UoMlogo (152K) eesmgr_logo (1K) DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEEERING
UNIVERSITY OF MORATUWA

Prof Dr Eng Rohan Lucas : Memories of 220 Students, Friends and Colleagues

""No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection toward his pupils and a genuine desire to impart to them what he believes to be of value"- Bertrand Russell

Posts also refer to former holders of posts. Links will appear when you hover over names & Years.
 
ChancellorsVidya Jyothi Prof K K Y W Perera (UoM), Vidya Jyothi Prof Dayantha Wijeyesekera (UniVoTech), Prof Sam Karunaratne (SLIIT)
UoM Council MembersK. U. Pushpakumara, G. K. Amarathunga
UGC Vice Chairman – Prof.Lakshman Ratnayake
Vice ChancellorsProf KKYW Perera, (UoM 1974, 1980), Dr. Upali Kuruppu (UoM 1974-80), Prof Willie Mendis(UoM 1983-88), Prof G T F de Silva(UoM 1989-96), Prof Sam Karunaratne (UoM 1996-99), Prof Dayantha Wijeyesekera (UoM 1999-2005, OUSL 1985-94), Prof Malik Ranasinghe (UoM 2005-11), Prof Ananda Jayawardena (UoM 2011- ...)
Deputy Vice ChancellorsProf Rahula Attalage (UoM)
DeansProf K K Y W Perera, Prof Sam KarunaratneProf Dayantha Wijeyesekera, Prof H Sriyananda(Eng OUSL), Prof Lal Tennakoon, Prof.Lakshman Ratnayake, Dr Priyantha Wijayatunga (IT), Prof Asoka Karunananda (UoM IT, KDU Research), Prof H Y Ranjith Perera (KDU Eng), Prof U G A Puswewala
Directors Prof Niranjanie Ratnayake (Post Grad St Eng), Prof Nanda Munasinghe (PGS Eng), Prof Rahula Attalage (PGS Eng), Prof Chintha Jayasinghe (PGS Eng), Eng SN Niles (Under Grad St Eng), Eng Nihal Wijewickrema (Ind Tr Eng), Eng B S Samarasiri (Engineering Design Centre), Prof Nalin K Wickramarachchi (Quality Ass Eng), Dr Satish Namasivayam (Career Guid Eng)
FamilyDr Marie Lucas Manickavasagar (Eldest Sister), Dr Geetha, Ranjith & Sadhana Abayasekera, Vidarshan Dabera (Nephew), Kaushalya Devathasan (friend’s daughter)
ProfessionalsHon Patali Champika Ranawaka MPEng U D Jayawardana (CEO LTL Holdings), Dr Tilak Siyambalapitiya (CEO, RMA), Prof Lalith Gamage (CEO SLIIT), Manjula Perera (CEO WindForce), Rev Fr Dr W L A Don Perer (Rector St Joseph's College Colombo 10), Eng D T Abeysiri (Engineer in charge of Training, Ceylon Steel Corporation), Dr Bengt Josephson (UNESCO Chief Technical Officer CCT Katubedda), Dr Keith J Cornick (PhD Supervisor UMIST), Prof Peter McLaren (Research Colleague, Manitoba), Prof Aniruddha Gole (Research colleague Manitoba) David Richardson (St Anselm Hall, UMIST), Eng A J M Victoria (Chairman Sectoral Committee SLSI), Eng Dharmasiri de Alwis (TRCSL, Colombo Lotus Tower), Eng Faramarz Amjadi (Canada), Dr Gamini Kulatunga
AcademicsProf Samantha Hettiarachchi (UoM, Head Civil), Prof Samitha Manawadu (UoM, Architecture), Prof Priyan Dias (UoM, Head Civil), Sanath Jayasena (UoM HoD CSE), Ms Vishaka Nanayakkara (UoM HoD CSE),  Eng Nihal Wanigatunga (UoM Textile, Director ITUM), Dr W D G Lanarolle (UoM HoD Textile), Prof Padma Amarasinghe (UoM HoD Chemical)
UoM EE Staff – Prof Sam Karunaratne (HoD), Prof H Sriyananda, Prof Abhaya Induruwa (Head CSE), Prof Prinath Dias (HoD), Prof Udaya AnnakkageProf Ranjit Perera (HoD)Prof Nalin Wicramarachchi (HoD CSE), Prof J P Karunadasa (HoD) Dr Aruna Ranaweera (HoD ELTC)Eng Anura Wijayapala,  Prof Sisil KumarawaduDr Lanka UdawattaMs L P Janaki Premaratne, Dr Satish NamasivayamDr Lidula Widanagama Arachchige, Dr D P Chandima, Dr W D Asanka Rodrigo, Dr A M Harsha Abeykoon, Dr Buddhika Jayasekera, Dr Udayanga Hemapala, Dr Saranga K Abeygunawardena
Technical OfficersAsoka Chandana සිංහල (PS & HV),     – Estate SuperintendentPasan Wickramatunga සිංහල
Secretarial  – Ms Suwani Fernando (MSc programmes)
Batchmates EFac '69Jerome Paiva, Upali Mahaliyana, Rohan Wirasinha, Rubasin Piyasena, Justin Mallikarachchi, Premalal Ferdinando, Vernon Severinus Weerasinghe, Upali  Mallawaaratchy, Lucian Appuhamy and Tilaka Diyagama, Kalinga Pelpola, Angelo Arulanandan, M.Jananayakam, V.R.Baghirathan, Justin Rajendram, Lionel Bopage, Visvanathan Ramakrishnan, Frank Perera, K Ganeshan, Lionel Ranawakage, J K J M Perera, S H Liyanage
Batchmates UMIST - Dr Heng Phalla Sambath, Prof Kit Po Wong, Dr Pek Bunthath, Kevin Cogan

My Students according to Convocation Year

 1971Jayasiri Karunanayaka, B A Guneratne  1972Lilani de Silva(Pera)  1973Ranjith Pullaperuma
 1974Prof Abhaya Induruwa, Prof. Niranjanie Ratnayake(Pera), Dr Prinath Dias(Pera), Dr Sarath Perera  1975Dr. Cecil Fonseka  1976U D JayawardanaSrilal Miththapala, Kapila Nanayakkara
 1977F. Kabeer Mohideen, Eng B. Sarath Samarasiri  1978Prof H Y Ranjit PereraShavi Fernando  1979 – No Convocation
 1980Dr Ranendra Ponrajah  1981L.A. Samaliarachchi  1982Prof Udaya Annakkage
 1983Dr Tilak Siyambalapitiya  1984Methsiri Aratchige, Prof Nalin Wickramarachchi, Prof J P Karunadasa, LAS Fernando (Pera)  1985Prof. Lalith Gamage, Dr. Aruna Ranaweera
 1986Dr Udaya Madawala  1987Dr Priyantha Karunadasa, Dr Rohitha Jayasinghe  1988 – No Convocation
 1989 – No Convocation  1990Dr Ioni Fernando, Dr Ajith Gunathilaka & Dr Shanika Karunasekera, Dr Chandana Samarasinghe, Prof Athula Rajapakse  1991Hon Patali Champika Ranawaka, Anura Wijayapala, W F Malraj Fernando
 1992Ramya Waniarachchi,Deepthi Hewageegana,Dr Anula Abeygunawardena  1993Dr Jahan Peiris, Dr. Dharshana Muthumuni, Dr. Sisira Kankanam Gamage, Saman Gunasekara  1994Mohamed Firdhous, Sanath Jayasena, Lakshitha Weerasinghe, Ms Vishaka Nanayakkara
 1995Dammika Nanayakkara, Vajira Wijekoon, Manjula Perera, Narendra de Silva  1996Prof Sisil Kumarawadu, Dr Lanka Udawatta, Champika and Chandrika Periyapperuma, Dr Vajira S. Pathirana  1997 – No Convocation
 1998Rukmal Jayasinghe, Dr Rasika Amarasiri, Dr Waruna Chandrasena, Sudharma (Weniwelkola) Wijegunawardena, Priyantha Sirisooriya  1999Champika Palayangoda, Jeewapadma Sandagomi සිංහල  2000 – No Convocation
 2001Dr Chaminda Amarasinghe, Dr Ranga Rodrigo  2002Gayan Wijeweera, Amali Wickramasinghe Kumarage, Prasad Thibbotuwawa, Dr. D. P. Chandima  2003Dr Lidula Widanagama Arachchige, Dr Chandana Karawita, Indunil Weeraratne Kaluarachchige, Upuli Jayatunga, Dharshana Abeysundara, Dr A M Harsha Abeykoon, Dr W D Asanka Rodrigo
 2004Dr Rangika Halwatura, Amila Wickramasinghe, Nuwan Perera  2005Dr K T M Udayanga Hemapala, Dr Buddhika Jayasekera, Dimuthu Leelarathne, Sidantha Tantirimudalige  2006Thilini Chamika Gunawardhana, Anuradha Muddannayake, Dr Chinthaka Mallikarachchi, Thuresha Rangani Kothalawala, Dr Nishad Mendis, Pubudu Niroshan & Chandrika Wijesinghe, Asha Pubudini Gallage
 2007Dunisha Wijeratne, Roshan Tantirimudalige  2008Melinda Yasaranji, Anuradha Kariyawasam, Nilusha O Rajapaksha  2009Thilanka Sooriyaarachchi, Dr Tharaka & H L Rasara Samarasinghe
 2010Devinda Perera, Hansi Rajapaksha, Nadeesha Manamperi, Nadeeshani Rathnayaka  2011Hasala Dharmawardena, Randupama Gunasekera  2012Sasanka Herath, Sujani Madurapperuma, Lahiru Himal, Malaka Gunasekara, Pawithra Gamage, Ruwinda Herath, Chirath Pathirawasam, Kasun Hettiarachchi, Tharindu de Silva
 2013Apeksha Weerasekara, Dilantha Liyanage, Mihiri Madawala, Nadeesha Akarawita, Thilina Rajapaksha, Kaumadee Samarakoon, Chathuraka Samarasekara, Sachintha Kariyawasam, Sajani Thotagamuwa, Sasanka Ranjitha සිංහල, Rangana Punchihewa, Michelle Athukorala, Madhavi Nakandala, Prabuddhi Edirisinghe, Uditha Lenaduwa  2014Heshani Fernando, Chathuranga Fernando, Sankha Dissanayaka, Roshan Devinda,Hasini Madhurangi, Isuru Kasthurirathne, Mohasha Isuru Sampath, Nirmal Undugoda, Sandamali Sanchala, Savini Samarasinghe  Current 2013-14Dilini Dharmawardhana, Harshani Amanda, Muditha Karunathilake, Manusha Indika Deegala, Mihirani Kethumalika, Udayantha Niraj de Silva, Ashani Muthumala, Punsara Colombage, Guvanthi Abeysinghe, Hasantha Malavipathirana

 


From: "Rev Fr Dr W L A Don Peter"
Date: January 28, 1966
This is to certify that Joseph Rohan Lucas was a pupil of this school. He passed the J.S.C. examination and thereafter sat the G.C.E. Ordinary Level examination offering Science subjects. He sat the G.C.E. Advanced Level examination in December 1965 offering Chemitry, Physics, Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics.
He is an intelligent and hard-working student, devoted to his studies and other school activities. He made very good progress in studies throughout his school career, winning several prizes in every Form. The Masters who have come to know him are very pleased with his work. His performance throughout has been exceptionally good.
He took part also in various extra-mural activities. He played Table-Tennis for the College. He has always been a well-behaved student, regular in attendance, obedient to his teachers, loyal to the institution, and a model to his schoolmates. He was made a College Prefect in 1965 and discharged his duties in that capacity to our entire satisfaction. He bears an excellent school record for conduct and studies. He has been one of our best students.
W.L.A.Don Peter, Principal/Rector, St Joseph's College, Colombo 10

From: "Eng D T Abeysiri (Ceylon Steel Corporation)"
Date: September 10, 1971
This is to certify that Mr. J.R. Lucas was employed in this Corporation as a trainee - undergraduate from July 23rd 1968 to September 30th 1968.
During this period he was assigned to carry out an investigation to find out ways and means of reducing
  1. The maximum demand:
  2. Consumption of energy due to idle running of equipment, including lighting.
This investigation was carried out to our entire satisfaction.
D.T. ABEYSIRI C.Eng. MIEE [Ceylon Steel Corporation where I had my Vacation Training]

From: "Dr Bengt Josephson (UNESCO Chief Technical Adviser, CEYLON COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY)"
Date: January 12, 1971
This is to certify that Mr J. Rohan Lucas, Lecturer in Electrical Engineering at the Ceylon College of Technology (now in the process of being transformed to Ceylon University of Technology) has been selected by the Ceylon Government as a candidate for a UNESCO Fellowship of 24 months duration for studies in the field of Electrical Machines and Power Systems. He will be formally awarded the fellowship by UNESCO when he has been accepted by a University for the proper studies.
Because of his unusual performance at the G.C.E. (Advanced Level) Examination, Mr Lucas was given special permission to complete tbe B.Sc (Eng.) Course in 3 years even though it is a 4 year course. Though he got a second class lower division in the Final Part II, that was the highest class awarded in Electrical Engineering that year.Mr Lucas is a very responsible and conscientious staff member of the Electrical Department of the College. He has shown the capability to undertake any project in his field and bring it to a successful completion with the least amount of supervision.
I therefore want to give him my best recommendations for continued university studies under the Unesco Fellowship.
Bengt Josephson, Chief Technical Adviser

From: "Keith J Cornick"
Date: November 27, 1980
I was highly delighted to receive your letter the other day and to learn of all that you have been doing over the past few years. In fact when Prof. Karunaratne and Mr. Jayakody both visited me, I heard of your hard work and effort for your University.
However, I am once again forgetting the most important things. Please accept my most sincere congratulations on your marriage and of your daughter. I wish you all, continuing happiness and success for the future. Indeed I look forward to meeting your wife and daughter when, as I hope they will, come over here.
It would give me great pleasure if you came to work with me at UMIST. We have been working in and around the subject of your research for the past few years and indeed we have a large grant to help us in our studies. In addition to transformers we have also done some work on alternators and switchgear. Eventually, and with your expertise, we could bring all these items of equipment into realistic transient programmes.
Regarding the transformer papers. First the good news – the paper on surge diverters was accepted and published earlier this year. The IEE should have sent copies to you, but if you have not received them I herewith enclose two copies – please accept my apologies on not informing you. Now the bad news – the IEE referees thought the transformer papers far too long and suggested a single paper! I have been thinking of what to do about these papers since early this year and have become very despondent. Now however, if you come here, I have renewed enthusiasm and we should be able to submit two very worthwhile papers. Even at such a late time I think your work is well ahead in its field and with tidying up some good papers should result. (Since you left I have made a number of “on site” investigations of transients and I now know a little more of what is required of us.)
Of interest – Bunthat Pek is still frequently in contact with me, he works for GEC Measurements at Stafford, U.K. and I am sure that he also would be very happy to see you again.
In brief and in replying your specific queries – yes, I would certainly like you to come back and do some more research here; I would be very pleased indeed, we would have no difficulty in fitting you in here at UMIST.
Kind Regards to your wife and child and best wishes to you all.
Dr. Keith J. Cornick [University of Manchester (UMIST) Faculty), My PhD Supervisor]

From: "Sam Karunaratne"
Date: Fri, April 5, 2013 11:14 am
I first came to know Rohan Lucas as a young student in my power systems class in 1969 at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya. I remember him as an eager student and as such when the Ceylon College of Technology, Katubedda offered me the post of Professor of Electrical Engineering and Head of Department in February 1969, I urged Rohan Lucas to join the Ceylon College of Technology after graduation as a Lecturer, with an offer of a UNESCO Fellowship to complete his Ph.D. studies. I surmised that Rohan would be a good candidate to support me in developing the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Ceylon College of Technology, which became the University of Ceylon, Katubedda Campus and later the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
In looking back, I am so glad that I made that choice as far back as 1969 as Rohan's performance as a Lecturer and thereafter as a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering was exemplary.
When I was a young lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Ceylon, Professor R. H. Paul, my revered teacher, emphasized that the lecture hour or the Student Contact Hour (SCH) is 'sacrosanct'. I followed his footsteps and advised my staff to treat the student contact hour as 'sacrosanct'. Rohan Lucas is one individual who followed the advice to the very letter of the word. It was the norm at the University for a Lecturer to undertake 12-16 student contact hours per week and on some occasions, I know Prof. Lucas undertook even 24 SCH per week. He was most often available in the University for nearly 10 hours per day for the benefit of students.
He was dedicated to academic work and won hearts of many a student during his university career. He was liked by all his colleagues without exception.
When Rohan Lucas was engaged in his PhD studies at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), I had the chance of spending nearly one year there as a Commonwealth Fellow on sabbatical leave. We had a great time at UMIST in the company of the Power Systems group at UMIST including Professor Martin Wedepohl, Dr. Jos Arillage, Dr. Keith Cornick, Dr. Derek Humpage, Dr. Brian Stott, Dr. Ron Allan, Professor Roland Schinzinger et al.
The Department of Electrical Engineering of UMIST was a storehouse of Knowledge and I am sure Rohan Lucas gained much by being at UMIST.
I served the University at Katubedda for 33 years as the Professor of Electrical Engineering and Head of Department except during my sabbatical leave and during my tenure as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
I loved the University so much that I coined the slogan
"Our University - Our life"
and I am sure Professor Lucas agrees with this view of mine wholeheartedly.
I am reminded of how we designed the EE logo for the Department of Electrical Engineering and the various interpretations given to it especially by Professor Lucas.
Professor Rohan Lucas is an extraordinary academic and an extraordinary person. For the 33 years he worked with me at the University of Moratuwa, there was never an argument, disagreement or feeling of unhappiness whatsoever between Professor Lucas and myself. This is indeed rare in a person's life.
At the retirement of Professor Lucas, one thing I can say to the younger generation
"Professor Rohan Lucas is worthy of admiration"
Prof. Sam Karunaratne, Chancellor - Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, Professor Emeritus, former Vice Chancellor, and former Head of Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa

From: "Marie Lucas Manickavasagar"
Date: Sat, April 27, 2013 7:18 am
Recollections of a childhood shared with Professor Rohan Lucas
As the eldest of five siblings I take great pleasure in sharing my recollections of Rohan during our formative childhood years and beyond. Rohan was the fourth in the family. My father, Anthony Lucas was born into a large family with modest means. He was supported in his desire to be a physician by his eldest brother, who became the main financial resource for the family following the death of our paternal grandfather. Having achieved the distinction of being the first physician from the East to be successful at the Diploma in Anesthesia examination in London, England, Dr. Lucas established the department of Anesthesia at the Premier Colombo General Hospital and medical school. He became renowned as its head and in great demand in the professional field until his retirement. My brother Nimal and I were drawn to Medicine because of my father's untiring dedication to his profession. Rohan on the hand always showed a bent towards engineering constructing various projects or dismantling toys to see how they worked. This led him to great success in Engineering and Academics at the University of Moratuwa, Katubedda for 43 years.
I recall our childhood as an idyllic time when our parents helped their five children enjoy life together and develop cherished family values which could withstand a lifetime. Our first home was at 64 Ward place Colombo 7. Our next door neighbor and my father's friend was Mr. J.R Jayawardena who became the Finance Minister in our island's first cabinet and later to become the first Executive President of Sri Lanka. 'Ward' place as its name implies was in close proximity to Colombo General Hospital and the Medical School. Many of my father's friends who were physicians lived on that road so we attended many parties and functions. My parents played bridge many evenings with Hilarion Ratnayake who lived across from our house. His wife Dr May Ratnayake became renowned as one of the first female surgeons in Sri Lanka. Despite work and all these activities my parents always spent a lot of time with us. There was no Television to distract us and dinner was a family meal to promote togetherness.
By 1954 we had moved to our spacious house at 67 Park Street Colombo 2. Although my parents had ardently wished to purchase the Ward Place home, the property had been "entailed " so could not be sold by the owners. So my father, Dr Anthony Lucas, Dr P.R. Anthonis, Premier Sri Lankan Surgeon , and future Chancellor of the University of Colombo and Dr. M.V.P. Peiris outstanding surgeon and later a member of the countries senate got together and bought the large premises known as "Golden Dawn". Our new house was built on part of this lot.
Sports became an integral part of this life. One of my earliest recollections was my parents going off in the evenings to play tennis with friends. Our parents encouraged us to participate in many extra-curricular activities including sports and music. When we were not immersed in studies we played table-tennis at the Fort YMCA, Indian Club at Kollupitiya as well as at home which was spacious enough for a ping-pong table in the recreation room. We regularly participated in tournaments and even formed a club "the Young Enthusiasts Table Tennis Club" with other ping pong players. Our sister Srini and brother Nimal attained great national prowess that led to their participation in international tournaments. Although Rohan, youngest sister Iromi and I did not reach such exalted heights we were very competitive in University and national tournaments.
Cricket was another great interest. Due to the fact that our father who attended St. Joseph's College and volunteered as their doctor for many decades remained a staunch supporter of Josephian Cricket we (including the girls)regularly attended the school matches even the away games in Kandy. Although Rohan did not make the cricket team he volunteered to maintain the scores when reserves were not available. We also played bridge, carrom and badminton with our siblings on many evenings.
Rohan's love of the outdoors grew from the memorable family vacations in Nuwara Eliya and Bandarawela where we went for long, leisurely, walks. We also accompanied our father to his rubber estates on many occasions. Our father diligently visited and managed his estates until the ripe age of 89. Now Rohan is the part time planter!
Academic excellence was taken for granted in our home. In addition to my father, my mother Erin spurred both girls and boys to pursue our goals. In her late teens Erin attempted to follow in her father Clement Wijeyeratne's footsteps when she entered the university to become a lawyer. She had to abandon her dreams due to her father's death. This was at a time when very few women pursued a career! One of the most disappointing days for the family was when Rohan was relegated to the second best class in the Middle School of St. Joseph's College since he performed below par in subjects that needed memorization. This was a blow to his pride. Thereafter Rohan became the first in his class and continued his excellence even when he was promoted to the most competitive class. He achieved great success at the GCE O levels and GCE Advanced level exams. He entered the University of Ceylon at Peradeniya as a second year student in Engineering having gained exemption from the first year due to his outstanding performance at the University entrance exam.
Nimal and I attended Medical College and Srini studied at the University of Ceylon in Colombo while residing at home because of the proximity of the two institutions. Rohan became the first of the siblings to move away from home. My mother and I had been touring England, Europe, and the Holy Land for months when Rohan entered the University . We visited him on our return and had a picnic at the scenic Peradeniya Gardens.
Rohan went onto obtain his Masters degree and a PhD at UMIST in Manchester and had a successful career teaching at the University of Moratuwa for 43 years. Having migrated to the United States in 1971 I missed the frequent interactions with Rohan. However I was fortunate to see Rohan and his family during his two Sabbatical leaves in Canada when he visited our home in Chesapeake, Virginia four times. My husband Manicks, son Ravi and I went on many sightseeing trips with them. One of the most memorable places we visited was serene historic Jamestown the where the colonists established the first settlement. We relaxed at the popular resort Virginia Beach and went through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel the longest under ocean tunnel in the U.S. The special exhibition of dazzling Tiffany lamps at the Chrysler Museum was enchanting. During a visit at Christmas time we were able to enjoy scintillating displays of lighted nursery rhyme characters and illustrated twelve days of Christmas at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens and the Virginia Beach Boardwalk respectively. Rohan and Ramala were also able to meet our Sri Lankan friends at a Christmas party we hosted.
At another visit we took Rohan and Ramala to Washington D.C. where our son Ravi was pursuing a Masters in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. We were able to tour the nations capital including views of the White House, Lincolns Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument and the National Aquarium. We also toured the Smithsonian Aero Space Museum, with its historic documentation of space travel and Natural History museum with fossils of Dinosaurs. My other sad recollection was of Rohan and I travelling to Sri Lanka together to attend the funeral of our father Dr Anthony Lucas who passed away while he was in Canada. Our father had lived to the age of 89 years without being hospitalized.
The qualities that Rohan displays that endears him to his family are his obliging nature that makes him always willing to help others, integrity and family loyalty. Since Rohan and Nimal married two sisters Ramala and Nirmala, who are also from close knit familities, and live in adjacent apartments, the family bonding has intensified. Our cousin Bernie paid Rohan the ultimate compliment "if I want to know the truth I will ask Rohan"
As Rohan embarks on a new phase of his life I will wish him the very best.
Dr Marie Lucas Manickavassagar, Gainsville, USA, Eldest Sister

JRL_cartoon2 (20K) From: "Geetha Abayasekara"
Date: Tue, May 28, 2013 4:45 am
JRL_cartoon1 (33K)
Dear Rohan (Unkie)
Congratulations on finishing this chapter of your life!
We are so happy you are sharing your stories with all of us. You are truly family to us - thank you for always making us feel welcome in your home. We think of you as a brilliant - though humble - professor, sometimes serious, always fun-loving.
We are inspired by how you take on life with a twinkle in your eye and a cheeky smile on your face.
We wish you many more voluminous tomes of happy stories to come.
Dr. Geetha [UoM Archi Graduate], Ranjith [UoM Archi Graduate] and Sadhie Abayasekara , Ramala's Cousin and Friends of Family, Sydney, Australia

From: "Vidarshan Dabera"
Date: Sun, April 7, 2013 1:33 pm
Rohan mãma: Life with a Professor in Uncle's clothing or vice versa…
One fine day, I received a mail from a Professor of the University of Moratuwa, J.R.Lucas which went like this…
"Dear Favourite Nephew Vidarshan,
Can I butter you up and get you to write a short article about me from what you know about me for the last quarter century of your life. You can include episodes like…."
This brought a wide smile to my face because the "buttering up" that he mentioned was unnecessary, purely due to the fact that I would have written a colourful narration about Rohan maama from my "quarter century " (I felt old after that reference to my age) relationship with him, at the drop of a hat.
Among all the uncles I have Rohan maama is easily the one I have spent most time with discussing things ranging from the highly technical (energy, electricity, math) to things such as i-Phones (which look highly similar to the real one), tabs and the all time favourite subject, cricket. A good dose of random humor (mainly from Rohan maama) should be added on top of that as well.
I think this close association developed due to several reasons, one being that I followed math for my A/L s' (which is the base of engineering) and got a lot of help and troubleshooting done with him and Roshanthi akki (his daughter). Along with this I developed a passion for power generation from renewable energy sources (mainly solar) while I was in Grade 11 and used to discuss my ideas and pick Rohan maama's brain on the subject.
Living just 20 meters away from his house was the icing on the cake. Ammi's two sisters had married two brothers (Dr.G.N.Lucas and Prof.J.R.Lucas - yep a very brainy family indeed) and they lived in the next lane. Our house and theirs was connected by a small passage ("Devata") and the Lucas household was called "Pitipassa" (purely because our devata led to the backside of their house). Aiya and I used to go to (and still do) Pitipassa quite often. The Pitipassa was the cool hangout spot with all our cousins! (I can't help it if the name sounds a bit dodgy)
I used to go to his place and read the monthly IEE (Institution of Electrical Engineers, now the IET-Institution of Engineering and Technology) magazine for all the new high tech developments in the field (mainly the energy and military related ones). There were instances where I used to open the magazine cover open and read even before he had seen it (which I blame on my youthful enthusiasm). I learnt a lot while getting his help for my math problems, one main thing being to tackle a problem by taking logical steps without placing undue stress on getting the final answer. Thereby he would say that one can go back and see where he/she went wrong and even discover new ways of tackling a problem. I believe that this approach can be applied to many an instance in life.
During my time with him I observed that he was systematic, a stickler for punctuality, and innovative. He coaxes his lovely wife (Ramali loku amma ) when she gets a bit late to get ready by repeatedly calling out "Ramala…Ramala…Ramala" much the same way that Dr.Sheldon Cooper (of Big Bang Theory fame) calls out when knocking on someone's door (I'm sure Rohan maama and Ramali loku amma are gonna kill me for this). He comes up with the most interesting ideas to solve various issues around the house (when things are broken or not functioning as they should). Thinking out of the box is right up his alley.
Rohan maama (or Professor Lucas as he is known in his fraternity) is very popular amongst his students and colleagues alike. Whenever I meet an engineer (or anyone from the University of Moratuwa) and if I inquire from them whether they know this gentleman, they smile widely and go on to speak his praises (from the Theory which is named after him to his teaching and knowledge). I may be biased in saying this but I believe he is somewhat of a celebrity in his own way. Like all celebrities this one too has his weak spots which would be ice cream and Cadbury chocolates!
Finally we end up at the place where we started; that is the narration of the "episode" he refers to in his mail to me. We went on one of our annual family trips (the families of the 3 sisters- this time consisting of only our family, Rohan maama and Ramali loku amma since Rosh akki was abroad) to Hatton. These trips have safaris, hikes, visits to hydro power plants and reservoirs with a bit of carom and cards (mainly 304) added in .Rohan mama, aiya and I ventured to climb Sri Pada. We started the climb at night and reached the summit to watch the beautiful sunrise. Halfway along the descent Rohan maama got one of his infamous migraine attacks coupled with knee pain. He was in obvious discomfort/pain and was refusing to take one step forward. It took a lot of coaxing to get him down to Seetha Gangula where we rested and informed Base Camp that the Professor was down. After a good half an hour of him refusing to budge from the resting place he suddenly got a burst of energy and went down like he had drunk the famed Magic Potion of Gettafix (looking back it could be due to the Lourdes water we gave him), while we were ambling like old men (after almost carrying him mind you :D ).
That is in a nutshell how my quarter century relationship has been with Rohan maama : The Prof , my Uncle - Interesting beyond belief !
Vidarshan Dabera, Nephew [Management Trainee-Keels, Chemistry Hons Graduate, UoC 2011]

