Inauguration of ‘Master of Clean Energy Technologies’ Programme

The vice-chancellor and Ambassador Her Excellency Trine Jøranli Eskedal, the Ambassador of Norwegian
Embassy in Colombo inaugurated ‘Master of Clean Energy Technologies’ Programme in collaboration with
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences on 19.09.2020. This Master of clean energy technologies
programme is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is foreseeing a clean energy future. The planned Master programme will help to produce the required
technical workforce to accelerate clean energy technologies in Sri Lanka. The University of Jaffna and the
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) jointly developed the curriculum under HRNCET and
CBERC projects (http://project.jfn.ac.lk/hrncet/). The courses will be taught by qualified academics from the
universities in Sri Lanka, India, USA, Sweden, and Norway. The Master programme comprises of two levels. First
is a one-year Master of Clean Energy Technologies with only taught courses and the other is a two-year Master
of Science in Clean Energy Technologies. Students who excel in their masters will have an opportunity to
continue their studies towards split-side PhD programme in Norway. Dr.M.K.Ahilan and Dr.T.Pathmathas will
serve as joint coordinators of the programmes.

Training workshop on ‘AFM and XRD : Effective research tools for material research’

Clean Energy Research Laboratory, Department of Physics received an atomic force microscope (AFM) and an x-ray diffractometer (XRD), worth of 12 million rupees each, from the State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research & Innovations, and Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka, respectively. On the request made by our collaborators from National Institute of Fundamental Studies and Universities of Peradeniya, Ruhuna and Kelaniya, a Training workshop on “Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) and X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD) as effective research tools” is scheduled to be held at the Clean Energy Research Laboratory, Department of Physics for training the research students on September 12 & 13, 2020 (weekend). Dr. U. Sutharsini and Dr. M. Thanihaichelvan will serve as resource persons of this training workshop.

Weekly webinar in the month of June

ANCEHA research group organised a weekly webinar with its collaborating partners to share knowledge, enhance research and build strong bonds among the partners to promote high-quality research during the pandemic. University of Jaffna (UoJ), Sri Lanka, Coimbatore Institute of Technology (CIT) and PSG College of Technology from India and the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) took part in the weekly webinars.

The first webinar took place on 13th of June 2020. Venkatraman Madurai Ramakrishnan, Research Scholar – CIT and Siva Uthayaraj, Research Scholar – UoJ gave presentations. Venkatraman in his presentation spoke about the direct comparison on the properties of the TiO2 nanoparticles prepared by microwave and solvothermal methods using the identical initial precursor. Further, its performance as photoanode in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) was discussed. The power conversion efficiency was found to be higher for TiO2 prepared by microwave method than the other counterparts. Here the essential parameters for the optimum performance of dye-sensitized solar cells were also discussed.

Siva Uthayaraj’s Presentation was titled “Single walled carbon nanotube incorporated Titanium dioxide and Poly (3-hexylthiophene) as electron and hole transport materials for perovskite solar cells”. The presentation included a brief introduction on perovskite solar cells followed by the recent challenges, recent research findings and proposed future works.

The second webinar was hosted on the 20th of June and Dr. M.Thanihaichelvan from UoJ and Rajaramanan Tharmakularasa Research scholar, UoJ presented their research.

The final webinar of the month took place on the 27th of June and Sandhiya Chennakrishnan, Research Scholar, CIT and Sivagowri Shanmugaratnam, Research Scholar, UoJ presented their research. Sandhiya’s presentation was titled “Nanomaterials Approach for Improving Cathode in Lithium Ion Battery”.

Staff mobility to India

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.

Research stay of PhD research fellow

More than fifteen times international mobilities of research students and the staff were operated between the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and the University of Jaffna. Prof. Dhayalan’s PhD research fellow, Håkon Eidsvåg had been in CERL for more than two months for guiding an MPhil student and staff on stimulation studies on Nanomaterial for clean energy technologies. Unfortunately, he is compelled to return Norway due to the current situation prior to one month before his scheduled return date. Anyhow our research students were greatly benefited from all these mobility programmes

Staff and student mobility to India (CIT-IIT)

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.

Opening of Sri Lanka’s First Floating Solar PV Plant

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.

Energy Transition in the global South workshop at Eindhoven University of Technology

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.