History

The University of Moratuwa (UoM) on December 22, 1978 under the Universities Act No. 16 of 1978 and operates under the general direction and guidance of the University Grants Commission (UGC), Sri Lanka. However, its origin can be traced back to the Government Technical School (GTS) which was established in Maradana, Colombo 10 in 1893.

The GTS, was renamed as Ceylon Technical College (CTC) in 1906 and in January 1933, The CTC was authorized to prepare candidates for the external degrees in engineering of the University of London and for the Associate Membership Examinations of the three major professional institutions (Civil, Electrical and Mechanical) in England. A Junior Technical Officers (JTO) course was also inaugurated at the CTC in the late 1940’s.

Technical education at Katubedda commenced in 1960 when the technician courses at the CTC were transferred to a new establishment called the Institute of Practical Technology (IPT) constructed at the current premises of the university. It was a gift from the people of Canada and its primary aim was to provide full-time JTO courses for technicians of sub-professional grades. The Government of Ceylon (GoC) in 1961 realized that an effective system of specialized education and training, capable of supplying the country with necessary scientific and technical personnel, was a pre-requisite to achieve and sustain rapid development. The GoC, therefore, appointed a Commission of Inquiry on Technical Education. As engineering education at professional level was provided at that time exclusively by the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Ceylon, the Commission in its report of 1963 recommended the expansion of facilities at Katubedda to cater to professional engineering education.
The Ceylon College of Technology (CCT) was thus established at Katubedda in 1966 which offered practically oriented engineering diploma (Diploma in Technology, abbreviated to Dip. Tech.) equivalent to a degree. It was, developed and offered with technical assistance from UNESCO. The CCT commenced its diploma course with specializations in civil engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering, initially utilizing the physical facilities available at the IPT. The IPT which continued to offer its full-time courses from the same premises was amalgamated with the CCT in 1967 and the JTO course was restructured and renamed as the Technician’s Course. At the beginning of the third year of the Dip.Tech. programme, the electrical engineering stream was bifurcated to electrical engineering and electronic and telecommunication engineering specializations. The Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering was thus formally established in 1969.

The CCT at Katubedda earned university status, as the Katubedda Campus of the then University of Ceylon on February 15, 1972. The Department of Architecture which was located in Colombo at that time was transferred to Katubedda with the formation of this new Campus. The campus at the beginning had only one faculty, i.e. Faculty of Engineering and Architecture. The first president of the campus, Dr. L.H. Sumanadasa, who steered the progress of the Institution, was in fact the principal of the IPT. With Ceylon becoming a republic on May 22, 1972, the corporate name of the university was changed to read as the University of Sri Lanka. Consequently,   the Dip.Tech. programme was upgraded to a B.Sc. Engineering degree programme and all students from the first intake of Dip. Tech. became eligible for a degree. Further, the name of the Technicians Course was changed to read as the National Diploma in Technology (NDT).

With the gaining of university  status,  the  technical  education  programmes  conducted  at the Katubedda Campus were expanded. The Department of Town & Country Planning was established within the Faculty of Engineering & Architecture in 1973. Furthermore, in 1974, with the formation of a link-programme between the University of Moratuwa and the University of Leeds in the UK, the School of Applied Science was instituted. Under this school, the Departments of Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Mining & Minerals Engineering were established. In 1975, a Computer Centre with a modest computer IBM 1130 computer was established within the Department of Electrical Engineering to serve the entire university. With the development in engineering education at Katubedda, the first postgraduate programme was inaugurated at the Department of Civil Engineering in 1976.

ACHIEVEMENTS

Jan – 2019 to Dec – 2020 Extracted from 2019 Annual Report

•    A range of IoT products developed at the Dialog-University of Moratuwa mobile communications lab won the coveted ‘award at the 7th annual Global Telecoms Awards (GLOTEL Awards) held in London in November 2019. The winning entry is a result of a 4-way partnership between Dialog, the University of Moratuwa, Axiata Digital Labs (ADL) and Lanka Electricity Company (LECO). As the award signifies, the partnership has demonstrated that home-grown technology can make a global impact,. The end-to-end IoT systems experience gained throughout this development process has also enabled the Department of Electronic & Telecommunication Engineering to introduce two new course modules for its undergraduates, as well the Dialog-UoM lab to support several final year projects.

