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Mr. Sumitha Sumanaweera

posted Sep 11, 2014, 12:05 AM by Advancement Alumni Affairs Office

Mr. Sumitha Sumanaweera
M.Eng. 2004, Environmental Engineering & Management, School of Environment, Resources and Development

After graduated from AIT in 2004, he returned to Sri Lanka and developed water treatment unit operation modules for conventional water treatment for scheme capacities 500 cum/day to 2000 cum/day with smaller foot print and shorter construction period. He also introduced reverse osmosis water treatment to community affected with Chronic Kidney Failure of Unknown Etiology. He was responsible for developing and implementing programs to educate on ‘Water Safety Plans’ implementation in Sri Lanka.

His current responsible is related to policies and activities related to disaster management and climate change resilience.

Mr. Sumitha Sumanaweera- Deputy General Manager, Corporate Planning National Water Supply & Drainage Board Galle Road, Ratmalana Sri Lanka

W.J.L. Shavindranath Fernando

posted Sep 10, 2014, 11:54 PM by Advancement Alumni Affairs Office

W.J.L. Shavindranath Fernando 

AIT Energy 1982 and distinguished Alumnus to the post of General Manager, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), on 10th October 2013. This is the highest post in the CEB.

Mr. Fernando joined the CEB in February 1979 as an Electrical Engineer, and rose up through the ranks to become the Deputy General Manager of the Thermal Complex, responsible for all the Thermal Power Plants in the Generation Division which post he held for two (02) years. He has also served in the Energy Unit where alternative energy technologies were introduced as a source of energy in rural areas. He has also severed as the Chief Engineer of this unit for one year.

He also served as the Deputy General Manager in charge of Generation Planning and Environment, and he was responsible for the long term generation expansion plan of the CEB. He then went on to lead the very challenging Upper Kotmale Hydropower Project of 150MW which was stalled for nearly eight (08) years due to difficulties in environmental clearance. He successfully commissioned this project in 2012.

Mr. Fernando, was also recently appointed as the President of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka which has a membership of over 12,000. This is the highest post any engineer can achieve in Sri Lanka.

Piyal Dushantha Hennayake

posted Sep 10, 2014, 11:42 PM by Advancement Alumni Affairs Office

Piyal D Hennayake,  President at the AGM

The Association of Professional Bankers (APB) has elected Piyal D Hennayake as its President at the AGM held recently. He succeeded Sampath Bank CEO/MD Aravinda Perera.
Hennayake is the Deputy General Manager – Services of Hatton National Bank PLC and CEO/Director of its subsidiary Sithma Development Pvt Ltd.

He graduated from Moratuwa University in 1982 with Second class upper Degree in Civil Engineering and obtained Post Graduate Diploma in Engineering (Construction Management) in 1991. Hennayake completed his MBA in Management of Technology from Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in 1992.

He joined CECB as a Civil Engineer after graduation and worked in several projects until 1990. Following the MBA he changed his career and moved to Lanka Ventures Ltd, as the Portfolio Manager in 1992. He commenced his banking career in 1995 joining HNB as the Senior Manager – Project Finance. He rose to the position of AGM – Project Finance and in 2004 was appointed to Head three Regions managing 35 branches.

Mr. Vajira Kulatilaka

posted Sep 10, 2014, 11:33 PM by Advancement Alumni Affairs Office

Mr. Vajira Kulatilaka, an alumnus of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) has been appointed the new Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). He will take over from his predecessor Mr. Krishan Balendra on 5 June 2014.

With nearly three decades of experience in the financial sector and capital markets in Sri Lanka, he is currently, he has been a board member of CSE since October 2009.

Mr. Kulatilaka is the CEO of NDB Capital Holdings and oversees the operations of the Investment Banking Cluster of the NDB Group, which includes NDB Investment Bank Limited, NDB Securities Pvt Limited, NDB Wealth Management Limited and NDB Capital Limited, Bangladesh. Recently, he has also been awarded the ‘Best Investment Banking CEO Sri Lanka’ award by Global Banking and Finance Review in recognition of his contribution to investment banking in Sri Lanka.