From: "Devathasan, Kaushalya "
Date: Wed, May 1, 2013 1:50 am
Sometimes, unexpectedly, life bestows upon you the opportunity to experience the kindness of another, which unbeknownst to the giver can leave a profound impression on the receiver. Reflecting back on my recent and most significant encounter with Professor J.R. Lucas (whom I refer to as Rohan Uncle), I am overcome with feelings of sincere and deep gratitude.
My relation to Rohan Uncle roots from a working relationship my parents had with his then bride-to-be, Ramala Aunty which soon blossomed into a warm friendship. Over the years, the two couples kept in touch even after my family transitioned to Canada. I vaguely recall them visiting us in Canada with their darling daughter Roshanthi Akki, when Rohan Uncle was completing his sabbatical overseas. During this visit in 1990, we had taken them to Niagara Falls, Ontario to see the Botanical Gardens, the Floral Clock and the Falls. Although I am often accused of having a terrible memory (mostly by my Mum, which begs the issue of validity, but that is a separate concern altogether), I do recall my early memories of him to be that of a quiet individual, yet willing and prepared for anything.
Over the years the families were updated on the current events of each others lives. This mostly occurred through the elaborate telephone conversations Ramala Aunty and my Mum had ranging from topics of health, work, children, vacation plans, and anything in between. However, only recently when I had reached out for assistance with a printing job that I wanted completed in Sri Lanka, did I come to know Rohan Uncle personally and appreciate the great lengths he would go to for my benefit.
It all started a few months ago during one of those infamous telephone conversations. Mum had mentioned to Ramala Aunty that I was interested in getting formal invitations printed for an upcoming event. Soon after this conversation transpired, Mum was chasing after me to get a sample of what I required mailed out to Uncle and Aunty. As soon as the sample arrived in Sri Lanka, wasting no time, Rohan Uncle had taken it to the printers for a quotation. When we had collectively decided on the correct print shop for our needs, then began the laborious process of designing and editing the full set of invitations.
I am a very detail-oriented person, so I am well aware that I am not always the easiest person to please. However, working with Rohan Uncle was a dream come true and proved to be such a relief for someone who was never able to see or feel the finished product until it was received here in Canada.
Throughout this endeavour, almost daily, Rohan Uncle would provide me with his latest mock ups of making my vision for these cards a reality. He would send multiple versions with different layouts, colours and font styles. I would send him my feedback and he would make any necessary revisions. At times during this process, I really did wonder if Rohan Uncle had a second job in a printing shop, as his attention to detail, creativity and timeliness was nothing short of remarkable.
Once the drafts were completed, he then began the process of ensuring the printers understood my concept and were able to deliver as required. To intensify matters, I had suddenly imposed a tight timeline for completion as a relative was coming to Canada and I wanted the invitations sent through them. Similar to the actions I can only attribute to that of my own father, he would travel daily to the printing office and then several miles away to the actual print shop to oversee the project. He would report back daily with progress updates, some good, some bad and some quite humorous!
When I received confirmation from Rohan Uncle that the full set of invitations had been scrutinized and then re-scrutinized and was now in his possession, there was no doubt in my mind that the job would meet all my expectations. Sure enough, when they arrived in Canada and I was finally able to see the finished product, I was stunned with the way they had turned out. He had interpreted my vision precisely and because I had placed my trust in him to execute this project, he made it his mission to deliver and do it as if it were for his own daughter.
Through this experience, I have come to two conclusions. The first of which is that Rohan Uncle's impending retirement from the University will undoubtedly leave an undeniable void for his students and colleagues. However, their loss is my gain as I am now giving serious thought to opening a card printing business of my own - You let me know Rohan Uncle, I think we can work out a favourable contract! The second is that I am grateful that life bestowed upon me the opportunity to experience his particular brand of kindness, which hopefully now known to him, has left a profound impression on my heart and life.
Kaushalya Devathasan , Daughter of family friend, Manager, RBC - Canadian Wealth Management, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

From: "K K Yasaratna Wijaya Perera"
Date: Mon, April 8, 2013 12:54 pm
Although I did not know you personally prior to your joining the Moratuwa University in 1970, as a pioneer at Moratuwa (first Dean of the Faculty of Engineering) I was so happy that persons of your caliber would dare to join the then infant University, which was struggling. Definitely, your joining helped the University to reach the high esteem it enjoys now. Since then, for over 40 years, we have had constant association at the University, IET committee and elsewhere. I have never seen you shaken by trifling events or even major calamities. We could always count on you for keeping a balanced head and contributing to sensible decisions.
There were many days when I did not have a vehicle to travel to the University of Moratuwa. I used to walk up to your home in Bambalapitiya (about 2 km from my home) and you patiently waited for me even if the walking was rather slow. I am sure you will contribute many more years to serve Engineering, Education and the Nation.
Prof. K.K.Y.W.Perera, Chancellor University of Moratuwa, Emeritus Professor, former President University of Ceylon Katubedda Campus, former Secretary Ministry of Power and Energy

From: "Dayantha Wijeyesekera"
Date: Fri, March 15, 2013 10:23 am
It has been a pleasure working with you in many aspects and I would like to place on record the following:
  1. You have been well focused in your deliberations at all times and had always expressed unbiased opinions
  2. You have never undertaken any assignment outside your competence but you have expressed your opinion on such matters when others have undertaken.
  3. You considered the University of Moratuwa as a whole many a time outside the narrow outlook of your own department and field.
  4. You had manifested your excellence in assessment matters and formulation of rules and regulations.
  5. You have displayed your impartiality in non academic matters such social, cultural, religious aspects in the university. Best Wishes and God's blessings
Prof. Dayantha Wijeyesekera, Vice-Chancellor, University of Moratuwa (1999-2005), Emertius Professor Civil
From: "Prof.L.L.Ratnayake"
Date: Mon, March 18, 2013 9:54 am
I would like to give following comments:
  1. Your thoughts on starting your career from a relatively not recognized institution in the engineering field (when compared to Peradeniya) not so developed Department to a premier Engineering Faculty in the country from 1970 to 2013.
  2. Do you have any idea about the number of B. Sc. Electrical Engineers you have taught at Moratuwa? It is good if you can give this number
  3. I think you are retiring as the most senior Professor and academic in the University. How do you feel about it?
  4. I can remember how happy you were and how energized you were when your daughter entered the E Faculty at Moratuwa. Any thoughts on it?
  5. It may be good to give your publication record (number journal papers, books/monographs, conference papers etc.)
  6. You are one of key persons who wants to adhere to rules and regulation whether they good or bad; correct or incorrect. This is a very good quality. You always insisted that follow the rules, if they bad or incorrect change it at Faculty, Senate or Council level.
  7. In my opinion you are one few who showed us how to contribute to University Development without aspiring for high positions like Dean, VC or even Head of Department. I think your words will encourage some of young staff. Similarly you have contributed to the engineering profession without holding key positions in the IESL. Your views on this matter will be very useful.
  8. Any exciting moments of your career at Moratuwa? If you have please include it.
  9. Any special incidents in UK and Canada? If you have please include it. Finally let me wish you and your family good luck and you will be good health and serve the University and profession in a different way even after retirement.
Prof. Lakshman Ratnayake, Professor Civil Engineering UoM, Vice Chairman UGC[…..], UoM Civil Graduate …

From: "K. U. Pushpakumara"
Date: Sat, April 6, 2013 5:18 pm
It is indeed a privilege to work with you in the Council of University of Moratuwa for nearly five years. I still remember the way we worked in a team appointed to investigate a reported case of severe plagiarism of a senior academic and your masterpiece power point presentation on findings/observations/recommendations made to the council. As the head of the highest disciplinary committee of a top bank I have seen many an investigation report, but I rate yours a benchmark. Our Council meeting is always felt incomplete without your voice and noise! When I came to know you were senior to us at Peradeniya University, the joy I had was skyhigh!
I finish my note on your retirement after 43 year long academic career with what Nelson Mandela once said
".....but I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended."
K.U.Pushpakumara, UoM Council Member, MBA(Colombo) MCMI(UK) Banking and Business/Management Strategist, People's Bank

From: "G. K. Amarathunga"
Date: Tue, April 9, 2013 10:51 am
I am sorry to hear that you are retiring in a few months' time. I feel that we are not only losing a good friend but also a good academic who has a vast knowledge of university administration and related activities. I have known you for about 5 years as a Senate representative at the Council meetings and your valuable comments and guidance on University matters were very helpful for the Council to arrive at unbiased and correct decisions on many matters may be disciplinary or financial. You never hesitated to express your opinion which carried a long way for decision making.
Although your discipline is on electricity, you displayed your vast knowledge on administrative and disciplinary matters which you may have gathered during your long service in the university. I do hope you will continue to carry on and pass on your valuable knowledge to the younger generation for many more years to come.
G.K.Amaratunga, UoM Council Member, former Chairman of Central Environmental Authority

From: "Upali Kuruppu"
Date: Mon, April 15, 2013 6:43 pm
I am glad to note that you are writing your memoirs as you approach the end of a career dedicated to teaching and inspiring countless students. I read the draft you sent me with great interest. The idea of having short notes from people you have met and interacted should add more spice to the work
It is now over thirty three years since I left the University of Moratuwa. Being now classified as an octogenarian, my memory is not as efficient as it was especially the RAM. I cannot recall you being in any one of my classes during my spell in the University of Peradeniya. This is not surprising because I cannot remember even all the mechanical engineering students who attended my classes.
During my initial years at the Ceylon College of technology (now the University of Moratuwa) my attention was mainly focused on building up the Mechanical engineering department. However since I had regular interactions with Prof. Sam Karunaratne I was aware that you were a real asset to the electrical engineering department. In September 1973 I went on Sabbatical leave and by the time I returned the next year the Ceylon College of technology had become the Katubedde campus of the single University of Sri Lanka.
From then on till I left the University in early 1980 I had some responsibility for the entire institution and during that time took some interest in the staff and activities in the other departments as well. It was during that time that I came to know that you took your work very seriously. You were always punctual, spent a lot of time in the premises and you were accessible to students most of the time. I knew you were a good and dedicated teacher. It is the cumulative efforts of staff like you that enabled the University of Moratuwa to become the foremost institution for technology in the country.
As you come to the end of your long and fruitful career you can take pride in the number of students who have benefitted from you guidance, the many innovations you have introduced and helped in developing the electrical engineering department. I wish you a well deserved retirement. May it be long and keep you in good health enabling you to keep your mind active doing all the things you wanted to do earlier but just did not have the time.
Dr. Upali Kuruppu,Vice-Chancellor, University of Moratuwa (1979 - 80), President Katubedde Campus (1974 - 78), Prof. Mechanical Engineering, Moratuwa (1967 - 80), Programme Specialist in Science & Technology, UNESCO Jakarta (1980 - 1992), Lecturer, Unversity of Ceylon, Peradeniya (1964 - 67)

From: "M Willie W Mendis"
Date: Tue, May 20, 2014
I read with much enthusiasm the easily readable autobiography of Emeritus Professor Dr Eng Joseph Rohan Lucas. It is a kaleidoscope of many facets of his beginnings and of his subsequent life written in his own hands, based entirely on his memory. It is by itself a great achievement of this highly intelligent, talented and spiritually enlightened personality. The milestones of his personal, intellectual and professional outcomes manifest the underlying dedication and discipline in reaching his life goals. In such a context, the following quote from Wikipedia becomes apt for Rohan.
"Everyone who has to his credit what are or really seem great achievements, if he cares for truth and goodness, ought to write the story of his own life in his own hands."
The timing of the autobiography is ideal. In the immediate period of retirement from the University of Moratuwa, around 2013/2014, the intrinsic character of Rohan had emerged “to record things for posterity” to use his own words. The multiple episodes of his interaction with current and former students, whether in Sri Lanka or overseas during his visits thereto, reflects the high esteem and unconditional affection they have for him. The complementary manifestation by his peers was the ultimate. Just before his retirement from more than a four decade career at the University, he was bestowed the “IESL Engineering Excellence Award 2013” and the "Teaching Excellence Award".
It is in the aforesaid backdrop, that his autobiography becomes most relevant. Thus, although the biographies of scientific personalities related to Electrical Engineering have been compiled by Rohan, including that of Eng DJ Wimalasurendra and Professor RH Paul, it’s broader aim of continuity with contemporary educators and practitioners are lacking in Sri Lanka. Its causative factor is the absence of autobiographies and documented view points, as sources of information. Consequently, this contribution by Rohan is a “chain – link” to inspire others of same.
The parts which aroused a lot of sentiment in the reading of this autobiography, was the attention to much detail of his family life – to his wife Ramala and daughter Roshanthi. The intimate links of them and of his deep bond to his Catholic faith have been entrenched in his writing. These reflect the social and moral values that have guided his entire life.
The unfortunate and inconclusive part of Rohan’s life-story has been the " constant headaches " he had endured. No medical Doctor could find a meaningful resolution to it. On the other hand, it did not deter him from building up the vast storehouse of his remarkable achievements.
The high point of Rohan’s nature has been aptly described as follows by one of his colleagues at the University. I am in complete agreement with same and have considered it as the most suitable with which to conclude my thoughts.
" Prof Lucas will certainly make his point very clear and passionately argue his case very strongly. It is not easy to handle him while he is on the overdrive. You have to wait patiently until the voltage drops.
However, what is remarkable is that as soon as he is convinced of the opposing view, he would accept and support that view without delay; a great quality indeed."
Professor Willie Mendis, Emeritus Professor, Department of Town and Country Planning, Vice Chancellor, University of Moratuwa, 1983-1988

From: "G T Francis de Silva at the 2014 Convocation"
Date: Thu, August 28, 2014 11:45 am
Joseph Rohan Lucas was God's gift to the Department of Electrical Engineering of the University of Moratuwa. He served the Department and University for a long period spanning 44 years. I cannot think of any ocassion when he left the University to serve any other organisation or on a trip abroad except may be as sabbatical leave. Such was his committment to the University.
He piorneered the setting up of the Engineering Research Unit (ERU) which produced the annual research symposium of the Faculty, an event which has now become an event that attracts many research findings from an international gathering in the Engineering field.
It is my sincere belief that Rohan never applied pressures for personal gains to the University administration. During an era when people are concerned more on what the University can do to an individual, he was a person who thought of what he could do to the University. I am telling this from my own experiences as an administrator.
He is an intellectual great in his Department, concerned with high voltage, something very symbolic of his personality. I am personally aware of several students who were motivated to improve their studies at a time when they were losing that interest. [I wish I had such a lecturer or a professor when I was doing my studies in the University of Ceylon].
It is well known that Rohan hails from an academic family who have excelled in sports. Rohan himself took some interest in developing sports in the campus.
May I wish him "Long Life and Prosperity".
Prof. G.T.F. de Silva [Vice-chancellor University of Moratuwa (1990-96)]

From: "Malik Ranasinghe "
Date: Thu, September 4, 2014 5:34 pm
As a relatively young Faculty member in the Department of Civil Engineering in the nineties, Prof. Lucas was always a distant figure to me. We knew of him and listened to him at the Faculty meetings. It was only in 2000 as the Head of the Department of Civil Engineering that I began to interact with Prof. Lucas. We still listened to him but occasionally having got sufficient courage, objected to his views. Even though sometimes he was taken aback with my objections he always respected them.
In 2001, Prof. Lucas was the obvious choice to be the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering.
Unlike many, he humbly admitted that he was not made for university administration and politely declined the invitation from the Heads of Departments. I was the second choice.
My closest interactions with Prof. Lucas were as the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. As the Faculty was in transformation to the Semester system, the issues we had to face were many. Even though at times Prof. Lucas strongly disagreed with the proposed course of actions, once the majority approved that course, he was the first to get behind it to make sure that it was implemented successfully. I always hold him in high regard for his exemplary team work that enabled us to implement the Semester system with least objections from the academic staff as well as the students.
When I became Vice-Chancellor in 2005, Prof. Lucas was a very trusted advisor and a true friend whose counsel I sought often. His herculean effort to streamline all the By-Laws of the University was a true example of invaluable voluntary service.
I used to dread when, during Council meetings, Prof. Lucas requested me to go back to an issue that we had finished. Invariably his requests woke up all the Council members and the otherwise sleepy meeting suddenly became very animated, a situation that most Chairs dread at any meeting. On the positive side, his interruptions always improved the decision we had made earlier.
I have had the opportunity to glance through the memoirs that he had articulated so well. I am only sorry that I got to know him well only at the end of his career and not before, when most of his multi talents had been developed.
Let me conclude by extending my heartfelt gratitude to Prof. Lucas for his exemplary service to our alma mater and wish him good health and all success in his future activities. 
Prof. Malik Ranasinghe [Senior Professor; UoM Vice Chancellor (2005-11), former Chairman of CVCD, Council Member ACU, Dean Engineering]

From: "Ananda Jayawardena"
Date: Tue, September 2, 2014 7:10 am
I am very pleased to share my thoughts as follows.
I first came to know Prof. Lucas when he was coming to the University on the 'Mini" motorbike noticing that the motor bike was too small for a tall gentleman. This is because I did not have an opportunity to be one of his regular students being a Civil Engineering graduate. However, I was fortunate enough to learn "FORTRAN" programming from him when I was in Part II attending his extra class offered open to all students. This itself is ample testimony for his great desire and commitment to be a dedicated teacher who consider it a passion to educate young minds.
Then the main interaction came when I was the Dean, Faculty of Engineering and currently as the Vice-Chancellor. I immensely valued his contribution at any forum because if he opens his mouth there is definitely something important in it. I considered him as a final authority in all important decisions because if he agrees with a decision or a view point then there is no chance for the decision to be technically wrong as he is extremely thorough in logical forensic analysis.
Prof. Lucas' contribution for both teaching and administration in the University not only as the Head of Electrical Engineering Department and many extremely important Senate and Council Standing Committees, but also a very active member of the Council with 45 years of dedicated service to the University of Moratuwa is unprecedented and unmatched. I, as a student and an administrator learnt immensely from his interactions. I take this opportunity to extend my greatest appreciation to Prof. Lucas for his unparalleled service and wish him excellent health and success in every future endevour. I also expect him to continue to share his wisdom with the University of Moratuwa for long years to come. Thank you Prof. Lucas.
Prof. Ananda Jayawardane [UoM Vice-Chancellor, UoM Grsduate Civil 1984]

From: "Rahula Attalage"
Date: Sat, March 16, 2013 6:26 am
I read your mail with greatest interest to visualise your career enjoying some of the moments that you had highlighted with details. (I rarely read an email with such attention !).
Sincerely happy and proud to have been one of your students in Part I Theory of Electricity where I enjoyed the sessions especially with tutorials where you paid individual attention.
I admire your dedication to whatever the task you do espcially w.r.t. those at the University. For many of these tasks it would be almost impossible to find a replacement !
I have always respected you as one of my great teachers and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I missed a golden opportunity in joining you to the Great Wall Visit which would have also enjoyed very much.
My reply may be short (as usual) but essentially does not mean the same in sentiments.
Prof. Rahula Attalage, Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Moratuwa, UoM Mech Graduate …

From: "Prof U G A Puswewala"
Date: Tue, December 31, 2015
Conferment of Title of Professor Emeritus to Prof J. R. Lucas - Citation at University Awards Ceremony
Professor Joseph Rohan Lucas was born in October 1947 and was groomed at St Joseph's College, Colombo. From the GCE Advanced Level Examination in 1965, which he did exceptionally well, he gained admission directly to the second year of the engineering degree course at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Ceylon at Peradeniya in 1966. He graduated in 1969, specialising in Electrical Engineering. Soon after graduation, he worked for a short spell as a dedicated tutor to the students at Peradeniya and commenced his permanent career as a Lecturer at Ceylon College of Technology in March 1970. When the Ceylon College of Technology was absorbed into the university system in February 1972, he was re-designated as an Assistant Lecturer of University of Ceylon, Katubedda Campus. Having proceeded to the UK in 1971 on a UNESCO Fellowship, he obtained his Master's degree in 1972 and the Doctoral degree in 1974 from the University of Manchester (UMIST).
He returned to resume duties at the University of Ceylon, Katubedda Campus in 1974. He was promoted to the grade of Associate Professor on merit in 1989, a Professor on merit in 1994 and a Senior Professor in 1999. When the cadre chair in Electrical Engineering fell vacant, he was selected to the advertised Chair in March 2004 to become the second Senior Professor of Electrical Engineering of the University of Moratuwa.
Prof J R Lucas served as the Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering from July 1983 to June 1984 and from May 1998 to May 2004. He also served as the Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering from December 1988 to July 1989. He was the Chairman/Co-ordinator of the Engineering Research Unit of the University of Moratuwa from 1994 to 1997, during which period the Symposiums of Research for Industry came into being. He served as an elected Representative of the Senate on the Council of the University and also on the ITUM Board of Management. Prof. Lucas actively continued development of the by-laws of the University, and has served as a member of the Senate Higher Degree Committee and the Faculty of Engineering Academic Committee and the Higher Degrees Committee.
Prof. Lucas served in the local committee of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), London and subsequently became its Chairman in 2000 for a period of two years. He also served in the Council of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka from 1997 to 2000 and many of its committees and subcommittees, including the Education and Training Committee and the Membership Committee.
Prof. J. R. Lucas worked as a UNESCO local consultant to the Open University of Sri Lanka and authored 10 books for the OOUSL in electrical engineering topics. He was also a British Commonwealth Fellow at UMIST in 1981 for one year and spent his subsequent sabbaticals as a Visiting Professor at the University of Manitoba, Canada in 1989-1990, and as an Erskine Fellowship and a Visiting Professor at the University of Canterbury and the University of Auckland in New Zealand in 1997-1998. He was again a Visiting Professor at the University of Manitoba, Canada and the Manitoba HVDC Research Centre in 2006.
Prof J.R. Lucas has published over 60 papers in local and international journals as well as conferences, both as the sole author as well as the lead author. He has extensive experience in the use of the PSCAD with the current-transformer model developed by him being included as the 'Lucas CT model' in PSCAD.
There have been 103 citations of the papers of Prof. Lucas over the past five years. He has conducted extensive research in many areas of Electrical Engineering and is considered an expert in the field of lightning protection in Sri Lanka. He has served in many national committees to develop standards related to lightning protection and is presently a member of the parliament appointed interim committee on Lightning Protection. He has also pioneered teaching High Voltage Engineering in Sri Lanka. A highlight of his teaching is making the subject area interesting and relevant to the professional life of the future engineer. He has been a resource person for almost all the Electrical Installation courses conducted by the IESL, and in many short courses on Lightning Protection, including a UNESCO Regional Workshop on Lightning Physics in 2003.
He is a Founder Member of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka, a Fellow and Chartered Engineer of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, and a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, UK. He is also a Member of the Sri Lanka Energy Managers Association and one of the first lot of International Professional Engineers of Sri Lanka. As a Professional Electrical Engineer he has been involved with the Sri Lanka Standards Institution in drawing up standards in electrical engineering, especially for electrical cables and conductors, and in lightning protection.
Among the national level consultancies undertaken by Prof Lucas are the projects like the Colombo Lotus Tower and the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant. Evaluation of the Lightning Protection of the Ruwanweliseya and the effects of base station towers on lightning to the neighbourhood have also been carried out by him.
His proven track record of commanding respect of others in the Electrical Engineering Profession is amply demonstrated by his achievements:
Professor Joseph Rohan Lucas can be considered as a leading academic in the field of Electrical Engineering, who has positively contributed to the stability, growth, excellence and the present high standing of the University of Moratuwa.
Prof. U G A Puswewala , Dean Engineering

From: "Prof Chintha Jayasinghe", Director Postgraduate Studies
Date: Fri, September 12, 2014 9:00 am
A Token of Appreciation from All the Members of FHDC and PGBoS
Having someone like you in the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee and the Postgraduate Board of Studies has been no less than a gift. Your proper guidance and effective arguments put us on correct track always.
Your best quality we appreciate the most is your professionalism. You do not mix things up with the professional arguments. Sometimes you were very critical on professional issues and in the next moment you are a very friendly person. Your cheerfulness will be greatly missed!! Great people leave, but their greatness stays back.
As you leave, you leave back a deep void, which will be difficult to fill in the higher degrees committees. Your energy and commitment will be remembered daily. We greatly appreciate the leadership role you have played throughout the years.
We are grateful to salute you for your dedication. We all wish you a Great Future ahead after your retirement!
Prof. Chintha Jayasinghe, [Director, Postgraduate Studies, Faculty of Engineering]

From: "Eng S N Niles" Director Undergraduate Studies
Date: Thu, September 4, 2014 9:12 am
While I never had the privilege of being lectured to by Prof Lucas my association with him was largely at the Faculty Academic Committee. Prof Lucas was a member of this committee from its inception, and served it faithfully until his retirement. He took his role in the committee very seriously, and set a great example to the other members by his regular attendance and his courtesy in informing on the rare occasion that he was unable to attend, as well as the few occasions that he was forced to come in late. Despite being at meetings from morning he would make it a point to be at the FAC meeting, and not for him just to mark his attendance, drink a cup of tea and leave after a while. Prof Lucas was an active contributor to the deliberations and decisions of the committee.
His vast experience, his incomparable knowledge of the by-laws and practices of the university (as well as practices of other universities), and an uncanny knack of being able to pinpoint the key issue however obscure it was to the rest of the committee, easily made his contribution invaluable. When I became Director-Undergraduate Studies, I found that Prof Lucas' presence made my task that much easier, and I often would drop in at his office to seek clarification and advice on many a point which puzzled me, and I found that his wisdom never failed to provide an answer.
On many occasions he would gently interrupt a discussion with "Let me ask a slightly different question" - and that slightly different question would invariably guide the discussion to a speedy solution to the problem.
Prof Lucas' retirement leaves a vacuum that will never adequately be filled. We are grateful that he is still ever ready to share from his experience and wisdom, and pray that he will enjoy good health and a fruitful retirement.
SN Niles [Director, UoM Undergraduate Studies – Engineering, Faculty Textile]

From: "Eng Nihal Wijewickrama"
Date: Sun, September 14, 2014 8:38 am
My first recollections of Rohan was at St.Joseph's College, Colombo in the sixties where we, as junior students in school, watched him taking away many an award at the annual prize giving's. He was, I believe, one of the very few who qualified to enter the only Engineering Faculty at that time in Peradeniya, in an era when private tuition was never heard or encouraged. His academic brilliance, as we all know continued, thereafter as well.
Although I was an undergraduate at Katubedda Campus when he joined the Faculty as a Lecturer, I was never a beneficiary of his unique teaching and analytical skills, as I did Civil Engineering. However, my batch mates who are now Electrical Engineers yet swear that their eyes would never have opened if not for his efforts. At our annual get-togethers, he is yet fondly remembered for exposing their copied coursework and displaying their ignorance.
My longest association with Rohan was after I joined the Faculty in 1996, after being in the industry for almost 20 years. As a Senior Professor by then, he was a pillar of strength and a much respected member of the Faculty.
In my opinion, he has contributed the most to make Moratuwa the most popular option for 95% of mathematics students who qualify to do Engineering in Sri Lanka. It is a pity that he refrained from taking up more challenging positions, such as the Dean of the Faculty or as the Vice Chancellor of the University due to his love for teaching and research work. God bless you!
Eng Nihal Wijewickrema, [Director Industrial Training Division, Engineering Faculty, UoM Graduate Civil, Former President UMTA]

