Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) are part of the delegation, and have longstanding partnerships with partner institutions Coimbatore Institute of Technology, India and PSG College of Technology, India from before. New MoU was signed a with Alagappa University i Karaikkudi, Tamilnadu in the field of nanomaterials for clean energy applications in front of Hon. Excellencies Ambassador Hans Jakob Frydenlund and Director General Anne Line Wold in Chennai, India. From the HVL side Dean, Prof. Geir Anton Johanson signed the MoU with the registrar Prof. Prabhu from Algappa University. HVL delegation is lead by Prorector Gro Anita F. Flaten, Elin Kvaale and Prof. Dhayalan Velauthapillai, coordinator of the projects with Indian and Sri Lankan institutions on Nanomaterials for Clean Energy Technologies. Advisor Maren Stallemo is also in Chennai assisting the project group. The Research Consorium on Advanced Nanomaterials that is lead by HVL that includes Universities and research institutions from India and Sri Lanka (Univ. of Jaffna, Univ. of Peradeniya, NIFS) now expands with new members from Alagappa University through this new MoU.
Staff and students of the University of Jaffna visited India on 27th January 2020. On 5 and 6 th of February, research workshop was held at IIT. Also research discussion was arranged within University of Jaffna, Western norway university of applied science and Coimbatore institute of technology from 7 to 9 February. Student from UoJ continue their research work there and they did the oral presentation with their research findings.
Sri Lanka’s first floating solar PV plant was opened by the Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, HE Trine Jøranli Eskedal on January 24, 2020 at the Faculty of Engineering, Kilinochchi Campus, University of Jaffna. This was part of the research collaboration between the University of Jaffna and the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka.
The 46.5 kW plant’s panels worth 35 million Sri Lankan rupees were donated and set afloat by Current Solar AS – a Norwegian company.
Iinternational academic workshop on “energy transitions in the global South” took place on 23 and 24 January 2020 at Eindhoven University of Technology. Gz. MeeNilankco Theiventhran, PhD Research Fellow took part in the workshop as part of the book project titled “Balancing urgency and justice: pathways for navigating the dilemmas of energy transitions in the global South”. Gz. MeeNilankco Theiventhran is contributing with a Chapter titled “Energy transitions in a post-war setting: Question of equity, justice and democracy in Sri Lanka”. The edited volume is to be published by Routledge. The two-day workshop discussed the issues around energy justice, urgency and democracy. MeeNilankco presented his paper draft in the workshop and got constructive feedback to finalise the paper.
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences in partnership with the University of Jaffna and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka hosted a seminar and a panel discussion on “A New Decade: Investing in Clean Energy in Sri Lanka – Drivers and Barriers” on January 21, 2020 at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo – Sri Lanka.
The panel discussion is a precursor to the opening of Sri Lanka’s first floating solar power plant at the Faculty of Engineering, Kilinochchi Campus, University of Jaffna. The panel discussion brought together key actors from the Sri Lankan energy sector and focused on various aspects of clean energy transition and power generation in Sri Lanka.
The panel consisted of Sturle H. Pedersen, Chairman of Greenstat Hydrogen Asia, a Norwegian clean energy company, Prof. Nalin de Silva, Senior Professor, University of Colombo, Dr. Asanka S. Rodrigo, Director General, Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority, B. M. U. Senarathna Banda, Deputy General Manager, Renewable Energy Development Division, Ceylon Electricity Board, S. Renganthan, CEO and Managing Director, Commercial Bank of Sri Lanka, and Kamal Dorabawila, Principal Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation (IFC). In addition, Norwegian Ambassador Trine Jøranli Eskedal, Mr. Inge Vikesdal, CEO of Current Solar, Prof. Kathirgamanathan Kandasamy of the University of Jaffna, Prof. Dhayalan Velauthapillai of the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) and Ms. Nanthini Nagarajah, PhD Research Fellow also addressed the gathering. The session was moderated by Prof. Rohini M. de Silva, University of Colombo.
Annual Solar Eclipse: Observation Camps 2019′ was held at University of Jaffna and Kilinochchi. This events was enjoyed by more than 4000 participants at the University ground in Thrunelveli and Kilinochchi. It is a great team effort. More than that nature allowed the participants to watch the eclipse without any interruption. We thank the State Ministry of Technology and Innovation and the Norwegian Embassy (through CBERC project) for their funding.
Gz. MeeNilankco Theiventhran, PhD Research Fellow presented a paper at the International conference titled “Energy Geopolitics and Renewable Electrification: Theoretical Insights and Practical Implications”. The Conference was organsied by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was held from 18th to 20th December 2019 in Jerusalam. MeeNilankco’s paper was titled “Power, Politics and Protest: Repositioning geopolitics through energy transitions in the Global South” and Dr. Carmela Lotmar of the University of Haifa was the discussant. The three-day conference brought together leading scholars and practitioners in the field of renewable energy and energy geopolitics.
Selected final papers from the conference is planned to be published in the special issue of the Political Geography Journal. MeeNilankco’s paper has been selected to be published in the special issue.
Scientific Writing Workshop
Haja Sherief attended a scientific writing workshop, which was organized by Digital Life Norway Research School and Norwegian Research School in Neuroscience in Hotel Admiral, Bergen from 14th to 16th October 2019. This three-day intensive workshop was conducted by Dr. Daniel Soule from Grammatology, UK to give scientific-writing training to the researchers of biotechnology background.
On Wednesday the 9th of October our PhD research fellow Håkon Eidsvåg had his midterm evaluation at HVL. The evaluation started with an open to the public presentation, where Håkon talked about his work on quantum modelling of energy driven water splitting materials. After the presentation a closed discussion between the PhD candidate, the supervisors (Prof. Dhayalan and Dr. Vajeeston) and the committee (Dr. Smagul Karazhanov (IFE) and Prof. Talal Rahman (HVL)) were held. It was a fruitful discussion that resulted in a solid plan for the future research and great optimism regarding the prospect of finishing the PhD on time.