Image  Department of Manufacturing & Industrial Engineering
 University of Peradeniya

Association for Prof. Sanath Ranatunga Memorial Fund - APSRMF

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The Vision:

The idea of formation of a Memorial Fund in the name of late Prof. Sanath Ranatunga came up with his 20 th death anniversary, in the year, 2019. Even after 20 long years, Students of his era felt that the unique service should be remembered and the spirit they received from their Great Guru is a valuable gift which must be transferred to the younger generations also.


The Mission:

APSRMF is the bridge laid down to reach this destination aiming to organize

  1. Annual events on birth and death anniversary dates of Late Prof. Ranatunga to refresh the fellowship of the members which is necessary to go forward with the vision of APSRMF
  2. Be a strength to the Academic Staff and students of DMIE to execute their innovative plans in the process of producing engineers with the necessary skills to face the challenges in the field.

A glimpse into the era of Late Prof. Ranatunga.

Professor R. J. K. S. K. Ranatunga; a student from Ibbagamuwa Central College, entered the Faculty of Engineering as an undergraduate in the year 1964. After graduation in 1967, he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering as an assistant lecturer. In 1970, he left to the University of Birmingham, UK, for his PhD.

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The new Department of Production Engineering was started in 1972 with Prof. Jay S. Gunasekera as Lecturer-in-Charge (Head of Department), following his return from Imperial College, University of London, UK. In 1974 Prof. Ranatunga returned from the UK and joined the Department of Production Engineering as a lecturer. His further appointment as Director of Workshops enabled him to transform the faculty workshops, which were up to then only used for training of 1st Year students in Workshop Technology and for maintenance needs of the Faculty, into the de facto laboratories for the new department. Prof. Ranatunga also greatly contributed toward revamping the then curriculum.

With the departure of Prof. Gunasekera for Monash University, Melbourne, Australia in 1977, Prof. Ranatunga took over the mantle of Head of Department. This was the beginning of an exceptionally focused, dynamic, innovative and energetic set of activities led by this young lecturer. A work horse and a tireless worker; his passion was to do everything (all the tasks without discrimination) related to any work at hand. He didn’t have excuses to justify any half-done low-quality work. Starting from direct involvement in Light Engineering Industry, he evolved a network of relations with local industry. One of the landmark achievements of this period was the Two Wheel Tractor Project. Except for the Engine, which was imported at a relatively low cost, all the other components, 5-speed gear box, clutch, brakes etc., were designed, machined and fabricated in the Workshops of the Faculty of Engineering. Eight of these tractors were made and tested under the field conditions. The product was a resounding success which prompted Cabinet approval for a Tractor Manufacturing Plant in Sri Lanka for the first time in history. If not for certain policy changes due to a change of government at the crucial moment, this project would have paved the way for an important new manufacturing industry for the country. That was in 1977.

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Then there was an intense period of industry related activities which took him all over the country building almost everything to do with steel. Fabrication of a few Steel Bridges and installation of those over the river Mahaweli; still among the sentimental memories with the then students, workshop staff and his close friends. Day and night, machineries were at work and students and whole work force at the faculty workshop were active like a bunch of bees. The related hands on practical experience transferred to students through those projects paved the way to deliver a competent engineer to the society along with the theoretical knowledge they received in the lecture rooms, laboratories, library and the degree certificate they receive at the end of the range of examinations in the four year course in Engineering.

Formation of Perinco Engineering Ltd. - Production, Construction & consultant engineers- with a set of his close associates of his time, was another great witness to prove how practical person was he. Not only the students from Production engineering stream, some from civil, mechanical, electrical, electronics and chemical engineering streams - students were also involved in his projects.

In 1985, he became the first Professor in Production Engineering of Faculty of Engineering, Peradeniya. This was an extremely productive period for both the Department of Production Engineering and the Faculty. In 1988, he left for Papua New Guinea, where he launched a series of equally impressive Engineering Projects, basically with his students. His work on micro-hydro projects there was highly acclaimed and widely appreciated. He joined back to the faculty in 1993 again as Professor in Production Engineering and Head of the Department. He resumed his engineering activities with greater vigor than ever. This time he was on to Micro Hydropower Generation. He built a few Micro-Hydro turbines, and some have been successfully installed and are in operation. He took the latter as turn-key projects where he handled all phases from design to fabrication, installation and commissioning of the plant: he loved the workshop environment and field work.

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In 1994, he was elected for the post of Dean of the Faculty of Engineering which he held until his untimely demise on the 2nd August, 1999. All these years he was a prominent figure among the engineering and industrial community; much sought after for advice. He served in the director boards of several governmental institutions and as consultants to several private sector organizations. He was a key figure in the establishment of the Kandy Center of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka; He served the IESL Council for long years.

In fact, to say in a few words, what Professor Ranatunga achieved and envisioned would be a mammoth task. His courage was monumental, and he usually achieved against all odds. He preached doing, doing against all procrastination. His dynamism was contagious. His students first and then his associates felt this throughout those years and they always cherish the memories of this great Teacher and Engineer. Initiating the formation of the Memorial Fund even after a long period of twenty years from his demise indicates how grateful are them still. Not only that, they identify themselves that it’s their duty to transfer this unique Passion to the younger generations also, to grow as competent, enthusiastic, innovative, dynamic and practical engineers as they get qualified from the faculty.

We wish to gather the entire community passed out from the stream of Production Engineering / currently renamed as Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering - under the umbrella of Association for Prof. Sanath Ranatunga Memorial Fund (APSRMF) in honor of our great guru for his unique features.


APSRMF Constitution (03-07-2021)

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Membership Form (editable PDF format)
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Office Bearers for 2019-2021


Executive Committee(EC)
Name Position Contact email address
1 Mrs.H.A.P.R.Ranatunga Patron ranji.ranatunga@gmail.com
2 Eng. Sanjeewa Jayasundara President sanjeewaja.ccs@keells.com
3 Eng. T.G. Weerasinghe Vice President tgweera1960@gmail.com
4 Dr. Chanaka Senanayake Secretary cds@eng.pdn.ac.lk
5 Eng. Chamudi Withanawasam Asst.secretary chamudi@gmail.com
6 Eng. Udaya de Silva Treasurer udaya.desilva@ansell.com
7 Eng. Nirosh de Silva Asst.Treasurer niroshs@lionbeer.com
8 Dr. Asela Kulatunga Executive Committee Member aselakk@eng.pdn.ac.lk
9 Prof. S.D. Pathirana Executive Committee Member susanthap8@gmail.com
10 Eng. Gamini de Alwis Executive Committee Member gadealwis@yahoo.com
11 Eng. Wimala Aravinthakumar Executive Committee Member wimala_008@yahoo.com
12 Eng. D. Hettiarachchi Executive Committee Member dhetti53@gmail.com
13 Eng. Janaka Fernando Executive Committee Member jbandara24@gmail.com
14 Dr. Prasanna Illankoon Executive Committee Member prasannai@eng.pdn.ac.lk
15 Eng. Lakshman Samaraweera Executive Committee Member arlakshman255@gmail.com
Project Evaluation Committee (PEC)
1 D.Hettiarachchi Project Evaluation Committee Member dhetti01@yahoo.com
2 Nirosh De Silva Project Evaluation Committee Member niroshs@lionbeer.com
3 Sanjeewa Jayasundara Project Evaluation Committee Member sanjeewaja.ccs@keels.com
4 Nimesha Wickramasinghe Project Evaluation Committee Member nimdilion@gmail.com
5 Manjula Amarasingha Project Evaluation Committee Member manjula.hands@gmail.com