From: "Professor H Sriyananda "
Date: Mon, May 6, 2013 10:22 am
I first met Rohan in the early 1970s, and we have been good friends ever since. Our friendship has matured, endured and grown despite the vast differences in our social status and upbringing. Rohan's father was a reputed anesthetist and his neighbours were mostly doctors and surgeons and included national figures like President Jayawardena, while my parents were Sinhala school teachers and my childhood neighbours were simple villagers. He attended St. Joseph's College while I studied at Ananda. Perhaps one single factor that best brings out the differences between us is that he does not know how to eat rice and curry with his fingers, while I am still not quite familiar with using a fork and knife. Perhaps these differences complemented each other and enabled us to remain friends based on much more fundamental values.
I had joined the Katubedda Campus of the University of Sri Lanka in 1973 on my return from graduate studies and was just trying to settle down when Rohan returned from Manchester.
Neither of us had a place to work from, no room, and not even a table and chair. At the time, I was using the 'visitor's chair' of the acting Head of the Department, who himself was 'loaned' from the Fertilizer Manufacturing Corporation (which incidentally, was never operational!). We had to look around for a place to work from, and found a corner on a corridor of the Sumanadasa Building that could be cordoned off to form two small connected rooms with just a little bit of brickwork and a door. (This creative solution to the space problem has since been reproduced on all the four floors of the building). Thus began our friendship, sharing a common work-space that we soon improved by installing custom-designed book cases, a black board (white boards were an unheard of luxury those days), a kitchen sink (to make tea at, shared with all the staff of the Department and anyone else who happened to drop in), a typewriter desk (no PCs then) and most important, a comfortable bench outside for students to sit on. This was our common work-area until I left, almost ten years later, to join the Open University.
I found the teaching/learning environment at Moratuwa a little strange at first, having unthinkingly accepted my own experiences as a student at Thurston Road and Maradana Technical College (from where the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Ceylon functioned during its infancy) to be the norm. Rohan had studied at Peradeniya, where the Faculty had found its permanent home, under some of the same teachers. When I was a student, our laboratory classes were conducted personally by Professor Paul himself, assisted by the senior academic staff and supplemented by the instructors. At Moratuwa, they were conducted solely by the instructors.
There were a number of unrelated 'happenings' that prompted us to rethink this whole process. On one occasion, it was found that a whole set of experiments that were supposed to take three hours each had been concluded within one hour, and the students had been sent off, and the instructors too had gone home. On another occasion, a student who had compiled a very impressive report on an induction motor (and obtained ten out of ten marks) did not know which machine he had tested!
Rohan and I (who, even though comparatively young and inexperienced, were the most senior academic staff in the Department apart from the Professor) discussed this situation and decided to overhaul the system. In future, we were to take the laboratory classes ourselves (as Professor Paul did in his time) and the students' laboratory reports were to be discussed with them at an interview by a panel of academic staff. To facilitate this, and to make the discussions more meaningful, the number of reports to be submitted was reduced by combining related experiments together. Other changes were also introduced, such as library research and reading assignments, presentations, etc.
During this period, Rohan almost single handedly produced a Prospectus that contained, among other information, the syllabi of all the subjects taught. This was the first occasion when such a compilation had been attempted at the University. Much later, he also edited a web page that was updated daily containing all the news about the Department and the wider University. It also hosted inputs from the audience, and was a welcome site for all interested, including alumni all over the world.
We did work together again, this time at the Open University where he spent a few months helping the new institution to find its feet. He worked tirelessly, preparing new self-learning material in a genre that was equally new to all of us, including the students. Even years after he left us, I can remember using his material as examples for others, at workshops for uninitiated academic staff, not only in Electrical Engineering but also in other disciplines.
About twenty years later, I went back to Moratuwa University for two years, for an extended sabbatical. By that time, we had aged, but so had the University - in its case, it had come of age. The working atmosphere was totally different from what it was when I left it - everyone worked, for most of the time, in their own rooms, at a personal computer (interconnected, of course) and face-to-face contact with other members of the staff was generally limited to formal meetings or seminars. We of course met at lunch time which was a time for comradeship among old and new friends. Former students, now mostly studying or working abroad, were continually dropping in with chocolates, cakes and the like.
In between these three periods of close association at work, we of course kept in touch, and met each other on various occasions, social, academic and professional. From the very beginning, I knew Rohan as a good Catholic and I hope he does consider me to be a good Buddhist. Here, I am using conventional words to represent non-conventional ideas, and perhaps other readers may find it difficult to understand what I mean. No matter - let us call it just being decent human beings, and in my mind, I consider Rohan to be a better Buddhist than most others who are wont to proclaim their Buddhism, from roof tops if possible.
I should perhaps elaborate a little bit here - lest I be misunderstood. I refer to simple virtues that should be commonplace, but unfortunately, are not.
Virtues such as - as an academic - being true to your students and younger colleagues, having their best interests at heart, helping wherever possible, working untiringly in trying to transfer knowledge, skills and attitudes that you consider to be worthwhile; being true to your discipline in attempting to advance knowledge, and publishing what may be of use to others.
Other human virtues - such as being satisfied with what you have, not being unduly possessive not only about material things but even about ideas and concepts; being understanding and accommodating contrary viewpoints while being steadfast in your own; leading a simple ('alpechcha') lifestyle - these are the qualities that strike me when I think of Rohan's life and work over the last forty years.
I have not made any reference to his wide and exceptional work in research, except in passing, as there are many others better qualified to do so.
Now that Rohan is retiring from active University service, I am reminded of another friend, who was also one of my teachers, who phoned me one early morning to say that it was his last day at the University (of Peradeniya, in his case). On being asked what work he intended to do in his retirement, he said 'I have worked very hard for sixty years (he had presumably left out the first five years of life), and do not intend to do any work in the future'.
I wish Rohan a long, productive and fruitful life in retirement that he has earned handsomely, in the pursuit of happiness in a somewhat different mode. Such an exercise, pursued vigorously, will I am sure be of benefit not only to himself, but to his loving wife Ramala and daughter Roshanthi.
Prof H Sriyananda , Emeritus Professor of Engineering and former Dean Engineering, The Open University of Sri Lanka
From: "Lal Tennekoon"
Date: Sun, March 17, 2013 3:35 pm
I was very happy to read your sketch of university life over the past 45 years because it also represents my times. It has brought out the many changes which have taken place in the university system, and there were many students of mine who have tried to persuade me to write about them. I have kept postponing their request because of my poor time management techniques. I am glad you have had time to chronicle these changes which would be an eye-opener to many.
Although I joined the university in 1961, my major interaction with you began in 1970 when I joined the Peradeniya Engineering Faculty as a Lecturer in 1970. Although we were in the same Faculty, my main recollection at that time about you was when we used to meet at the gym. You were the talented TT player from the 'Lucas' family. (At that time, the engineering staff also had a Badminton Court in the Faculty, and I have many memories of that as well relishing the vast repertoire of humour that Prof. Mahalingam possessed.)
My 'in-depth' understanding of you began in 1975 when I moved to Moratuwa. As you have well described, we never had the resources that are available for teaching. My own analysis of this situation is that because of our limited resources, we spent more time instilling fundamental principles; and possibly for this reason we are still remembered as good teachers by the many thousands of students who passed through our hands.
It was a pleasure working with you for over 30 years at Moratuwa. To me, you were the incorruptible academic standard bearer who was not prepared to reduce the high standards you set for you and your students. You should feel proud of your achievements which are difficult to match. May I conclude by wishing you good health and happiness as you retire from university service. But I am sure, that your students will not leave you alone. They will keep coming back to you for professional advice and you may find (like I find myself these days) that your wife would complain that "although he has retired from university service, I still hardly see him because of his long 'working hours'."
Prof. Lal Tennakoon, Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering, former Dean/Engineering UoM

From: "Asoka Karunananda"
Date: Fri, September 5, 2014 9:46 am
Prof Lucas was a Senior Professor with distinct and exceptional features of maturity, and my memory of this great personality goes back to the Senate meetings of the University of Moratuwa during the first decade of this century. Indisputably he can be recognized as the most influential father of By-laws of the University of Moratuwa. Despite the fact that Law does not manifest acceptance of emotions, principles in the life of Prof. Lucas always exemplify an element of emotion, which in turn becomes a value addition to decision making at lengthy deliberations.
In fact, I noticed the power of emotions with Prof. Lucas, before I heard about the role of emotions in energizing intelligence. I was also quite fascinated to notice his sense of responsibility within his words that if something is done consciously, it is acceptable beyond the apparent form of the meaning. This could be arguable, but I share this ethos with him as one cannot continue to do something wrong if he/she is constantly aware or conscious of what is being done. As an academic I admire a person being different than popular with majority votes. Throughout history all great minds thought differently and contributed to the development of mankind. Prof. Lucas too is a man who thinks differently, thus a role model for academics.
Prof. AS Karunananda [UoM Senior Professor, Dean Research Sir John Kothalawala Defence University; Former UoM Dean of Faculty of Information Technology]

From: "P G Mclaren "
Date: Mon, April 29, 2013 11:26 pm
When you first contacted me about a possible visiting position I was still in Cambridge, UK. You were all set up to come to Cambridge when I decided to leave for the University of Manitoba and left you with the decision as to whether you still wanted to spend a year working with me in Manitoba! A very different kettle of fish than Cambridge but as things turned out a real "power house" when it comes to power systems research. It of course lacked the social kudos of an ivy league institution like Cambridge but in terms of professional advancement in the field of power systems it was a much better place to be -despite the weather! I felt very guilty about dragging a Sri Lankan family into a Canadian winter but you seemed to survive OK.
I remember remarking to you early on that we were going to triple your publication list. We got some funds from the Manitoba Hydro research committee to support your work and you turned out some excellent material on CT saturation and MOV simulation which helped RTDS and PSCAD model these non-linear devices - and provided plenty of ammunition for numerous publications. We might not have achieved the tripling while you were in Manitoba but you published several papers later on based on your Manitoba work, and won a prize paper award if I remember correctly.
The other "event" I clearly recall was your Manitoba driving test. You had bought an old north American "boat" that was not the most suitable vehicle in which to pass a driving test. I bravely volunteered to give you some driving lessons in my Buick Century and to lend you my car for the purposes of sitting the test. You passed the test and were let loose in your big old car to threaten the populace of Winnipeg. They all survived and so did the boat?
Your visit opened up a rich vein of talent in the form of great graduate students from Sri Lanka which continues to this day. I have lost my feelings of guilt about the Winnipeg climate since the Sri Lankan "mafia" in Winnipeg is alive and thriving. I see you as the "Godfather" of this group in the nicest possible way! You and they have way more than tripled my publication list and I am extremely glad, for both professional and social reasons, that you decided to come to Winnipeg for that year.
Prof Peter McLaren, [Retired Director of Centre for Advanced Power Systems, The Florida State University, Retired NSERC Chair University of Manitoba, former Reader University of Cambridge, UK]

From: "Ani Gole"
Date: Tue, December 31, 2013 11:55 pm
It was a pleasure meeting you at the University of Moratuwa last week. I was impressed with the high quality of education and research, particularly the development of comprehensive laboratories that you have undertaken in Moratuwa. I have no doubt that even after nominally retiring, you will keep active with research, so I look forward to further collaborations between our two institutions.
I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year.
Prof Aniruddha M. Gole [Distinguished Professor and NSERC Industrial Research Chair, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, CANADA]

From: "David Richardson"
Date: Tue, April 2, 2013 10:52 pm
Congratulations on your 43 years of service to one university! I can - almost - claim parity. My years at Manchester were from 1967 to 2011. I did complete over 44 years on the strength of the University of Manchester (in its successive guises). My last full-time post (from 1994 to 1997) was as Academic Secretary to the (Victoria) University of Manchester, and the last few years were very much on a part-time basis following my formal retirement.
Our paths would have crossed when you were at Manchester. I was a Tutor in Slems back in 1967, and I became a member of the Senior Common Room the following year - and we would have most likely met when I came in for dinner from time to time.
David Richardson, Senior Development Fellow in the division of development and alumni relations, University of Manchester, 1967-2011

From: "Amjadi, Amir"
Date: Tue, March 12, 2013 12:44 am
I am with BC Hydro now. I have been with this company since 1999 when I left Manitoba Hydro. It is hard to believe but it is already twenty odd years since we worked together at the U of Manitoba. It was a time that I was working on my Master's thesis project with little knowledge of programming. I remember how frustrated I was before meeting you. Your many hours of patiently explaining the basics of programming as well as fundamentals of non-linear simulation came to my rescue. I managed to complete my thesis project successfully and for that I remember you and the kindness of your family for as long as I live. That degree secured me a good job with Manitoba Hydro and eventually shaped my professional life.
Update: Sun, January 11, 2015 4:26 pm
"In 1990 Rohan was working on a power system transient simulation project for Manitoba HVDC Research Centre in Winnipeg - Canada. That is when I first met him and his family. Once I received a copy of his autobiography, I fast forwarded it to pages covering 1990 to find out his recollection of his stay in Winnipeg. To my surprise, there was only a brief coverage of the research project and some project related material. In those pages, Dr. Rohan Lucas forgot to mention all the help that he gave to a graduate student of power engineering to complete his research project. He conveniently forgot to mention the weekend sessions at Rohan's apartment where he reviewed that student's Fortran codes, line by line, to understand what he did and to correct his mistakes. Rohan happened to forget to mention the lunches that Ramala cooked for that student so he could benefit from Rohan's free lectures with a full stomach. He also forgot to mention that it was his family time with little Roshanthi that he spent on the graduation project of a stranger. I think Rohan has a weak memory. Or maybe not. Maybe he is too humble to mention what he has done for others. I was the lucky graduate student at the receiving end of Rohan's dedication to science and humanity. I have a feeling that I am not the only one."
Faramarz Amjadi,Engineering Team Leader, BC Hydro, British Columbia, Canada [U of Manitoba Postgrad, 1990]

From: "A J M Vicktoria "
Date: Sat, May 11, 2013 8:58 am
Some Random Thoughts on My Association with Professor Rohan Lucas
It gives me great pleasure to be able to pen a few words on Prof. Lucas.I did not have the opportunity of studying under Prof. Lucas (which I regret very much) since I am of an older vintage.
The opportunity to interact with Prof Lucas was due to the fact that both of us were co-opted to serve on various committees of the Sri Lanka Standards Institution . In particular we were both Members of the National Electrical Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission ( I.E.C).We were also Members of the Working Group appointed by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution to formulate a Sri Lanka Standard on Protection against Lightning.
During the course of the deliberations Prof. Lucas was hawk eyed and would not let any clause to be included in the standard unless he was sure of the validity of the clause and its applicability to local conditions. The working group benefitted immensely from his knowledge and vast experience.
Prof. Lucas was also Chairman of the Sectoral Committee on electrical cables of the Sri Lanka Standard Institution. When the I.E.E decided to change the colour coding of cables viz. the red insulation of the phase wire being replaced with a brown insulation ,and the black insulation of the neutral wire being replaced with a blue insulation , the Standards Institution decided to sponsor a seminar to educate all the stake holders, engineers, contractors and electricians on the changes. Prof. Lucas was the lead speaker at this seminar. The manner in which he put across these changes was appreciated by all the participants.
As a Chartered Electrical Engineer and Authorized Boiler Inspector, I visit various factories for the purpose of carrying out inspection of their steam boilers. During these visits I had the opportunity of meeting several engineers who have all been past students of Prof. Lucas. With one accord they praise Prof. Lucas for his ability to put across clearly the subject matter. They also speak of his concern for the students, especially those who are somewhat weak.
This then is the profile of a man who has rendered yeoman service to his Motherland in the field of Electrical Engineering.
Here is wishing that the All Mighty would grant him long life, good health and strength to continue his services in the field of Electrical Engineering not only tor his past students and others who would benefit from his knowledge and experience, but also for the country at large.
Eng. A J M Vicktoria, Chairman, Sectoral Committee on Electrical Appliances and Accessories, SLSI, Retired Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Chartered Electrical Engineer, Authorized Boiler Inspector

From: "Gamini Kulatunga"
Date: Sat, October 18, 2014 12:28 pm
When Prof. Lucas asked me to write my memories of him I had much trepidation.
I was not his batch mate, nor a student nor an academic colleague. I am not even an electrical engineer. Though my association with him is limited to participation in the Education and Training Committee of the Institution of Engineers, it left remarkable memories of his sharp wit and flexibility that were rare among the other members. Often I felt Prof. Lucas is the only one who seems to understand what I was saying at these meeting on engineering education. Now I know why, after reading the memories of friends and associates in his autobiography.
One thing that struck me about his autobiography is the very last part on his estate management. I too manage a small tea estate and my field of specialization is post-harvest technology, though my basic degree is in mechanical engineering. This conversion was made possible by another Professor of Electrical Engineering, a close friend of Prof. Lucas, namely Prof. Sriyananda.
When I read Prof. Sriyanada's memories, and several other incidents he has mentioned privately to me about Prof. Lucas, I strongly feel these two professors mirror each other. I do not want to dwell on the attributes of Prof. Lucas mentioned by Prof. Sriyananda. But after being closely associated with Prof. Sriyananda, I would say if I were to write my memories of Prof. Sriyananda, it would be very easy as all I have to do is mostly to change the names!
I always felt electrical engineering is the best discipline of the standard three - Civil, Mechanical and Electrical. As electrical engineering deals with more subtle 'matter' unlike 'cement and concrete' of civil engineering, and 'nuts and bolts' of mechanical engineering, an ability to deal in abstract matter, while rooted firmly on the ground, seems to be the forte of the discipline.
This is exemplified by Prof. Lucas' multiple skills including estate management. The two professors have realized the importance of agriculture and plantation, despite their specialization in electrical engineering.
The Department of Agricultural and Plantation Engineering at the Open University was Prof. Sriyananda's brain child. I am happy to see that Prof. Lucas in his retirement has taken up this as his vocation.
Gamini Kulatunga, BSc Eng(Ceylon), PhD(Cranfield), Secretary Bio Energy Association of Sri Lanka

From: "Priyan Dias"
Date: Sat, March 16, 2013 9:44 pm
I am sure you can be justifiably proud of your career. Maybe you can write a longer autobiography that can actually be published - something you can do in retirement. I remember you asking me for ideas about what to do!!:)
Separately, especially because you have been extremely regular at faculty and senate meetings etc, you can volunteer to be the "university historian" - you will undoubtedly be welcomed with open arms. There are unlikely to be other takers for this very vital task and you will be eminently capable of executing this..
All the very best.
Prof. Priyan Dias, Professor in Civil Engineering, [UoM Civil Graduate …..]

From: "Sam Hettiarachchi"
Date:   Sun, April 6, 2014 11:55 pm
Prof JR Lucas - vote of appreciation proposed by Professor S S L Hettiarachchi at the Faculty of Engineering on 3rd April 2014
It is my pleasure and privilege to propose a vote of appreciation in honour of Professor Rohan Lucas who is retiring after 44 years serving the Department of Electrical Engineering, the Faculty, the Senate, the Council and the University. I do so with mixed feelings. On one hand we are wishing good bye to a Senior Professor, teacher, mentor and colleague who has been with us for more than four decades. On the other hand we are happy that after years of hard work he will be able to relax and spend more time with his dear family and to do other things of a lesser voltage for which time was previously not available.
We commenced this tradition of proposing formal appreciations, on my recommendation to the then Dean, Prof Lakshman Ratnayake when Prof P A De Silva retired. Since then we have carried out this noble tradition and on most occasions I have had the privilege of proposing the vote of appreciation. I thank Prof Prinath Dias for inviting me to do so again, a privilege I deeply honour. It is an important and sacred event where we highlight the services of retiring senior staff members, in particular, in the context of the era in which they served.
This university was established by the founding fathers of the caliber of Professor LH Sumanadasa, KKYW Perera, Sam Karunaratne, Chandra Patuwathavithane, Dayantha Wijesekerea and several more whom I describe as the crown jewels of the university and the first generation of academics. They not only laid the foundation for the development of the university but also handpicked the 2nd generation of academics. Today we are wishing goodbye to the most senior member of the second generation of academics, Prof Joseph Rohan Lucas.
The 2nd generation of academics had the herculean task of building the Mortauwa skyscraper on the foundation laid by the previous generation. Need I say that Prof Lucas, over a period of 44 years of unparalleled commitment played this crucial role expected of his generation of academics in the most professional manner. In fact we have only a few academics remaining from this category because a large number of them either joined other universities or left the shores of Sri Lanka permanently due to instability in the country. It is in this context that we all have to appreciate the sheet anchor role played by Prof Lucas, dedicated teacher, researcher and above all a servant of the university, to draw an analogy.
Prof Lucas was born in October 1947 a year ahead of Prince Charles. He had his education at St Joseph College, Colombo and at the University of Peradeniya and landed in Moratuwa in March 1970, just 7 months after man landed on the moon. It would have been a small step for Prof Lucas, but a legendary step for University of Moratuwa, commencing a record contribution of 44 years.
I understand that because of his brilliant performance as a young student, he gained direct admission to the second year of the engineering degree, a remarkable achievement. I am aware of people who had skipped either the lower kindergarten or upper kindergarten at school, but not a whole year in the engineering faculty. He proceeded to UMIST in the UK in 1971 and returned in 1974, after completing both MSc and PhD in Electrical Power Systems all on schedule and record time. Similarly he obtained all his promotions at the university when due, a rare achievement. In other words he was our high voltage bullet train always on time.
It is interesting to note the historical context of 1970, the year Prof JR Lucas joined Moratuwa. Sri Lanka witnessed a major social change with the birth of democratic socialism with a landslide victory to Mrs Bandaranayake, commencing a journey on the socialist mode for the next seven years. Even in this era our Prof JR Lucas moved forward progressively overcoming many hurdles. It was left to another JR to change Sri Lanka’s direction in 1977. On the global scene, in the UK, Mrs Thatcher became a minister in 1970, commencing a 11 year journey to become the Prime Minister. The CONCORD was a year in service. As we reflect today, the iron lady and the iron bird are both no more. Prof Lucas is retiring majestically. What is of greater interest is around the same time Professor Lucas made his entrance at Moratuwa in March 1970 the first PANAM Jumbo jet arrived at Heathrow (to be precise in January 1970). Need I say Prof Lucas has been our Jumbo jet carrying an unimaginable load of work performing elegantly and smoothly upto date and still has many more years of service ahead of him. That I believe is the best comparison.
I first set my eyes on Prof Lucas when I entered Mortauwa as a fresher in 1975, the entire batch just exceeding 100 students of which Civil Engineering students accounted for 50. In that era we were taken around all departments to visit the labs and the star attractions were the Computer Centre and the High Voltage Laboratory. There was no Computer Science Department at that time. Ladies & Gentleman, remember it was 1975. In that era our only audio exposure to the external world was via BBC World Service and the visual exposure was the 10 minutes international news reel shown as trailers when we went to the movies which we did generously at that time, even by supporting half day afternoon strikes at the university, and running to the matinee show. Incidentally these half day strikes at Moratuwa were usually in support of a South American Socialist President who had just being removed from office or in opposition to a right wing military junta. These terms may even sound alien today. We cried for Argentina long before Madonna. The rest of the world was governed by cold war politics.
Back to the walk around the university, first it was the visit to computer lab and in the absences of modern day visual displays it looked more like a piece steel furniture which was devouring punched cards with a vengeance. But that was it, I mean IT of that era. The second was the visit to the high voltage lab, with great expectations. It was to be an extraordinary experience because we were to witness lightning and thunder under the supervision of Prof Lucas in an appropriate setting. For us it was a near scene from a James Bond movie. Need I say our group witnessed one hell of a spark which would have even unsettled James Bond. We were both shaken and stirred and one of my good hearted colleagues from a remote area wanted to know whether Lucas batteries were named after the learned Doctor- to which I do not have the answer even today.
This is not the occasion to describe in detail the academic and research achievements of Prof Lucas due to restricted time, but he has contributed in every field expected of a university academic and researcher. He has served as Head of Department on many occasions, the longest spell being 1998-2004. In that respect he had to wait longer than Mrs Thatcher to lead his party because his previous leader had a long innings. In fact privately we called him the Prince of Wales, waiting patiently to lead the Department. However, he beat the noble Prince Charles who is still waiting to be crowned. He has served on almost all the committees and boards of management. His foot print is present in all crucial debates and regulations enacted. All by laws have been deeply scrutinized by the learned Professor. At meetings, Prof Lucas will certainly make his point very clear and passionately and argue his case very strongly. It is not easy to handle him when he is on the overdrive. You have to wait patiently until the voltage drops. However, what is remarkable is as soon as he is convinced of the opposing view he would accept and support that view without delay, a great quality indeed.
Professor Lucas was an academic and research star throughout his career. Over a period of 44 years Prof Lucas has played many record breaking innings for the university not knowing that records were broken. In cricketing terms he was our own Sachin Tendulkar playing the game so gracefully on his terms and no one dared to disturb him. If Sachin batted until he was 40, Prof Lucas batted for 44 years. His love for teaching, research and university activities are legendary. He went on and on never bored, never distracted to change directions or serve other institutions even for variety. He never deviated into other fields such as management because he had his own style of management and preferred not to go on secondment, after all he always considered himself as the first in the university and perhaps did not believe in secondment.
Although Prof Lucas did not take on administrative responsibility beyond Headship, every administrator from the Vice Chancellor downwards recognized his presence, physical or otherwise and was aware of the arguments which may be presented by him on a given subject. It was natural that the administration sought his advice on many matters. Although he was not the captain of the university he was a third umpire and match referee imparting a major influence on all university matters. It is in this process he has sent benchmarks which will be difficult redefine.
Professor Lucas won almost all the awards and one of the interesting external awards he won was the TOYP award for academic achievements for young persons and that at the age of 40 just before crossing the boundary to middle age. This occasion I believe would have been the only occasion he would have been slightly late and also packaged with other professionals. This is also the only occasion when a leading academic gets the chance, if he wishes, to be photographed standing next to a leading film actress, a customary recipient of such awards and usually the centre of attraction. To the best of my memory Prof Luacs looked pretty smart on that day with his tall lanky film star profile but maintained his distance from the traditional stars.
Ladies and Gentleman we are very happy that his daughter too graduated from this university and we extend our good wishes to both Mrs Lucas and Roshanthi for permitting us to share this great personality for the development of the university. With the retirement of Prof Lucas the Electrical Engineering Department will lose a spark of light that bought fame and power.
Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentleman we take this opportunity to thank Professor Lucas, the devoted teacher, researcher and mentor for his legendary service. Professor Sir, you have done your very best and in conclusion we can all look at Prof Lucas and state without any reservation- here is a man who stood by the university in good and difficult times and was with us until the University of Mortauwa rose from ground zero to the massive educational skyscraper which it is today. You can retire as a very proud man with the deepest affection of all colleagues young and old. May you and your family be blessed with health, wealth and happiness.
Prof. S.S.H. Hettiarachchi, Senior Professor in Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa.

