Sri Lankan Professor to speak on disaster management at USQ

USQ will host Professor Dayantha S. Wijeyesekera, an expert on disaster management.

Distinguished Professor Dayantha S. Wijeyesekera will be travelling from his home country of Sri Lanka to Toowoomba to present a lecture on post-disaster rehabilitation, reconstruction and environmental concerns at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ).

Professor Wijeyesekera will be presenting a lecturer called “Tsunami Devastation in Sri Lanka 2004 - Rehabilitation and Integrated Approach for Disaster Resistant Construction and Environmental Concerns” and will cover how the country rebuilt itself after one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history.

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami killed over 230,000 people in 14 countries.

Professor Wijeyesekera has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the British University, the Honorary Doctorate of Letters of the Open University of Sri Lanka and the Honorary Doctorate of Science of the University of Moratuwa of Sri Lanka for his contributions to education, university development and management and distance and open learning.

Professor Wijeyesekera was invited to Toowoomba by USQ’s Centre for Excellence in Engineered Fibre Composites (CEEFC).

CEEFC Director Professor Alan Lau said while the tsunami was on a much larger scale than the 2011 Queensland floods, there was still much to learn about rebuilding after a disaster.

‘The topic he is going to present is quite touching and relevant to us after the flooding last year as many infrastructures are waiting for rehabilitation and repair,’ Professor Lau said.

‘His views on how to rebuild the city can certainly give useful advice and suggestions to our local council.’

Professor Wijeyesekera has also been invited to discuss a possible collaboration with The University of Vocational Technology (UNIVOTEC) and USQ in setting up an “Environment Centre” to promote a greener campus and link in with other universities and environmental education institutes and agencies.

‘We hope the professor’s visit will lead to long-lasting partnerships with organisations from Sri Lanka, especially as Toowoomba has a big group of Sri Lankan people,’ Professor Lau said.

Professor Wijeyesekera will present the lecture on Monday, 13 February at room R113 Lecture Theatre in the Refectory from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

The lecture is free and all are invited to come along (no RSVP needed).


Contact Details:
Callum Johnson, USQ Media, +61 7 4631 1163

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