Committee Biographies

01. Ashan Ariyawansa

Email: Ashan_Ariyawansa@cufsaa.org
PhD Candidate in Optics (University of Rochester)

Ashan lives in Rochester, NY, USA. Ashan graduated from The University of Colombo with a Bachelor of Science, Physics Special (Honors) Degree in 2015. He is planning to graduate in the year 2022 with a PhD degree in Optics from the university of Rochester, New York. Ashan is specialized in polarization optics and singular optics.

Personal Interests: Vice president of the SPIE student chapter, University of Rochester – 2018/19. President of the Mathematical and Astronomical Society, University of Colombo – 2013/14. Hiking and orienteering

02. Binodh De Silva

Email: Binodh_De_Silva@cufsaa.org
03. Saliya De Silva

Email: Saliya_De_Silva@cufsaa.org
04. Sachith Dissanayake

Email: Sachith_Dissanayake@cufsaa.org

Assistant Professor (Research)
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Rochester, Rochester NY.
LinkedIn Profile : linkedin.com/in/sachith-dissanayake-3ab9b837
Sachith lives in Rochester, USA.

Sachith graduated from The University of Colombo with a Bachelor of Science, Physics Special (First Class) in 2008. He received his Ph.D. Degree in Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA in 2015 followed by postdoctoral trainings at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2015-2018) and Duke University (2018-2021).
Sachith is currently working as an Assistant Professor (Research), Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Rochester since December 2021 and he is specialized in experimental condensed matter physics, studying quantum materials such as Superconductors, Frustrated Magnets, Mutiferroics etc.

Personal Interests: Astronomy, Cricket, Science education

UOC activities:
Founding President of the Physics Society, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (2007/2008)
President of the Mathematical & Astronomical Society, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (2006/2007)
Won five gold medals at the University of Colombo general convocation (2009)
Temporary Assistant Lecturer at Department of Physics, University of Colombo (2008 Aug – 2009 Aug)

05. Harshica Fernando

Email: Harshica_Fernando@cufsaa.org
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Prairie View A&M UniversityPrairie View, TX.

Harshica lives in Houston, TX. Harshica graduated from The University of Colombo with a Bachelor of Science, in Chemistry Special (First class) in 1991. She received her Ph.D in 1998 in biophysical chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL. Upon completion of the Ph.D. she returned to University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and served as a senior lecturer until 2003. Her postdoctoral training was at University of Texas Medical branch in Galveston, TX and was a research scientist at UTMB before joining PVAMU.Harshica has been working with Prairie View A&M University since 2017. Her research interests are on alcohol and non-alcohol induced fatty liver disease, environmental toxicology and computational chemistry.

06. Reshan Fernando

Email: Reshan_Fernando@cufsaa.org
Senior Research Chemist/Principal Investigator
RTI International
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.Reshan Fernando lives in Cary, North Carolina, USA.LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/reshan-fernando-898b715/

Reshan graduated from The University of Colombo with a Bachelor of Science, (Chemistry Honors) in 1987. He received his Ph.D. degree in Analytical Chemistry from Wake Forest University in North Carolina, USA in 1994.Reshan has been working at RTI International as a senior scientist/principal investigator for over 25 years and he is specialized in the field of analytical chemistry and has been engaged in development and application of novel analytical techniques to resolve complex problems in health, energy, environment, food, and other research areas.

Personal Interests: Community outreach through various charity organizations, volunteer activities at local environmental and scientific organizations, traveling, and biking.

07. Wasundara Fernando

Email: Wasundara_Fernando@cufsaa.org
Postdoctoral Scholar
Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Wasundara Fernando lives in Nova Scotia, Canada.
LinkedIn: Wasundara Fernando
http://soapboxscience.org/2019/06/24/let-your-dreams-lead-the-way-meet-wasundara-fernando/

Wasundara (Wasu) graduated with her BSc (Pharmacy) from University of Colombo. She obtained her MSc and PhD in Cancer Biology from Dalhousie University, Canada. Currently she works as a postdoctoral scholar at the Department of Pathology, Dalhousie University, Canada. Wasu’s research is focused on understanding the complex behavior of breast cancer stem cells and the role of aldehyde dehydrogenases in the metabolic plasticity of breast cancer stem cells and metastasis. In addition, her most recent research is focused on targeting the metabolic plasticity of breast cancer stem cells to improve the efficacy of immunotherapy. She also works in the field of Natural Product Chemistry to investigate the pharmacological activities of phytochemicals and their derivatives along with investigations on pharmacokinetics of these novel drug candidates.

