging from transport to education to governance.
Professor PKS Mahanama
Professor PKS Mahanama is a highly accomplished expert in the field of town and country planning.
He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, and later joined the Board of Investment (BOI)/former GCEC in Sri Lanka as an Urban & Regional Planner.
In 1988, he pursued his master’s degree in Town & Country Planning from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. Following his postgraduate studies, he joined the University of Moratuwa academic staff in 1992 as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Town & Country Planning.
He was promoted to Senior Professor in the Town & Country & Country Planning, Department of Town & Country Planning, Faculty of Architecture, University of Moratuwa in 2009.
He was the Head of the Department of Town & Country Planning from 2005 to June 2008. It was a challenging period as the new undergraduate degree was introduced to the department. Despite this challenge, he effectively managed the available resources and successfully obtained new facilities, including the establishment of a GIS-RS (Geographic Information Systems-Remote Sensing) lab. This lab was recognized as the first OSGeo Lab in Sri Lanka, showcasing Senior Professor Mahanama's dedication to incorporating innovative technologies into the Department and the Department's curriculum. Additionally, Professor Mahanama took the initiative to recruit young and talented staff members to the Department, ensuring a vibrant and energetic academic environment.
In 2008, Professor Mahanama was elected as the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and served two terms, further expanding his responsibilities within the university. It was during his tenure as Dean that the Department of Integrated Design was established. This new department added to the interdisciplinary approach within the Faculty of Architecture and provided students with an expanded range of academic opportunities.
In March 2018, Professor Mahanama was appointed as Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa. He served two terms as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor. During the Covid pandemic situation prevailed in the 2020-22 period, along with the other members of the academic, administrative, and non-academic staff of the University he was instrumental in the implementation of innovative methods to continue academic activities with least disruptions.
Professor Mahanama's contributions and involvement in professional committees and organizations further demonstrate his expertise and commitment to the field of planning. Some notable roles and committees he has served include:
1. President of the Institute of Town Planners, Sri Lanka 2008-2009: As President, he played a pivotal role in leading and advancing the planning profession in Sri Lanka, contributing to the development and promotion of planning practices and policies.
2. Executive Member of the Asian Planning School Congress (APSA): During his tenure in the APSA, he facilitated the hosting of the APSA conference in Sri Lanka in 2007. This conference provided a platform for the planning students academics as well as the practitioners, of both Sri Lankan and other Asian countries, to discuss issues and challenges and exchange ideas, for the advancement of planning education.
3. National Housing Advisory Committee (NHAC): Professor Mahanama has served on the NHAC, which advises the Ministry of Housing and Construction on housing-related matters, providing valuable insights and expertise in housing development and policies.
4. Tech City Development Project, Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development 2016-2019: His involvement in the Tech City Development Project demonstrated his contribution to the planning and development of technological hubs and innovation centers within Sri Lanka.
5. National Expert Committee on Climate Change Adaptation, Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy: As a member of this committee, Professor Mahanama has contributed his expertise to address the challenges of climate change and promote climate change adaptation strategies in Sri Lanka.
6. HABITAT III Steering Committee: He served as a Steering Committee member for HABITAT III in 2016, contributing to the discussions and decisions related to urban planning and sustainable development at the international level.
7. Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), National Physical Planning Department (NPPD): Professor Mahanama's participation in the TAC of the NPPD demonstrates his involvement in guiding and advising on national physical planning initiatives and policies.
Professor Mahanama has also actively engaged in research which made significant contributions to the field. Together with his colleagues at the University of Moratuwa, Professor Mahanama has conducted extensive research covering a wide range of topics relevant to town and country planning. The research areas of his work included climate change, disaster management, application of planning technologies such as GIS and remote sensing, smart cities, green spaces, and urban management. This diverse portfolio of research showcases his multidisciplinary approach and commitment to addressing contemporary challenges in urban planning. With over 30 research publications to his name, including 20 international refereed publications, Professor Mahanama's research output demonstrates the quality and significance of his contributions. His expertise and the impact of his work have been recognized by his status as a Tier 4 researcher in Sri Lanka, indicating his influential standing within the academic community. His Hirsch Index (h-Index) of 10 further attests to the reach and citation impact of his research.
Moreover, Professor Mahanama has led numerous national and international collaborative research projects. One notable project is the 4ONSE research project, conducted in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) and funded by the National Research Foundation of Switzerland. This project focused on developing an open, nonconventional, sustainable, and effective climate monitoring system. Additionally, his involvement in research projects funded by organizations such as UN-Habitat, the Nordic Climate Facility, and the University Grant Commission of Sri Lanka demonstrates his commitment to addressing climate resilience and integrating climate change adaptation into development plans for coastal urban areas. Through his extensive research contributions, Professor Mahanama has enriched the field of urban and regional planning in Sri Lanka and beyond. His research outputs have not only advanced academic knowledge but have also provided practical insights and solutions to real-world challenges.
After 31 years of university service, Professor Mahanama retired from the university service on 1st October 2023.
