I consider it a great privilege to have been bestowed the prestigious position of President of Institute of Chemistry Ceylon 2020/2021. Aligning with the vision and the mission of the Institute, it is evident that progress in the field of chemical sciences have the potential to take us to the next level in sustainable development. As chemistry is a vast area encompassing many other subdivisions, it plays a direct role in the overall knowledge dissemination, and the goods and services provided. Thus, developing the chemistry related sectors can have a massive impact on the socio-economic status of Sri Lanka and can eventually lead to the successful accomplishment of the sustainable development goals identified by the United Nations.
During my term, I plan to work closely with the Council, committee members and the staff at the College of Chemical Sciences (CCS) as I strive to align the Institute objectives under the theme set out for this year; “Sustainable Development through Chemical Sciences”.
During my time as the President, I hope to execute all the activities conducted by the Council of IChemC, and bring forth several practices and additions with the support of all stake holders to strengthen its pillars. We will strive to work mainly on three areas i.e.; 1) promotion of IChemC as an educational and professional organization, 2) strengthening the collaborations we have with the industry and 3) continuing with the development projects at hand. To achieve these goals, I plan on initiating the following with the help of my Council.
We believe that the promotion of our educational programmes such as the BSc, GIC and DLT in schools through workshops and social media, updating the IChemC website to make it more interactive and informative and developing an e-repository to further increase the ranking of the Institute are several measures that can help elevate the identity of our Institute. Moreover, I hope to initiate the enrollment of foreign students to the above educational programmes, especially into the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) recognized BSc in Chemical Sciences, as this will open up a golden opportunity for the Institute to stand even higher and contribute to worldwide knowledge distribution.
For promotion of IChemC as a professional organization, we will work to gain recognition for the Graduateship in Chemistry (GIC) as a professional qualification under the MOHE and obtain legal recognition for Chartered Chemists. With the help of the council, we will work to attract more young chemists to the Institute and individuals who have been working in the chemical industry or in any field of chemical sciences for an extended period.
Increasing the number of collaborations between industries and the Institute is another area that we opt to improve. Here, we will explore the opportunities to foster and strengthen partnerships with industries and to enhance opportunities for research collaborations, innovations and employment for our graduates. More emphasis will be into areas such as food, mineral resources, the environment and polymer industries. Furthermore, we hope to use the latest technologies such as webinar and broadcasting to facilitate the participation of resource persons and delegates.
We will also proceed with the development projects at the Malabe Campus to make the building a reality. The current situation permits the utilization of the land donated by Ms Clauda Nethsinghe and her family as a source of revenue for the Institute.
The Golden Jubilee Annual Sessions in 2021 will have a session dedicated to the Institute’s postgraduate students who are outside or in Sri Lanka. It is our intention to mark this event with the publication of a book on the 50 year history of the Institute.
All the above activities will be carried out in keeping with the core values of the Institute and I look forward to the support of all our members during this period.
Prof. (Mrs.) S.E. Ekanayake: B.Sc. (Peradeniya), M.Phil., Ph.D. (Lund, Sweden), C.Chem., F.I.Chem.C.
Professor of Chemistry, Department of Biochemistry, University of Sri Jayewardenepura