Personal Interests: Wasu enjoys drawing, painting and poetry. She sings and plays the violin. She is an amateur astronomer and carries a special interest in the Moon. A lover of travel and likes to share her career experience to mentor the next generation of scientists.

08. L.C. Goonetilleke

Email: L_C_Goonetilleke@cufsaa.org
09. Pujitha Gunaratne

Email: Pujitha_Gunaratne@cufsaa.org

10. Angelo Gunasekera

Email: Angelo_Gunasekera@cufsaa.org
Senior Director
Chembio Diagnostic Systems Inc.,
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Stony Brook University, New York.Angelo Gunasekera lives in Mount Sinai, NY, USA.

Angelo graduated from The University of Colombo with a Bachelor of Science, Chemistry Special degree in 1986. He received his Master’s Degree (1991) and a Ph.D. Degree (1992) in Chemical Biology from the Rutgers University, NJ, followed by postdoctoral training at Princeton University, NJ, and University of California, CA.
Angelo has been working with Chemibio Diagnostic Systems Inc. as a Senior Director in R&D for over 11 years, and he has expertise in the field of protein engineering for drug discovery and diagnostic medical devices.

Personal Interests: Travel, reading, movies, and engineering hobbies (a biologist with a heart of an engineer).

11. Chandrasiri Jayakody

Email: Chandrasiri_Jayakody@cufsaa.org
Director – Research & Development
Porex Technologies Corporation
Filtration Group
St. Charles, Michigan.Chandrasiri Jayakody lives in Saginaw, Michigan, USALinkedIn Profile: Chandrasiri Jayakody

Chandrasiri Jayakody graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honors) in 1981, a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Statistics in 1986 and an M.Phil. Degree in Natural Products Chemistry in 1990 from the University of Colombo. Sri Lanka. He received his Ph.D. Degree in Organic Chemistry from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1994 followed by a postdoctoral training (1995-1999) at the Applied Research Laboratory, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida.Chandrasiri has been working with Porex Technologies Corporation (formerly Filtrona/Essentra Porous Technologies) as a Director of R&D for over 8 years and he is specialized in foam technologies for various industrial applications which include, controlled release, wicking, absorbency, nanomaterials, antimicrobials, wound care, medical and cosmetic applications. Prior to joining Porex, he worked as an R&D Scientist at Chestnut Ridge Foam Corporation, Latrobe, Pennsylvania for 11 years developing fire-resistant foams for high-risk cushioning applications. Before moving to the USA, he was a Scientific Officer at the National Science Foundation (formerly NARESA), Sri Lanka.

Personal Interests: Chandrasiri is a founding board member of CUFSAA-NA and is a Joint-Secretary of the Association since its inception. Chandrasiri actively participates in Rotary Club activities. He served in the role of Club President and Assistant District Governor for Rotary District 7330. Currently he is a member of Saginaw Valley Rotary Club. Other personal interests include song/poem writing and golf.Chandrasiri serves as a member of the ASTM Committee F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices and the Committee E05 on Fire Standards. He is also a member of American Chemical Society and the Divisions of Polymers and PMSE.

12. Neranjake Jayarathne

Email: Neranjake_Jayarathne@cufsaa.org

13. Sumedha Jayasena

Email: Sumedha_Jayasena@cufsaa.org
14. Sandya Liyanarachchi

Email: Sandya_Liyanarachchi@cufsaa.org

Research Scientist
Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Ohio State University.Sandya Liyanarachchi Lives in Columbus, OH, USA.
Web: Research Publications

Sandya graduated from The University of Colombo with a Bachelor of Science, (Mathematics) Special (Honors/first class) Degree in (1985). She received her Master’s degree in Pure Mathematics from the Purdue University, Indiana, USA in 1992 and her Graduate Diploma in Statistics & Operational Research in 1998 from RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia and her MAS Degree in Applied Statistics from The Ohio State university, OH, USA in 2001.

Sandya has been working with The Ohio State University as a research scientist for over 20 years and she is specialized in the field of cancer genetics. Her current research interests are mainly focused in identifying pre-disposing genes/variants in thyroid cancer with next generation sequencing data.