From: "Samitha Manawadu"
Date: Sun, April 7, 2013 2:01 am
I can recollect you from my early days at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Katubedde Campus, University of Sri Lanka, the predecessor of the University of Moratuwa.
I was admitted to the Department of Architecture of the said campus in 1974, as one of the first group of students selected under the newly introduced District Quota Basis for University Admissions. The entire batch was less than 20. Unlike the previous batches of architecture students, mine had a majority representing rural districts of Sri Lanka. Those who were from Colombo District, and had better knowledge of your background and career, brought to our notice that you were the youngest to receive a Doctorate in the field of engineering, and at the age 26 years. Since then, you had been a special person for us, and all admired you. I left the University after graduation in 1977.
Since my joining the academic staff of the University of Moratuwa in 1992, the information I received from my seniors were that you were an expert as well as a strict academic in university by-laws and disciplines etc. I have learnt the truth of it, when I had to work with you in various committees as a member, representing the Faculty of Architecture. Most of the time you were the Chairman, and on one occasion I was the Chairman, where you participated as a Member in Observation. Those involvements enabled me to recognise your potentials, commitments, and, capabilities.
When I was appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers as a Consultant to the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka for their National Iconic Building, Colombo Lotus Tower Project and entrusted to select consultants and experts from various branches of engineering, I had no option other that you, to be invited as the expert design reviewer in the field of Electrical Engineering.
I can recollect on the day of laying the foundation stone for the Colombo Lotus Tower in January 2012, I saw you were among the distinguished invitees, and when I casually invited you to become our electrical engineering consultant, you humbly agreed to cooperate with me, without referring to any TOR or payments etc. However, actual work began much later, may be in October 2012.
I have recognised your commitments in Colombo Lotus Tower Project, and that is why I complemented you by inviting to be a member of the PCU-FOA Design Review Mission to Bejing, China in January 2013. Your presence was really rewarding, and helped us a lot, especially in refining the detail designs for electrical engineering works submitted by the Chinese counterparts.
I very much appreciate your humbleness displayed during our visit to China. Though I am younger to you, you never had any hesitation to consult me to get advice in travelling, purchasing and visiting places of historic importance, having placed confidence on my experience in previous Chinese Travels.
I wish you best of luck in your future endeavours.
Prof. Samitha Manawadu, UoM Senor Professor of Architecture, (UoM Architecture Graduate 1977) Coordinating Consultants for Colombo Lotus Tower Project

From: "Nanda Munasinghe "
Date: Tue, April 30, 2013 7:39 am
A Senior Professor wearing a simple short sleeve shirt with a fully packed shirt pocket with diaries, pens etc. enters the committee room of the Postgraduate Division with a smile in his face punctually to participate in the Higher Degrees Committee meeting. That was the most encouraging sight in my memory during my service at the Postgraduate Division of the Faculty of Engineering. Simply this Professor relieved my burden during critical decision making process and I am very happy to see him and have very carefully observed him how he handled the matters with balanced and optimum way to help the students without breaking the rules but carefully bending them, if found necessary.
As I was with him in the university By-Law committee, I learned a lot from him and observed him as a person who severely committed himself for the responsibilities and authority given to him as the Chairman, and was well prepared to conduct the meetings effectively and efficiently. We together with other members prepared the common By-Law for all faculties of the university for PhD, MPhil and MSc for the first time and those By-Laws are well recognized and respected by the academia not only in this university but also in other universities in the country.
I also experienced very hot and powerful arguments brought by him during the Senate meetings and was wondering how he had gone through the inches thick Senate minutes book and discuss to find most appropriate solutions for all critical issues. I have never experienced such a Professor whose heart was with the university and who was committed to his service. He was a really hardworking person and hasn't had any hidden personal agendas and has served the university as well as the country with his immense knowledge and experience. I wish Professor Lucas would have been the Vice Chancellor of our university who could have certainly brought this university to be the best university in Sri Lanka and in South Asia.
Prof Nanda Munasinghe , Former Head of the Departmentt of Materials Science and Engineering, Former Director/ Postgraduate Division, Faculty of Engineering

From: "Prof. Padma Amarasinghe "
Date: Thu, May 23, 2013 10:46 am
Prof. Rohan Lucas
It was late 1979, the year I entered the University of Moratuwa as a first year student. One day I was standing in front of girls' rest room in the Sumanadasa building ground floor with other batch mates. A gentleman was walking along the corridor of the first floor. He was carrying a simple bag with two handles and there were some files and a flask or a bottle in it. One of our batch mates told us that the gentleman is a lecturer in Electrical Engineering who has done his PhD at very young age. As first year students, just entered the university, our possible dream come true was only to get the Engineering degree. Getting a first class, doing a PhD was beyond our scope. We were staring at the person and everybody thought Wow, very nice etc etc. Even after 34 years, I still can remember that incident very well, however I cannot remember the date I came to know that the name of the person we were admiring at was Prof. Rohan Lucas (then Dr Lucas).
Dr Padma Balasuriya Amarasinghe , Professor, Department of Chemical and Process Engineering [UoM Graduate 1983]

From: "Dharmasiri De Alwis"
Date: Tue, September 3, 2013 3:37 pm
Professor Rohan Lucas
Professor Lucas has been a long standing professional advisor to the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka on setting up policies, standards, best practices and guidelines on telecommunication infrastructure development. Presently, he is engaged in the Colombo Lotus Tower Project as the UOM Consultant on Electrical Engineering Designs.
Sri Lanka today hosts the best and modern telecommunication and multimedia communications services penetrated to every corner of the country and are the leading Nation in South Asian Region. Professor Lucas has been one of major pillars in achieving this status. His contribution in solving and managing field issues especially in the area of lightning protection for telecommunication infrastructure and surrounding community building has been enormous.
Professor Rohan Lucas is a practicing professional, who speaks his expertise and application, with utmost diligence and structure that it always comes out as the most common sensical thought. His calm, composed and collected nature is compelling and commands the higher respect. His views about most things are interesting to listen to and his willingness to listen to others view point is very visible in all interactions and hugely appreciable.
Dharmasiri De Alwis, Project Co-ordinator (Special Projects), Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL)

From: "Nihal Wanigatunga"
Date: Tue, April 2, 2013 7:59 am
I really enjoyed reading your Auto-biography So now you are going to leave UOM after serving for 43 years! It will be a great lost to the Department I know you since I joined UOM in 1987. I think our close relationship started after I came back from Manchester, as I had to handover some documents from Sisira Amarasinghe, your former student. As we got the car permits, both of us were discussing about economical vehicle to buy. I can remember you offered me lift a couple of time. Those days you have ordered a Wardrobe for your daughter, so we went to Moratuwa before going home. I can remember you were always willing to offer a lift to anyone. Once I was waiting in front of Williams Grinding Mills for a bus to pick me up, as we were going on a trip. You passed me, reversed the vehicle and asked me whether I like to join you, as you were on your way to UOM.
We had some disagreements also, especially as I was the Director, ITUM there was an issue re. the practical classes of NDT students. You walked in to my office and we had a long chat regarding this. I had lot of regard for you because for me you were a genuine person. Your academic norms were very high, research and teaching were the priorities. I came for your mother's funeral with my wife, who was at Jayewardenepura Hospital, because she also knows your brother as a pediatrician.
Once I went to obtain a "Passport" ( I think 95 or 96. The officer read that I am from UOM, he asked me whether I know Dr. Lucas. I told yes he is in the electrical Department. He was an old Anandian, and his friends were your students. They have told you are a good teacher but very strict! I think it is fine. You have to be firm.
We both went to Australia on Sabbatical leave in 1999. I consulted you regarding the Ticket etc. Those days Sri Lankan Airlines upgraded our tickets to Business Class! You gave me the tip. Before that we met in a hotel as some people were introducing investment opportunities in Foreign Countries (I think in Hotels) So I think you have helped me many ways!
I strongly believe that you deserve the recognition who was committed and who had many opportunities to earn more money but decided to serve the students. I can remember in 2005 or 2006 you got an opportunity to work in a University (I think Canada), most of the faculty members were under impression that you will never come back. However you came back.
We wish you all the best and enjoy your retired life with your family! May God Bless!
Nihal Wanigatunga, Engineer, Auckland, Former Head, Department of Textile & Clothing Technolgy, UoM

From: "Mrs L P Janaki Premaratne"
Date: Thu, September 11, 2014 8:44 pm
I became a Faculty Board member in August 1988. Back then, as the Head of the Sub-Department of Physics, and later the Physics Unit, I had the opportunity to attend all statutory meetings except the Senate. During some of those meetings Prof. Lucas represented the Department of Electrical Engineering. That is how I got to know him. So, until he became the Head of the Department I saw him as Prince Charles who was patiently waiting for the throne and doing his best for the department in the meantime, without rebelling like most people would have done. I had a pleasant impression of Prof. Lucas who always spoke in the best interest of the students.
In 1999 there was a major curriculum revision, where the old system was replaced by the semester system. As a result Physics was removed from the undergraduate curriculum from the year 2000. When I came back after spending one year of Sabbatical at the Acoustic Division of Lund University, Sweden, I had an uncertain future. At the time, the new Dean Prof. Malik Ranasinghe was so thoughtful to sort it out by talking to Prof. Lucas, then Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering. Prof. Lucas accepted me without any hesitation and offered me the Level 1 Electrical Engineering module that he was currently teaching. He was very supportive when I suggested introducing a new subject on Engineering Acoustics which is very important for noise control.
I am so thankful to him for creating a pleasant working environment for me at the Department of Electrical Engineering during his tenure as Head of the Department. I wish him good health and all the best for the future.
L P Janaki Premaratne [UoM EE Senior Lecturer, Gr 1]

From: "Dr.Satish Namasivayam"
Date: Fri, March 15, 2013 4:40 am
Now I understand the meaning of "the good old days" and "simplicity of life" as finally explained in terms that I understood by a combined version of poet/teacher/Entrepreneur/Planter/sportsman/consultant and simple person.
Dr Satish Namasivayam, Senior Lecturer Gr I [UoM Academi Staff], former Director Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies

From: "Dr. Saranga K. Abeygunawardane"
Date: Tue, September 16, 2014 12:49 pm
Memory of Prof. Lucas
I still remember the day that I met him first. During our undergraduate training period at LTL, we (undergraduates of University of Peradeniya) were asked to do a technical calculation which had not been taught to us by that time. Since our university is quite far from Colombo, it was difficult to go and meet our lecturers, or to find some related books from our library. When we were seeking some assistance, some of our friends (who were also trainees at LTL and undergraduates of the University of Moratuwa) suggested us to meet their Lucas sir. Then, we came to meet Lucas sir and that was my first visit to University of Moratuwa. Although we were students of a different university, he kindly helped us to work out the problem by giving some explanation and recommending some books available in the library of University of Moratuwa. On that day, I got a very good impression of him.
Then, I met him again after joining the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa and I am fortunate to work with him in the same staff. He is a very dedicated teacher, and I think he is a role model for new lecturers. His way of teaching is unique. Especially in problem solving: he never gives the solution straight away, but he divides the big problem into small problems which can be answered easily, and direct students to the solution. His office door is open for all who are seeking advice, opinions or support. During the work, he tries to reduce the gap between him and the junior staff members or the students using his friendly behavior.
I wish him good health and happiness. I hope his guidance and support will always be there for us.
Dr. Saranga K. Abeygunawardane, [UoM EE Senior Lecturer, UoP EE Graduate]

From: "Dr. W.D.G.Lanarolle"
Date: Fri, March 15, 2013 4:21 pm
This describes your unforgettable service to the University and the Electrical Engineering Department. University will definitely feel the vacuum created by your retirement. I am sure University can invite you to work as a consultant for some special work.
We talked to you for some advices, and in such cases you are the genius in the University.
Thank you for all you did for the University.
Dr. W.D.G.Lanarolle, Head Department of Textiles & Clothing Technology 2013

From: "Asoka Chandana "
Date: Fri, May 10, 2013 11:00 am
විරං ජයතු මහ ඇඳුරාණෝ
කාලය ගෙවිඇත. බොහෝ දේ වෙනස්වි ඇත! නමුත් මහාචාර්ය ජේ. ආර්. ලූකස් මහතා එසේම සිටී. මෙයට විසි වසරකට පමණ පෙර මා දුටු ඔහු එසේම සිටී. ජීවිතයෙණ් හැට පස් වසරක් ගෙවාදමා තිබුනද ඔහුතවමත් ජව සම්පත්නය. සිතින් තවමත් තරුණය. ඔහු විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු විෂයෙහි කෙල පැමිණ මහා ප්‍රහාවන්තයෙකුය. දෙස්වි දෙස් පතල නාමයක් ඇත. මිනිසෙකුට ජීවිතයේ ලබාගතහැකි ඉහලම කෘප්තිමත් සැදෑ සමයක් කරා එතුමා ගමන් කරමින් සිටී.
එහෙත් එතුමා එදා මෙන්ම අදද සරළය. වචනයේ පරිසමාර්ථ අර්ථයෙන්ම සරළය. නිහතමානීය අවංක සහ නීති ගරුකය. ඇසුරුකරන සැමට මෙන්ම අවට සිටින සැමටද ඉතා සුහඳ මිතුරෙකි. අවියාජ සිහින් සිනාවකින් නිතර මුවග සරසා සිටින ඔ හු ඉතා කඩිසරය. අන්සැමට ඉතා හොඳින් සවන් දෙන ඉහළ ගුණයක් ඇත. තවමද දැනුමේ පිපාසයෙන් පෙළෙයි. ඉතා සුළු දේ ගැන පවා දක්වන සැලකිල්ල අතිමහත්ය. එය විෂය කරුණු වලදී මෙන්ම පෞද්ගලීක ජිවිතයේද එක සේ ය. නිතරම පරිසරය පිළිබඳව වසං වේදීය. සෑම කටයුත්තකදීම ඉතාහොඳ පෙර සූදානමක් පවතී එ නිසාම අවසන් මොහොතේත් ඇති වන කලබලය හා අත සු වීම වළක්වා ගන්නා අතර නියමිත වෙලාවටම කාරණයට යොමු වෙයි තමන්ගේ කාලය ගැන මෙන්ම අනෙකාගේ කාලය ගැනද සිතයි.
මෙම මහ ඇඳුරැතුමාගේ වැදගත්ම ගුණාංගය වන්නේ සිසු දරුවන්ගේ අඳ්‍යාපනය කෙරෙහි දක්වන ගෞරවනීය දැඩි කැපවීමය. එය කාලෙයේ හැටියට පුදුමම සහගතය. කිසිසම අවස්ථාවකදී දේශනයක් හෝ සමාන අඳ්‍යාපන කටයුත්තක් තම පෞද්ගසුක කරුණක් මත අතප සු නොකරයි දේව කාර්යයක් මෙන් සලකා ඒ සියල්ල සිදු කරන්නේ ඉමහත් තෘප්තියකිනි. මේ කටයුතු තම ජීවිතය කොට සලකන එතුමා සියළු සිසු දරුවනට එක සේ සලකන පියතුමකු බඳුය. සිසුනගේ අඳ්‍යාපන කටයුතු වලට සිදුවන අවහිරතාවයන් නිසාම පරිපාලනමය තනතුරු ලබාගැනීමට පවා පසුබට වෙති කොහොමත්ම තනතුරු පසුපස යාම හෝ ඒවා ලබාගෙන තම බලය පෙන්වීමේ කිසිදු ආශාවක්ද එතුමාට තිබුනේ නැත. විශ්ව විද්යාදලය වෙනුවෙන් කරලද අතිමහත්වූ කැපවීම හා පරිත්‍යාගය වෙනුවෙන් බලාපොරොත්තු වන එකම ප්‍රතිඋපකාරය වන්නේ සිසුන්ගේ ප්‍රසංසාවම පමණ. එයම පමණ.
උදෑසනම පැමිණෙති. සදෑවී ගෙදර යති. සතියේදින පහම එක සේය. තම රාජකාරි ජීවිතය මෙන්ම පුද්ගලීක ජීවිතයද විශ්ව විද්යා‍ලයම බදුය. කණගාටුවෙන්වූද අවසානයකක් කරා අප එළඹ ඇත "පිරුනු කළේ දිය නොසැ ලේ" යන කියමන අපට පසක්කල එතුමා මොරටුව විශ්ව විද්යා‍ලයෙන්දවිදුලි ඉංජිනේරු දෙපාර්තමෙන්තුවෙන්ද සමුගෙන
යාමට සැදී පැහැදි සිටිති. විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු දෙපාර්තමෙන්තු ඉතිහාසයේ යුග පුරුෂයෙකු අපෙන් සමුගෙන යාමට සැරසෙ තිවිශ්ව විද්යා‍ල ප්‍රජාවම දෑස් දල්වා පෙරමග බලා සිටිමු ! සුවඳවත් මෙවැනි කුසුම් වික සිත වේද යලි මේ බිමේ ඔබ තු මාට විරාත් කාලයක් ජීවත්වීමට ප්‍රර්ථනා !!!
අසෝක චන්දන, කාර්මික නිළධාරි විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු අංශය, මොරටුව විශ්ව විද්‍යාලය
Asoka Chandana, Technical Officer, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa

From: "Pasan Wickramatunga "
Date: Thu, May 23, 2013 9:16 am
මා දූටු මහාචාර්ය ජොසප් රෝහාන් ලුකස් මැතිදූන්.....
ඉන්දියන් සාගරයේ මුතු ඇටය ලෙස විරුදාවලිය ලත් ලංකාද්වීපයේ එකළ ලන්දේසි පෘතුගීසි, ඉංග්‍රීසි යන ජාතීන්ට යටත්ව පැවතින. 1948 වර්ෂයේ අධිරාජ්‍යවාදීන්ගෙන් නිදහස ලබා නිදහස්, නිවහල්, ස්වෛරී, දේශයක් උරුම වීමත් සමග, වෛද්‍ය ක්ෂෙත්‍රයේ ඉහළම හිනිපෙත්තේ සිටි ශ්‍රි ලංකිකයින්ගේ ජනාදරයට පත් නිර්වින්දන වෛද්‍ය විශේෂඥ වෛද්‍ය ඇන්තනී ලුකස් මැතිදූන්ට හා එරින් එස්ටෙල් මාජරි ලුකස් (හෙවත් විජෙයරත්න) මැතිනියට දාව සාමාජිකයින් පස් දෙනෙක්ගෙන් යුත් පවුලේ, තුන්වෙනියා ලෙස ඔක්තෝම්බර් 17 දි න අප රටට අතිමහත් වූ සේවයක් ඉටු කළ මෙරටට සම්පතක් වූ අප කවුරුත් හොඳින් හඳුනන කොළඹ දිස්ත්‍රික්කයේ මොරටු විශ්ව විද්‍යාලයේ ඉංජිනේරු අංශයේ ජේශ්ඨ මහචායර්ය ලෙස හදූන්වන, අති ගරු මහාචාර්ය ජෝශප් රොහාන් ලුකස් මැතිදූන් මෙලොව එළිය දූටුවේය.
ශ්‍රි ලංකා ආර්ථිකයේ ප්‍රධාන අපනයන බෝග වන තේ, රබර්, පොල් අතුරින් දෙවන ස්ථානය හිමි රබර් කර්මාන්තයට මෙතුමන් දක්වන්නේ අතිවිශාල දායතක්වයකි. පාරම්පරික උරුමයෙන් හිමි විශාල ප්‍රමාණයේ  රබර් වතු හතරක් මෙතුමන්ට හිමිය. කළුතර දි ස්ත්‍රික්කයේ මතුගම පාලින්ද නුවර පිහිටි පැලෑදේවත්ත, මතුගම වැලිපැන්නේ පිහිටි කැකුනුගොඩ වත්ත, කළු තර හල්කඳවිල පිහිටි ඇලිස්ටන් වත්ත, කළුතර දොඩන්ගොඩ ඇලදූවේ පිහිටි ශාන්ත කැතරින් වත්ත යන ඉඩම් මෙතුමන්ගේ පවුලේ සාමාජිකයන්ට අයත් වන අතර, ඒවායේ පරිපාලනය සිදූ කරන්නේ අප මහාචාර්ය ජේ. ආර්. ලුකස් මැතිදූන් විසිනි
මතුගම පාලින්ද නුවර පිහිටි පැලෑදේ වත්ත රජයට පවරා ගැනීමක් සිදූ වූ අතර, එය සිදූවූයේ මෙතුමාගේ පියා වන විශේෂඥ වෛද්‍ය ඇන්තනී ලුකස් මැතිදූන්ගේ පාලන සමයේදීය. වර්තමානයේ ජාතික විදූලිබල පද්ධතියට විශාල මෙගා වොට් ප්‍රමාණයක් දායාද කරන කුකුලේ ගඟ ජල විදූලි යෝජනා ක්‍රමය ඉදිවූයේ මෙම ඉඩම දායක කර ගනිමින්ය.
මෙම ලිපිය ලියන මා මෙතුමන්ට සම්බන්ධ වූයේ වැවිලි ක්ෂේත්‍රය තුළිනි. මාගේ සීයා වන හේරස් සිංඤෝ අප්පුහාමි 1940 - 1995 එනම් වසර 55 ක් මෙතුමාගේ පියාගේ වතු පාලක වශයෙන් ඉමහත් සේවයක් ඉටු කළ අතර, 1990 සිට 2000 දක්වා එනම් වසර 10 ක් මාගේ පියා වන එම්. ඒ. ඊ. වික්‍රමතුංග මහතා මහාචාර්ය ජෝසප් රොහාන් ලුකස් මහතාගේ වතු පාලක/කළමණාකරු ලෙස සේවය කළ අතර 1996 වර්ෂයේ නාවල ශ්‍රී ලංකා විවෘත විශ්ව විද්‍යාලයේ “ ව්‍යවසායකත්ව හා කළමණාකරන ඩිප්ලෝමා”අවසන් කරන පසන් වික්‍රමතුංග වන මා 1996 අගෝසතු මාසයේ මහාචාර්ය ජෝසප් රොහාන් ලුකස් මැතිදූන්ගේ කැකුනුගොඩ වත්තේ, ඇලිස්ටන් වත්තේ, හා ශාන්ත කැතරින් වත්ත යන ඉහත වතු තුනේ වතු අධිකාරීවරයා වශයෙන් සේවයට එක් වන්නේය. 1996 සිට මේ දක්වා, එනම් වසර 17 ක්, අඛන්ඩව මෙතුමා හා සම්බන්ධව උරෙන් උර ගැටී කටයුතු කළ කාලයේ මා මෙතුමාගේ දූටු විශේෂ ගුණාංග රැසකි.
සේව්‍ය සේවක සබඳතා :-
ඉහත ඉඩම් වල ප්‍රධාන බෝගය රබර් වගාව වූ අතර තේ වගාව, කුරුදූ වගාව හා වී ගොවිතැන් වලටත්, සුවිශේසී ස්ථානයක් හිමි විය. සේවක සේවිකාවන් සංඛ්‍යාවක් මෙතුමා ටතේ වතු වල සේවය කරන අතර, මා සෘජුව සම්බන්ධ ඉහත 17 වසරක කාලය තුළ සේවකයන් මෙතුමාගේ තීරණ, ප්‍රතිපත්ති වලට විරුද්ධව කම්කරු කාර්යාලය/කම්කරු විනිශ්චය සභාව හෝ වෙනත් ඉහළ ආයතනයකට එකදූ පැමිණිල්ලක්වත් ඉදිරිපත් වී නැත. මන්ද යත් ඒ මෙතුමාගේ යහ පාලනය නිසාය. කම්කරුවා සම්බන්ධ වැටුප් වැඩි කරන සෑම අවස්ථාවකදීම වතු හිමියාගේ ලාභයට වඩා සේවකයාගේ වැටුප ඔහුට ජීවත් විය යුතු මට්ටමක පැවතිය යුතු බව මෙතුමා දැරූ ස්ථාවරය විය. රටේ පවතින ආර්ථික අපහසුතා මධ්‍යයේ සේවක වැටුප් වැඩි කළ යුතු යැයි සේවකයින්ගෙන් යෝජනා වීමට පෙර සෑම විටම ඔවුන්ට කීයක් හෝ වැඩි කිරීමට මෙතුමා ගුණ ගරුක විය. සේවක දක්ෂතාවයට අනුව ඔවුන්ට ආකර්ශනීය වැටුප් හදූන්වා ඳීමට දක්ෂ වූ මෙතුමා සේව්‍ය සේවක ගැටුම් ඇති නොකර ගනිමින් වතු පාලනය කළේය. එමෙන්ම සේවක සේවිකාවන්ගේ මංගල, අවමංගල කටයුතු වලදී ඔවුන්ට සහාය විය.
වත්තේ නිල නිවාස වල නතර වී සේවය කරන සේවක සේවිකාවන් වගා කරන එළවළු, පලතුරු හා පොල්, කොස්, දෙල් ආදිය මා විසින් මහාචාර්යතුමාට ගෙන යාමට ගොනු කර තබන සැම විටම තමාට පරිභෝජනයට අවශ්‍යය ප්‍රමාණය පමණක් රැගෙන යන අතර , වැඩිපුර යමක් කිසිම විටෙක රැගෙන නොයෙන ඉතා සරල චාම් දිවි පෙවතක් ගත කරන සුවිශේසී චරිතයකි.
රාජ්‍ය ආයතන හා සම්බන්ධ වීම :-
වැවිලි ක්ෂේත්‍රය හා සෘජුව සම්බන්ධ වන කම්කරු දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව, එහි නිලධාරීන් සමඟ හෝ ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොලීසිය, ප්‍රාදේශීය ලේකම් කාර්යාලය සම්බන්ධ කටයුතු වලදී තම නිලය හෝ  තත්ත්වය ආභරනයක් කර නොගත් මෙතුමා ඒ සෑම අවස්ථාවකම පෙනී සිටියේ රටේ සාමාන්‍ය පුරවැසියෙකු ලෙසය. ශ්‍රී ලංකා පාර්ලිමේනතු සම්මත කරන සෑම අනපනතකින්ම සේවකයින්ට ගෙවීමට ඇති සෑම සතයක්ම ගෙවීමට කටයුතු කළ අතර නීතිය අකුරටම ඉටු කිරීමට නීතිගරුක වූ පුද්ගලයෙකි. අල්ලස් ගැනීම හෝ අල්ලස් ලබා දීම තරයේ පිළිකුල් කළ මෙතුමා තම කටයුතු කර ගැනීමට යන කිසිදූ අවස්ථාවක අනෙක් අයට අල්ලස් ලබා දීමක් නොකළ නීති ගරුක පුරවැසියෙකි. මේ පිළිබඳ සුවිශේසී අවස්ථාවක් මාගේ මතකය අවදි කරයි. ඒ මෙතුමාට අයත් ක ළු තර හල්කඳවිල පිහිට ඇලිස්ටන් නම් අක්කර 42 ක් යුත් රබර් ඉඩම ගම් පු ළු ල් කිරීමේ පදනම මත රජයට පවරා ගැනීමට යෝජනා කර ඇති අවස්ථාවේ ඊට සම්බන්ධ රජයේ නිලධාරීන් එම තත්ත්වය වැලැක්වීමට මුදල් ඉල්ලා සිටි විට ඉඩමේ වටිනාකම ද නොසලකා අල්ලස් දීම තරයේ ප්‍රතික්ෂේප කර ඉතා වටිනා ඉඩම රජයට පවරා දීමට නිහතමානී විය.
අසල්වැසි සබඳතා :-
වෙනත් වතු හිමියන් මෙන් වතුවටා ජීවත් වන අසල්වැසියන් සමඟ කිසි විටෙක ගැටුම් ඇති කර ගැනීමක් නොකළ අතර , ඔවුන්ගේ මාර්ග අව ශ්‍ය යතා වලදි සාධාරණත්වයෙන් ඔබ්බට කටයුතු කරමින් රටේ නෛතික තත්ත්වයන්ට අනුව මාර්ග ලබා දිමට කටයුතු කළඅවස්ථා බොහෝය. ඒ සෑම අවස්ථාවකම තම වාසියට වඩා අසල්වැසියන්ට සාධාරණත්වය ඉෂ්ට කිරීමට නිහතමානී විය.
පාලන හා පරිපාලනමය තීරණ ගැනීම :-
පාලන හා පරිපාලනමය තීරණ ගැනීමේදී මෙතුමන්ගේ සුවිශේසී බුද්ධිය , දැනීම හා අත්දැකීම් අපගේ කටයුතු පහසු කළේය. තීරණ ගැනීමේදී ගැට ළු කෙරෙහි පරතරයට සිතන මෙතුමා එළඹෙන තීරණ ප්‍රතිඵල දායක විය. තීරණයකට එලඹීමට පෙර තම අදහස්, පාලක පක්ෂයේ අදහස්, හා සේවක අදහස් වලට ඉහළ ස්ථානයක් ලබා දෙමින් කටයුතු කරන නිහතමානී පුරවැසියෙකි. ආකර්ෂණීය තීරණ ගැනීමට හා ප්‍රතිඵලදායී තීරණ ගැනීමට සහජ හැකියාවක් ඇති දක්ෂ පාලකයෙකු ලෙස හැඳින්වීම ඉතා නිවැරදි වේ.
මෙවන් සුවිශේසී දක්ෂතාවලින් පිරිපුන් අවංක, එඩිතර, නිහතමානී, ගුණගරුක මහචාර්යවරයෙකු යටතේ 17 වසරක් සේවය කිරීමට ලැබීම මා ලද මහත් භාග්‍යයක් සේ මා සලකන අතර එතුමාගේ උපදෙස්, ඔවදන්, මගපෙන්වීම හා අදහස් මාගේ ජීවිතය සාර්ථක කර ගැනීමට ඉවහල් වූ බව මා ප්‍රකාශ කර සිටින්නේ ඉමහත් බැතියෙනි. වයස අවුරුදූ 65 සම්පූර්ණ කරමින් ඉදිරිදිනයක දි රාජකාරි දිවියට සමුදෙන අතිගරු මහාචාර්ය ජෝසප් රොහාන් ලුකස් මැතිතුමනි ඔබෙන් හිස්වන සරසවියේ හිඩස සහ රටට වන පාඩුව පියවීමට සමත් අයෙකු බිහි නොවනු ඇතයි මා සිතමි. අනාගතයේ සරසවි වරම් ලබන ශිෂ්‍යයෝ ඔබේ දැනුම නොලැබී යෑම ඔවුන් ලබන මහත් අභාග්‍යයක් සේ මම දකිමි.
රාජකාරී සමය අවසන් කරමින් විශ්‍රාම දිවියට පා  තබන ජංගම පරිගණකයක් බදූ, දැනුමින් පිරිපුන්, ගුණයෙන් පිරිපුන්, එඩිතර යුග පුරුෂයාණෙනි ඔබට සුවදායී, සැපවත්, නීරෝගී විශ්‍රාම දිවියක් උදා වේවායි පතන අතර , මෙම රටට හා විදේශ වලට ඔබේ දැනුම ලබා දීමට ඔබට දීර්ඝායුෂ පතමි.
එම්. ඒ. පසන් වික්‍රමතුංග, වතු අධිකාරී කැකුණුගොඩ වත්ත - වැලිපැන්න, ශාන්ත කැතරින් වත්ත - ඇලදූව, ඇලිස්ටන් වත්ත - හල්කඳවිල
Pasan Wickramatunga, Estate Superintendent from 1996.

