Doctoral dissertation: Sustainable Transition in a Developing Country Context: Drivers and Barriers for Renewable Energy Technologies in Sri Lanka

Our PhD candidate at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), Nanthini Nagarajah will
be defending her PhD Thesis on Monday, 20th of November, 2023 at 11.30 am. Title of Nanthini’s
PhD thesis is ‘Sustainable Transition in a Developing Country Context: Drivers and Barriers
for Renewable Energy Technologies in Sri Lanka’.

She will also deliver a talk on “The collaborative role of the universities to facilitate just energy
transitions in the global South” prior to the PhD defence from 10 am, the same day.

This PhD project was supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy under our collaboartive
project with University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Special thanks to the Royal Norwegian Embassy
and the NORPART program funded by Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills

The first ANCEHA research group seminar 2021

The first seminar of the ANCEHA research group was held on 12/02/2021. Associate Professor Dr. Bentouba Said presented the topic of the seminar, which was on Renewable energies, research development, challenges and opportunities.

Further to the seminar, the research group also discussed possible new expansion and collaboration on hydrogen production. Currently the ANCEHA research group is focusing on hydrogen related research in collaboration with research institutes in India. This collaborative research includes hydrogen production from salt water. Currently two students from Alahappa University, India are at HVL for their experiments and research stays related to this collaborative research. The ANCEHA research group will be focusing on similar research expansion in Sri Lanka in the near future.

HVL is currently upgrading its laboratory facilities for the clean energy technologies, which are intended to cater to the advancing of clean energy technological research carried out by the research group comprising of students from HVL and collaborating universities in India and Sri Lanka.

Conference on Sustainable Development Goals – Day Zero – Discussion

A  conference on Sustainable Development Goals is arranged by in Bergen by our funding agency Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (Diku, formerly known as SIU) the coming week. As part of the conference a panel discussion is arranged on Wednesday, 10th of February from 15.30 to 17.00 (Norwegian time), from 20.00 to 21.30 (Sri Lankan time) and I am invited to take part in the discussion reflecting our experience with collaboration under the NORPART project with Sri Lanka. We are also going to have 2 min video on our projects in Sri Lanka. The discussion is on how higher education and research both away and at home can be enhanced through these type of collaborative projects. The discussion will be in Norwegian through zoom, but it will be nice if  students and staff who are associated with Norpart project and our research group register themselves.  Director of Norad and representatives from the ministry of education will also be at the panel discussion.

Please register at SDG – Contact Details (  Day Zero – Free registration

More information at:

The first ANCEHA research group meeting of 2021

A virtual meeting of the ANCEHA research group of HVL was held on 07/01/2021.

The group welcomed two new members, Associate Professor Said Bentouba and Dr. Mansure Keykhaei. Dr. Mansure Keykhaei, a visiting researcher, is working in the field of Novel luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) for a modern building and greenhouse.

The discussion was focussed on ways to strengthen collaboration, project activities and initiatives within the group at HVL as well as with our partner institutions in India and Sri Lanka during the pandemic.

It was noted that the size of the group and its activities have expanded. HVL has established a new collaboration with the Alahappa University in India to work on hydrogen production and has also introduced courses on hydrogen at HVL.

Research stays of students from the partner universities in India and Sri Lanka with HVL continues. A Masters student from the Electrical Engineering department of HVL will be jointly supervised by HVL and University of Jaffna and will visit Sri Lanka during his research stay.

Student Mobility: Two Sri Lankan research students in HVL

Two Sri Lankan students have been undergoing research training at HVL. Sivagowri Shanmugaratnam and Kajana Thirunavukarasu from the Department of Physics, University of Jaffna, arrived on 22nd of November 2020. They are conducting research at HVL under Professor Dhayalan Velauthapillai.

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 theWestern Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) jointly developed the curriculum under HRNCET and CBERC projects ( 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.

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