The opening ceremony of the 'A. Thurairajah Conference Room' at Geotechnical Laboratory and Large-Scale Dynamic Actuator testing facility at the Structures Laboratory of the Department of Civil Engineering was held on 02/05/2022. Dean of the Faculty Dr. U.I. Dissanayake cut the ribbon and officially opened them in the presence of Prof. J.J. Wijetunge, the Head of the Department of Civil Engineering and other former and current staff members of the department.
The existing “Thurairajah reading room” at Geotechnical Engineering laboratory was upgraded to “A. Thurairajah conference room” by including a good quality video conferencing facility, refurbishing and air-conditioning of the room, proper seating arrangement, a pantry area, etc. with the generous financial assistance from the Alumni of Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya.
The dynamic actuator and accessories worth Rs. 30 million were procured by the Rs. 40 million AHEAD grant received by the research team at the Department of Civil Engineering comprising Dr. S.K. Navaratnarajah (principal investigator and project coordinator), Dr. C.S. Bandara (deputy coordinator), Dr. J.A.S.C. Jayasinghe (supervisor). The research grant is from the Accelerating Higher Education Expansion and Development (AHEAD) Operation of the Ministry of Higher Education, funded by the World Bank (Grant No: AHEAD/RA3/DOR/STEM/No.63). The dynamic actuator loading frame was designed and built in-house with the support of Engineering Workshop. The actuator can be operated with 100 kN of maximum cyclic load up to a loading frequency of 25 Hz and a maximum static load of 150 kN having maximum stroke of 200 mm. The testing facility can be used to simulate unit cell of a full scale rail track or highway pavement models in the laboratory. Currently 2 PhD candidates, 1 MPhil candidate and a number of master’s and undergraduate students are working on this project.
The Department of Civil Engineering comprising three main divisions, viz., Material and Structural Engineering, Hydraulics and Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical and Transportation Engineering offers a broad spectrum of courses in the Civil Engineering Specialization as well as in the General Programme and in the other Specializations in the Faculty of Engineering.
The department offers postgraduate programmes in five areas of specialization. These include taught programmes, viz., PGDip
(by coursework), MEng, MScEng and MSc as well as research leading to PGDip (by research), MPhil and PhD.
The academic staff of the department together with their undergraduate and postgraduate students are involved in a diverse range of research covering a broad spectrum of topics.
Such research is mostly designed to address requirements of the civil engineering practice and the industry.