Best Research Engineer of the Year Queensland 2023

Best Research Engineer of the Year Queensland 2023

Best Research Engineer of the Year

Source : Qld Sri Lankan Newsletter – Dæhæna – July 2023

This event of prominence in the IESL Qld calendar was held on 25 May 2023, at the Engineers Australia Brisbane Auditorium with a distinguished gathering of engineering and allied business professionals in attendance. Dr Peter Ho a former President of Engineers Australia Queensland Division was the Chief Guest of the event.

The call for submission of outstanding innovative achievements in engineering drew the interests of a wide cross section of practicing engineers both from the industry and academia. The staging of the event was made possible by the generous sponsorship of several leading engineering and construction companies in Brisbane.

Eight exceptional achievers chosen by an expert panel led by Associate Professor Chaminda Gallage from QUT took the stage to showcase their innovative projects and demonstrate their practical applications with each researcher bringing their unique perspective and expertise to the table addressing critical challenges and proposing ground-breaking solutions.

Following a thorough evaluation process, the winners who received the top honours for their exceptional research and contributions were announced and awarded during the “Engineers Nite” social
event held on 27 May at the Unidus Community and Conference Centre in Brisbane. Eng Ruchitha Mendis won the Best Research  Engineer of the Year Queensland 2023 award.

Dr Wuditha Premadasa
(On behalf of the IESL Qld Chapter Organising Committee) The Eight Exceptional Innovations Shortlisted for Presentation

Ruchitha Mendis, who presented his research on developing a cost-effective and eco-friendly road base material from recycled crushed concrete. His work offers a sustainable solution that can potentially transform road construction practices.

Mithum Chamara Peiris, who delved into the structural and fire behaviour of LSF (Light Steel Frame) walls under combined loads. His research sheds light on enhancing the safety and performance of these structures.

Janitha Lama Hewage, whose project focused on shape memory polymer smart plaster for orthopaedic non-invasive applications. Her research holds great promise in improving orthopaedic treatments and patient outcomes.

Amal Ishantha Senevirathne, who unveiled a novel microfluidic device for testing bacterial adhesion under flow conditions. His work contributes to advancing our understanding of bacterial behaviour and the development of targeted solutions.

Tharindu Abeysiriwardena, who explored numerical modelling and testing of gypsum plasterboard sheathed cold-formed steel walls. His research aims to enhance the structural integrity and efficiency of these walls.

Dulmini Karunathilake, who presented her work on healthconscious optimal control of Lithium-ion batteries. Her research addresses the critical need for optimizing battery performance while ensuring user safety.

Biyanvilage Dareeju, who focused on the selection of undrained shear strength parameters of residual soils. His research contributes to improving the accuracy and reliability of soil characterization for engineering applications.

• Grace Stapley, whose project delved into the desiccation shrinkage and cracking of expansive soil using XFEM (Extended Finite Element Method). Her research sheds light on the behaviour of these challenging soil types and offers potential mitigation strategies.

The Distinguished Panel of Evaluators / Judges

Associate Professor Chaminda Gallage (Panel Chair)- Associate Professor in Geotechnical Engineering/Academic Lead Research (ALR), Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane

Noel Dwyer – Deputy Chief Engineer (Geospatial and Design Capability), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Debbie McMillan – Bridges and Civil Structures Practice Lead, Aurecon

Dr. Wijitha Senadeera – Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern Queensland

Brooke Veliscek – Director Infrastructure & Sustainability Property and Facilities Division, The University of Queensland

Dr. Sharmil Markar – Senior Principal Engineer, WRM Water & Environment Pty Ltd

The Awards

Winner – Ruchitha Mendis emerged as the winner, securing the coveted title of Best Research Engineer of the Year Queensland 2023. His research on cost-effective, eco-friendly road base material from recycled crushed concrete resonated with the judges, highlighting his innovative approach and commitment to sustainable engineering practices.

First Runner-up -Janitha Lama Hewage claimed the first runner-up position for his ground breaking work on shape memory polymer smart plaster for orthopaedic non-invasive applications.

Second Runner-up – Tharindu Abeysiriwardena claimed the second runner-up position.

• Certificates – the other five presenters received certificates of appreciation

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