•    A group of students of Batch ‘15 of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering have participated in Microsoft Imagine Cup 2019 and got selected for the regional finals. They are the only team from Sri Lanka who was able to qualify for the regional finals and was one of the 12 teams which were selected for finals. The final round was held on 10th February, 2019 in Sydney. The competing product is named Mind Probe, which aims at helping people with communication disabilities like ALS, and DMS. The brain waves are used to predict a number a person is thinking and this information will be used to interface with a smartphone.

•    A group of undergraduates of the Department of Integrated Design (DID), Faculty of Architecture won the pavilion design competition of Creative Youth Program (CYP), Expo2020 Dubai. Upon winning the competition, the team got the opportunity to be involved in the execution phase of Sri Lanka Pavilion for Expo-2020 in Dubai until year 2020. This brought plenty of benefits to the country, including free of duty in fit-cost-construction of Sri Lankan Pavilion inclusive of all freight. The Press Briefing and Certificate Awarding Ceremony for the winning team was held at the auditorium, Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) on 26th February 2019 under the patronage of Mrs. Indira Malwatte, Chairperson and Chief Executive of EDB. Hon. Minister Malik Samarawikcrema, Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade and Prof. Kapila Perera, the Vice Chancellor, University of Moratuwa graced this ceremony as the chief guests.

•    A third year student in Media and Communication Design of the Department of Integrated Design, Faculty of Architecture has been selected as the student representative of Sri Lanka for the Roger Hatchuel Academy of the Cannes Lions festival for creativity 2019. The Roger Hatchuel Academy is an annual five-day training programme, scheduled in France from the 17th - 21st of June 2019. The programme is designed to give students specializing in the field of advertising, communications and other creative disciplines a head start they need to secure a role within the competitive creative industry. It is tailored to the current industry landscape, one which combines classroom sessions and a selection of official Festival content. This opportunity is given only to 40 students across the world and by winning the Cannes Young Lions competition, he gets the opportunity to attend the Cannes Lions Festival 2019.

•    Research team of Students and staff from Department of Building Economics won the Best Track Paper Award at the 9th International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management (IEOM) Conference held in Bangkok, Thailand for their research paper titled “Conflict Avoidance in Construction Stage through Proper Practice in Pre Contract Stage”.

•    A MPhil student of the Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering, has won three gold medals, one silver medal, and three special prizes at the International Invention Innovation Competition (iCAN 2019) in Canada. His inventions included a guiding device for blind people, a headlight dimming device for vehicles, an automated rail gate control system and a sewing machine monitoring system. 

•    The 19th Kuala Lumpur International Business, Economics and Law Conference 2019 organized by The Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Malaysia was held on August 24-25 at Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia. The Best Paper Award was presented to Dr. Thesara VP Jayawardane at the Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Business for her paper titled “Sri Lankan Female Entrepreneurs: The Legal Challenges Faced”. Her research paper will be published in The International Journal of Business, Economics and Law, Volume 19.
•    Spikes Asia, Singapore provides a platform for the Asia Pacific’s creative community to come together for a spectacular three-day celebration of creativity in communication. Spikes Asia Festival is considered a once in-a-lifetime opportunity for learning and networking for creative communications professionals across the region. In the Young Spikes 

•    Student competition organized under this, students were asked to create a poster in response to a brief provided by UNDP. A Level II student of Media and Communication Design, Department of Integrated Design, Faculty of Architecture, University of Moratuwa won the Gold Medal for the Student Creative Award for Print for his poster design. He also got the opportunity to go to Singapore for a conference, a workshop and an awards ceremony from 25th to 27th September 2019 at the Suntec Convention Center, Singapore.

•    A group of students from Electronic and Telecommunication Department were able to present a design idea for a device that helps people with speech disorders to communicate with others. The idea was unveiled at the InnovateFPGA 2019, which is a global FPGA design contest where teams from around the world compete to invent the future of Artificial Intelligence with Terasic and Intel. From the 30 teams which participated, they were able to secure the Iron Award at the Asia Pacific and Japan regional final round of the InnovateFPGA competition.

