SAITM Faculty of Engineering Scores another First

For the first time in the history of engineering higher education in Sri Lanka, a engineering student from a non-state sector higher education institution in Engineering has participated in an international scientific research conference. Sanjaya Wanninayake, a first year Civil Engineering student, represented Faculty of Engineering of South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) at TUNZA 2011 International Children and Youth conference on the Environment which was held at Bandung, Indonesia from 26th of September 2011 to 2nd October 2011.
The conference has been organized by The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in collaboration with the Government of Indonesia. Under the slogan “Reshaping Our future through A Green Economy and Sustainable Lifestyle”, the aim of this conference was to discuss the role of children (from age 10-14) and youth (from age 15-25) of all the regions of the world in addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level and their inputs to the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development “Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development” be held in Rio De Janerio, Brazil in 2012.
Keeping a footprint in the drive of SAITM to high quality research and innovation, Sanjaya has successfully addressed a real world prevailing issue; the accumulation of the chalk dust in the class room atmosphere leading to significant health issues among both children and teachers. He has produced an improved version of a duster to minimize the amount of dust getting into the atmosphere. Here the duster is in two components, a small container and a lid. Erasing of the board is done with the lid of which the underside is the duster. After erasing, the lid (with the duster) is kept on the container to which the dust gets collected, preventing it being mixed into the environment. Sanjaya says as this device can be made with widely available house hold waste materials where no cost is involved and students can easily make this by themselves making it suitable for all schools. Furthermore, this device can be considered as a green device where waste items are re-used for good use.
Attending to this prestigious annual event among many representatives from 38 countries around the world Sanjaya had also been honored as the youth representative of Sri Lanka to create the “Bandung Declaration” which is focused on meeting sustainable development, emerging impactful young leaders and their negotiation skills toward environmental diplomacy in the globe and building a new icon “World City Forest” as a pioneer new project in Bandung. Guided by Dr. Nandika Miguntanna, Head of Research, Faculty of Engineering, SAITM with the other members of the faculty, this is another significant milestone on the heels of the highly successful research Symposium held by the faculty in May 2011 – another first in the history of higher education in Sri Lanka.
Bolstered by the highest standards maintained by its affiliated partner university, The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand, SAITM Faculty of Engineering, has laid a firm foundation for their engineering undergraduates to actively participate in research work starting from the very first semester which will serve them good stead when transferred to AIT for the final phase of a world class BSc Engineering degree program.