Prof Jayasinghe is the coordinator of FOUNTAIN project and several other EU funded projects named BRITAE, SECRA and CCA-DRR Projects. Prof. G.Y Jayasinghe is currently the Head of the department and Professor in Agric. Engineering in Ruhuna University of Sri Lanka. He is a recipient of the ‘Endeavour Postgraduate Research Fellowship’ (Australia: 2014); recipient of prestigious Monbukagakusho award, Japan (2004-2010): recipient of NUFFIC fellowship, Netherlands, 2012; a recipient of Presidential awards in 2018: most outstanding Scholar of the university of Ruhuna (2012) and he has been awarded in multiple occasions to remark his contribution as an academician/researcher globally. He has published over 150 articles in peer-reviewed Journals/Reports/Textbooks etc. Further, he disseminated the outcomes of his work in over 100 symposia /conferences held in Sri Lanka and in over 20 countries and act as expert resource person for several International/Local Institutional/Program Reviews and Seminars/Workshops organized by government/non-government/private institutions.
Emeritus Prof. C.M. Navaratne is a consultant to the FOUNTAIN project. Further she was coordinator of many foreign funded projects; ASCENT from 2016 – 2019, RECADOS from 2018 – 2019, BECK project from 2019 – 2022, BRITAE- project from 2019 – 2023 and SECRA 2020 – 2023 Professor Champa Navaratne is a Professor of Agricultural Engineering who taught at Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna for over 36 years. Throughout her career, Prof. Champa Navaratne conducted groundbreaking research on Agroclimatology, and she was expert in irrigation and water management. She has Served as a supervisor / co-supervisor for 8 PhD degree programs and 7 M.Phil. and M.Sc. degree programs. And also Prof. Champa Navaratne volunteered and provided her expertise internationally; for the Women for Water Partnership (WfWfW) from 2006 to 2009 in Sweden and 2010 in, Netherlands, for the General Assembly of Women for Water Partnership held in Paramaribo, 2008 and for the 5th, 6th and 7th World Water Forum Istanbul, France in 2012 and 7th in Daegu and Korea in 2013. In recognition of her contributions to the field of Agricultural Engineering, Prof. Champa Navaratne received many awards and honors throughout her career, specially the prestigious vice chancellor’s awards for the most outstanding promoter of international relations and the highest recipient of grants at the 18th vice chancellor’s awards ceremony 2022.
Dr. K L Wasantha Kumara has had an illustrious career as an academic and researcher in the field of Agricultural Biology in Sri Lanka. He began as a lecturer at the University of Ruhuna in 1994 and steadily climbed the ranks, becoming a full professor in 2009. Over the years, he has held various leadership positions within the university, including serving as the Head of the Department of Agricultural Biology from 2013 to 2016 and later as the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture from 2016 to 2019. From 2019 to 2022, Dr. Kumara assumed the role of Director of the Center for International Affairs (CINTA) at the University of Ruhuna, where his focus was on fostering international collaborations between the university and various entities worldwide.
Throughout his academic journey spanning nearly three decades, he has mentored numerous PhD and MPhil students and supervised many master’s level students. Dr. Kumara’s research efforts have been significant, leading to the successful acquisition of several project funds of national importance, many of which he spearheaded as the Principal Investigator (PI). His contributions to the field have been well-documented, with a considerable number of publications in peer-reviewed journals, many of which he authored as the first or lead author. Notably, he served as the former Editor-in-chief of the International Journal of “Tropical Agriculture Research & Extension” (TARE), published by the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Ruhuna.
During his career, Dr. Kumara has participated in various research opportunities and collaborations abroad. He was an Endeavour Research Fellow at Melbourne University in 2011 and a Senior Research Officer at the Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka in 2010. Currently, he is on sabbatical as a Visiting Scholar at National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan.
On the national front, Dr. Kumara has played key roles on several committees, chairing and participating in critical reviews and expert committees. Some of these include the SLCARP review committee of the External review of the National Plant Quarantine Station (NPQS), the Expert committee on Global Climate Change Adaptation in Sri Lanka’s Agriculture Sector, and the scientific advisory committee of the Plant Pathology division of the Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, among others.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Kumara is renowned for his expertise in mushroom research and collaborates closely with growers in the Southern Province to promote mushroom production. His work has transcended borders, engaging scientists and academics from various countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Australia, China, Taiwan, Japan, USA, Canada, UK, the Netherlands, and Norway.
