Engineering has been described as the art of the practical application of scientific principles to "directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man". It involves men, money, material, machine and energy and "requires above all the creative imagination to innovate useful applications of natural phenomena". It also has the character of a never-ending search for "newer, cheaper, better means of using natural sources of energy and materials to improve man's standard of living and to diminish labour".
The Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya fosters this idea when creating engineers. Although most of the students enter the university straight from school, with very little exposure to engineering, the faculty finds a pattern of training attuned to modern educational ideas, which produces reasonably good engineers while not frightening students away from the profession.
In order to introduce the students to practical engineering problems there are programmes for industrial training during the long vacations. These have been drawn up in colloboration with the National Apprenticeship and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), which finds the places in industry. With changes taking place in both university and industry these programmes require review from time to time.
The Faculty offers a full-time Undergraduate Courses leading to the degree of Bachelor of the Science of Engineering (BScEng). This is of four years duration, the first year being common to all students and the rest devoted to specialisation in on of the branches of engineering. Coursework (laborratory, design and fieldwork) and industrial training form an essential part of the undergraduate course. There is an examination at the end of each year of study. The students seeking Honours are expected to follow additional courses in the final year.
The degree of Master of the Science of Engineering (MScEng) is awarded after one year of full-time graduate study. Postgraduate Courses in special subjects are conducted from time to time and these lead to a Diploma in Engineering. The higher degrees of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) are awarded on the basis of dissertations.
In spite of having to contend with many difficulties similar to those experienced by the universities of other developing countries, the Faculty provides and academic environment of the highest quality and has maintained a gratifying record of teaching, research, and public service, the traditional functions of institutions of higher education. Research done in the Faculty have been published at home and abroad, while its consultancy and laboratory services have been provided over the years to private and public sector establishments in the country.
The Golden Jubilee of the Faculty of Engineering was celebrated grandly in July 2000 with a Jubilee Congress and mega exhibition.