•    Dr. Thilina Lalitharathne, Sanjaya Mallikarachchi and Dulith Chinthaka of Department of Mechanical Engineering won the First Prize at the BrainComputer Interface Hackathon held during the IEEE BIBE 2019, Athens, Greece for their “Brain Signaled Controlled Wearable Surgery Assistant Robot”.

•    The Annual MAS Awards Ceremony 2018 was held on 28th of February 2019 at Galle Face Hotel, Colombo with the participation of top ranking personals at MAS cluster and other Universities. Head of the Department of textile and Clothing Technology, Prof.(Mrs) Samudrika Wijayapala and other senior staff members have been invited as special guests to grace this occasion. Two Students of Department of Textile and Clothing Technology received the MAS Award for the Best Overall Student for the year 2018 and  Best overall Student for the year 2018 - Fashion Design and Product Development.

•    “KDU Logistics Day 2019” a Logistics Case Study challenge, organized by the Management Club of General Sir John Kotelawela Defense University in collaboration with Hayleys Advantis  concluded successfully at Hayleys Advantis premises on the 1st of April 2019. TLM undergraduates emerged as the champions as well as first runner up and second runner up.

•    A Level 4 student in the Faculty of Information Technology won STEMUp Most Valuable Volunteer (MMV) Award for the year 2019-2020 on 24th August 2019 at SLT Head Office, Colombo. STEMUp Educational Foundation recognizes individuals who have contributed their valuable time and skills for the benefit of student community and inspired others to volunteer.

•    The Faculty of Engineering, University of Moratuwa won the Gold Award for the Best University Stall at Techno 2019, the National Engineering and Technology Exhibition, organized by the Institute of Engineers, Sri Lanka. This was held on 11th, 12th and 13th of October at BMICH. University of Moratuwa attained the Gold Award for four consecutive years consecutively competing with other state universities. The exhibition was organized to provide an innovative and exciting experience under the theme “Innovative Engineering towards Sustainable Sri Lanka”. Modern and thrilling exhibits from undergraduate and postgraduate research projects of all Departments of the Faculty of Engineering were showcased at the exhibition. 

•    hackX 2019 is an Inter University Hackathon organized by the Industrial Management Science Students’ Association of the University of Kelaniya. This year’s event allowed more solid refined startups to emerge through the industrial level product development guidance as an Innovative Startup Challenge. At the competition, undergraduates were given a chance to design innovative and feasible solutions and execution plans to solve existing issues both locally and globally. The team Bits of Erised from the Faculty of Information Technology, University of Moratuwa was awarded 2nd Runners up of hackX 2019 on 29th September 2019, after successfully getting through the initial filtration round, semi finals and finals of the competition.

•    Team Legato representing the Classical Music Society of University of Moratuwa was able to win the Best Performance Award along with the Most Popular Award at the Andante 2019 Inter University music competition. This competition was organized by Sri Lanka Technology Campus and the grand finale was held at Nawarangahala, Royal College, Colombo. 

•    Ms. Fasna Fasly, Research Assistant of the Department of Building Economics and Dr. (Ms.) Sachie Gunathilake, Senior Lecturer of the same Department, won the BEPAM Highly Commended Paper Award for the paper titled “Energy Retrofits to Enhance Energy Performance of Existing Buildings: A Review” at the 8th World Construction Symposium 2019.

•    A final year student of Department of Textile and Clothing Technology represented the National Taekwondo Team and was able to obtain a silver medal from women’s team (team demonstration) event (above 24 age category) at 13th South Asian Games held in Nepal from 1st to 10th December 2019.

•    A first-year student of Department of Textile and Clothing Technology represented the National Karate Team and was able to obtain a bronze medal from Kumite (fighting) event at 13th South Asian Games held in Nepal from 1st to 10th December 2019.

•    The sportsmen/ Women participated in the Sri Lanka University Games 2019 held at University of Ruhuna and placed second in Men’s Championship while Third in overall Championship among 14 Government Universities. University of Moratuwa won the SLUG Rowing (Men), Taekwondo (Men & Women) and Table Tennis (Men & Women) Championships. We were runner up in Badminton (Men), Basketball (Men), Chess (Men & Women), Football and Rowing (Women) while won the bronze medal in Basketball (Women),  Carrom (Men & Women), Karate (Men) and Rugby Football.