From: "Suwani Fernando"
Date: Fri, September 26, 2014 12:36 pm
How I feel about you (Sir).....
I just want to express how much I appreciate you as one of my good bosses. You inspired in so many ways. I truly value all the efforts you have done for us. I know that it isn't easy to be a good leader but because of your extraordinary ability to lead us. Sir, you really are a brilliant leader and an inspirational personality. Your greatness is measured by your kindness. You can be creative in anything - in math, science, engineering, philosophy. I remember very well that you have sent me a creative email with a penguin, it wrote my name on snow.

Suwani_Penguin (38K)
Good luck to you as you move onto the next stage in your life & I wish you a good health, wealth & happiness.
You are a God's gift to the Department of Electrical Engineering.
God Bless You Sir!
Suwani Fernando , Assistant to MSc Course Coordinators, Department of Electrical Engineering (from 2011).

From: "Jerome Paiva"
Date: Tue, April 16, 2013 7:38 am
My Room Mate Rohan Lucas
I first met Rohan a couple of months before we entered the Engineering Faculty of the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, in 1966. It was at the Seminar at Aquinas University College organised by the Ceylon Catholic Students Federation for the Catholic students who were entering the University of Ceylon that year. I recall, the late Fr Tissa Balasuriya the Rector of Aquinas University College was conducting the seminar. Father Tissa Balasuriya, had become Rector after the death of Father Peter Pillai, the Cambridge educated mathematician and the founder of Aquinas. Pillai had been a very conservative type of person and a scholar and intellectual, committed to an elitist type of education. Balasuriya was an economist and social scientist, and although a very loyal pupil of Pillai, was the product of a different generation. He was a pathfinder, attempting to gear education to the needs of the country. He was committed to de-root Catholic theology from its traditional Greco-Roman roots and to re-root it in Sri Lankan soil. The seminar gave us the opportunity to meet and discuss with the catholic university entrants, social justice issues of common interest.
Rohan and I were from 'rival' Catholic Schools, I was a Peterite and Rohan a Josephian. The rivalry between the two schools St Peters and St Josephs was demonstrated only during the annual cricket encounter between the two schools, the Josephian-Peterite: "Battle of the Saints", played for the coveted Rev. Fr. Maurice J. Le Goc Memorial Trophy.
We were among the students who were admitted direct to the 2nd year of the BSc (Eng) Course, in 1966. On the very good results we achieved at the 1965 GCE Advanced Level Examination, 22 of us were exempted from the First Examination in Engineering. Twenty one of us, Angelo Arulanandan, G.J. Anton, V. Balendran, Premalal Ferdinando, K. Ganeshan, M. Jananayagam, Rohan Lucas, J.M.A. Manohararajah, Upali Mallawaaratchchi, Justin Mallikaaratchchi, N. Nirmalakandan, Jerry Paiva, Joy Perera, K.V. Ramachandran, V. Ramakrishnan, Rohan Samarasekara, V. Vigneswarakumaran, Vernon Severinus, S. Sridharan, Nissanka Wijeratne and Ananda Wijesinghe were given residential accomodation in Jayathilake Hall in the Peradeniya Campus. The other student S. Mohan opted to reside outside the campus. The decision to admit us direct to the 2nd year was taken rather late by the Education authorities. As a consequence, we missed two weeks of the 2nd year course and this made it that much more difficult to catch up with the rest of the batch who had completed over an year of university. The next couple months were very challenging and stressful, trying to catch up and also settle down in a university environment. The positive side of this was that the 21 of us in Jayathilake Hall became a very closely knit and 'exclusive' group.
I recall the first day at the Peradeniya Campus in Jayatilleke Hall, I met Rohan with his father Dr Anthony Lucas. I was with my dad, mum and uncle, and I remember asking Rohan if he would like to my roommate. I later heard from Rohan that his father was very happy that Rohan had a catholic room mate. We were given room no. 9 on the ground floor at Jayatilleke Hall, and thus began a fruitful and friendly association between us for the next four years as room mates at the Peradeniya Campus, 3 years as students at Jayathilake Hall, followed by an year in Akbar Hall when we worked as Instructors at the Engineering Faculty.
Rohan was a very good student and was very consistent in what he did, be it studies or sport. He was a keen TT player and played at the university gymnasium regularly. He represented the University in Table Tennis. He was also a very keen cricket fan. He was the cricket scorer for the Josephian cricket team. He was deep in his faith and attended mass almost daily. I recall, the next day after we arrived at Jayathilake Hall, I joined Rohan for morning mass at the University Catholic Chapel. I found it difficult to wake up early morning in the cold Peradeniya campus weather and I opted out from joining Rohan for daily mass, although I used to attend daily morning mass during my alter serving days at the Jesuit Chapel, in Bambalapitiya.
It was not very long after we entered Jayathilake Hall, a first year dental student Joseph Savundranayagam was also accommodated in our room. Savundra as he was popularly known was from St Patrick's College, Jaffna a renowned catholic institution. Savundra was a very friendly type of guy and mixed very well with everybody. Savundra and Rohan used to go to church almost daily. Savundra left us at the end of the first year. He is now practicing as a dentist in the US.
Rohan had a deep passion for teaching and assisting students from early days. Rohan was always willing to assist and help out any colleague or junior engineering student in his or her work. This was amply evidenced by many who came to our room to seek his help. The comprehensive notes he prepared so meticulously after attending lectures were very much sought after by his colleagues. Needless to say, Rohan earned the respect of all his colleagues.
We have kept in touch after we left the campus, when I was working in Colombo and later when I was working overseas from 1974 to 1985, and also after I moved to Australia, in 1988. I was happy to hear from Rohan that his daughter Roshanthi graduated with BSc.Eng(Hons) from the University of Moratuwa specializing in Electronics and Telecommunications and later went on to obtain a MBA from the University of Cambridge. Equally, Rohan expressed his delight when he heard that my son Joseph had achieved perfect scores in all subjects at the 1998 state wide university entrance exam, in Australia and when on to graduate with MBBS(Hons) from the University of Melbourne. Last year I was happy to hear from my sister Goretti who was the principal of Tiny Tots, Colombo 4, that Roshanthi had accepted her invitation to be the Chief Guest at their Annual Sports Meet. Roshanthi had been a past pupil of Tiny Tots. Roshanthi is married and is now working at LIRNEasia in Colombo as a Strategic Information Officer. Before joining LIRNEasia, Roshanthi worked at the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in Geneva.
We used to meet whenever I come to Colombo on holiday. The last time we met was when Rohan, Vernon Severinus, Nissanka Wijeratne and I had a mini 'J Hall' re-union on 19th December, 2012 when I was in Colombo, when Rohan told us that he would be retiring in 2013.
I am very thankful to Rohan for being my roommate for four years and wish to extend my deep gratitude to him for the cooperation, understanding and support he gave me during that time. I will always remember and cherish the friendship and association we had a during our years as room mates at the Peradeniya campus.
I wish to congratulate Rohan and his wife Ramala, on his well deserved retirement. May God bless him with Peace and Joy as he discovers the new and wonderful things he has for his life.
Jerry Paiva,Senior Water Resources Engineer, Northern Territory Government of Australia, Roommate, [Batchmate, Civil '69]

From: "Upali Mahaliyana"
Date: Tue, April 16, 2013 4:27 pm
When Lukey's World Overlapped Mine……
The first time I encountered my good friend and batchmate, Rohan Lucas was in 1966, when a troop of 22 previously-unknown, self-conscious youngsters walked into our lecture hall at the Engineering Faculty (E'Fac) of the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, and took the only available empty seats around us. We were then 2 weeks into our 2nd year. During that era, engineering students had to spend their first year in the Science Faculty at the Colombo Campus before coming to Peradeniya for the remainder of the course. Our original batch of 215 had been decimated by a tough first year's exam (GSQ) at the Science Faculty. The devastation was such that even with the 20-odd repeaters who passed with us, we were still short of the 150 needed for the 2nd year at the E'Fac. The university decided to give exemptions from the first year to the top 22 engineering students from the 1966 intake, to make-up the shortfall. Lukey (Rohan to his more recent friends) was in that group.
Luckey wasn't shy by any means but was not very outgoing either. He looked sufficiently nerdy for one of his intelligence. One thing I distinctly remember about Luckey was that he bucked the then-current fashion of wearing long sleeved shirts with folded- up sleeves. He argued that a shirt is either short sleeved or long-sleeved, not both. When he wore a long sleeved shirt, it was with unfolded sleeves. When he needed shorter sleeves he wore a proper short-sleeved one.
We knew that he was from St Joseph's, Maradana, and was a member of the famous Lucas family, known for their exploits in Table Tennis. If my memory serves me correct, his brother Nimal (Dr G N Lucas) was then the Men's National Champion and his sister Srini was on her way to becoming the Women's Champion.
Contact was very little amongst the students at that time. Only those who worked in a group for laboratory practicals or those who sat in close proximity regularly in the lecture hall spoke to each other. All practical exercise groupings at the E'Fac were in accordance with index number and the new guys having acquired the last numbers in the list did not have any mixing with the rest of the batch. Because the new group was housed at Jayatillake Hall, while the original batch was commuting from outside the campus, we had no social contact either. So, I did not have much to do with Luckey at that stage. The group of "excepmtees" were to stay at the same hall for the next 3 years while the rest of the batch lived outside during the 2nd year, Wijewardene Hall during the 3rd year and Akbar-Nell Hall in the Final year. Thus they developed their own culture, separate from the main batch but with very strong bonds to each other.
Luckey's aptitude for work was fairly well known but what made his name was the First Class he obtained at the Final Part 1 examination, two terms into our third year. While the whole batch followed the same curriculum up to the Final Part 1, we were separated out into our chosen disciplines for the Final Part 2. Luckey had the only First Class in the Electrical group and by inference was the brightest in the Electrical group. It was at this stage that I had much closer contact with him. We were then in the same practical group. He performed his experiments assiduously and presented immaculate coursework reports. While he was very forthcoming whenever a fellow student needed help, he drew a line when it came to somebody wanting to copy his reports. My friend Srijith and I had to depend on our other groupmate Lionel Ranawakage's largesse for the latter.
We went our separate ways after the final exams in 1969 and it was nearly 30 years before we were to hear from each other or to meet again. Through some of Rohan's ex-students such as our close friend, Dr Udaya Annakkage, who was lecturing at the time at the University of Auckland, we got news of him. It was then that I knew that Luckey was considered very highly by the student population at the University of Moratuwa. We were thrilled to hear that he was coming to Auckland for a brief stint as a visiting lecturer in 1998. Meeting him after nearly three decades, I couldn't see much change in him except perhaps for a few grey hairs. He still had his child-like manner. In fact he found things more in common with my 14-year old daughter, Thilini, than with us. Thilini, though she went on to follow a career in Medicine later, was fascinated by electronic circuitry and mathematics. I had chosen to forget those subjects by then and was unable to answer many of her questions. In Luckey she found an intent listener and one who actually had answers. When he came for dinner at our house they had an animated technical discussion. They were to continue from where they left off when we ourselves visited Luckey's home in Sri Lanka a few months later. I could well understand why Udaya mentioned that Rohan could always come down to the student's level.
In 1999 our Colombo-based batchmates were planning to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our graduation in Sri Lanka. We were scattered all over the world by then and few were in touch with each other. None were expected to come from overseas. It didn't occur to the organizers to give sufficient notice, just in case some overseas-based batchmates got news of it and decided to come. It so happened that we had already planned a visit to SL and had booked our tickets when the news reached us. Unfortunately, we were booked to come a month too late for the get-together. I then decided to do something about improving communication: to trace the whole batch and get them together, if not physically, at least by letter or email. That was to be my contribution towards the 30th anniversary celebrations. My plan was write to the few people I had contact with, ask them for their own circle of contacts, repeat the process and finally trace them all. My first port of call was Rohan Lucas.
When we were to disperse in all directions, after the final examinations in 1969, Rauf Nisthar, one of our batchmates, had a brilliant idea. He collected home addresses of all 150 of us, made it into a booklet and distributed to us. For the next 5 years or so, it was a very useful tool for sending out wedding invitations. It was quite typical of Luckey that he was the only person to have held onto a copy of "Nisthar's List" up to '99. Although the addresses had mostly changed by then, it had the vitally important information: the list of names. The list Rohan preserved so faithfully was to become the backbone of the batch database.
Being part of the close-knit "J Hall" group, Luckey had contact with many in the group over the years. He had the email addresses of about 10 to 15 of them. Nobody else had more than 2 contacts. Rohan's email list became the nucleus around which the contact information was built. Thanks to the basic information he supplied we now have traced all but 2 of the whole batch. We have now become the most connected batch of all time.
Since then we have had many major get-togethers in Sri Lanka and hundreds of mini-get-togethers in many cities including Colombo, London, Auckland, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Luckey has been an enthusiastic participant in almost every one of these in Sri Lanka. In the very recent event held in Colombo in March 2013, he even changed the time of his church service (he would not miss the church service for anything!) to be with us.
I have had many discussions with Luckey over the years, mostly by email, and a salient feature has been his very keen and subtle sense of humour. Some of his retorts keep me in stitches. He has also not shed his boyish innocence over all those years. He sometimes reminds me of Benjamin Button.
I witnessed firsthand how precious a commodity Luckey has become, when he visited us in Sydney around 2009. He was visiting Australian universities for accreditation purposes and was passing through Sydney. We had the good fortune of having him staying with us for a week-end. When word leaked out that he was staying with us, we received a barrage of telephone calls from his ex-students wanting a part of him. It is apparently the same wherever he travels, be it Auckland, Wollongong or Winnipeg.
I understand Luckey plans to take it easy after nearly 43 years of service in the noble profession of teaching. I am sure he will continue contributing towards the teaching of engineering in many ways, even outside the lecture theatre. When I think of Luckey I keep wondering how such an intellect could be hidden behind such an innocent child-like face.
My very best wishes to my dear friend Rohan Lucas in all his future endeavours!
Upali Mahaliyana,Fellow Student at the Faculty of Engineering, Peradeniya [Batchmate, Electrical '69]

From: "Rohan Wirasinha"
Date: Mon, April 8, 2013 12:49 pm
It is indeed a honour and privilege to be named in your auto-biography - even though as a batchmate.
I count you as one of the most studious and religious persons that I have met on campus during my stay there. The fact that our batch stands out as one that received the worst results ever in the EFAC in the finals (Not a single first class) - was extra-ordinary with some of the most outstanding academically able students I have met in my life. Regrettably there was no recourse for such events in our time - and many in our batch still harbour a residual enmity.
I believe that your meticulousness and care for detail has been a hallmark, and you have maintained this through your life as Professor.
The many accolades you have received from your students show your humaneless and generosity and the ability and care you have in teaching, I do not have to elaborate any further.
The things I remember about you are:
  1. You were an "exemption" student in our batch - (the first 20 odd students with the best results at the A Levels) sent to fill the gap created by the large number of students who "crashed" the First in Engineering in Colombo). The rest of the batch had their 1st year in Colombo - you all came direct to the second year in Peradeniya.
  2. You all were given accomodation at Jayatilleke Hall, because you were originally selected as First Years, and you used to come for lectures by bus. I think the rest of us had to find our accomodation at private houses. I was OK as I am from Kandy and stayed at home.
  3. You were an avid church goer and it was said that you never missed a sunday mass at the RC chapel on the campus.
  4. It was said that your only expenditure while on campus, other than your transport costs to and from your home in Colombo was the weekly Sunday collection and your main vice -- a small bottle of chocolate milk during the morning recess.
  5. We became Instructors together, and the bane of the instructors was marking the weekly Course works. I remember Pali ( Gamini Palipane - later AGM Electrical CECB) would get you to mark his course works for providing you with the chocolate milk as payment.
  6. You had no mean prowess in TT. I think it was a family trait as your sister Srini ( in a batch one year senior in Colombo) also was a champ. I remember visiting your house where you had a full size TT table at home. It was said that one could always judge where you were going to place the ball as your tongue would move in your mouth in that direction!!
  7. You never missed a single lecture or a days work. The only time you took a day off was on the Friday of the Joe - Pete match. You were the "Official" scorer for the Josephians for decades and a place of honour was reserved for you in the score box every year. I wonder whether you still do this service for your College.
  8. We met at an IEE event in the UK around 2006 when we were International Membership Advisers for the Tasmania branch and the Sri Lanka Branch. During the visit, we were entertained to dinner at a mini batch reunion in the evening by Dhanaratne (Dhane) and his wife at Pinner in North London. Those present were, Somasiri (Some') and wife, A.H Wijesekera (Wije, Sudda) and wife and M.B.D. Pieris (MBD). These are some of my reminiscences and I was only an observer from the older batch you joined. I am sure the rest of your exemption group will be able to provide you with much more jovial episodes of your University life.
Rohan Wirasinha,...[Univ of Ceylon, Peradeniya, Batchmate, Electrical '69]

From: "Rubasin Piyasena"
Date: Wed, April 10, 2013 10:35 am
Your autobiography reminds me my own life shared with you in the University Years in the Final Part One course. For me, the university was a meeting place with the children of different cultures and social background. It will be an interesting area to mention the way you tried to understand them and make friendships. When I met you recently, long time after graduation in an Annual Sessions of the Institute of Engineers you behaved like seeing one of your own long lost beloved one. I am sure you have a lot of things to write about this cross culture learning as for preparation for later successful years of your working life. I noticed that you have climbed the Sri Pada several times, one even quite recently, which is not attempted by many of your peers. This reflects the sound health of your body and mind. Using of the word Sri Pada and not Adam's Peak the term commonly used in our childhood shows how you recognise the values of the multi cultural society of Sri Lanka.
You mentioned that many did not attempt to copy your course works. True. I sat next to you in Final Part One lectures. When I could not catch up some difficult points in some lectures, I peeped into you notes with no success. I saw how your mind deeply got involved in lectures not distracted by the people around you. I am not sure whether you were there in the boring metallurgy lectures of Dr Kothari, frequently disturbed by fun loving batch mates, and following them would have been a tough job even for a person like you.
The surveying experience will be interesting area to mention. At the time you had vacation training in the Ceylon Steel Corporation, I was in the other group installing the Berlec Arc Furnace. This period is very important to elaborate, because it was our first exposure to the real world, applying the principles of engineering learnt at the Faculty and solving the real life problems as a team.
I wish you have energy to remember a lot of things of the past and produce an interesting piece of literature good for even the international readership.
Rubasin W.G. Piyasena, ... [Univ of Ceylon, Peradeniya, EE graduate 1969]

From: : "J. Mallikarachchi"
Date: Mon, April 22, 2013 5:50 pm
Rohan Lucas as I remember
Professor J. R. Lucas has expressed his desire to publish an autobiography and requested me to give a write up for his annexure "Some Random Thoughts of Students, Friends and Colleagues". Although I live in the wilderness now due to personal reasons, I am not in a position to decline his request.
I have no words to describe my gratitude towards Luki (we used to call him Luki at the campus although he is known by his first name amongst his friends, probably because there were two others with the same first name in our batch). Suffice it to say that I owe my degree and hence whatever I achieved thereafter to him and several others. His influence on me did not stop at my graduation but continued right up to the end of my active carrier.
If I remember correctly, I met Luki for the first time on the 15th October 1966 on the way back to Jay Hall after registering for our new endeavour at the Faculty of Engineering (E-Fac) of the then University of Ceylon, Peradeniya. It is difficult for me to express the virtue of Luki without explaining my back ground.
Many readers would not know who Justin Mallikarachchi is. In the field I have worked in large industrial projects most of which involved foreign participation. I was involved in IESL activities at times and am the author of its only publication issued under Technical Information Series. I translated it to Sinhala and the IESL published it through a book seller.
Although I and Luki are batch-mates and close friends, most of the time we were at opposite ends. For example he was in the university preaching but I was in the field practising, he belongs to the elite society of Colombo 7 whereas I came from very rural and humble background, he was a devoted Catholic and I was a nominal Buddhist then, devotion to religion of the Catholics' at the Jay Hall (particularly, Luki's) inspired me to engage in Buddhist religious activities at the Campus culminating as the ardent Buddhist today trying to practise Lord Buddha's teaching to the letter.
My main aim is to show, citing us as an example, that people can co-exist without any problem if they respect each other's views irrespective of how different they are and share the same set of values of life.
Luki and I belonged to the unique group of 1966 who got exempted from first year examination, back ground of which has been described in Luki's Autobiography. We were the last of our kind as it was no longer possible to exempt a brilliant candidate from the first examination in Engineering. The batch of 21 consisted of 10 students from the schools in and around Colombo and another 10 from the schools in Jaffna peninsula. All of them had done A.L in English medium. I entered from Welimada Central College, and did my A.L in Sinhalese medium. So I was the odd man out in this exclusive group.
In addition to the difficulties encountered by the group as a whole, I had to cross the language barrier as well. I had lost the opportunity to follow the intensive English course conducted for the first years because I gained entrance to the second year direct. Though I had acquired a fairly good knowledge about the subject listening to some of the lecturers, taking down notes was an impossible task. This is where Luki became my saviour. After coming back to the hall at the days end, I used to borrow his notes and copy them. This I did even in the final year for Electrical Power (by Prof. Paul) and Electronics (by Dr. Gunawaradane). I used to keep the notes for days and Luki may have lost the opportunity to refer to his notes at his will, but he never asked for his notes until I returned them.
Our acquaintance was mainly built due to the daily trek we made together to and from Jay Hall to E Fac. I can remember only one instance where Luki made a sarcastic comment to me. That was when we attended the first lecture conducted by Prof. Paul. Just before he arrived I took out a blank sheet and wrote "Pole" on the top right corner. Luki was sitting next to me and asked "Mey mokakda?" (translated 'What is this?') I sensed sarcasm in his voice, but he immediately told me the correct spelling. Under normal circumstances any student would have ridiculed me in front of others, but I don't think Luki had told anybody about my ignorance. To be fair by others I must state that throughout my stay at Peradeniya, none of the people at the faculty or the residents of Jay Hall has ridiculed me on my ignorance on manners or language, although they came from various backgrounds. This shows that the popular belief of "kulta/ hara" division in the University is false.
Luki provided with me his half completed draft autobiography along with his request for my write up. I also share the memories similar to most of the incidents related to his Campus life but do not wish to repeat them again. However, I couldn't help adding the following paragraph.
One of the great teachers at our time T. Sivaprakasapillai used to say "Slide rule is the mark of an Engineer". The accuracy of the reading is directly dependent on the user's ability. To illustrate this I can relate a joke that was there at our time that one of the batch mates had used the slide rule to find the square-root of 49 and got the answer as 6.99. Luki's accuracy in reading the slide rule was far ahead of us. He always got one decimal place more than us which were found to be correct.
Apart from that one instance that I can remember is that Luki and I were the runners up in the Carom doubles tournament conducted for the going down social while we were in our third year.
When Luki went to Manchester for postgraduate studies, we continued to be pen friends. Since then we have continued our friendship through IESL activities, through emails and get-togethers of our batch-mates either the group as a whole or those who were at Jay Hall. I along with two others of the latter even attended Luki's daughter Roshanthi's wedding.
One of the distinct thing I can remember about Luki is that at a Jay Hall group get together, in a casual statement he stated the requirements for his next promotion. That of a Professor and added, "amathaka vena ekath sudusu kamak lu. Eekath tikak thiyenavaa."
When I was preparing my publications for the IESL on Domestic Wiring and on Lightning Protection (yet to be published), I sent the draft to Luki. He replied within a week pointing out some mistakes and lapses, including spelling, grammar and punctuation.
I will end my memories with something he had written to my son very recently,
"I would like if you can address me as "Dear Rohan Sir", "Dear Lucas Sir" or "Dear Prof Lucas" and so on, rather than "Dear Sir" which sounds as if it is addressed to an unknown person. I know you write it out of respect", and the elaboration he made on 'a friend of my father' as "in fact, you and my father had been very close friends from the time both were exempted from the first year in Engineering in 1966"
I think I do not have to add any thing more to show the regard Luki has towards me or how humble he is even when he approaches one of his students who is younger then his daughter.
Justin Mallikarachchi, Electrical Consultant, [batchmate, Efac '69 EE graduate]

From: "Prema Bluewin"
Date: Wed, April 24, 2013 11:04 am
Being a batch-mate of Lucas I remember him as a special specimen of the guys who entered University in 1966 having being exempted from the first year on the GCE A' Level results. To me he was one of those studious guys who could derive formulas on any technical subject from first principles in his sleep, whereas mediocre chaps like me had to go through long sleepless nights to get at the same results. The thing was that he didn't even seem to spend much time studying for tests and exams but the results were always excellent. Lucas knew how things worked in theory.
A striking characteristic of Lucas that I remember and which actually is true to this day is his unstable voice control system - especially when it comes to even simple discussions. At Jayatilleke Hall where we were quartered, one could hear from the other end of the hall that Lucas was arguing on some technical subject.
I knew Lucas as a theoretical guy and when he started at Katubedda on a teaching career, I thought to myself that it was his calling. Yes, theoretical he was, I could bet at that time that he did not know how a bicycle worked - I used to own a bike at Peradeniya until it was stolen. This is why I was surprised when I got the news that he was getting married. But then with time he seemed to have learnt how things worked practically too and by the results has even given example to some of us. Yes, he is now a practical man - or was he always a practical guy as I gathered later on? He seems to have not exposed his hidden talents to us at Peradeniya.
I left Sri Lanka around 1972 for England after Ivor Perera who was my room-mate during the last year there, gave me the idea to go abroad in search of adventure. He said he is going anyway because the only excitement that he would get working in Sri Lanka would be the ceiling fan falling on his head. So, I am now going down memory lane for Lucas's autobiography from Switzerland where I am now married and have named my first child (who is now 31) Rohan after Rohan Lucas. Actually, since then I started calling Lucas, Rohan in my letters and emails to him.
I generally come to Sri Lanka every two years and make it a point to meet Lucas with Severinus, Mallikarachchi and Nissanka. We used to go for dinner somewhere in Colombo and recollect old times. I still look forward to these meetings and by the way if there was anyone who was too loud in the restaurant, then it was Lucas. Just wait a minute; now I think have also a point to clear up at the next meeting with these old guys. At Peradeniya did I call Lucas Luki, Severinus Severi and Mallikarachchi Mallika? As far as I can recollect I didn't. This is because I am used to calling people by their full name and avoid short forms. I even call my wife Franziska whereas everyone else calls her Franzi.
Lucas / Rohan / Luki is entering the next stage in his life, which is retirement and I am sure he knows how that works practically and has lots of plans to keep himself occupied - being so methodical as he is. I wish him a successful retirement with good health and lots of happiness.
Premalal Ferdinando, SW Development Engineer (retired), Albis Technologies Ltd., Zürich, Switzerland, Batch-mate, EFac'69.

