The 11th Department Industry Consultative Board (DICB) Meeting was held at at Orient Club, Colombo on 1st March 2013 from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.
The Industry was well represented by the following members:
Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya (RMA), Eng. Jayasiri Karunanayaka (Consultant @ CEB), Eng. D.G. Rienzi Fernando ( Consultant Eng.), Eng. AnuruddaThilakarathne (CEB), Mr. C.M. Faizal (Eng. Head/Bella International), Eng.(Ms) T.N. Thewarapperuma ( Manager/Projects- CECB), Mr. Manjula Hettiarachchi (Manager/Compliance / Dockyard) Eng. Nilusha Oshani Rajapaksha ( Designer/NEO Sri Light Design) while Eng. Nihal A. Wijeyewickrema represented Industrial Training Div. of UoM as Director and Prof. JAKS Jayasignghe as consultant@ EDC of UoM resp.
The Electrical Engineering Dept. was represented by the following members:
Prof. JP Karunadasa (Head/EE), Prof. JR Lucas, Prof. SP Kumarawadu, Eng. WDAS Wijeyapala, Dr. MP Dias , Dr. S Namasivayam , Dr. DP Chandima Dr. AMHS Abeykoon, Dr. KT MU Hemapala, Dr. WDAS Rodrigo, Dr. AGBP Jayasekara. Prof. JP Karunadasa as Head/EE, chaired the sessions.
Chairman Prof. Karunadasa welcomed the industry participants and stated that of recent, the student intake to the undergraduate program has increased to 100 and further increased to 110 from the 2013 due A/L related issues. Therefore while UoM is moving towards Outcome based Education (OBE) approaches, in order to maintain quality of the undergraduate and postgraduate programs, he requested feedback from the industry members and to participate to improve the conditions through the industrial training and mentoring programs.
The discussion centered on five main agenda points.
For the UG programs, issues affecting the employability of the graduates the following were discussed in detail. Soft-skills, Personality development, Knowledge on interdisciplinary general engineering etc., addition to expertise build up in Electrical Engineering. Similarly, subjects such as health and safety, quality assurance were highlighted as important considerations.
PG Diploma and MSc course and curriculum discussions were taken up and Chairman requested broader views and directions to improve the postgraduate courses. He stated that the draft of new curriculum was in preparation.
Regarding Industrial Training, it was pointed out that difficulties are faced in scheduling the training provisions due to delays in the University calendar. Prof. Kumarawadu emphasized the collective effort of industry and the university in this process. Some questioned about the students’ possibilities in attending foreign training places e.g. Dubai based companies during the allocated time period of six months and it was explained that with prior approval it can be done.
Since CEB and LECO may be restricted in assigning training facilities could become a problem to accommodate with larger student numbers, whether one should get more training places in utilization side in the future. Also the Trainees should be given clear instructions such as where to go, what to do there, what to learn etc,.
Dr. Namasivayam mentioned that earlier procedures were changed in the last two years such as meetings with CEB Engineer in charge of Training Div., was arranged. Dr. Siyambalapitiya asked to identify some liaison officers from CEB and LECO, and agree on some specific jobs for undergraduate trainees. He further assured that it is possible to find at least one engineer from one place.
Eng. Thilakarathne (CEB) gave examples such as ongoing projects like GIS installations, grid substations, transmission stringing, etc. Eng. Wijayapla highlighted the importance of arranging field visits to these places and requested the field visit coordinators to arrange productive visits.
Training places should be reviewed annually and checked for training requirements and each training place to prepare specific objectives separately and should provide these details in advance to the students.
Chairman request the industry to give examples of state-of-art software packages and their details. It was suggested to give practical packages related to power systems such as PSCAD in the undergraduate program and proposed to purchase synergy software for the Department.
The meeting was adjourned around noon and for lunch thereafter.