15. Lalith Perera

Email: Lalith_Perera@cufsaa.org
Head
Computational Chemistry and Molecular Modeling Core
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/NIH
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.Lalith lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.Web: https://junction.niehs.nih.gov/divisions/dir/resources/analysis/comp_mole/index.htm
LinkedIn Profile : linkedin.com/in/lalithperera

Lalith graduated from The University of Colombo with a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry Honors) Degree in 1983. He received his Ph.D in Physical Chemistry from The University of Maine at Orono, ME in 1990 followed by his postdoctoral training at the Department of Chemistry, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC.Lalith has been working at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/NIH as the Head of Computational Chemistry and Molecular Modeling Core for over 10 years and he is specialized in the field of computational chemistry and structural biology.

16. Vicumpriya Perera

Email: Vicumpriya_Perera@cufsaa.org
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Kent State University – Trumbull Campus
Warren, OH 44483.Vicumpriya Perera lives in Cortland, Ohio, USA.Web: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicumpriya_Perera

Vicumpriya Perera graduated from The University of Colombo with a Bachelor of Science, Mathematics Special (Honors/ First Class) in 1984. He received his Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis, Indiana, USA in 1988 and his Ph.D. Degree in Pure Mathematics from the Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis, Indiana, USA in 1993.Vicumpriya Perera has been working at Kent State University as an Associate Professor of Mathematics with over 20 years of teaching experience and specializes in the field of Operator Algebras, a branch of Functional Analysis.

Personal Interests: Vicumpriya Perera is a founding board member of CUFSAA and is a Vice-President of the Association since its inception. Maintains CUFSAA (www.cufsaa.com) website and enjoys helping with many aspects of this wonderful organization.

He has an enthusiastic liking to various types of music, especially to various genres of Sinhala music. He is also a Sinhala lyrics composer with over 200 recorded songs and 10 music albums to his credit.

17. Unil Perera

Email: Unil_Perera@cufsaa.org

Regents’ Professor of Physics
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.
Web: http://www.physics.gsu.edu/perera/.

Unil graduated from the University of Colombo with a Bachelor of Science (Physics) Special (first class honors) in 1981. He received his M.S. (1983) and Ph.D. (1987) degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. He was a Postdoctoral fellow and a Research Assistant Professor at University of Pittsburgh until accepting a faculty position at GSU in 1992. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, SPIE and APS. His research (supported by NSF, NASA and DOD) focus is on developing tunable and bias selectable detectors responding from UV to FIR and infrared applications in disease diagnostics. He has 11 US patents, 5 edited books, 11 invited book chapters and over 200 publications to his credit. Unil has received various awards including the First year Science Student Fellowship (1978/79) and the Justin Samarasekara Medal for “The Most Outstanding Science Student of the Year -1981” from the University of Colombo and various GSU faculty awards at junior and senior levels including the Alumni Distinguished Professor award at GSU. He was also awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award- 2012” from the Sri Lanka Foundation in CA, USA. He is also a member of the editorial board for the IEEE Journal of Electron Device Society and an IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished Lecturer for 2020-2022.

18. Asoka Pinnaduwage
Email: Asoka_Pinnaduwage@cufsaa.org
Senior Information IT /IS Specialist
Department of National Defence, Canada and lives in Toronto Canada
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/asoka-pinnaduwage-4b8b9219

Asoka graduated from The University of Colombo with a Bachelor of Science, (Physics/Math) Degree in 1984.
Asoka works at National Defence Canada (DND) as an IT Specialist and has been working with DND as a Senior Information Technology Officer for over 21 years at Land force central area headquarters in Toronto.

Personal Interests:
During the stay at the University of Colombo, Asoka had been actively involved in the Science faulty student’s union and participated in most of the cultural events in the university.
After moving to Canada, Asoka have been involved with social work and volunteered in a few community establishments in Toronto. Asoka’s longest standing role is being the Asst. treasurer of the Toronto Mahaviharaya (from early 1990’s). Since then, he is an Advisor for the Lotus Youth Council, which is an organization dedicated to bringing Sri Lankan youth together. He is also a founding member of Api Brothers Canada, which is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on developing the standard of education in rural Sri Lanka. He has a passion for strengthening the Sri Lankan community in Canada and have taken on every opportunity to fulfill this goal. He also help newcomers moving to Toronto and help guide them through their early days in Canada.