From: "Vernon Severinus(Home)"
Date: Mon, April 22, 2013 2:36 pm
Prof Rohan Lucas as I remember then and now
I first met Luki (we all called him Luki ) in 1966, when I, along with him and several others had the privilege of getting exempted from the first year of GSQ which was compulsory for all those who entered University in science and maths streams, and had to go direct to the 2nd year of the 4 year course in Engineering. Although it was the 2nd year in Engineering, as it was our first year in the University we had the bonus of having the resident hall facilities in Jayathilake hall (Jay Hall), while the other 2nd year students did not have such facility. Jay hall was one of the best halls, with no climbing and with a wash basin inside the room. So during our first year there we had no exams, but had to follow the 2nd year engineering lectures. Several of this exempted group in Jay hall became quite close with me, and of course Luki was among them. Luki became closer to me and my roommate Ferdi, as we were all Catholics.
This reminds me of Luki, being an ardent Christian then, dragging his roommate Paiva (Jerry) early morning and going for daily mass at the catholic chaplaincy. Unlike now, in the 60's the weather in Peradeniya was quite chilly with heavy mist in the early mornings. So Luki, with a sweater on, looking like a European, along with Paiva would brave this unfamiliar weather, to go for mass early morning at the catholic chaplaincy which was at the other end past Sangamitta hall also, get back for breakfast, and then go to the faculty over the mahaweli for lectures starting at 8.00 a.m. Although he invited me to join them, I was reluctant to venture out that early in that weather and was not that ardent to do so. His roommate Paiva also backed out after the first day, but Luki continued to keep to this schedule. Later he used to borrow my push bicycle for this purpose. We began to wonder whether this daily trek to church was due to any damsel (s) that would also be coming there. But we had to give up that idea soon as he never showed any leaning towards such activities, although I along with several others yearned for it, but failing. I wonder whether Luki is so fervent in his religious observances now.
Although Luki was a holy man with simple ways, was not un-sporty, but was present when occasions demanded to be among a merry making crowd. However he, being the thorough gentleman, never contributed to the vulgar jokes or mischievous activities and remained non-committal. Now to think of it I simply can't recall seeing him in a sarong or topless anywhere outside his room, and even whenever we went to his room he was always in a trouser with a shirt. Only his roommate would know what he wore (probably pyjamas) when going to sleep. Somehow this prim and proper but humble boy born in Colombo 7 survived with dignity and took in his stride the inevitable ragging that was prevailing at that time as we entered this hallowed campus. Although Luki was born in Colombo 7, he lived just at the outskirt of Colombo 7, in Park Street which is in Colombo 2, and Luki calling this area as the Island of the Slaves (Slave Island).
Talking about his room and sleep, it reminds me of a story that went round those days regarding Luki. Those days our meals (which were quite good) were provided by the hall, and they had a published menu for the week. However Godamba Rotti was not in the menu. One big made senior - Kalika Jayawardene (son of Mr.M.D.H. Jayawardene a former Minister), apparently a Godamba fan, wanted to send a petition to the Warden requesting it to be included in the menu. He had prepared the petition and was going round the rooms collecting signatures for the petition.
The day he came to Luki's room happened to be a day of fasting for Catholics, (probably Ash Wednesday) and Luki being an ardent catholic, followed these stipulations by renouncing one or two meals on such a day. As Luki was fasting, he had decided to go to sleep early, and when Kalika stormed into Luki's room he was fast asleep. Kalika a forceful man (natural for a minister's son like now) shook Luki asking "Godambarotti kanawada - Godambarotti Kanawada"(do you eat Godambarotti?). Luki woken from his hungry sleep immediately asked "Ko Ko Ko Denda Denda" (where, where, where? - give give).You can imagine the rest.
His academic capabilities became quite evident from the very first days, and it didn't take that long for his close friends to realize this, and to get his assistance in any subject. The good soul he was, willingly and ardently helped whoever asked for his help. It was quite natural that the name "Prof Lucas" was attributed to him even then, which name he quite fitted in, with the black framed glasses he wore, that gave him the professorial look. (How he has given up glasses when he became the predicted professor is a mystery. Contact lenses?)I am so happy and proud that he has turned out to be a Professor in Sri Lanka and helped many students along the way.
Our friendship didn't last only during the campus days, but continued after and remained until now. However our contacts at the beginning of our professional careers were extremely limited, due to limitations in ways of communications, and due to our own involvements. I was mostly travelling outstations in Sri Lankan government service and starting married life quite early. But since recently, thanks to efforts of some of our batch-mates, mostly Upali Mahaliyana, communication was developed among the members, along with several batch get-together occasions. One such occasion was the 40th anniversary held in 2009. As 19 of our batch-mates (exempted group in Jay hall) were throughout in that hall for 3 years, we had a much closer bond with each other. From this group only I, Luki, Mallikarachchi, and Nissanka are in Sri Lanka. So whenever someone from this group comes to SL, we make it a point to meet for a drink and a meal. Luki always joined these pleasant reunions. The very recent such visitor was his roommate Jerry Paiva. At all these encounters while I and some others had a few drinks, Luki who remained a teetotaller to date, patiently waited with us recollecting all the good old days and enjoying every minute of it.
As Luki prepares and enters retired life, he can peacefully do so with the conviction that he had contributed his might to our country, which I am sure all those who know him would concur. His services are surely not going to end with his retirement. Knowing him, he is sure to be in demand and would continue to be fully involved in professional activities, even more than he was when in active university service, while of course being a devoted family man, enjoying the grandchildren.
I wish him long happy life and all the very best with god's choicest blessings.
Vernon (Severinus) Weerasinghe, Independent Consultant (Procurement and Contract Management Specialist) in Foreign Funded projects in Sri Lanka, Batch-mate EFac 69.

From: "Upali Mallawaaratchy"
Date: Thu, April 25, 2013 1:43 pm
E'Fac days
As a batchmate of Rohan at the Engineering Faculty Peradeniya we were at Jayatilaka Hall throughout our student years. Those days E'Fac lecturers started at 8 am and it was a long walk from Jay Hall across the River to E'Fac. Often I used to walk with Rohan. One had to be very 'fit' to keep pace with, and usually was sweating profusely by the time we arrived for Professor Bartho's lecture.
I remember Rohan's 'uniform' - light blue short sleeved shirt and dark grey trousers. Mind you, this was at a time when the popular choices included 'wash and wear' nylon shirts of various colours, 'jungle khaki' trousers, etc.
One thing I am thankful to Rohan is for the way he kept us Catholics at Jay Hall informed of Sunday services and days of obligation. Nowadays it may not sound like a big deal, but during our E'Fac days we followed the Lunar or Poya calendar. Sunday was just another working day and could have been easily overlooked if not for Rohan. He usually reminded us on Saturday evening and even offered to provide 'wake-up service' for those who were in the habit of ignoring the alarm.
Best wishes Rohan. Enjoy your retirement.
Upali Mallawaaratchy, Senior Technical Advisor, NSW Land and Housing Corporation, Australia, Batch-mate, Civil, EFac '69

From: "Lucian Appuhamy"
Date: Sat, April 20, 2013 4:52 pm
Memories of Two Batch Mates of Prof. Rohan Lucas
It is with great pleasure that we write this small contribution.
We were two of his batch mates at the Faculty of Engineering, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka from 1966 to 1969. The term "batch mate" is not familiar to many outside Sri Lanka. It is used to identify graduates from a batch of university students, and is synonymous with close friendships formed among young people studying together for several years and continuing throughout their later life.
Rohan has been a bright student from school days, was admitted straight to the second year of the Faculty and his brilliance continued through our undergraduate days. He was then a keen player of table tennis, a trait of his family, and excelled in that sport. He is from a well-to-do professional family from Colombo 7, the abode of the high and mighty. In spite of all these attributes, he has always been an unassuming, down-to-earth friend in our batch.
Most university students are a bit mischievous at times, particularly those in residential campuses like in Peradeniya. On the contrary, Rohan was always an epitome of studious conduct and we all had to be in our best behaviour in his company. We somehow knew that he was destined to be an academic par-excellence, and we fondly called him "prof", even at that time in the campus, 20 or so years before he actually became a professor.
During the university days, watching him eat his rice and curry meals with his fingers was always hilarious! From our early years, we enjoyed our food at home and elsewhere using our fingers. We were so used to eating with our fingers that it came naturally to us. But, for Rohan it was an awkward task, having used to taking his food with forks, spoons and knives, at his parental dining table.
After leaving the university, we had to go on our separate ways, but the memories of campus time linger in us. We have had occasions to meet Rohan, though briefly, during our working life, several times in Sri Lanka and once in New Zealand, when he visited Auckland. Except for growing wiser, more professorial, and older, he hasn't changed much. He is still the modest and friendly Lucas, our batchmate. We wish him continued happiness and success!
Lucian Appuhamy, Senior Engineer (Retired)/ Department of Transport & Main Roads, Gympie, Queensland, Formerly Provincial Director (NWP / NCP), Road Development Authority, Sri Lanka. Also worked in Nigeria / New Zealand / PNG / Laos / Zanzibar. [Batch Mate EFac '69]
Tilaka Diyagama, Senior Engineer / Partner, Water Engineering Consultants Ltd, Auckland, Formerly Senior Engineer / Director, Engineering Consultants Ltd, Colombo, [Batch Mate EFac '69]

From: "kalinga pelpola"
Date: Mon, September 30, 2013 5:44 am
Engineering Excellence Award and Teaching Excellence Award
Congratulations and my personal best wishes. I have personally heard from some of your students and their parents about your dedication as a teacher and your commitment to the upliftment of the students at the Moratuwa University. To this end, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka's statement recently on your unofficial memoirs,is a great testimonial.
Srijith informed us about the Award for Teaching Excellence announced in the newspapers in September 2013 and we were thrilled about your achievement and planned on organising a felicitation ceremony, during the 4th week of October. You were humble enough, not to even let us know that you were nominated, for the IESL Award for Engineering Excellence.
The co-recipient of the Engineering Excellence Award, Mangala Yapa is a fellow Rotarian from my Rotary Club and both of you are role models for the young upcoming Engineers. During our time we had Dr Kulasinghe, Prof EOE Pereira any many other to emulate. Unfortunately, there are a few now and the values are changing for the worst.
Congratulations and thanks for sharing the photos. We are proud of you and may you have the best of health and strength to contribute further to the engineering education in Sri Lanka.
On a lighter note, I didn't know that you were specialising in High Voltage.'Many moons ago', we were partying late at night, at official CEB quarters of Rajith Fonseka in Nuwara Eliya. We had plenty of Lion Lager from the brewery, to empty.Ranjith was singing and fairly noisy. Suddenly, someone came to see Ranjith and he became sober and stood in attention. After the visitor left, we asked Ranjith who he was and why he was scared of the guy. He is the High Tension Foreman. Then we realised that all EEs are scared of the HT foremen !!! Rohan, by implication you must be superior to the other EEs !! We are looking forward to your felicitation ceremony on 24th October 2013 Go well
Kalinga Pelpola, CEO/Director: PELCO Development Consultants (Pty) Ltd, [Batchmate, Civil '69]

From: "ARUL Angelo M"
Date: Fri, September 27, 2013 12:56 pm
Down Memory Lane
Congratulations from down-under. I also wish you God's Blessings for Health and Happiness and for more successes in the future. You were not only a very bright student but also some one who could go out of the way to help others.
I am certainly very glad to hear that, one of our our batch-mates is receiving two Awards, especially in the same year: "Engineering Excellence Award 2013" from The Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) and the other "Teaching Excellence Award" from the University of Moratuwa, at the University Awards Ceremony 2013. These two Awards are from two different bodies independent of each other. One Award is from the University itself and the other is from the Industry and in this case an Island wide Institution of Engineers. My congratulations one again for such achievements.
The IESL website http://www.lakpuvath.lk/english/business/item/1061-iesl-engineering-excellence-awards-2013 dated Thursday, 26 September 2013) indicates that the annual Engineering Awards scheme was established by the IESL to encourage and celebrate the excellence in the science and the practice of engineering by rewarding the best and the finest of its members, individuals, organizations and enterprises in Sri Lanka for their outstanding accomplishments and achievements related to engineering. You are certainly one of the finest and deserved the best. I am very happy for you.
If not for Srijith and Pelpola, I would not have known anything about these Awards. I also notice from the website that, you were honoured with the "Outstanding Research Excellence Awards" from the University of Moratuwa in 2006 as well. Congratulations, once again. You are very modest.
You may wish to know that, at the University in Peradeniya, I found you as one of the most helpful colleagues, honest and open in all your actions. You were usually one of the first to volunteer to help us, whether it may be something to do with studies or not. I certainly obtained second opinions from you on a number of my doubtful matters connected with studies, as you were a trustworthy colleague. I can recall that, you were very religious and you regularly attended the Holy Mass, almost daily at the University Chapel.
Down Memory Lane:It was just an hour that made the difference. I am sure you will recall the incident. I had already signed up with Nihal de Ginige and KV Ramachandran as my room mates on the first day at the hostel, and an hour later you and Jerome met me in the corridor and suggested to me, to be your room mate, as the third person. It is a pity I had to narrate my decision I had already made, with elegant words, for a gentle dissemination of the facts. You understood the situation immediately and acknowledged my plight, that I had already signed up with others.
Although you did not know me at that time, you made a bold move to make such a trustworthy request to some one like me, with an Italian Mafia name!!!!. We made-up this event, with our daily contacts at the hostel, during meals, the long walks between the lecture hall and back, at informal gatherings with others in the hostel itself and during our Sunday walks to the church and back, with our usual buddies Ferdinando, Upali Mallawaaratchi, Jerome, Mano et al. We also had an enjoyable long drive one weekend, from Peradeniya, to our respective residences in Colombo, with Fr Kuria Kose, our Chaplin of the University Chapel. Along the way, we also enjoyed a hefty lunch at the residence of a relative of Fr Kuria Kose. You kept us entertained with on various updates, both technical and non-technical matters that were new to us. You are a good companion to be with on such long trips.
I made a point to meet you in Sydney when I heard you were coming to Sydney, a few years ago. I then met you in Sydney at Upali Mahaliyana's residence along with both Upalis, Joy et al, over a dinner party. We spent the entire evening and discussed in detail our good old times and the memorable events of the "Gone with the Wind" era.
When you are in Sydney next time, please grace us with your visit to our humble home.
Once again, I wish you, all the best, God's Blessings for Health & Happiness and more successes in the future.
Angelo M. Arulanandan, Sydney Network Performance Manager, Pinch Point Proram, New South Wales, Australia [Batchmate '69]

From: "Jana M jananayakam"
Date: Mon, September 30, 2013 5:26 pm
Prof. J. R. Lucas awarded the IESL Engineering Excellence and the UoM Teaching Excellence Awards,
This news made me happy and my memory went back to the time in Jayatilake Hall, Peradeniya Campus. Jerome Paiva and Rohan Lucas were in room 31 and in room 30 which was the opposite room was Balendran and I. Rohan had excellence in whatever he did as a student and this attitude had continued as a Teacher and as an Engineer, however the world only recognized this now.
Rohan goes to Church regularly and one day I asked him playfully "what do you ask from God?" He very seriously replied," I do not know what is good for me hence; I do not ask anything specific from God." This is one piece of philosophy that I have told many times to many people, when it is appropriate, over the past 45 years. More importantly I remember it for myself.
Rohan, God has given you what you rightly deserve and He will continue to.
I wish you all the best, excellence and success as a Consultant after retirement.
Rohan you are an asset to this country and I am proud to be your colleague.
M. Jananayakam , [Batchmate 69, J Hall mate]

From: "Baghi.Baghirathan"
Date: Thu, September 26, 2013 10:43 pm
That is excellent!
Well done, the IESL Excellence in Engineering Award is a wonderful achievement that you should be immensely proud of.
Let me add to the well deserved accolades and congratulate you on the Outstanding Teaching Excellence Award. This is a truly notable achievement that acknowledges and reflects both the eminent career at the university and the high professional standards you have maintained.
All of us as your batch mates are immensely proud of your achievements and we can all enjoy some of the reflected glory!
With my best wishes to you and the family and for the continuation of your excellent work.
V R Baghirathan, Programme Director, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor, Burderop Park, Swindon, UK [Batchmate, Civil '69]

From: "Justin Rajendram"
Date: Fri, September 27, 2013 5:39 pm
Two back-to-back Excellence Awards
It is really impressive and all of us your batchmates should be very proud of your achievements. We are indeed taking a little bit of credit on your achievements and hope you won't mind.
Dear Batchmates! I think that the next time we have an opportunity to get-together we should call Professor Lucas as our special guest and honour him. Lucas as we know has always been very quiet and unassuming chap and no wonder in his quiet and academic ways he is rising to the top. Let us wish him him all the best.
Justin Rajendram, [Univ of Ceylon, Peradeniya, Batchmate '69]

From: "Lionel.Bopage"
Date: Thu, September 26, 2013 5:29 pm
Our sincere and warmest Congratulations!
We are so pleased to hear that you will be honoured with Outstanding Teaching Excellence award. You have made such a marvelous contribution to inspire the field of electrical engineering in Sri Lanka and with passion trained many capable electrical engineers to be of service not only to Sri Lanka but to the whole world.
This recognition is much deserved and you have made our whole batch proud.
Sun, October 5, 2014 10:19 am - Publication of Autobiography and new Web-site
That is great news and warmest congratulations! This is another proud moment not only for you, your family, friends and colleagues, but also for your batch-mates. You are one of the best academics Peradeniya Engineering Faculty has produced.
Your contribution to your field of engineering has been outstanding and unique. No wonder so many have benefited from the learning, training and expertise you have passed onto your colleagues and students for the betterment of their individual lives, their families and the society in general. I would have loved to attend the celebrations, but impossible due to other issues.
Chitra and I wish you every success in your great endeavour!
Lionel Bopage, [Univ of Ceylon, Peradeniya, Batchmate '69]

From: "Visvanathan Ramakrishnan"
Date: Thu, September 26, 2013 12:41 pm
Professor J. R. Lucas to be honoured with Outstanding Teaching Excellence awards for 2010 and 2011
Heartiest congratulations and best wishes for the well deserved awards you are receiving. Every one in Jayatilaka Hall knew that you will be a dedicated and shining academic with lots of patience required to teach others who are not clever as you are. You have made proud of all your batch mates, hall mates and all who know you with this recognition. I believe you have more to achieve and my best wishes to you on going further.
May God bless you in abundance with a long and healthy life.
V Ramakrishnan, [Univ of Ceylon, Peradeniya, Batchmate '69]

From: "Frank Perera"
Date: Fri, September 27, 2013 9:46 pm
Two back-to-back Excellence Awards
Congratulations Rohan. You have done yeoman's service to engineering education.
M A Frank Perera , [Univ of Ceylon, Peradeniya,Electrical Batchmate '69]

From: "K Ganeshan"
Date: Thu, September 26, 2013 1:42 pm
Professor J. R. Lucas to be honoured with Excellence Awards
Congratulations on being awarded the IESL Engineering Excellence and the UoM Teaching Excellence awards for 2010 and 2011. You deserve these plus many more.
One of your former students is a colleague of mine here in NZ and I have heard of your dedication and passion for teaching.
Hopefully we will meet one day. I was next door to you in Jayatilleke Hall and remember the good old days. If you are planning to be in this part of the world, please keep me informed.
Wishing you and family all the best,
K Ganeshan, [Univ of Ceylon, Peradeniya,Electrical Batchmate '69, New Zealand]

From: "Lionel Ranawakage"
Date: Thu, September 26, 2013 9:18 am
Congratulations!!
Very happy to here that you are awarded with an outstanding award. I remember with gratitude how nicely you helped me when I had to repeat the final exam. And also remember your participation of my wedding in 1983.
I am still employed in Saudi Arabia and will visit you when arrived Srilanka.
Lionel Ranawakage, [Univ of Ceylon, Peradeniya, Batchmate '69, Mobile & Fixed Teletraffic Network Operation, Professional Services. Saudi Arabia]

From: "J K J M Perera"
Date: Wed, September 25, 2013 9:16 am
Engineering Excellence Award Vs Teaching Excellence Award for Rohan Lucas
First let me offer my heartiest congratulations on your being awarded the Engineering Excellence and Engineering Teaching Excellence award. Knowing you, and your work ethic, and passion they are obviously well deserved.
Thanks for sharing your happy and proud moment with us.
Joy Perera, [Univ of Ceylon, Peradeniya, Batchmate '69, Paramatta, NSW, Australia]

From: "S H Liyanage"
Date: Sat, September 21, 2013 5:27 pm
Hello Batch mates
There is a news item in the Daily news today about Moratuwa University Awards Ceremony to be held on the 25 th September.
It says our own batch mate Senior Professor of Electrical Engineering, Professor J.R.Lucas will be honoured with Outstanding research and teaching excellence for 2010 and 2012.
Palley to note that it is for Electrical Engineering and not Civil Engineering.
Congratulations from all of us Lucas and keep up the very good work.
Srijith H Liyanage , [Univ of Ceylon, Peradeniya, Batchmate '69]

From:"Phalla Sambath "
Date: Sat, May 11, 2013 5:13 pm
The following is just the recollection of the sweet memories and how Rohan and I got to know each other.
I got to know Rohan in September 1971 when we came to study for the Master of Science degree in Power Systems at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). I came from Cambodia and Rohan from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
For some reason or the other, there was a chemical bond between us and we became very good friends.
On the first day at the University, one of the Lecturers called up our names. He was a bit surprised when Rohan stood up when his name was called up - an Asian man with a European name, Rohan Lucas. It was very rare at the time.
Rohan stayed at St Anselm Hall of Residence and I stayed in the Moberly Tower Hall of Residence, at the Centre of the University Campus. St Anselm Hall was about a mile away from UMIST and Moberly Tower was mid-way, and sometimes on his way in the morning, Rohan called for me at my Hall and we walked together to Ferranti Building where we studied our MSc course, about half a mile. Every evening after classes, we walked back together.
Rohan was very kind and generous as well as intelligent. I had undertaken all my undergraduate studies in French and had just undergone a short 6 months course in English in the UK, prior to the postgraduate course. I was still struggling with my English, and Rohan was always there to help me.
He was good at Table Tennis and was the captain of his hall of residence. However, he was very lousy and very slow to learn swimming. I tried to help him with all tricks to get him to float but not very successful for about 10 sessions at the swimming pool, and eventually gave up as he had some bad experiences when he was small.
The Staff and Post Graduate students in the Electrical Department of UMIST were very good in socialising. Once a month, the students, the lecturers and their spouses went to the Pub. Each of us put 50p for the night - the cost of a pint of beer was then a mere 25p. I do not recollect that Rohan did take any alcohol drink, but I still remember my first drink, half a pint of lager and lime, I could not even finish it. On one occasion, we did do a pub-crawling from UMIST to the house of Professor Wedepohl, our Head of Department, in Stockport. We were not at all good in drinking alcohol, but very much enjoyed in the participation.
On some Saturday morning, we went to help collecting money in Manchester city for charity. 'Penny for the Blind', the word that we used to shout, is still ringing in my ears.
With a tall and slim body size like Rohan, it was not easy to find readymade clothes at the European shop to fit him. Rohan wanted a suit but could not get it. The chest was fit but the sleeve was too short, and when the sleeve was right, then the chest was too big. It was in a similar way when he tried with the trousers. However, he was eventually lucky to find a very good suit from a high end shop which was having a grand sale.
Rohan was a very calm person. I was learning to drive with my red mini, and Rohan was there to help me to practice the driving. By law, I need someone with a full driving licence to sit next to me. When I took the driving test, Rohan came with me to the Test Centre. I passed it the first time, but I never forget it that it was the very first time that I ever received a card - it was from Rohan, a congratulation card. He came well prepared!
Rohan had typed his own Master's dissertation and had submitted it a couple of months before I finished mine. As he understood what I was doing and he was able to touch-type, he was the ideal person to help me and he offered to type my dissertation as well. I would like to record my sincere thanks and appreciation to Rohan for typing my M.Sc. dissertation.
In both our Halls of Residence, the meal was not provided on Sunday evenings. Thus sometimes Rohan and I did do some cooking together. Although we both ate rice and curry, there was a slight difference between the Cambodian customs and that of the Sri Lankan. During the eating, Rohan did ask me whether I would like to have some more, I said not yet for a few times. When my plate was emptied, I did ask for some more but there was no food left - Rohan did have it all. We then realised that in Sri Lankan custom, the plate is empty only after you finish eating, whereas in Cambodian custom, the plate should be emptied first before you ask for more.
How can I forget Rohan's delicious chicken curry with cow milk (coconut milk was not readily available at that time). However, I do not think that he did do much cooking before he came to the United Kingdom.
After finishing our strenuous Master's degree course of studies, we needed a break. Thus Rohan and I took a coach to the Lake District in the North of England and stayed in the Youth Hostel where we stayed in bunk beds and also assisted in the daily chores, as that was a method used in Youth Hostels to keep down costs.
Rohan never missed going to church on Sundays, and he took me to the Catholic Church in the University on some Sunday morning. Although I was born and brought up as a Buddhist, we were both tolerant of each other's beliefs so that we always got along fine.
On some weekends we used to travel together to London. I still remember the Student Centre of Sri Lanka in Bayswater, London where the accommodation was relatively at low cost. Having stayed there for a few nights and having meals with the very friendly Sri Lankan students there, are one of the memorable items that is still floating in my mind. On one occasion, we took an overnight coach from Manchester to London. It was quite an experience for us.
My wife Mollivuth, came from Cambodia to join me in February 1973, soon after we had got married, a year before her 21st birthday. Soon after her arrival in Manchester, Rohan gave her an electric typewriter as a wedding gift and a teach-yourself typing book. She also still remembers him saying to her that the 21st birthday is an important event and he gave her a card. My wife used that typewriter for typing my PhD Thesis. It was not in the Cambodian custom to celebrate birthdays and/or to give a card, at that time.
Rohan bought a top of the range Sony Music Centre from my friend Ly Ouy before he returned to Sri Lanka. Thirty-five years later, his daughter Roshanthi, told me that the unit is still there and the radio is in good working order. I am not sure whether Rohan is an antique collector or he keeps it for sentimental reasons. However, we must not forget his claim as being a young entrepreneur during his school days.
I last saw Rohan in 2006 when Roshanthi came to do her MBA at the Cambridge University, and Rohan and his wife Ramala came to visit her on the way to Manitoba for his sabbatical. Since Rohan and Ramala were unable to come to Huddersfield, West Yorkshire (North of England), my wife Mollivuth and I drove to Cambridge. When I asked him where to go for a meal, Rohan opted for a Spanish restaurant rather than a Chinese or Indian, without even having the courtesy in asking his wife, Ramala. We only met her for a very short time on that day, but she is as good as gold. It did not take us long to melt together.
In 2007, when she was nearing completion of her MBA, Roshanthi had an interview in Manchester for a job. She came and stayed with us and we took Roshanthi to see the places where her father and I used to live and study in the early 70's. It was quite reminiscence to see those places again.
All in all, how can I ever forget Rohan and his kind help. He had done it without even been asked. We never had crosswords or angry at each other throughout our acquaintance. We cherish our friendship and will treasure it.
I am currently working with Eaton Aerospace Ltd in Titchfield, Fareham, near Portsmouth and Southampton, in the South of England. It is part of the Eaton Corporation Group, a diversified power management Company. Our site in Titchfield manufactures the fuel refuelling system for the aircraft industry.
I became 65 years old in March but still carry on working, until my wife retires - She is 5 years younger than I am. The British Government changed the law last year allowing people to work with no age discrimination. Fortunately, the engineer with electrical machines knowledge is a rare breed in the United Kingdom, at the moment, which makes it easy for me as I specialised in that area.
We are planning to come and see him, his family and the beautiful Sri Lanka, next year 2014. We look forward to seeing you then.
Dr Heng Phalla Sambath, Eaton Aerospace Ltd, UK [postgraduate UMIST 1971-1975]

From: "Kitpo Wong"
Date: Mon, March 25, 2013 7:47 am
Great to hear from you! It is a delight to read your autobiography.
I remember we had a photo together at Moberly Tower. I hope I can find it. If so I shall scan and send it to you.
Life is still quite busy for me. I finished with Hong Kong and return to Perth in October 2011. But my old university asked me to go back to them. I rejoin them at the beginning of 2012.
Prof. Kit Po Wong, Winthrop Professor, University of Western Australia, Crawley [UMIST Postgrad 1971-74]

