The Engineering Geology Research Team of the Department of Geology led by Dr. Jagath Gunatilake has received the recognition of the Center for Excellence in Landslide Research at the 16th World Landslide Forum in Florence, Italy, held from November 14 to 17, 2023.
Celebrating the milestone of the "Regreen Hantana: Restoration of Degraded Lands in Hantana Environmental Protection Area (HEPA)", a seedling transplantation event took place on the 11th of November 2023, at the restoration site near the Animal Science farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, UoP at Uda-Peradeniya with the participation of over 350 volunteers. This initiative is spearheaded by the Faculty of Science and the Centre for Environment Sustainability, University of Peradeniya in partnership with the Commercial Bank, Forest Department, and the Local Community.
During the project's second phase in 2023, the University of Peradeniya partnered with Commercial Bank, offering financial support and logistical assistance through ‘Thuru Piri Ratak’. A total of 1700 native seedlings, including Etamba (Mangifera zeylanica), Kahata (Careya arborea), Mee (Madhuca longifolia), Kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna), Domba (Calophyllum inophyllum), Karanda (Pongamia pinnata), Madan (Syzygium cumini), Wal Del (Artocarpus nobilis), Kudu Dawula (Neolitsea cassia), Kitul (Caryota urens), Kenda (Macaranga sp.) and Nuga (Ficus spp.), were planted across 1.5 hectares of degraded lands owned by the University of Peradeniya.
An awareness session was conducted at the outset of the event to emphasize the significance of 'Restoring the degraded lands for enhancement of ecosystem services', 'Role of next generation in conserving forest resources' and 'Multistakeholder partnership for restoration projects' by Prof. M.D. Lamawansha (Vice-chancellor, UoP), Mr. Saneth Jayasundara (Senior Regional Manager (Central), Prof. R.G.S.C. Rajapakse (Dean, Faculty of Science, UoP), Prof. Tilak Hewawasam (Director, Centre for Environmental Sustainability), Mr. Sumudu Gunawardena (Chief Information Officer, Commercial Bank), Mr. U.G.R. Pushpakumara (Former Grama Niladhari, Palle Peradeniya Division) and Prof. Thilanka Gunaratne (Team Leader, Regreen Hanatana Project).
Prof. Ravi Kuruppuge (Deputy Vice Chancellor), Prof. Sumudu Rubasinghe (Head, Department of Botany), Dr. Nalin Suranjith (Deputy Director, Centre for Environmental Sustainability), Mr. Thusitha Suraweera (Assistant General Manager-Operations, Commercial Bank), Ms. Kelum Amarasinghe (Assistant General Manager – Compliance, Commercial Bank), Mr. Janaka Samarajeewa (Senior Manager, Commercial Bank), Mr. R.D.S.C. Chandrasiri and Mr. D.M.R. Dissanayake (Forest Department, Kandy), Mr. U.G.R. Pushpakumara (Former Grama Niladhari, Palle Peradeniya Division) along with 16 University Staff Members, 150 Commercial Bank Officers, 150 University Undergraduates and 25 Community Volunteers participated for this green event.
Continuous site maintenance and monitoring will play a pivotal role in enhancing ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity, soil protection, and the safeguarding of water catchments within the HEPA. The project highlights that a multistakeholder partnership involving the government, private sector, and the local community can pave the way to achieve sustainable development goals in the future.
The Science-Industry Interaction Cell (SIIC), the main industry outreach arm of the Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya together with the Career Guidance Unit (CGU), Faculty of Science, Society of Industrial Relations and Entrepreneurship Development (SIRED), and Applied Sciences Society co-organized the “Industry Day 2023”, the annual career fair for the 11th consecutive time on 22nd September 2023 at the Faculty of Science premises, providing a common platform for representatives from private sector industries to meet with Science Faculty students and recent graduates seeking internship and employment opportunities in a variety of fields. The event was sponsored by 14 companies including the main sponsor Kelun Lifesciences (Pvt) Ltd, Celogen Lanka and Diyatha Pharmaceuticals.
The inauguration ceremony was held in the presence of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, the Dean, Faculty of Science, the Director of National Institute of Fundamental Studies, the Director of the Career Guidance Unit, the Director of Business Linkage, Innovation, Incubation and Technology Transfer Office, University of Peradeniya, the Director of Science-Industry Interaction Cell (SIIC), academic staff members of Faculty of Science, invitees from 14 companies including the Managing Director, Kelun Lifesciences (Pvt) Ltd, Celogen Lanka and Diyatha Pharmaceuticals, Managers - Talent Acquisition & Development, Ceylon Biscuits Limited and MAS Holdings, and the students. Prof. M.D. Lamawansa, the Vice Chancellor, University of Peradeniya graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.
The interview sessions provided a platform for the representatives (~ 65) from 11 companies (i.e., Kelun Life Sciences, Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL), MAS Holdings, Hemas Consumer Brands, Octave - John Keels Holdings PLC, Sumathi IT Holdings, SimCentric Technologies, Unilever Sri Lanka, Eyepax IT, H One Dialog, Haycarb, Emjay International) to interview more than 370 students/recent graduates and shortlist potential candidates for a second round of interviews and recruit for internships and permanent positions. Also, the interview sessions allowed students to learn more about specific career paths and gain experience in facing interviews.
In addition, SIIC and CGU organized Pre-Industry Day Workshops before the interviews to facilitate the students to sharpen their skills, gain insights from industry experts on CV writing, interview facing and personal branding.