19. Kirthi Premadasa

Email: Kirthi_Premadasa@cufsaa.org
Professor of Mathematics
University of Wisconsin-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County. Kirthi Premadasa lives in Madison, USA

Kirthi graduated from The University of Colombo with a Bachelor of Science, Mathematics Special in 1985. He received his/her Master’s Degree in Pure Mathematics from the Purdue University, IN, USA in 1990 and his/her Ph.D. Degree in Algebraic Topology from Purdue University in 1994. Kirthi Premadasa has been working with University of Wisconsin System for over 10 years and he is specialized in the field of Mathematics.

Personal Interests:
Mentoring program, Prof. Joseph’s scholarship, writing articles to newsletter

20. Oshadha Ranasingha

Email: Oshadha_Ranasingha@cufsaa.org
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Printed Electronics Research Center (PERC)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Massachusetts-Lowell
Lowell, MA 01854.

Oshadha lives in Boston, Massachusetts USALinkedIn Profile: LinkedIn: Oshadharanasingha
Oshadha graduated from The University of Colombo with a Bachelor of Science, Physics Special Degree in 2008. He received his Master’s Degree in Physics from the West Virginia University in 2012 and his Ph.D. Degree in Physics from the West Virginia University in 2015 followed by postdoctoral training at Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Oshadha has been working with University of Massachusetts-Lowell as a Postdoctoral Research Associate for 3 years and he is specialized in the field of materials development for printed electronics.

Personal Interests:
Science Education, Science video production and animations, Mountaineering

21. Nalin H. Samarasinha

Email: Nalin_Samarasinha@cufsaa.org
Senior Scientist
Planetary Science Institute. Nalin lives in Tucson, Arizona, USA.Web: https://www.psi.edu/about/staffpage/nalin

Nalin graduated from the University of Colombo with a Bachelor of Science, Physics Special (First Class Honours) Degree in 1981. He received his Master’s Degree in Astronomy from the University of Maryland, USA in 1985 and his Ph.D. Degree in Astronomy from the same university in 1992 followed by postdoctoral training at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Arizona, USA.Nalin has been working at the Planetary Science Institute as a Senior Scientist for nearly 15 years and he is specialized in the field of Astronomy and Planetary Science with his research focus being Comets and other Small Bodies of the Solar System.

Personal Interests:
Domestic and foreign news, cricket news, conducting guest lectures and participation at events to popularize science and motivate school children in science and affiliated fields.In recognition of Nalin’s contributions to cometary science, asteroid 12871 was named 12871 Samarasinha in 2002 by the International Astronomical Union.

22. Viranga Tillekeratne

Email: Viranga_Tillekeratne@cufsaa.org
Professor
Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry
College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Toledo
Toledo, OH 43606.Viranga Tillekeratne lives in Toledo, Ohio, USA.Web: http://www.utoledo.edu/pharmacy/depts/mbc/faculty-vtillekeratne.html

Viranga Tillekeratne graduated from The University of Colombo with a Bachelor of Science Special Degree in Chemistry with 1st class Honors in 1969. He received his D.Phil. Degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Oxford, UK, in 1975, followed by postdoctoral training at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.Viranga Tillekeratne has been working with the University of Toledo as a professor for over twenty years and he is specialized in the field of synthetic medicinal chemistry and natural products chemistry.

Personal Interests:
Traveling

23. Gajaka Weerasinghe

Email: Gajaka_Weerasinghe@cufsaa.org
24. Tharanga M. K. Wijetunge

Email: Tharanga_Wijetunge@cufsaa.org

Associate Professor of Mathematics
Lyon College, AR. USA.Tharanga Wijetunge lives in Batesville, Arkansas, USA.

Tharanga Wijetunge has been working with Lyon College since 2013 and studying the effect of classroom technology in teaching and learning mathematics is his main interest in research.
Tharanga was a recipient of 2014 Project NExT fellowship from Mathematics Association of America.

Tharanga served on the Student Council, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo for four years. During the last three years at UOC he served as a student representative for the faculty of science.

Personal Interests:
Tharanga enjoys outdoor activities, especially hiking in Arkansas.

25. Jeeva Witanachchi

Email: Jeeva_Witanachchi@cufsaa.org