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”.

International conference on AMCEHA held at the University of Jaffna

An international conference on Advanced Materials for Clean Energy & Health Applications (AMCEHA 2019)
was organized jointly by University of Jaffna (UoJ) and Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)
from 6th to 8th of February 2019. The conference was funded by NFR, DICU, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sri
Lanka, Sustainable Energy Authority and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research in Sri Lanka. Over
400 delegates, including 120 foreign delegates from countries such as Norway, India, Canada, Australia, UK,
Bangladesh, Sudan, Sweden, Finland, Egypt, China, Japan and USA participated at this unique conference. Over
180 research articles were submitted and up to 140 research articles have been selected and presented after
peer-review process. Altogether 20 researchers from HVL, UiB, UiO and IFE and industry participated at the
conference. Selected quality papers will be published as full-scaled articles in ‘Science Citation Indexed’
journals such as MDPI-‘Materials’ and ‘Materials Today’ in the coming weeks after another set of peer-review
process by the respective publishers.
The participants at AMCEHA 2019 comprised of experts, eminent scientists, industrial representatives from
local & foreign companies and students of higher learning in Clean energy technologies and Health
applications. The conference was organized under the two collaborative projects
(http://project.jfn.ac.lk/hrncet/) between UoJ and HVL: Higher Education and Research collaboration on
Nanomaterials for clean Energy Technologies (HRNCET) and Capacity Building and Establishment of a research
Consortium (CBERC) funded by Center for Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU)
and Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka, respectively. The conference and the workshop were co-chaired
by Professor Dhayalan Velauthapillai from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and Professor P.
Ravirajan of the Department of Physics, University of Jaffna. The first two days of the conference were held at
Main premises of the University of Jaffa in Thirunelvely and the third day at the Faculty of Engineering in
Kilinochchi premises.
Inauguration ceremony was commenced after procession of invited speakers and guest, lighting of oil lamp
and welcome song and dance performed by the students from Ramanathan Academy of Fine Arts of the
university. His Excellency Thorbjørn Gaustadsæter, Ambassador at The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo
was the chief guest and Prof. P.S.M. Gunaratne, Head, Research and International Cooperation & Vice
Chairman, University Grants Commission, Sri Lanka was the Guest of Honour Prof.R.Vigneswaran, Vice
Chancellor, Prof.G.Mikunthan, Dean/Graduate Studies at University of Jaffna, Rector Berit Rokne and Henning

Norheim, director at HVL welcomed the gathering. Apart from the scientific activities, the conference also
provided opportunities for signing MoUs and agreements for collaboration and co-operation in higher
education and research between University of Jaffna and GEXCON: a world-renowned company in safety
measures (https://www.gexcon.com/news/Gexcon-signed-MoU-with-University-of-Jaffna/230/en) as well as
HVL and NIFS, Sri Lanka.
On behalf of the University Council, the vice-chancellor of the University of Jaffna appreciated Professor
Dhayalan Velauthapillai with a memento for his efforts in winning and executing two major projects worth of
over LKR 200 million to promote Higher Education and Research Collaboration at the university of Jaffna and
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences through students – staff mobility programmes, conducting
international conferences, outreach activities in schools and developing Master degree programmes, since the
signing of the MOU with the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences in March 2017
After the inauguration ceremony, four plenary talks were delivered by eminent scientists in the fields of
nanomaterials for solar cells, health applications and energy storage systems. An interactive poster session
was followed by one-minute spotlight presentation of each poster. Up to thirty posters were displayed by the
authors after the spotlight session.
The second day of the conference (http://conf.jfn.ac.lk/amceha/index.php/programme/) was organized under
four different symposiums with themes Solar energy applications; Advanced Materials for Health Applications;
Advanced functional materials; and Wind/Hydrogen/Bioenergy and Storage applications. Each symposium had
four plenary and invited lectures and more than 30 contributed papers. On the second day of the conference,
a considerable number of dentists and the students from the medical faculty attended the session led by world
renowned Skandinavian scientists in regenerative medicine.
Sri Lankan and Norwegian workshop on Clean Energy Applications was held at the Faculty of Engineering,
Kilinochchi as the third day of the conference which was co-chaired by Professor Dhayalan Velauthapillai from
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and Professor A.Atputharajah, Dean/Engineering. It was
attended by most of the participants of the conference, other industrialists, policy makers from the
government sector, investors and representatives from clean energy enterprises in Sri Lanka. In order to realize
new innovations, researchers need the active support of the industry. Especially in the clean energy sector,
the industrial involvement will help us in implementing new innovative clean energy technological solutions.
Thus, on Friday, in collaboration with Sustainable Energy Authority in Sri Lanka, multiple sessions were
arranged to discuss on the challenges and possibilities in implementing clean energy solutions in Sri Lanka. The
first part was to look back at the Clean Energy Seminar held in Colombo in May 2018 and identify the progress
made in different aspects of clean energy technologies and to discuss the way forward in the future. Local and
Norwegian clean energy companies presented their activities. An interactive session was also arranged to
discuss the possibilities in enhancing collaboration in higher education in the field of clean energy technologies
between Sri Lankan, Norwegian and Indian Universities. Expatriates from various countries presented their
ideas on how the expatriate community contribute in capacity building at University of Jaffna.
This international conference is considered as an historical event of the university of Jaffna with more than
120 foreign participants, and students, academics, officials and all the national and international delegates
had praised the conference as one of the best conferences they have attended. The conference is
characterized as of high quality and well organized. AMCEHA 2019 has contributed in widening the research
networks working on nano materials for clean energy and health applications; the academic personal have
broadened their research network and the students have got international exposure and are really inspired by
high quality research presentations. In addition, the participants at the conference had also an opportunity to
enjoy the hospitality of the people in the region.
Oraginising committee of AMCEHA – 2019, acknowledge Norwegian Research Council, Royal Norwegian Embassy in
Colombo, Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU), , Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority and
Mininstry of Science, Technology and Research for their generous financial support.

