Research Symposium 2

APSL Convention – Research Symposium (APSL-RS 2012)

The Second APSL Research Symposium (APSL-RS 2012) was held on Saturday 17th November 2012 at Double Tree by Hilton Sheffield Park Hotel in Sheffield. APSL-RS 2012 provided a platform for UK based young Sri Lankan and international researchers to come together, share knowledge and start effective collaborations. It was also an exciting opportunity for the delegates to learn about cutting-edge research and technologies.

Since its launch, APSL-RS 2012 has attracted significant interest from Sri Lankan researchers around the UK. Following a comprehensive review process, 19 papers were selected for oral presentations and posters, giving attention to social and commercial benefits of the research projects.

APSL-RS 2012 host, Prof. I. M. Dharmadasa, welcomed the guests at the start of the proceedings, while APSL President, Mr. Rohan de Alwis introduced numerous projects in the UK and Sri Lanka and the events organised by APSL for the Sri Lankan professional community in the UK.

The symposium consisted of three sessions.

Session One

Prof. Dharmadasa and Dr. Mahesh de Silva co-chaired this session on engineering and the built environment research. Prof. Dilanthi Amaratunga, Head of the Centre for Disaster Resilience at the University of Salford, delivered a keynote speech ‘Rebuilding for Resilience: Reconstructing Infrastructure in the North and East of Sri Lanka’ commencing session one.

Other presentation included ‘Electroplating of semiconductor materials for photovoltaic and optoelectronic device applications’ by Obi Echendu, ‘Innovations in lightweight structures & electric propulsion in aviation’ by Asela Jayampathy,

‘Process capability maturity modelling in the construction industry’ by Mohan Siriwardena.

‘Satellite link availability enhancement by integration of time diversity in the 2nd generation Digital Video Broadcasting system for Satellite (DVB-S2)’ by Leshan Uggalla.

Session Two

The poster session  which included posters entitled ‘Challenges faced by the steel industry’ by Amal Karunathilaka,

‘Development of ZnTe layers using electrochemical technique for applications in thin film solar cells’ by Fijay Fauzi,

‘Solar villages for sustainable development’ by Ajith Weerasinghe,

‘Reducing the scarcity in mental health research from low and middle income countries: A success story from Sri Lanka’ by Chesmal Siriwardhana and ‘Reforming higher education to contribute to lifelong learning in the built environment’ by Mohan Siriwardena.

Session Three

Dr. Andrew Nayagam, Consultant in Genitourinary Medicine at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust and Dr. Mahesh Nirmalan, Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine at University of Manchester co-chaired session three on medical, biological sciences and chemistry research.

Dr. Mahesh Nirmalan delivered the opening speech.

Session three presentation topics included ‘Assessment of Mental Health and Physical Wellbeing of left behind family members of international labour migrants:

A national comparative study in Sri Lanka’ by Chesmal Siriwardhana,

‘Structural Insights into the Initiation of DNA Synthesis in Eukaryotic Replication’ by Rajika Perera,

‘Evolution of human conserved non-coding elements (CNEs)’ by Dilrini De Silva and

‘Enhancement in Photoelectrochemical Properties of Microwave Treated Zn(OH)2, TiO2 and Fe2O3 Electrodes’ by Nirmal Peiris.

At the end of each presentation, delegates had the opportunity to ask questions and share their knowledge with the researchers.

Following the conclusion of session three Prof. Dharmadasa launched his latest book ‘Advances in thin film solar cells’ and the attendees had an opportunity to win a copy of the book.

APSL President, Mr. Rohan de Alwis awarded certificates to contributing presenters. The Symposium Chair, Dr. Mahesh de Silva thanked all those present and invited the delegates to join APSL to strengthen the association and expand its activities.

The Social event started around 7pm. A message from His Excellency, Dr. Chris Nonis, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK was read by the APSL President. Delegates and the many new guests then went on to enjoy a Sri Lankan dinner provided by East and West Restaurant, Sheffield, followed by an interactive  musical experience provided by Dr. Ruwan de Soyza, with a raffle organised by Mrs. Gayani Senaratne. A surprise guest of the night was Mr.Bill Forbes, a veteran UK bases singer.

Mr. Mohan Siriwardane, APSL Membership Secretary, delivered the vote of thanks, with special thanks going to APSL members Lal and Mangalika Jayawardane for their support in organizing the event, followed by the national anthems of Sri Lanka and UK to end a highly successful event by APSL.