DLC Kumari Fonseka is attached to the Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of Ruhuna and completed her Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and Durham University UK. Currently she is serving as the Coordinator of the Industrial Placement Office (IPO) and she has more than seven years of experience as a member of the Industrial Training Committee in Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna. She is a member of several national level committees and work closely with industries connecting the University-Industry Partnership. At present she is coordinating some local funded projects in collaboration with young entrepreneurs and industries arming to achieve the SDG goal: no poverty. Her experience in university-industry partnerships and industry-related activities was resourceful in developing the FOUNTAIN proposal.
Chamila Wijekoon is attached to the Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Ruhuna and started his career as a research assistant at the Faculty of Agriculture. After that, he held the position of Industrial Placement Officer (IPO) of the Faculty of Agriculture for nearly two years. This position and the Industrial Placement Office of the Faculty of Agriculture were established to serve as the industry liaison arm of the faculty. In the year 2008, he joined the Department of Soil Science and completed his master’s degree and Doctoral degree from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and Kagoshima University, Japan. Currently, he holds the position of the Head of the Department of Soil Science. He served as the Faculty Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) chairperson and was a member of the Industrial Training Committee for nearly seven years. His experience in industry-related activities was resourceful in developing the FOUNTAIN proposal.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Colombo and started his career as an IT professional in the private sector. After that, he served as the System Engineer of the Faculty of Agriculture for nearly 12 years. During the period he was able to complete his master studies from University of Colombo and doctoral studies from the University of University of Tsukuba, Japan. In the year 2021, he joined as the Director RUCIT and consequently in the year 2022 he joined as the Senior Lecturer in IT attached to the Computer Unit of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna. Currently, he holds the position of the Coordinator of the Computer Unit other than Director of RUCIT.
He is a graduate of BSc in Agricultural Resource Management and Technology (Honors) from Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna. Immediately after graduation, he was recruited as a Temporary Research Assistant in the Department of Agricultural Engineering and Environmental Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna based on his academic excellence. He is a postgraduate student at the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Ruhuna leading to Post Graduate Degree of Master of Philosophy under the title of “Optimization of Energy Efficiency in Hydrothermal Liquefaction Reactor for Locally Available Biomass using Computational Fluid Dynamics” in the field of Agricultural Engineering, scheduled to be completed in October 2024. He has been working as a Researcher for BRITAE and SECRA projects since 2021. He is a member of the research team of Geological Survey of Sri Lanka, collaborative research of University of Ruhuna and University of Chinese academy of Science, China.
Miss Sachini Thisara Jayamali is an enthusiastic researcher mastering in soil science .She completed B.Sc. (Hons). in Export Agriculture specialized in Agricultural Production Technology at Uva Wellassa University with Dean’s list exceptional award. Recently after graduation she served her exceptional commitment as a Temporary Demonstrator at Department of Export Agriculture, Faculty of Animal Science and Export Agriculture, Uva Wellassa University of Sri Lanka.
She was rewarded with MERIT Award for best researcher at the academic session for her undergraduate Research Presentation. She published her Undergraduate research titled Carbon mineralization in tropical montane forests soils in Sri Lanka at 27th International Forestry and Environment Symposium organized by University of Sri Jayewardenepura. She earned Two Distinction Awards in Australian National Chemistry Quiz organized by Royal Australian Chemical Institute, showcasing her excellence in the field of chemistry as well.
In addition to her academic commitments, she immersed herself in diverse extracurricular pursuits specifically in leadership and Public speaking skills. She held the position of Sergeant-at-Arms at the Gavel Club of Uva Wellassa University, an affiliate of Toastmasters International. Also she represented Norway as a delegate at 4th session at National Youth Model United Nations in the commission on the status of Women. Also a Delegate at All Island Gavel Conference and IMUN representing the Gavel Club of Uva Wellassa University organized by Toastmasters International.
Furthermore, she showcased her oratory skills as a contestant in All Island Inter-University speech contest, ‘BEST SPEAKER. She is a proud former Head Prefect at Sujatha Vidyalaya Matara. Her commitment to academic excellence and community betterment drives her enthusiasm to contribute her skills and knowledge to the FOUNTAIN Project at the prestigious University of Ruhuna.