Eng. K. P. I. U. Dharmapala
Dear Members of the Institution and Readers,
Scientific research has played a huge role in the development of engineering. Basic research in engineering is by definition concerned with the discovery and systematic conceptual structuring of knowledge. Engineers develop, design, produce or construct, and operate devices, structures, machines, and systems of economic and societal value. Virtually all engineering research is driven by the anticipated value of an application. However, not all potential applications can be anticipated, and occasionally the hoped-for application may not be nearly as important as one that turns up by serendipity. The time from research to production may be a few years, as in the development and application of the laser or in the progression from the integrated circuit to microprocessor, or it may be decades, as in the development of television.
Engineering, unlike science, is concerned not only with knowledge of natural phenomena, but also with how knowledge can serve humankind's needs and wants. Such variables as cost, user compatibility, producibility, safety, and adaptability to various external operating conditions and environments must be taken into account in the design, development, operational support, and maintenance of the products and services that engineers create. Thus, engineering involves the integration of knowledge, techniques, methods, and experiences from many fields.
Also, almost all university research in both science and engineering is performed as a component of the advanced education of students. For most engineering students, the goal of a career in industry motivates their pursuit of advanced study, and this will increasingly be the case in the future. Because of this, engineering students' outlook on research tends to be predisposed toward application in engineering practice.
Engineering education and academic engineering research have played important roles in shaping this nation's industrial capabilities. They are doing so to an increasing degree as more technically advanced and complex products and systems are emerging in the marketplace and in the social and economic infrastructure. As new knowledge and more powerful analytical and experimental methods expand the power of engineering in practice, problems of design and development once considered too complex to be dealt with other than empirically, intuitively, or by trial and error have become solvable.
In evaluating the contributions of academic engineering research to national goals, a major question is the degree to which such research helps those individuals who will, whether they join academia, industry, or government, enhance and apply the knowledge base relevant (in either the long or short term) to the technical problems facing the country. In recent years, the academic research enterprise has often been judged by engineers and managers outside academia to be too narrow and detached from application and practice. The concern over the relevance of academic engineering research is especially strong because the enterprise is being asked both to move closer to short-term problems and to justify itself mainly based on near-term contributions.
IESL being the premier body for professional engineers, have provided and supports to promote scientific research among engineers, despite they are from industry or academia. The annual conference organized by the IESL and the Engineer Journal provides opportunity for them to publish their scientific findings. As the leading engineering institution in the country I believe that more and more engineers would focus in research as it is an essential part of a developing county.
Eng. K. P. I. U. Dharmapala
President (2020/ 2021)