Mr. Kulatilaka is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, and his Master’s in Industrial Engineering and Management from Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in 1987. 

Wachchi Patabendege Ranjith Premalal De Silva

posted Sep 10, 2014, 11:17 PM by Advancement Alumni Affairs Office

Wachchi Patabendege Ranjith Premalal De Silva

Present position/ title: Vice Chancellor, Uva Wellassa University, Sri Lanka

How AIT degree helped you in achieving your career potential/goals:

I gained access to international academic and research community through my education at AIT.  The masters degree in INRDM not only strengthened my teaching and research capabilities but also provided me an opportunity to expose myself for wider group of professionals in my discipline.


B.Sc. (Agricultural Engineering), Peradeniya, Sri Lanka 1982-1986

M.Sc. (Integrated Natural Resources Development and Management), AIT, Thailand 1989-1990

Postgraduate Certificate (Water Resources), Italian University for Foreigners, Italy 1992

PhD. (Applied Remote Sensing), Cranfield university, UK 1994-1997  

Career/Accomplishment record after graduation from AIT:

Uva Wellassa University, Sri Lanka (July 2011 to Date)

Vice Chancellor 

University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (January 1987 To  Date)

Head of the Department (2006-2009), Professor (from March 2006), Senior Lecturer (Grade I; from October, 2003, Grade II; from October 1997, Lecturer; from February, 1988, Assistant Lecturer; January, 1987) in Agricultural Engineering (Remote Sensing & GIS, Hydrology and Water Resources)

Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka (2009-2010).  Director and Chief Executive Officer

Member of Teaching Panel,  Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (1991 to date)

Secretary  in Board of Study in Agricultural Engineering (Remote Sensing, Spatial Statistics & GIS, Hydrology and Water Resources) (2002- 2006) 

Member of the Board of Management  of the Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, Sri Lanka (2006- to date).

Subject Reviewer, Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council of Sri Lanka, University Grants Commission, Sri Lanka (Several reviews during 2008-2010).

Consultant for B.Sc degree programme in Applied Sciences, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, 2010. 

Chairman, Ministerial Task Force for Estimation and Mapping of Paddy Cultivated Area, Ministry of Agriculture (2010 to date). 

Consultant to UNDP/ Disaster Management Centre for Disaster Risk Profile and Mapping, UNDP, Colombo (2010 to date).

Consultant to World Food Programme for Paddy Area Estimation in Eastern and Northern Provinces using Remotely sensed data, Sri Lanka - 2010.

Consultant to Secretary (Satellite Data Analysis), Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law & Order,  and Centre for Research and Development of the Ministry of Defence, Public security, Law & Order – 2009.

International FAO Consultant appointed as Vulnerability Information Analysis Expert for the mission in Lao PDR, May 2008.

Consultant to World Food Programme to assess Food Security in Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka, January – July, 2008.

International Consultant appointed to develop a Customized GIS Ground Water Resources Database for the Sultanate of Oman, Water Resources Ministry through Parsons International, Sultanate of Oman, November 2007 – February 2008.

International FAO Consultant appointed as Vulnerability Information Analysis Expert for the mission in Lao PDR, January to April 2007.

International FAO Consultant appointed as Vulnerability Assessment Consultant for the mission in Myanmar. August – November,  2006.

Consultant to Crop Wild Relatives Project Implemented by Ministry of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture, 2006-2007.

International Consultant for the GIS Training for Engineers in the Ministry of Water Resources, Sultanate of Oman through Parsons International, July – August, 2006.

National FAO Consultant for Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Assessment  in Sri Lanka, 2005 &  2006.

Consultant (GIS) to UNDP/ DANES to improve the academic programmes at Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture, 2001.

Consultant (GIS) to FAO for the Project on Market Intelligence and Food Information System SRL/91/023, 2001.

Consultant to Transco, British Gas for Spatial Database Management, Transco, Killingworth, UK, 1999-2001.

