President's Message

Eng. K P I U Dharmapala 

Dear members of the institution, Staff of the IESL secretariat and readers, 

Sri Lanka is a lower-middle-income country with a GDP per capita of USD 3,852 (2019) and a total population of 21.8 million. After the end of the 30-year civil war in 2009 from 2010 to 2019 Sri Lankan economy has grown at an average of 5.3%. Considering the social development indicators, Sri Lanka ranks top in the South Asian countries and considerably favorable compared to even middle-income countries. During the first quarter of 2020, only 1.6% of growth was recorded due to the decrement in performance in, especially construction, textile, mining, tourism and tea industry. Due to the outbreak of COVID 19, the economy has faced alarming consequences. Therefore, Engineers have an important role to play in national economic development.

Engineers are considered to be the bridge between scientific knowledge and the general public. Engineers engage in designs or develop structures, machines, apparatus, or manufacturing processes using scientific knowledge to provide the necessary backdrop for development not only economically but also socially and culturally.

The engineering profession makes important contributions to the economy, both from the direct addition to economic output from the work they do, and the contribution of the sectors in which they work. One can also consider the long-run return to the economy of improvements in physical infrastructure in which engineers have played a vital role and the contributions engineers make to the knowledge economy and sustainability. Philip Greenish, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Academy of Engineering once mentioned that “Most of the major issues that face the country and the world, such as climate change, water availability and energy security need engineers to fix them”. Highlighting the importance of engineers to the sustainable development of a country. So how can our engineers contribute to the national development of the country?

One of the key areas Sri Lanka has fallen behind compared to other countries is “Innovation and invention”. Most of the countries that have achieved rapid economic growth have utilized these two concepts. These are not alien concepts to Sri Lankans when we examine the ancient wisdom of engineering our ancestors processed. Infrastructure development is another key area engineers can intervene in. There are a considerable amount of infrastructure development projects in progress all around the country and these directly facilitate significantly the economic development of the country. The development of highways has greatly reduced the travel time between cities. In a world where time is considered to be money, this is a huge advantage. There are numerous ways engineers can contribute to the development of the national economy. These ideas can be small and implemented in a rural area where only a certain village is benefited. But still, these small steps are all accounted for the outcome of the economic development we dream of.

Therefore, in this issue of the IESL newsletter, I would like to suggest you consider the ways you can contribute to the national development of the country as engineering professionals. As it is the beginning of the new year if you can amalgamate this idea as a resolution, together we can achieve a significant increment in economic development for the year 2021.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year.

Thank you very much. 

Eng. K P I U Dharmapala 

President (2020 2021)


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Print