Sri Lankan Scientist Dr. Ishara Dharmasena Wins Prestigious UK Engineering Award


Dr. Ishara Dharmasena, a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at Loughborough University, has been honored with the prestigious Young Engineer of the Year award from the Royal Academy of Engineering, United Kingdom. This accolade comes with a £3,000 prize and is a testament to his revolutionary contributions to the field of nanogenerators. The award will be presented at the Academy Awards Dinner in London on Tuesday, July 9.

Dr. Dharmasena, a Sri Lankan citizen, is a world-renowned theorist whose groundbreaking ‘distance-dependent electric field’ theory has significantly advanced the development of triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG). His pioneering work has transformed nanogenerators from a theoretical concept into practical applications.

Currently, Dr. Dharmasena’s research is focused on developing ‘super-smart textiles’ using TENG technology. These textiles can convert body movements into electrical signals, enabling self-powered sensors that monitor body movements and physiological parameters. This innovation offers a low-cost, at-home solution for remote rehabilitation care, addressing a critical global need.

Dr. Dharmasena’s work has shown immense promise, with recent prototypes demonstrating the potential of this technology. He is collaborating with the UK National Rehabilitation Centre and the textile industry to scale up and further develop these innovations.

With an impressive academic record, Dr. Dharmasena has 25 publications in top-tier journals and over 1,000 citations. He also holds two patents and has secured over £1 million in research funding through various grants and fellowships.

Dr. Alalea Kia, Dr. Ruben Doyle, Jamie Serjeant, and Nikhila Ravi were also recognized as Young Engineers of the Year for their contributions to engineering. The overall winner, Dr. Alalea Kia, received the Sir George Macfarlane Medal for her development of a permeable concrete pavement designed to mitigate flood risks.

Dr. Ishara Dharmasena’s recognition is a proud moment for Sri Lanka, showcasing the country’s talent and contribution to global scientific advancements.

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