From: "Dr Pek Bunthath"
Date: Fri, September 19, 2014 7:50 am
I was surprised to get an e-mail from Rohan a few days ago, asking for my memories in Manchester, but learnt that he had recently got my email from our mutual PhD supervisor, Keith Cornick who is celebrating his 80th birthday this October.
Soon after I started my postgraduate studies at UMIST, I got to know Rohan through my compatriot Sambath who was his batchmate in the MSc Course. Rohan was very willing to help with my studies since I was not fluent in English, as our second language back in Cambodia at that time was French. We met regularly and have also been visiting places together. I managed to find some pictures, one of them when we visited York and the other from our trip to France where we had a picnic with my other friends studying in France.
WithBunthathYork (18K)FrancePicnic (25K)
I learned to cook curry dishes from Rohan, which I use to make curry for my family. We are all well. Our son and daughter are currently attending college.
Hope you and your family are well and your daughter is successful in her career.
I would like to wish you well in retirement.
Dr Pek Bunthath, [postgraduate UMIST ~1974]

From: "Jane and Kevin Cogan"
Date: Mon, September 27, 2010 5:23 pm
What great news! We are very happy to know that Roshanthi is getting married soon. You will probably not be too surprised to hear that we regret we shall be unable to join you for the great occasion. But please would you give Roshanthi and Lakshitha our congratulations and very best wishes for the future.
It's amazing to realise that it is almost 39 years since you and I first met, Rohan. It makes me feel old!....but so grateful for your friendship over all those years, despite our being thousands of miles apart. What a privilege, that you should think of including us in your celebrations. Thank you so much.
With our love and best wishes - Kevin, Jane, Ruth and Tim
Kevin Cogan, University of Manchester Graduate, St Anselm Hall mate 1971-74.,

1971
From: ""Jayasiri Karunanayakkara" "
Date: Sat, April 27, 2013 11:27 am
Prof Rohan Lucas - reminiscences from A Level days
I sat for my GCE (AL) from Nalanda Vidyalaya, Colombo and my results were not good enough to gain admission to the Faculty of Engineering, Peradeniya. We had the option of following a Physical Science Degree at the Colombo or Peradeniya Universities. True, my results were very ordinary, yet there were very few students who excelled in the ALs and were granted an exemption from the first year to follow the engineering degree at Peradeniya. We considered them as super humans and got to know that a Josephian was among them by the name of Lucas, a name we would not forget in a jiffy, as that was a household name famous for car batteries. One of my colleagues nick named him the "battery man" and we had a hearty laugh over it.
With Peradeniya limiting the intake to 150 students, the Government announced that a new institution by the name of Ceylon College of Technology would be established at the premises of Institute of Practical Technology Katubedda, with the objective of conducting a five year course in engineering and three year course for Technicians. It was also announced that selection to the engineering course will be strictly on merit at AL. For us it was a very difficult and a tricky decision to join an institution just established, but almost all 70 who were within the first 220 of the AL qualifiers including myself joined the Institution.
In our fourth year Prof Sam Karunaratne and Prof KKYW Perera joined our institution as Professors of Electrical Engineering and Electronics Engineering respectively. They occupied one small room and the interior part of it was shared by Prof Sam Karunaratne and Mr Jayakody, whereas Prof Perera occupied the frontal part. Around this time we noticed a tall guy in specs frequenting the rooms of the two professors. Our first guess was that he should be an office assistant and we tried to share a smile with him as that was a way of getting some access to Prof Karunaratne, whom we all considered to be a terror. In a few days time we saw our young man cutting stencils using an old type writer. There were other young instructors/lecturers, but this man looked different. Everybody thought that he may be a new secretary as he was doing only typing focusing his attention entirely on the job, without even raising his head for hours.
A new semester in the academic year 1971 started and the first lecture was High Voltage Engineering. To our utter surprise, Prof Karunaratne walked into our lecture room accompanied by the "Office Assistant" with a bundle of cyclostyled notes. Prof introduced the young man as Rohan Lucas, a rare bright spark from the University of Peradeniya. Obtaining a Class in electrical engineering was a rare occurrence those days, but we were amazed to hear that he has completed the degree with a Class in three years.
Suddenly, a little bell started ringing in my head and I immediately realized that this was the "battery man" who sat for AL s with us. He was very meticulous in his teaching and the cyclostyled notes were worth its weight in gold to us. We had no seniors to get any assistance and the library hardly had any books on these subjects, but youthful Rohan Lucas attended to all our needs. After completing each section, a tutorial was given and he had time to go through each and every line of our answer scripts and return the same within a week. Even after lectures he had ample time to spend with us to discuss the answers, and one of my batch mates, late Lokuketagoda, commented that our new lecturer never makes mistakes when solving numerical problems, though it was the slide rule and mental arithmetic era. Needless to say, his ability to inspire the students and his qualities such as humbleness, punctuality, knowledge, application, dedication and methodical approach easily made him our role model.
Now, knowing him for over 40 years, I simply cannot think of any bad habits or bad deeds he had, but his housekeeping is unique. His room, table, the racks, stools and almost every item in his room at the University all looked as if they have been just hit by a tornado, cyclone or an earth quake. It was amusing to watch him taking few minutes to unearth the laptop. However, in his young days he was not so, possibly due to the fact that there was hardly any space available on the table or else he would have been scared that Prof Karunaratne, who treated him as his own son, would give him a few smacks to the young man's backside to put him on the right track.
After graduation we started leaving the University one by one and my association with him also came to a temporary halt during the period of 1972 to 1981, as I accepted employment in the CEB. However with Abhaya (Induruwa) inviting me to work as a Visiting Lecturer on Power System Protection, I was fortunate to be in constant touch with the great man again. I still remember one advice he gave me on setting questions and paper correction. He said the lecturer must never try to match his knowledge when setting the paper or correcting it, as the student has many more subjects/sections to study.
I went overseas in 1982 and came back in 1988 to join LECO and within few weeks, I had a special visitor in my office to meet me and that was Prof Lucas. After exchanging pleasantries, he asked me whether I am prepared to do the protection lectures again. I was deeply moved that he made a visit all the way from Katubedde whereas he could have easily given me a telephone call. I readily agreed to oblige. I was really taken up by his humbleness, simplicity and the genuine interest in the development of the University.
My association with Prof Lucas grew even closer when I joined the UOM academic staff. I was having a dream project in mind for undergraduates to design and build a Real Life Power System Model, where all conditions of a power system could be simulated and studied. Prof Lucas gave the leadership to the project team and we have been able to get the CEB/LECO/ power equipment companies to donate various items. Where, such items are not available, for example, Transmission Lines, he guided the students to design and build the same. After I left UOM Prof Lucas has almost single handedly been supervising the project with great success. All items to be used in this project are expensive and the protection relays appear to be the costliest. As a solution to this we launched a project with undergraduates to design and build a numeric feeder differential relay. This became a big success mainly due to the outstanding contributions of Narendra and Asanka and now the UOM has the capability and technology to build any numerical protection relay.
I also had the fortune of working with him in various technical committees. Contributions made by him in such instances were enormous. However, my genuine feeling is that his full potential is yet to be tapped by Sri Lanka's electricity industry.
Prof Lucas is due to retire soon, but my fervent wish is that his retirement shall not be a goodbye and shall not pave way to earth his electrical engineering. He shall open a new chapter in life to share the knowledge accumulated and experience gathered over almost half a century with the younger generations.
Sir, finally let me make one last plea at this eleventh hour before your retirement. I am fully aware that you love to mingle with the students and participate in all get-togethers with the objective of getting a feel of their pulse. These are very important and should be a part and parcel of University life. However, an urgent need of the hour is to find sufficient funds for the Undergraduate projects. If we can divert around 25-30% of sponsorship money collected for EESoC tamasha for this purpose, then we will be hitting the nail on the head. Let us call it Prof Rohan Lucas Fund forUndergraduate Projects.
Jayasiri Karunanayake, Electrical Engineering Consultant, [UoM, EE graduate 71]

From: ""Botale Guneratne" "
Date: Wed, May 1, 2013 1:51 pm
I came to know Prof. Lucas while I was a final year engineering student in 1970. He was a young graduate from Peradeniya. Having graduated with honours degree in Electrical Engineering, he chose to be a lecturer at the CCT the mother of University of Moratuwa.
He was, as is now, a calm and humble personality. As we belong to the same age group, in fact Thiru and MS batch mates of mine were his class mates at St. Josephs, it was very easy for us to talk on the current subjects of interest, however I cannot remember talking about girls with him. I remember the day he was introduced to us during a lecture in High Voltage Engineering by Prof Samarajeeva Karunaratne, how he walked following the professor. My first sighting of him was when I went to borrow a book from TRIPLE E library which was formed and managed by Prof Karunaratne in his office room. His lectures were too good for a novice in teaching; lectures were full of information and backed by roneoed notes. I am sure he spent a lot of time in preparing the lecture notes meticulously. Our student, lecturer association ended with our graduation as the first batch of engineers from then CCT but continued thereafter as instructor, lecturer until I left Katubedda in 1972. Subsequently we have been seen each other at functions and convocation ceremonies whenever I went to see our friends' children receiving their degrees.
During our student days there was one question worrying all engineering students, numbering nearly 280, about our status with respect to graduates from Peradeniya. We formed ESSCO, I remember late Rama proposing the name ESSCO at the inaugural meeting.
We decided to fight to gain due recognition for the Institution thereby to guarantee and safeguard the future of the 280 students already there by 1971 and also those who would enter it in the future. Our strategy was to launch a three pronged program. On the one front to convince the responsible government ministers of the need to convert CCT into a University following the footsteps of other developed countries. Secondly, our students to sit for examinations conducted by premiere engineering institutions such as IEE, IMechE and ICE. In fact all who sat for these examinations got through with flying colours. By the time we graduated, IEE exempted us from all three parts of the IEE examinations. Thirdly to make all engineering firms of the country aware of the setting up and existence of the CCT and the education it provided to the students.
I was the Secretary of the ESSCO in the Final year (1971). We and all our Committee had to devote lot of time, cutting lectures, not doing tutorials/coursework, delaying the routine studies etc. to ensure that our program for recognition is a success. It certainly bore fruit and the present status of the Intuition is the best testimony. If not for our efforts, CCT would have remained as CCT and in 1972 there wouldn't have been a University in Moratuwa.
During this period, my sole saviour was Mr Lucas. I went to him for help, whether the subject was high voltage engineering or power systems and he obliged without a murmur. He was more than a friend or a brother to us and had no limitation on time. At times he more or less repeated the lectures all over again. This was in addition to the extra lectures he conducted to cover up the lost time due to 1971 JVP insurrection.
I can for sure state that if not for Prof Lucas's help my future would have been different as I would never have been able to get through the Finals, even though I have been a consistent performer right through.
Prof Lucas is just 65 years young and most of his students in our batch would have been older to him. Hence he should not think of retirement right now and use his knowledge and experience for the betterment of the electricity sector.
B. A. Guneratne, Eletrical Engineer, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Australia, [UoM EE Graduate 1971]

1972
From: "lilani de Silva"
Date: Sat, April 13, 2013 11:07 am
I am frankly at a loss on what to write as I cannot recall too much details of our association when you were at Peradeniya. My recollection of you as one of my seniors in the Engineering Faculty is quite nondescript!! I used to see you at Sunday mass and had heard you were brilliant. I had never seen you smile, perhaps because you did not know me then, and the expression on your face was typically one of deep thought and aloneness. There was an aura of decency about you at all times.
I next met you when I joined as a junior academic staff at the University of Moratuwa. I was pleasantly surprised that you could talk and smile and was quite a nice guy! I was very happy to meet your wife Ramala, my schoolmate at HFC and the sister of my classmate Nirmala - both cheery young women, always well groomed and extremely tidy.
I met you again after I returned from my long spell overseas. The metamorphosis from student to lecturer seemed to have continued over the years and I found you to be talkative!!
I am very impressed by your dedicated service at Moratuwa University and your contribution to IET. 43 years of service - do you know how many student-years that could be? (!!) You are too young to 'retire' and I am sure it will be just a change of occupation better suited to your own needs, those of your family and of the community at large.
I look forward to the little chit-chats at IET meetings! Good luck and God bless!
Lilani de Silva, Technology Advisory Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers Sri Lanka (2006 to 2010); Regional Project Manager. ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pvt Ltd Singapore (1995 - 2003), [UoP EE Graduate …]

1973
From: "Eng D Ranjith Pullaperuma"
Date: Mon, September 22, 2014 3:55 pm
My memories of Professor Rohan Lucas
I did not have the privilege of being a student under him at the Katubedda campus, possibly due to the fact that I was specializing in Electronics and Telecommunications. However, I can faintly remember him being with other stalwarts at the time Prof Sam Karunarathna, Dr Sriyananda, Prof Kulshrestra and the like. Later on, I remember others commending on Rohan's dedication to teaching at the time.
My association with Prof Lucas has been mainly at IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) events, as we two had been in the IET and the former IEE (Institution of Electrical Engineers) committee holding various capacities. In fact I was fortunate to follow him to become Chairman IET Sri Lanka Centre after his tenure of two years as Chairman. Similarly I followed him to become the IET IPRA (International Professional Registration Advisor) Sri Lanka again after his tenure of three years.
I can remember his commitment to bring the standard of the IET and IEE Annual conference to what it is today being in the roles of refereeing technical papers to that of the coordinator and now in most recent conferences as the Session Chairman.
He has also been a key resource person to the IEE Wiring Regulation practical course initiated by IEE at the time, jointly with the IESL and for it to be elevated to be one of the most prestigious short courses for the practicing engineers. In fact the course is presently being conducted by IESL twice a year.
I remember him giving his expertise to another short course on Lightning, a common hazard often faced by the public, organized by the IEE.
I wish him good health and happiness in his newly retired life. I hope his guidance and support will always be there for IET and thereby to the practicing engineer and to the public at large.
Eng D.R.Pullaperuma., Former General Manager Ceylon Electricity Board and Former Chairman and IPRA, IET Sri Lanka and Former Chairman NERD Centre [UoM ENTC Graduate 1973]

1974
From: "Induruwa, Abhaya"
Date: Tue, March 12, 2013 3:00 pm
Your email made me to stop for a moment and ponder. Although I was not one of your very first students when you joined Katubedda in 1970 (or was I ??) I knew you first as a teacher, then as a colleague and always as a dear friend throughout your 43 years of meritorious service to the Department of Electrical Engineering.
As a teacher you have inspired many thousands of your students just the same way you have given me inspiration. I remember the devotion and passion you had for teaching.
All EE students in the 70s era at Katubedda will remember the carefully type-written and cyclostyled High Voltage Engineering lecture notes that you lovingly prepared for us. I know that they were treasured not only at Katubedda, but also at a another faculty a hundred kilometres away :)
Sir, I am proud of your glorious academic career and your achievements.
Prof. Abhaya Induruwa, V K Samaranayake Endowed Professor, UCSC, Sri Lanka and Programme Director, Canterbury University, UK [UoM EE graduate 1974]

From: "Professor Niranjanie Ratnayake"
Date: Fri, March 15, 2013 2:49 pm
I am perhaps one of the few at Moratuwa who knew you before you came to Moratuwa. You were one of our instructors in our first and second years, and I remember you very well from those days - We had to seek th help of instructors when things were going over our heads - specially Dr. Gunawardena's Electronics and Prof. Jayasekera's electrical engineering.
Thankfully there was a whole bunch of bright instructors those days at Peradeniya :-)
I am in the middle of something right now. Will read the article leisurely and reply with my comments. I am sure there must be things of common interest, as we are of the same vintage! I have calculated that I'll also have 43 years plus service at Moratuwa if I live long enough!
Best Wishes and Thank You for being a friend to both of us.
Prof. Niranjanie Ratnayake, Professor in Civil Engineering, UoM [UoP Graduate 1974]

From: "Mahendra Prinath Dias "
Date: Tue, May 14, 2013 6:32 am
I first met Rohan when I entered the Engineering Faculty of University of Peradeniyain 1969. He was an Instructor during my first year. For us the freshers, as the seniors used to call us, he was not Rohan Lucas but "Field Plotting" which was the title of the practical exercise he supervised. We also had instructors whom we called "Lamp Testing", "Wiring Systems" and so on, since it took us a while to get to know their names.
There are two distinct things I remember about Rohan from this period. The first year and final year students and the Instructors were staying at Akbar-Nell Hall. As first year students we were generally ignored by our seniors and Instructors. But Rohanalways used to join us in the games of carom we played in the common room of Akbar-Nell. An Instructor associating with first year students was almost unimaginable according the culture that existed. He still has this great quality of treating everybody equally irrespective of their social status. In addition to being an instructor for our practical classes he was also a tutor. I was quite surprised when Rohan asked me once whether I had the habit of working the problems on a rough paper and then copying them. Apparently, I have been making mistakes and omitting steps while copying. For him to notice this while grading the tutorials of a class of about 150 was remarkable. He did not just grade the tutorials, but sometimes wrote the complete solution to the problems on the submitted tutorials to help the students. I can remember some of my batch-mates telling me that he often wrote more than what was written by them. He still has this diligence and commitment to his work. Like other Instructors who left when they found permanent employment Rohan suddenly vanished from the University and I had no idea where he had gone.
I graduated in 1974 and joined the Electrical Engineering Department of University of Moratuwa, which was then the Katubedda Campus of University of Sri Lanka, to find out that Rohan was a staff member of the Department. It was a very pleasant surprise. He returned from his post-graduate studies in Manchester a few months after I joined and we have been close friends since then, a friendship spanning a period of almost 40 years. I cannot remember of any occasion of even the slightest amount of friction between us. After I returned from my post-graduate studies in 1982, our family members also got to know each other. We have children of the same age group and theyused attend each other's birthday parties, when they were young. Even though our children are now grown-up and are at various places, our wives still are in contact.
Rohan, Ramala and Roshanthi visited us in Vienna in 2009 while I was working at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and stayed with us for a few days and did a little sightseeing with us.
From the time I was an Assistant Lecturer to now I could always depend on Rohan for guidance and support. I can just walk into this room with a problem or an issue and come out with a solution or advice. He was one of the main reasons for my continued stay in the Department and for re-joining the Department after my seven and a half stint at the IAEA.
There are many things I can say about Rohan, butI will try not to repeat what had been already said by many others. He is a devout Catholic. Even though does not wear his religion on his sleeve his conduct and character amply demonstrates Christian values. His honesty and integrity are exemplary. He truly follows Christ's advice to "love thy neighbor". Nobody who came to him for help or for a solution to a problem went empty handed. He is selfless when it comes to helping others and that help is independent of the status of the person seeking assistance. He is quick to apologize when he realizes that he had made a mistake and is quick to forgive others for their mistakes.
Rohan is the first person to arrive in the morning and very often the last to leave. He has the most number of hours of lectures and serves in the most number of committees. He was rather upset recently when he found that he had not been appointed as a mentor for the first year students. He does all this not because he has to, but because he wants to; not because of personal gain, but because of his dedication to service to his students and to his University. This is rare nowadays when most think of what is in it for them before undertaking something. He is an excellent example for our junior staff to emulate. One of the comments made by a team that recently reviewed a development proposal submitted by our Department was about the unity and team spirit that exists in the Department. This is mainly due to the way Rohan molded and guided the younger staff members and the way he leads by example. The character he gave the Department during his long tenure as the Head of the Department continues to this day.
Rohan is a person of many talents. The poem he composed to thank Dr. BuddhikaJayasekara for the excellent job he did in coordinating the preparation of a development proposal was a masterpiece. This is another uncommon characteristic I find in Rohan. Most people are quick to criticize but seldom express their appreciation, but Rohannever forgets to express his appreciation when he sees good work.
His colleagues and students will greatly miss him when he retires from the University later this year. He will leave a vacuum that can never be filled. But we hope he will continue to contribute to the Department by other means. As for me, he will be my friend until we depart this world.
May God Bless him and his family.
Dr Prinath Dias, Head, Department of Electrical Engineering, Former Associate Professor, University of Moratuwa, Former Visiting Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara, Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Authority of Sri Lanka, Former Senior Programme Management Officer, International Atomic Energy Agency, UoP EE graduate 1974]

From: "Sarath Perera"
Date: Tue, June 18, 2013 7:03 am
Professor Rohan Lucas - Reflections from a professional and personal association over a period close to 40 years
When I heard the news that Professor Rohan Lucas is retiring at the end of 2013 from his long standing brilliant academic career I developed numb feelings. Well, the inevitable date has finally arrived and I had to accept the fact that such a date comes to all of us.
Rohan's dedication to teaching is immensely unbelievable. The carefully crafted lecture notes and the schematics all done using old technology (cyclostyled) compared to modern tools was really amazing. I remember well that Rohan had a type writer which he brought from the UK upon return from his postgraduate studies. I am sure it got the workout more than it deserved using Rohan's fingers (in fact my own final year group project report of 1974 was typed on the same type writer).
Rohan has a vibrant and brilliant personality which attracted students and his colleagues to develop a close association with him. When I am thinking of a role model of a true University academic, I cannot go past Rohan. He has been an inspiration to me in my own academic life. He was meticulous on almost everything he did. He was always craving to give the knowledge back to the students and was there to help. It is not only teaching that comes to my mind when I think of Rohan but also his research abilities which are truly world class.
The electrical engineering program at the University of Moratuwa will be missing a brilliant contributor. A great number of students he has meticulously trained, graduated and recommended to go overseas to get further qualifications will no doubt admire Rohan and miss him at the University.
Rohan, his wife Ramala and their daughter Roshanthi have been close to me and my family (still they are) over a significant period of time. Almost on all occasions I want to make sure that I see them during my visits to Sri Lanka. During one of those visits I was fortunate to witness Roshanthi's wedding.
I wish Rohan and his family best of health and expect that we will be communicating with each other on all possible occasions.
Dr Sarath Perera, Associate Professor, Technical Director - Endeavour Energy Power Quality and Reliability Centre, School of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia

1975
From: "Cecil Fonseka"
Date: Mon, March 18, 2013 10:05 am
Thank you for all the help I received from you as a student when I was in the UOM, especially for my final year project. I hope that you will have a very happy and a fulfilling retirement.
As for me, I am continuing to work in Saudi Arabia as an Engineering Specialist at Saudi Electricity Company which is the government owned electric power utility company. Working conditions are excellent and I am presently planning to work here for few more years.
God bless you and best regards,
Dr. Cecil Fonseka, Engineering Specialist at Saudi Electricity Company, Dean Faculty of Engineering Technology, OUSL […], UoM EE Graduate [1975]

1976
From: "U D Jayawardena"
Date: Tue, March 12, 2013 3:27 pm
Pardon me for addressing you as Sir, though you always prefer for me to call you by first name. You have been a close friend of mine for the last 37 years and I have to call you sir due to the genuine respect and regard that I have for you from the day I met you as a lecturer in 1975. Permit me to add a few reminiscences
The food mixer which is very common now was introduced in a café at Dehiwala in 1975. We used to get into your brand new Toyota Corolla on Friday evenings to visit this café to have a fruit drink mixed in the new mixer. You made all the payments. PAD tried his level best to get you interested in UNP politics though you were closed to JRJ you refused to get dragged into politics.
When I was appointed an instructor I was given the additional responsibility of ensuring the tea supply in your room which I performed better than the instructors job. Your room mate at that time Dr Sriyananda used to come in his sports car in the morning and very often used to take the bus in the evening forgetting that he brought the car in the morning.
LTL chose your ancestral house as its head office in 1994.At that time LTL turnover was Rs 300 Million still we continue at the same premises with a turnover close to Rs 60 billion as a company with global operations.
I have lost count of the number of engineers you recommended to LTL and recruited. The first was Wijepala in 1991 and the latest Dilantha last week. Ravindra with a first class in electrical engineering joined LTL in 1993 and won the best CFO price in 2007. Manjula has become one of the top entrepreneurs in the country and Dammika is one of the most brilliant engineers ever produced in this country.
You were the best teacher ever produced in the engineering field in this country and all of us were privileged to be your students.
Retiring is only another milestone in our lives and our relationship should continue unhindered. I wish you the best of health and happiness
U D Jayawardana (UD), CEO, LTL Holdings [UoM EE Graduate 1976]

From: "Srilal Miththapala"
Date: Thu, April 11, 2013 2:26 pm
I first set eyes on Dr. Rohan Lucas when our final year electrical power batch, sat expectantly for our first power systems lecture in 1975, at the new building, of what was then known as the Katubedda Campus.
In walked a tall, somewhat gawky man, in thick rimmed glasses, with a grin that covered his whole face (we called it the big 'panawa' those days!) who introduced himself as our new power systems lecturer. He had just returned from UK after his studies, and perhaps we were some of his first 'guinea pigs'. Being one of the first few batches to pass out from Katubedda, I guess we were in fact in many ways,'pioneers' and 'guinea pigs' to many!
Dr. Lucas took his lecturing very seriously and his natural easy going demeanour made him a very accessible and friendly lecturer within a few months. There was no 'master-sir' attitude with him, and he treated us on equal terms with him, and I think all my batch mates felt very comfortable and relaxed to interact and learn from him. He was uncomplicated, simple and always willing to listen and try to understand our problems.
I remember, he always used to wear short sleeved shirts. Thinking back I can't remember Dr. Lucas ever in long sleeves. I guess this added to his character, of being laid back and easy going. His wide grin was his perennial trademark, and I do recollect that somewhere along the way, he did shed his heavy spectacles. (Whether they were replaced by contacts, or whether his eyesight improved after teaching the motely batch of '72, I do not know!)
He did procure a brand new Japanese Car (Toyota was it?), which I think he cared for, more than anything else. I have seen him go down during the lunch break to the car park, to look at his car lovingly, and to check whether it was in good condition.
On the academic side, all of us understood power systems in a better way than most of the other subjects, mainly because of Dr. Lucas's efforts in explaining the ideas, and concepts behind the theories.
To this day, I recollect with interest the calculations we did related to pumped storage power systems, and sags on high tension power lines. We also spent some interesting times with him in the high voltage lab, sometimes having a little fun with the Van de Graaff generator, much to his concern.
Since leaving Katubedda Campus, I have kept in touch with Dr. Lucas closely. We have had long and interesting conversations about elephants of Sri Lanka , which I am quite passionate about. During my time at Arpico factory he wanted some custom designed stools, not only for sitting, but for standing on, which I obliged!
He was also instrumental in getting me involved with the mentoring programme that the Department of Electrical Engineering started for their senior students. Using his persuasive skills he cajoled me into serving on the then IEE (UK) local committee for 2 years, when he was an office bearer.
I met him about a month ago at the supermarket, and was amazed that except for a few streaks of grey hair, the man looks, talks, and behaves just as I remembered him three decades ago - a fitting compliment to a committed teacher, and above all, a thoroughly decent being.
Srilal Miththapala, President, Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, former Director/Chief Executive Officer, Serendib Leisure, former Chief Engineer of Arpico factory complex Nawinna [UoM EE Graduate 1976]

From: "Nanayakkara Kapila"
Date: Fri, March 15, 2013 2:56 am
Though we live in different countries we still think about those happy days at the campus. I couldn't stop laughing reading your auto-biography and it reflects your character which we know of very well. You were a role model to us at the uni and an excellent teacher and for that I am eternally grateful to you. We are where we are now because of the lecturers like you but unfortunately we didn't have many. I still refers to your HV notes and Sarath's machine notes whenever I want to brush my theory. We don't find such excellent notes in new text books.
Thank you Sir for all you did for us. As I am writing this I am getting a little tear to my eyes. God bless you.
Kapila Nanayakkara, Principal Electrical Engineer, Snowy Hydro Ltd, Australia [UoM EE Graduate 1976]

