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Sri Lankan scientist wins awards and international recognition

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Professor Ravi Silva of the University of Surrey, UK has been awarded the James Joule Medal and Prize in November by the Institute of Physics (IOP), UK for his distinguished contributions to the development of carbon nanomaterials for use in cross-disciplinary advanced technology applications relevant to materials, optoelectronics and sustainable energy. 

Professor Ravi Silva

Prof Silva has contributed to research in the UK and abroad, utilising his specialist knowledge to help the Sri Lankan industry through the set-up of the Sri Lanka Institute of NanoTechnology (SLINTec) in 2008, as a private-public partnership where he acts as an advisor and sits on the director board. 

Since 2005, he has worked with the National Science Foundation (NSF), Sri Lanka to establish nanotechnology as a vehicle from which to create wealth for the nation that will allow for poverty alleviation in the country. He spent a year in 2008, acting as an Advisor to the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology in Sri Lanka. 

Prof Silva is the Director of the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) and heads the Nano-Electronics Centre (NEC) at the University of Surrey, UK. His secondary education was in Sri Lanka, after which he joined the Engineering Department at Cambridge University for his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. He is a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Fellowship. 

His research has resulted in over 600 presentations at international conferences, and over 550 journal papers. Prof Silva has won many awards in addition to being an advisor to governments and higher educational institutions in the UK and abroad. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK. In 2009, he was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences Sri Lanka. 

His past awards include; the Charles Vernon Boys Medal from the Institute of Physics (2002), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Achievement Award (2003), the Albert Einstein Silver Medal and Javed Husain Prize by UNESCO for contributions to electronic devices (2003), the Royal Society Clifford Patterson Award (2011) for outstanding contributions in the fields of carbon nanoscience and nanotechnology, the JJ Thompson Medal from the Institute of Engineering and Technology (2014) and the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3) premium award, the Platinum Medal for contributing to materials science, technology and industry (2015). 

Prof Silva was awarded the Government of Sri Lanka Presidential Award, in recognition of the many contributions in the field of nanotechnology in 2016. In Asia, he has been elected a Distinguished Professor at Chonbuk National University, South Korea in 2013 and in 2016, a Visiting Professor at Dalian Technology University, China. In April 2017, he was appointed Honorary Director to the Zengzhou Materials Genome Institute (ZMGI) in China, Distinguished Professor at Zhengzhou University and Guest Professor at Wuhan University of Technology. In 2018, he was awarded the Outstanding Overseas Researcher Office for the Henan Province, China.

Prof Silva passionately believes in developing enabling technologies relevant to major societal challenges. He was elected to the Chief Editorship of Wiley’s Journal of Energy and Environmental Materials in 2018 to promote the importance of this field. His research interests encompass a wide range of activities with a focus on nanotechnology and renewables. 

From examining the underlying feasibility of devices for specific applications, to specifically designed nanoscale structures and devices for technology solutions; his research group looks to solve challenging problems with wide contributions to society. He is passionate about enabling technology to provide free energy from the sun to society.  Research collaborations are in progress with national and international partners both from academia and industry. Prof Silva has acted as advisor to many national and international organisations, including governments from USA, Korea, Japan, China, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Hong Kong, Portugal, Canada, Brazil and Europe.


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