The Official E-Newsletter of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka   |  Issue 51 - February 2021

President's Message

Eng. K. P. I. U. Dharmapala 

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

On 4th of February 2021 we celebrated the Independence day of Sri Lanka. It has been 73 years since we got the freedom from Great Britain and it had been a bumpy ride. We had to face many unpleasant issues during this period of time and we have somehow managed to overcome those issues up to a certain extent. The end of 30-year civil war is one of the great victories we experienced. Also the Tsunami in 2004 was the greatest natural disaster we had to overcome since the independence.

As engineers we have achieved great many things since the independence. Massive scale development projects such as Mahaweli Development Project were implemented showcasing the engineering expertise of engineers. Also infrastructure development projects such as Expressways and Highway Development Projects, Harbor and Airport Development Projects have contributed significantly to the economic development of the country. While acknowledging all those engineering achievements we have to think about the future as well.

The direction of engineering has been drastically changing and new concepts are emerging here and there. One such ideology, I would like to highlight in this message is the concept of Sustainable Engineering. Sustainability or the sustainable use has been a buzz word for couple of decades and widely implemented by policy planning. UNESCO has defined sustainable engineering as “the process of using resources in a way that does not compromise the environment or deplete the materials for future generations”.

Sustainable engineering has certain characteristics contrast to traditional engineering. It considers the whole system in which the object or process will be used rather than considering only the object or process isolated. It considers both technical and non-technical issues synergistically while strives to solve the problem for infinite future instead of trying to solve the immediate problem at hand. Also it acknowledges the need to interact the experts in other disciplines related to the problem.

As we are celebrating the 73rd anniversary of independence, we must think about the future of this country. The natural resources we have are limited and depleting rapidly. We must consider these facts when we are making policies and making plans for future projects. The ultimate goal must be to build a better future for our future generation.

Thank you very much. 

Eng. K. P. I. U. Dharmapala 

President (2020/ 2021)


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