Current global challenges confronting humanity include consequences of climate change, such as the escalation of temperatures and sea levels, unpredictable weather patterns, increase in severe weather events, degradation of land, and decline in biodiversity. As a response, there is a rapid evolution of ideas related to sustainable development and environmental preservation, aimed at adapting and mitigating the impacts of climate change.
The forest cover of the Hantana Environmental Protection Area (HEPA) contributes to many ecosystem services including conservation of aquifers, carbon sequestration, regulation of local climate, soil protection, biodiversity conservation, and preservation of aesthetic value of the landscape. The Regreen Hantana Project was proposed by Prof. M.D. Lamawanasa (Vice-chancellor, University of Peradeniya) in 2022, aiming to restore degraded lands, thereby improving ecosystem services provided by the HEPA as an investment for the future of the planet earth. The initial phase of the project involved in transplanting seedlings of three native tree species (Kahata/Careya arborea, Mee /Madhuca longifolia, and Nika/Vitex negundo) along with one endemic tree species (Atamba /Mangifera zeylanica) in a degraded site near the Agriculture Farm at Mawalawatta, Uda Peradeniya, on the 18th of December, 2022.
Later, on the 6th of August 2023, a Shramadhana campaign took place at the site to clear the weedy regrowth near the transplanted seedlings. This event was organized by the Student Conservation Leaders of the Regreen Hantana Project, under the guidance of Prof. Thilanka Gunaratne (Team Leader) and Mr. Saumya Bandara (Student Coordinator). Sixty-six volunteers representing the university community and villagers living around the restoration site participated in the event to clean weeds around the transplants, install covers to prevent herbivory and transport native tree seedlings from the site to the Department of Botany, UoP.
Prof. Tilak Hewawasam (Director/Center for Environmental Sustainability), Prof. Rupika Rajakaruna, Dr. Nadeesha Koralegedara, Dr. Chaminda Wijesundara and Dr. Priyanga Wijesinghe also participated in this event. Moreover, Grama Seva Niladari, Mr. H.M. Navarathne Bandara (present) and Mr. U.G.R. Pushpakumara (former Grama Seva Niladhari) along with 20 villagers participated in site maintenance activities.
The Regreen Hantana community intends pursue their social and environmental endeavors aimed at rejuvenating the forests within the Hantana Environmental Protection Area, ensuring its conservation for generations to come.
Photo credits: Malith Mewanga and Sahan Wijethunga
The Induction ceremony of the new President of Institute of Chemistry Ceylon was held on June 30, at the Golden Rose Hotel, Boralesgamuwa. Prof. Namal Priyantha was elected as the President.
Varsity Battles Capital Market Inter Faculty Quiz Competition was held on the 21st June at the Management Faculty Premises with the participation of 19 teams representing 7 Faculties. Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, Prof W.M.T. Madhujith participated as the Chief Guest meanwhile several other dignitaries representing University of Peradeniya and the Colombo Stock Exchange were also present. The quiz was jointly organized by the Colombo Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission Sri Lanka.
The quiz was a 7 round tournament, which focused on areas like Global markets, General knowledge, Sri Lankan Economy, Current Affairs and Sports. After an intense competition the Science Faculty - Team 2 emerged victorious where Medical and Dental Faculties clinched the 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
The Inter University rounds will be held in October with the participation of all the government Universities in the country. We extend our sincere gratitude to Prof Sanath Rajapakse, Dean of the Faculty of Science, Dr. Niluka Rodrigo, Head of the Mathematics Department, Prof Wasantha Daundasekara, Dr. Rajtha Ranasighe for their invaluable motivation and guidance, which played a pivotal role in our achievement.
Details of the team members are as follows.
The Science Education Unit (SEU) of the Faculty of Science proudly celebrated the momentous occasion of the 150th School Science Practical Programme. The event took place at the Physics New (P1) Lecture Theatre within the Faculty of Science on June 15, 2023. Distinguished guests in attendance included Prof. MD. Lamawansa, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya (joining online via Zoom technology), Prof. WM. Terrence Madhujith, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, Prof. RGSC. Rajapakse, the Dean of the Faculty of Science, and Prof. LRAK. Bandara, the Director of the SEU.
Approximately 180 GCE (A/L) Science and Mathematics students from the Royal Central College, Polonnaruwa, and Gamini Dissanayake National School, Kothmale actively participated in this remarkable event. The programme comprised sessions on Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics, expertly conducted by Prof. SHPP. Karunaratne, Dr. C. Wijesundara, Prof. MYU. Ganehenege, Prof. LRAK. Bandara, Dr. AK. Amarasinghe and Dr. MTM. Dewasurendra simultaneously with the celebratory activities.Read More
Prof. Deepthi Yakandawala, Senior Professor at the Department of Botany has been awarded with the prestigious Most Outstanding Senior Researcher award in the Field of Life Sciences at the CVCD (Committee of the Vice Chancellors and Directors) award ceremony 2022 held on the 9th of June 2023.
The CVCD Excellence Awards are conferred once in every two years to recognize and honor the outstanding contributions and accomplishments in research, innovation, and invention by the academic staff of state universities. This year’s Award Ceremony was held on the 9th of June 2023 at BMICH.
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2nd activity of the BOTSOC
"Green Gala Month" in parallel to "World Environment Day",
a talk by Mr. Sanjeewa Chulakumara (Circular Economy Expert, Charted Environmentalist) on "Circular Economy towards combating plastic pollution and its role by Science Graduates".
Emeritus Professor C.B. Dissanayake was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) by the University of Peradeniya at the 84th General Convocation held on 24th May 2023.