Opening of the Clean Energy Research Laboratory

Clean Energy Research Laboratory (CERL) at the University of Jaffna was declared open by HE Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther, Ambassador of Norway and Berit Rokne, Rector of the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. Capacity building of University of Jaffna on clean energy technologies on the 11th May 2018.  Open CERL Laboratory will enhance the research on nano-materials for clean energy applications. The Lab will also facilitate the following outcomes:

  • A high-quality laboratory facility will improve the quality of research and will encourage the private sector to involve in research with universities.
  • Involvement of expatriates from Norway in knowledge transfer from Norway to Sri Lanka through visiting lectures, technical assistance and workshops.
  • Recruitment of qualified candidates to carry out Master and PhD research on clean energy and capacity building of the Staff at the university.

Through the project, the Norwegian Embassy has funded the Establishment of clean room facilities at the University of Jaffna with the following instruments: Glovebox, Solar stimulator, XRD, Fume Hood and the Laboratory workstation system.

Clean Energy Seminar, 9th of May 2018, JetWing, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Establishment of Norway- Sri Lanka research consortium on Clean Energy Technologies

Both Norway and Sri Lanka have committed to a decrease in CO2 emission, and both have long term plans to increase the share of clean energy technologies to tackle future energy demands. Research and higher education institutions and research groups in Norway and Sri Lanka have greater focus on clean energy technologies, and public interest and private investments are on the rise in both countries.

Under the NORPART (Norwegian Partnership Programme for Global Academic Cooperation) program managed by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU), Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) has recently signed a MoU on higher education and research collaboration with University of Jaffna (UoJ), Sri Lanka in clean energy technologies. Other institutions, such as the University of Bergen (UiB) and the University of Agder (UoA) from Norway and the University of Peradeniya (UoP) from Sri Lanka are also included as partners in this project. For research on innovative clean energy technologies to result in solutions for practical applications, it is of utmost importance that the private sector and the research institutions work together. In 2017, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo funded a new project led by HVL to establish a research consortium on clean energy technologies that includes both higher education and research institutions and the private sector in Norway and Sri Lanka. As the first step to achieve this goal, a Norwegian-Sri Lankan Clean Energy Seminar is arranged in Colombo on 9 May 2018, in collaboration with Sri Lanka Energy Managers Association (SLEMA) bringing together the academia and the private sector.

The main objectives of this clean energy seminar are four-fold:

1. To establish an arena to present the Norwegian and Sri Lankan private sector working on clean energy technologies such as solar, wind and hydrogen

2. To facilitate a meeting place for the academia and private sector in the field of clean energy technologies from both countries that would lead to the establishment of a sustainable research consortium

3. To obtain in-depth knowledge on the energy regulative measures and policies in Sri Lanka

4. To facilitate and motivate the private sector and Universities from Norway and Sri Lanka to initiate future partnerships including joint-ventures


Cooperation agreement with The University of Jaffna

On Tuesday 14. March, HVL and the University of Jaffna in Sri Lanka signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for education and research cooperation.

The inauguration ceremony, held in Jaffna, marked the kick-off of a five-year NORPART project within clean energy technology.

The project supports the exchange of staff and students at master and Ph.D level as well as the development of a master programme within clean energy technology at the University of Jaffna (UoJ). The project is funded by the Norwegian government and has a budget of 4,7 million NOK.

The main research topic in the NORPART project is a new generation of solar cell technologies. As the worlds energy demand is growing there is a need to find alternative and sustainable sources for energy.

The project coordinators, Prof. Dhayalan Velauthapillai from HVL and Professor P. Ravirajan from UoJ have been conducting research on the new generation of solar cell technologies based on new nanomaterials. These technologies will lead to low weight, flexible and cheap solar cell technologies in the future, for instance in paint form and thin films.

The research activity will include master level students, Ph.D students and fellow researchers from two Sri Lankan universities, one Indian university, and three Norwegian universities.

Collaboration agreement on nanomaterials

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences recently signed a five-year collaboration agreement with Coimbatore Institute of Technology on nanomaterials for clean energy and health applications.

The agreement marks the start of a four year funded project within the government funded UTFORSK programme.

The project will be managed by the Department of Computing, Mathematics, and Physics at Campus Bergen and has a budget of 2 million NOK. The University of Bergen and relevant enterprises in India and Norway are also part of the project collaboration.

The focus for the collaboration is student and staff mobility, development of a joint postgraduate course in Nano Materials for Solar Cell Applications, the involvement of enterprises in Norway and India for student internships and development of new theoretical and experimental models in the field of nanomaterials for clean energy and health applications.