Professor S.M.A. Nanayakkara
Senior Professor S.M.A. Nanayakkara, who is attached to the Structural Engineering Group of the Department of Civil Engineering, retired on 30th September 2023 after over 40 years of long service at the University of Moratuwa. He joined the University in September 1982 as an Assistant Lecturer and was promoted to the post of Senior Lecturer in 1990, to the post of Professor in 2006 and to the post of Senior Professor in 2014.
He has made valuable contributions to the Department and University through his teaching, research and administrative roles. He was Head of Civil Engineering from 2013 to 2016, and Competent Authority of the Institute of Technology University of Moratuwa from July to September 2020. He is highly regarded as one of the top ranked if not the best concrete expert in the country and has contributed to many iconic building projects as a structural engineering consultant. He served as the chairman of the Sectoral Committee on Building and Construction Materials of the Sri Lanka Standards Institution from 2014 to 2019 and has contributed immensely to the development of national standards on building materials over the last 25 years.
His research has led to many publications and at present he counts 70 publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings. He won the prestigious Anton Award for the best technical paper on “Water related infrastructure” at Annual Sessions of IESL in 2006. He was the co-author of the paper that was adjudged as the best paper at the Annual Sessions of the Society of Structural Engineering Sri Lanka in 2018 and was awarded the Gold Medal.
Professor Nanayakkara won the Commonwealth Academic Fellowship to Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, University of London in the UK in 2004 while in 1999 he secured the AIEJ (Association of International Education, Japan) Research Fellowship.
He is a chartered engineer (CEng), of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, and an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Structural Engineers (FSSESL), Sri Lanka.
Professor Malik Ranasinghe
Professor Malik Ranasinghe is a former Senior Professor in Civil Engineering at the University of Moratuwa (UoM) and the Chairman of the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka.
Prof. Ranasinghe is a Chartered Engineer, International Professional Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka, Fellow of the Institute of Project Managers, Sri Lanka and Graduate Member of Sri Lanka Institute of Directors. He is an independent non-executive Director of Access Engineering PLC, Resus Energy PLC, Teejay Lanka PLC and United Motors Lanka PLC.
Prof. Ranasinghe is the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa. He is former Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Directors (CVCD) of Sri Lanka, former Commission Member of the University Grants Commission, former Council Member of the National Research Council, former Council Member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), former Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, and former Head, Department of Civil Engineering at the UoM, He is a former Fellow of the National University of Singapore, a former Chairman of Sampath Bank PLC and former independent non-executive Director of the Colombo Stock Exchange, Sampath Bank PLC, Lanka IOC PLC and Hemas Power PLC.
Prof. Ranasinghe graduated in Civil Engineering from the UoM (1984) and obtained his MASc (1986) and PhD (1990) from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada in Civil Engineering Economics as a Canadian Commonwealth Scholar. Prof. Ranasinghe’s research focus is to combine civil engineering economics, risk analysis and environmental economics with project management. He has published over 140 research publications, of which over 75 are internationally refereed publications. He is a Sri Lanka Tier 4* researcher and his Hirsch Index (h-Index) for research publications is 19.
Professor Ruwan Weerasekera
Professor Weerasekera obtained BSc Eng (Hons) in Civil Engineering from the University of Moratuwa in 1982 and joined the Department of Civil Engineering as a Probationary Assistant Lecturer in July 1983. He proceeded for postgraduate studies in 1985 upon receiving a Scholarship from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Professor Weerasekera obtained his doctoral degree from University of Calgary specialising in the field of Structural Engineering in 1991 and returned to the University of Moratuwa as a Senior Lecturer Grade II. He was promoted Professor on merit in 2009 and Senior Professor in 2017. He obtained charter status from the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka in 2006.
Professor Weerasekera led the Building and Structural Engineering Group of the Department for over seven years and contributed to the improvement of structural analysis and design modules of the undergraduate programme. He played a pioneering role in the commencement of the postgraduate course in Structural Engineering Design and served as its first coordinator. He taught a number of modules on the course and even those on the Highway Engineering postgraduate programme.
Professor Weerasekera also served as the first Director, Quality Assurance of Faculty of Engineering for 3 years. He introduced a process of documentation that enhanced the quality of teaching and assessment within the faculty.
Professor Weerasekera’s research interests are in Structural Engineering and encompasses Analysis, Design and Materials Technology. His research has won awards. He is also the co-author of over 60 research papers.
Professor Weerasekera was also a resource person and the organiser of several short courses organised by the Department of Civil Engineering under the auspices of Uni-Consultancy Services of the Faculty of Engineering. The topics covered were Bridge Structures, Water-retaining Structures, Transmission line Structures and Finite Element Analysis. Some of these courses were repeated due to the heavy demand in the Industry and Academia with the support of ACECOMS, AIT of which Society of Structural Engineers acted as a Satellite Centre.
An alumnus of the University of Moratuwa, Professor Weerasekara’s service spans forty years. His pioneering activities within the university and with the structural engineering fraternity is exemplary.