Member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Geo-Informatics – 2005 to date.

Member of the Review Panel of Elsevier Publication – Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geo-information, 2005 to date.

Founder President, Geo-Informatics Society of Sri Lanka, 2004-2007

Chief Editor, Decadal Proceedings – 2004, United Nations Outer Space Affairs Office in Vienna

Editor, Geo-Informatics Society of Sri Lanka – 2009/10

Member of the National Steering Committee of the International Water Management Institute from 2003 – 2008

Editor- Applied statistics Association of Sri Lanka 2003 - 2004


Prof.Murugesu Sivapalan

posted Aug 13, 2014, 10:47 PM by Advancement Alumni Affairs Office

Murugesu Sivapalan WRE*1977

Murugesu (Siva) Sivapalan is presently Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Professor of Geography and Geographic Information Science, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He obtained a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering (Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, 1975) and enrolled at AIT with a Keidanren Scholarship from Japan and obtained his M.Eng in Water Resources Engineering in May 1977. After briefly working at AIT as a Research Associate he went to Ibadan, Nigeria to work as a consulting engineer for 4 years. In 1981 he proceeded to Princeton University, USA, and obtained M.A. (1983) and Ph.D (1986) degrees in Civil Engineering, with a major in hydrology. Again, after working as a post-doctoral Research Associate at Princeton University for 2 years, he joined the Centre for Water Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, as a Lecturer, was eventually promoted to full Professor in 1999. He joined the University of Illinois in 2005. Over the last 25 years Dr Sivapalan has also served as Visiting Professor at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, Tsinghua University, China, and has been Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

Dr. Sivapalan's research focuses on making predictions in ungaged basins. A basic aim of his research is to understand observed space-time variabilities of runoff processes at all scales, including their extremes, and to interpret these in terms of the underlying climate-soil-vegetation-topography interactions, including changes due to human impacts. A further aim is to investigate the interactions between runoff processes, and biogeochemical, ecological and social processes, and to develop new process-based models capable of making predictions of both water quantity and quality in ungaged basins, subject to natural and human-induced changes to climate and the landscape. Dr. Sivapalan teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in watershed hydrology, engineering hydrology, and stochastic hydrology. 

Professor Sivapalan has published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed international journals, many of which are highly cited (with over 6400 citations on ISI and an H index of 41), focusing on a wide range of topics, including the effects of heterogeneity and scale issues, flood frequency analysis, water balance and water quality modeling, and ecohydrology. Dr Sivapalan has been a world leader in several global initiatives that have helped advance the field. He was the founding chair of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences’ (IAHS) Decade on Predictions in Ungauged Basins (PUB – 2003-1012) initiative. In recent times he has been the leader of the US-NSF-funded University of Illinois Hydrologic Synthesis project, which has resulted in three special issues in Water Resources Research, Journal of Geophysical Research and Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) journals, and he has contributed to the development of the scientific platform for a new global and decadal (2013-2022) initiative called Panta Rhei: Change in Hydrology and Society. He is, and has been a member of the editorial boards of several international journals and has been Executive Editor (2004-2012) of the European Geosciences Union’s HESS journal. He is a co-editor of the widely acclaimed book Runoff Prediction in Ungauged Basins (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Dr Sivapalan has received several honors for his research contributions. He has been elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE), Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and Life Member of the International Water Academy. He is the recipient of the European Geophysical Society’s John Dalton Medal, the International Hydrology Prize of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS), and the Hydrological Sciences Award (AGU). He was also the recipient of the Robert E. Horton Medal of AGU, the highest and most prestigious award in hydrology, worldwide, "for fundamental contributions to the science of hydrologic predictions at the watershed scale". In 2003, he received the Centenary Medal of the Australian Government “for service to Australian Society in Hydrology and Environmental Engineering.” In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, in recognition of his contributions to hydrology and water resources systems research. In October 2011 he was proud to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award of the Asian Institute of Technology Alumni Association (AITAA).

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