1977
From: "F. Kabeer Mohideen"
Date: Mon, April 22, 2013 10:34 pm
Dr Lucas was a poor man, when I first met him as one of his students. He owned a brand new blue Toyota Corolla and used to give us rides. Dr. Sriyananda was another who offered rides to students in his sports two seater. Today's generation wouldn't know that owning a car in the early seventies was an achievement. One had to go for a PhD, save over a period three to four years and then get a permit to import a car. It was a prized possession. They were the days even to carry a bag of rice one needed a permit, and yet Dr Lucas ran a free transport service!
"Why do you say you are poor, you know you are not?" queried one of the participants, who also happened to be one of my buddies at Katubedde campus (It was University of Sri Lanka, Katubedde campus, then) and knew me and my background well, during a training session that I was conducting. I smiled mischievously, and said, "I am poor of greed and I am poor of jealousy." When I was asked for my random thoughts that's what flashed across my mind. He was a simple man free of greed, pride, envy, hatred, hypocrisy, and the adjectives could go on. Dr. Lucas was simple and yet sophisticated in his profession. True to what Leonardo da Vinci said, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
Dr. Lucas smiled, so did Dr. Sriyananda. Perhaps it was contagious. They shared a room. Everyone knows academics and medical doctors do not smile. He was young then. With time when he became a fully fledged academic he would become morose, I used to think. Professor Lucas smiles too. Age has not changed him. His friendliness and camaraderie were his trade mark. Once over a disagreement I remarked "loose Lucas". The first word was soft. "What?" he queried, perhaps he had heard it. "Choose Lucas for success" was my reply. On hind sight, how true I was. Anyone who followed his steps would succeed.
I was an instructor and awaiting our results which were about to be released. He loves to amuse with teasing remarks. "Are you missing your class?" he queried, with a twinkle. "Yes, I am" I answered. I had done my calculations and I knew I was missing my second upper by a whisker. It was confirmed by the inkling glint in his eyes and I was happy. He did not know he had played an important role in it. He is punctual. He is methodical and he is habitual. I had studied him and more thoroughly his past papers. I predicted the sections he wouldn't test that year. I selected exactly six sections and even prepared model questions. It was a risk but I had faith in statistics and I was very good at it. His habits prevailed and I got almost 100 for High Voltage Engineering, though I knew very little of it. No wonder CEB has so many HV failures!
I am proud to have had teachers of high caliber. Dr. Lucas taught us simplicity, Dr. Sriyananda humbleness and Professor Sam Karunaratne perfection. The power system class on how to hold a tumbler so that you wouldn't throw it with the water or drop it absent mindedly is etched in my memory. They were gifts. They made us drink deep. "A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring", was their message.
A times I am saddened. Hundreds of their students have passed through me. Some blemish their tutors by their dishonesty, greed and worst of all, hypocrisy. He would treat the hypocrite and the best in the same way, with a smile and equally. That is his strength and his weakness.
Three decades ago my superior, Mr. T. Sivathasan, called on his teacher and mentor Professor R. H. Paul, who had retired many years back and almost forgotten by majority of his students. He told me that the professor was very emotional and had told him, "Siva you are one of the few students who still address me, Sir." That's how I have been addressing Professor Lucas since I knew him (and all my teachers) though we would have been of same age had I been born five years earlier!
To you, Sir, your greatness comes from simplicity. "Nothing is more simple than greatness;" said, Ralph Waldo Emerson, "indeed, to be simple is to be great." Teachers of your caliber are rare and to you and your students I dedicate Alexander Pope's poem:
"A little learning is a dang'rous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fir'd at first sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts,
While from the bounded level of our mind
Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;
But more advanc'd, behold with strange surprise
New distant scenes of endless science rise!
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' eternal snows appear already past,
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last;
But, those attain'd, we tremble to survey
The growing labours of the lengthen'd way,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!"
Two centuries have gone since Alexander Pope and he is immortal. Sir, your influence and fragrant memories will last many generations permeated by your students and theirs.
F. K. Mohideen, Additional General ManagerDistribution Region 3, CEB, [UoM EE Graduate 1977]

From: "Eng B Sarath Samarasiri"
Date: Mon, September 29, 2014 1:19 pm
Recollection of an admirable academic Professor
Engineer Professor Rohan Lucas has retired after 44 years of active service to the University of Moratuwa (UOM). He continues to serve the mother land.
In the year 1973 that I entered the Faculty of Engineering of the then Katubedda campus (present UOM), hardly any Professors was there for us to learn from. It was the time, the then Dr. Lucas has returned from UK after completing his Ph.D. and began his long academic journey at the Dept. of Electrical Engineering.
Today at UOM our children who enter the Faculty has the privilege of learning from a variety of academics both junior, middle level and senior. Further they learn from and interact with a variety of Professors: Associate to Senior to Endowed. Our Faculty now has a relatively high density of Professors and their strengths and involvements are varied: academic, research, consulting, administration etc.
Professor Lucas is unique in this regard to my recollection. He was, and still is, a strong academic Professor who was/is admired by all students at the Faculty. This was evident to me when we at the Engineering Design Centre (EDC) introduced the subject "Engineering Design" for all engineering undergraduates at the Faculty of Engineering in the year 2000 under the semester system. It was a challenging and a learning experience for everyone involved. Many departments of the Faculty coordinated with the then newly established EDC. I can still remember the active academic contributions Professor Lucas made as the Dept. Coordinator.
Many of the students who enter the Faculty get to know mostly Prof. Lucas at UOM even before they enter UOM. Professor Lucas is a popular figure to them. This I got to know from my own children. This was not happening during our times as there were no Professors!!
Finally let me end with a lighter note:
"Academics never retire, they lose their faculties" ---- Internet
"Professor Lucas has retired, but has not lost the faculty"
Thank You Professor Lucas for your great academic contributions to UOM and the mother land.
Eng. B.Sarath Samarasiri, Director - EDC, UoM [UoM EnTc Graduate 1977],

1978
From: "Prof Ranjit Perera "
Date: Fri, April 26, 2013 11:35 am
"JR from Ward Place", that is how Prof. JR Lucas introduced himself in the ice breaker speech in the Toastmasters Club session referring to his childhood at his home in Ward place, Colombo 07 next to the residence of His Excellency the President J R Jayawardene.
It was 1975, when I first came to know Dr. Lucas as our Lecturer in Theory of Electricity. I was a second year student. He was immediately after his PhD and confidently delivered a well organized lecture series associated with a comprehensive set of tutorials. He had even then grasped a basic principle in teaching and evaluation which is that a brilliant student should be able to score 100% in an examination. Thus two of my batch mates scored 100% in the Theory of Electricity paper. It would have been possible to do that even in High Voltage Engineering, another subject he taught us. However, nowadays under the GPA system nobody would strive to score 100% as 85% is equally good.
One day I was doing a laboratory experiment in the Electronics lab when Dr. Lucas rushed in and was in search of Dr. Sivaprakashpille. He asked a question in English from me to find out whether Dr. Sivaprakashpille has been there. Though I knew enough words in English and understood all relevant theories in English grammar I was weak in formulating even a simple sentence in English in a short and sweet manner. I managed to give a reply which passed the right information to Dr. Lucas, but the formulation must have been so terrible that he paused for a moment and responded "Ah, Dr. Sivaprakashpille did not come this way". I immediately got the message that is how I should have told it. That is the teacher in J R Lucas.
After my PhD I returned to the Department and worked as a Senior Lecturer. He was initially Associate Professor and later Full Professor. We worked together in a number of projects. One long-lasting lesson I learned from him is the importance in paying attention to the details. He would immediately pick the smallest mistake in a document. An error in upper/lower case writing is equally serious for him as a grave error in an equation.
Then he became the Head of the Department. I have never seen a person who applies lesser authority on his/her subordinates than Prof. Lucas. He had his own ways to get the work done without giving commands. I think we were all lucky to learn from him how to be "down to earth".
Then the Headship was transferred from Prof. Lucas to me. Once, Prof. Lucas hurriedly came for a meeting chaired by me and said that he had to leave another meeting halfway through to attend this meeting. Realizing that the other meeting would have been much more important for him, I asked him "Why didn't you tell us, we could have excused you or even rescheduled our meeting". He gave the surprising answer " When my Head calls me for a meeting I have to come". Obviously, nobody expected that much of loyalty from a Senior Professor but that displayed discipline and the commitment in JR Lucas.
Now both of us are Senior Professors in the Department and he is my highly respected colleague. I enjoy talking to him not just because of his occasional and appropriate humor but also because of the way he analyzes things. Things that are obvious to me are not so obvious to him. He puts the light from a completely different angle and let the listener discovers something that was not previously known. He never agrees for the sake of agreement. That is the Senior Professor in JR Lucas.
Prof H Y R Perera , Senior Professor in Electrical Engineering, former Director Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, [UoM EE Graduate 1978]

From: "Shavi Fernando "
Date: Sun, May 5, 2013 11:02 am
Prof. Rohan Lucas: Some Random Thoughts of Shavi/ndra/nath Fernando
You may wonder why I write my name the way it appears an explanation on that later, if time and length permit.
When I got Prof. Lucas's request to write something I was not in the country and waited till I got back to write to him :…." I wanted a bit of free time to read it so here I am at 11.17 pm according to my computer clock on 19th April almost two weeks plus after you wrote to me; I read it all. Now I am itching to write something but bit too tired and sleepy. I promise I would do it … I wonder if you would rather regret for inviting me but I am sure you would not mind my boldness!!!
Yours sincerely (from the bottom of my heart)
(((Shavi)ndra)nath)
Sir the number of parenthesis match! something I learnt from you!!! SO I leave it you to decipher why I changed parenthesis to oblique on His advice…
The bespectacled (thick horn rimmed glasses) shabbily (sorry) placed on the long and big nose not necessarily evenly on both sides, short sleeved shirt to cover the longish torso, not so matching trouser, huge shoes always black and laced! That's how I remember. My first impression of a young boyish looking tall bright (thus we were told) wearing a broad smile showing all his teeth and gums!! of Dr. Lucas, as I always used to call Him.
I will be sketchy and random and will not have any order just the way Prof. Lucas wanted me to write "Some Random Thoughts!!!"
I don't need to write about his friendship etc etc and many virtues as I know most others would write and if I too write it would be yet another boring piece. Let me now recall few of the many interesting incidents and personal traits of Him.
Myself and Dilakshan were out of the ordinary we at times did not ride with the tide and perhaps questioned the common view. Hey Pesto! we found Him to be of the same kind. So we stuck together spending many hours arguing disagreeing, agreeing to disagree on many issues on campus life, discipline, ragging, studies, facilities, laboratories, you name it the subjects were never ending. He loved to argue. We used to go to his room and very often he was so enthusiastic to carry on the discussion, He would forget where we are and would not even invite to His room but on the corridor, leaning on to the slender iron railing topped with rusting wood. After few hours at most he would get us a cup of plain tea and perhaps invite us to His room. I soon realized why He discouraged us to come to His room. Oh! it was a mess books strewn all over the table, not an inch to spare both horizontally and vertically, chairs not dusted for ages, well who can dust them when you have so many books and documents!!! So his extended room space was the corridor. Later he very considerately got a cement bench built. It stands even today I believe. I have a strong feeling it was His choice just next to the room he occupied with Prof. Sriyananda.
He had a room inside the High Voltage laboratory earlier. I thought his impulsive character had something to do with high voltage shocks he would have seen in His laboratory daily…
He always brought with Him a big box of Chalk having all conceivable colours and would use them sparingly and when the chalk became too small to hold, held them by the tip of His fingers and nails… such was His care for earth's resources which taught me something, I often get angry to see our younger generation showing such callousness these days. He would use all these colours to identify different phases, elements, blocks etc. He used to first draw two lines one horizontal, below which he never wrote anything worth, and the other vertically, divided the black board into two as he used to write on one side and allow us to copy while he went on to use the other side to carry on with the lecture. He used to use the bottom section only if he wanted to do some rough work. That was how thoughtful he was; knowing all of us couldn't copy what he wrote in the same speed.
Now the parenthesis story he was so meticulous to match the parenthesis, very rarely He used square or any other style He believed in the traditional crescent type but used to count all the parenthesis opened and closed!!! Just to make sure they match!!!. The superscripts, subscripts and dashes(multiple of them) he used them with glee, sometimes superscripts subscripts and dashes all in one!!!!!!!…Schaum series of worked examples of complex mathematical problems made easier, were His favourite I think His teaching style matched the method used in these books.
His diagrams? Sir, they could have been much better drawn and I know like me, He was never good at drawings, I believe, and handwriting unique but anyone could read and understand. "This is my insulator" and He drew a box biting hard His tongue I wander if His tongue is still in one piece? I am yet to see such insulators in my life. We used to ask Him tough questions and we soon realized when He knew the answer, promptly, His tone subdued and took time to explain all over again. When He did not know the answer, He used to gaze at the blackboard and soon found the answer and always went from the first principles to explain, which in present day, a very rare approach. If on any occasion someone pointed out a mistake He has made, He was so embarrassed and using His characteristic Impulsive behavior quickly erased just like a small child trying to cover up a mistake he has done.
Soon news spread that he was getting married, we asked him many leading questions but He kept it a closely Guarded Secret. Then He went on few days of leave and we heard the young couple moved to Moratuwa. We threatened to visit Him one day and He was excited to receive us. I still remember He went ahead and we followed to His new home at Uswatta Moratuwa. His young wife was quite small made, but fair and very pleasant, a bit shy then. She served us butter cake and passiona cordial. I still remember. He showed us some of the wedding gifts they received. I also remember a black wall hanging with a painting in Gold I wander if they still have it, then there were some wooden cranes a couple I believe.
I can go on and on.. But time and space I have to keep watch.
In CEB I was made the Chairman of a committee to do a policy paper on introduction of CFL based on which I believe CEB initiated a CFL popularisation programme. Who was nominated from University of Moratuwa? Prof. Lucas. I immediately approached the person in the Ministry, who constituted the committee and got Prof Lucas to co-chair with me. Prof. Lucas in His characteristic style was meticulous in doing all the possible analysis and wrote most parts of the report. I must admit He was so particular about each and every word we used and every dot and every comma. I know He helped CEB in numerous ways and I am sure one of my colleagues will do justice to His contribution.
I had the good fortune to be with Him in many committees in the IESL. I remember specially our work in the Education and Training Committee. When I joined it several years ago, the IESL courses were in a disarray. Only a very few students completed the course, less than 10 at times, that too after lamenting for 8 long years! I started raking up this and He was quick to be my strongest supporter. He was in His style adamant we did the changes in a methodical manner and ensured the standards were not allowed to drop. He was one of the most qualified to assess foreign degrees and if He ever found any application not in His line of specialization, He was quick to return it requesting someone else to do the assessment. Rarely, He made any error. He, as most of us know, brings out an argument which none of us ever dream of and was always there to question a not so clear decision until the entire committee was convinced that we have done the right thing. He would never let go.
I need to wind up keeping Time and space constraint in mind I have written enough for the moment though I could go on and on… of this unique, Teacher, Friend, Philosopher and Guide…Genial, friendly Human.
Shavi Fernando , AGM,CEB [UoM EE graduate 1978]

1979 No Convocation
1980
From: "Rane Ponrajah"
Date: Tue, March 12, 2013 7:20 pm
The most impressive characteristic I have of you is your humility - inspite of your many accomplishments, in academia and sports, and the genuine unbiased friendship you showed towards your students and colleagues alike.
Never have I heard from you a word of cynicism, or a derogatory remark towards a fellow human being. It is often said that "What is in One's Heart Comes Through One's Mouth"- and this reflects what a "Genuine" person you are.
It was amazing, how you always made yourself available to answer questions from inquisitive students like myself. I remember coming and sitting outside your office, on the masonry bench, under your well organised notice board, waiting for my turn to have my questions answered - and it was always well worth the wait because when I step into your office you greet me with that big smile before we get down to business.
Thank you Dr. Lucas for helping me out.
Dr Ranendra Ponrajah, Ontario, Canada [UoM EE graduate 1980]

1981
From: "L.A. Samaliarachchi"
Date: Wed, March 13, 2013 9:11 am
Hats off and salute To My dearest SIR Prof. Rohan Lucas.
It was really touching and went deep in to my heart when I read the stuff send by you. You are one of a kind great teacher (and also a writer looks like) I have ever come across during my university life as a student 1976-1981.
You are honest and straight forward and set as an example for others. The electrical engineering community (your students) admire you and discuss about your good qualities whenever they gather for their get together celebrations. (Needless to say the difficulties that electrical engineering student's faced during 1978-1981 period. You were the only teacher approachable at that time so that we could communicate be it technical or personal matter. We learned lot from you, punctuality and honesty to name some of it.
LA Samaliarachchi, Senior Lecturer Gr I, Open University of Sri Lanka [UoM EE Graduate 1981]

1982
From: "Udaya Annakkage"
Date: Sun, March 17, 2013 3:39 am
When I heard the news of the retirement of Professor Lucas, my memories went back to 1978 when I took Theory of Electricity course in the second year. What I found most unique about his teaching was his commitment outside the classroom. I was always the first student to solve his problem sheets and hand them in to him. He used to return them with comments within not more than three days. There were times that I asked a question when I met him at the end of the day when he was leaving his office.
Looking back, now I think we were taking his generosity to be granted. He never refused to stop or even to return back to his office with me to answer my question. In that same year, at our request, he taught us programming in FORTRAN 4. He always found time to check my program listing to help me find errors. We can never pay back to a great teacher like him, but we can "pay-forward" by propagating that dedication and commitment towards the next generation. Ten years later I did the same by teaching programming in PASCAL to a group of fourth year students at the University of Moratuwa. I have no doubt that his attitude towards teaching made a great influence on how I treat my students today.
Professor Lucas has a great ability to come down to our level, which makes it easy for us not only to ask technical questions, but also to get advise on personal matters. He had an excellent set of typed notes for High Voltage Engineering, which was one of the best "textbooks" I had during my undergraduate time. I joined the academic staff as an Assistant Lecturer in 1982. My first consultancy work was to help Professor Lucas design and make sag-templates for some CEB transmission lines.
Today, I am one of the five partners of Transgrid Solutions, a successful consulting company based in Winnipeg, Canada. I am thankful to Professor Lucas for advising me to go to UMIST for postgraduate studies, and filling out the application forms with me. I completed my MSc and PhD in three years and five months.
When I returned back to Sri Lanka, I had surprise visitors, Professor Lucas and my little friend Roshanthi Lucas, to pick me up from the airport. By the way, the largest birthday card (A4 size) that I have ever sent to anyone was the one I sent to Roshanthi on her sixth birthday. During the three years and six months that I spent in Sri Lanka after returning from Manchester, Professor Lucas was a mentor and a close friend. I am very proud that I was able to arrange sabbatical leave for him to spend 5 months at the University of Auckland in 1998, and to spend one year at the University of Manitoba in 2007. In 1998, he taught my Power Systems course at the University of Auckland during my absence. In 2007, he did an excellent piece of work jointly with my PhD student (his former student) Chandana Karawita. He showed how to extract necessary data from a PSCAD simulation case to perform a small signal stability analysis of power systems. Chandana later developed TGSSR, a tool to analyze sub synchronous resonance. Professor Lucas's work in 2007 gave me the confidence to develop a similar analysis tool for the RTDS simulator (this work is in progress). There is a current transformer model that power system protection engineers in the world refer to as the Lucas Model.
We are very proud that it was the work of Rohan.
Prof. Udaya Annakkage, University of Manitoba, Partner Transgrid Solutions [UoM EE Graduate 1982]

1983
From: "Tilak Siyambalapitiya"
Date: Thu, April 25, 2013 4:59 pm
Prof Rohan Lucas
My first interaction with Rohan was when he was my lecturer in 1979 for the Part I subject "Theory of Electricity", in which he introduced three phase systems to us for the first time in our life. I remember when he took the lecture in the "L" block, a brand new building at that time, and the tutorial class on Tuesday afternoon, which he never missed. He went on to teach us High Voltage Engineering in the final year, this time in a new room reserved for final year power engineering students for the first time, taking the practical sessions himself in the much-feared high voltage lab. I later got so close to him, and I do now call him by his first name.
Rohan's Corolla KE30 blue-coloured car was the public passenger car for all students and staff he meets on the road, in that era of tough times with public transport. Although I did not know much about cars at that time, mechanical engineering colleagues of mine who had the privilege of having a ride in his car, have told me that Rohan drives in the third gear at speeds he should really change to the second, and that the car vibrates a bit. May be because he likes to be in three, owing to three-phase systems he teaches. There is single-phase and three-phase, and two-phase systems do not exist, and so is the 2nd gear, I presume. Automatic transmission would now have solved this problem.
There is one matter for which we never found an answer and my wife Namalie, who too knows Rohan so well, asks me frequently why: when Rohan gets into the thinking mode, it appears as if he is biting something, and we have equated it to a possible Rambutan seed in his mouth, and this imaginary Rambutan seed appears and disappears. I wonder whether anyone else has observed this. May be they did, but did not want to comment.
As often as I met Rohan in class, I met him at the events of the University Catholic Society, which I Presided for two years. In the Christmas carol show we organized along with Susantha Perera (Moratuwa, 1983) and the team in December each year, Rohan sat in a particular seat in the front row in James George Hall. That was in years 1980 and 1981, to listen to me and others singing. Now, more than 30 years later in 2012, I observed him sitting in the same seat, this time watching my daughter conducting the university carol show.
They were the difficult times; the department academic staff was down to 3 senior staff: Professor Karunaratne, Dr Lucas and Dr Dias, and they had to be supported with teaching. Thus late 1980s and 1990s saw me jointly teaching power systems to students of Part II, with me teaching the bulk of the course and Rohan teaching fault analysis. Many a time I have visited Rohan's house to exchange answer scripts and marks, well before the invention of the fax, PC, email or internet, which means everything had to be hand carried. Thirty years of visiting work enabled me to see Rohan at least once a week, and I would never miss to say hello to him if I see his room door open, and Rohan knows I come there for one more reason ! Each visit causes some issue to be taken up, and we analyse the issue and get into a deep discussion, which at times causes me to forget that my students were waiting for me in the class. I always have an excuse for them: I was in a discussion with your professor.
I feel that Rohan ended up in University of Manitoba for his sabbatical in the early 1990s, actually because of me. Peter McLaren was my professor in Cambridge, and in 1988, he himself migrated from the UK to Canada (you think only Sri Lankan engineers migrate to Canada and Australia). I am not sure whether my introduction of Rohan to Peter, and by extension, introduction of Moratuwa Power Engineering Dept to Manitoba (a place, incidentally, I have never ever visited) have done good or bad for Moratuwa University or Sri Lanka. The relationship between the two Universities went totally out of my control, and I should neither be blamed nor praised for the fact that Manitoba produced dozens of PhDs (and continues to produce) out of Moratuwa graduates. The relationship went to the extent that my British Professor, upon retirement, was effectively replaced by a Moratuwa graduate: Udaya Anankkage (Moratuwa, 1982) is now a senior professor of power engineering there. Our PhDs are manning the HVDC centre in Manitoba, probably Canada's best, whom I tap occasionally for a little bit of tuition, whenever I have a HVDC problem.
Good professors never retire. Therefore, I am not wishing you a happy retirement, but wishing that the relief you now have (from sitting in numerous faculty committees, and that dreaded faculty board meeting on Thursdays) would enable you to contribute more to our students, by way of advice and some teaching too. Recall your former students to class, and ask them how much they remember about fault analysis and travelling waves. Symmetrical components ? Zero sequence ?
Namalie, my wife, Nipuni, our daughter, and Tharaka our son, and I together wish you more years of contribution to Sri Lanka's power engineering.
Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya, Energy Consultant, Director Resource Management Associates; Energy Coordinating Officer, Ministry of Power and Energy (1982-84); Chief Engineer, Generation Planning, CEB (1988-1994); Principal Engineer, Generation Planning, SCECO Saudi Arabia (1994-1998) [UoM EE Graduate, 1983]

1984
From: "Prof Nalin K Wikramarachchi"
Date: Mon, September 1, 2014 10:59 pm
Appreciation of a Teacher Par Excellence, a Colleague and a Role Model
I first met Dr. Lucas, as we then called him, in or around 1981during our second year at the University; not as the teacher of his usual subject of Theory of Electricity but instead teaching Electrical Measurements. I recall very well some of these lectures not because I could learn a lot from them but because I could not. His English was well above my grasp and I could not keep up with his pace of delivery. But his notes on the blackboard and the diagrams always provided in depth learning materials not only for the impending examination but also to be keptas reference notes for later use. So, instead of learning principles of Electrical Measurements during the class room, I simply settled down to learning English, particularly how to structure long English sentences of complex meanings. Perhaps he never knew, he had been teaching me two subjects at the same time.
Later, we were lucky to learn a few more subjects from Dr. Lucas including some sections of Power Systems and of course his subject of expertise High Voltage Engineering which he taught duringthe fourth year. MyEnglish was up to the mark by this time or he hadreduced the average length of his sentences;in any case, by that time, there was no difficultyin understanding. We enjoyed the clarity of delivery, precision of mathematics, and rational thinkingbased on hard engineering facts in addition to learning the intricacies, stresses, impulses, and breakdowns,not to mention lightning, in High Voltage Engineering.
I also fondly remember his FORTRANprogramming lessons. At a time personal computers were still too much of a luxury, the only computer facility available to us was the IBM 1130 minicomputer. Dr. Lucas volunteered to teach FORTRAN-IV after-hours so that we could test our programs—not written but punched line by FORTRAN line on a stack of cards, on the IBM machine.He was meticulous in impressing in our minds the idiosyncrasies of digital thinking. It was a pleasant surprise for me to learnthat computers handled mathematics in a peculiar way which has since then become one of my favourite subjects. I am indebted to him for teaching the principles of programming in a way I have never since forgotten.
Immediately after graduation, with not much thinking ahead and no planning of future whatsoever, I joined the Department to launch a career inacademia. Particularly for one who was not prepared, it was not easy to adjust to the demands of an academic life.If not for the presence of Prof. Lucas in the Department, this period of life could have been anenormoushardship. He was ever willing to help guide us the junior lecturers in his usual amicable nonforceful manner gently along the path of professionalism. Always by deed and never by command.
Immediately after my return home from Canada, I always got a ride home in his famous blue Toyota Corolla up to Wellawatta. I remember most of the times our discussions were centred around technical matters though not necessarily restricted to Electrical Engineering. He was never the man to waste time talking of politics or other gossip. One downsideof me buying my first car was that I was to miss those mind expandingdiscussions. It is during this period that I came to know Prof. Lucas much more closely and learned, or tried to learn, the great qualities of him that make him so revered in and around the academic circles.I can hardly enumerate all of them because his standards are far too high, but I will try to name a few that I came to know well..
Punctuality comes to my mind easily. He was always in time for lectures. He was also the first to arrive at office and last to leave. His time management skills wenthand in hand with punctuality. Prof. Lucas always hadtime for his students and fellow lecturers no matter how busy he waswith many other responsibilities. He waswithout fail always the first to finish marking of answer scripts after an examination irrespective of the number of scripts, be it fifty or eight hundred..
He took responsibility seriously. Never failing to deliver at his level best on whatever the responsibility bestowed upon him. .
Lest that be the Chairmanship of an academic committee or a committee of inquiry in a Government institution. I still have a copy of the University Prospectus that he almost single-handedly produced long time back when the typewriter was the only office desktop machinery known. It certainly had the hallmark of professionalism written all over it..
His attention to details is legendary too. I have never met a person who is so capable of seeing the not too obvious. He never misses out on details that are hidden but important, an essential quality without which one cannever be a great engineer in the first place. His determination and perseverance are well known among the officers of this University and many havementioned that already. His steadfastness in doing something despite difficultiesor obstaclesuntilhe achieves success isall too familiarto his peers..
Students know Prof. Lucas for his dedication to teaching and the rest of us know him for his dedication to the University. He has the rare quality of having a broad holistic outlook onall university matters, beyond the narrow view point ofone's own Department or field of engineering—a quality that is fast becoming extinct among academics. This perhaps explains his impartiality in crucial matters requiring far-reaching decisions..
Besides all this though, what is close to my heart is his ability to understand another person’s perspective. He has an incomparable ability to understand someone else’s point of view irrespective of the question at hand, be it technical, academic, managerial orsocial. No wonder that many people seek his advice whenever they are faced with an intractable problem. He will gradually unravel the complications andgently counterquestion the person until he himself understands the solution. And many a time the advice seeker leaves his room all the wiser..
On a few rare occasions that I have seen him loose his temper, at a Senate meeting or at a Faculty meeting, each time, it was invariably on matters of principle directed at the cause of injustice or unfairness and never due to personal reasons. He would cool down as fast as he got upset and the discussions usually ended with the matters being resolved amicably..
Then there are many other human virtuesin him which others have commented on. He is a devout Catholic. He does not, in fact never ever, preach others on the virtues, but instead expound the message by simply living an exemplary life. .
Sir, thank you very much for showing me that it is possible to be successful in life and be righteous too. May God Bless you and your family..
Prof Nalin Wickramarachchi, [Professor, Director Quality Assurance Faculty of Engineering, UoM EE Graduate 1984].

From: "Prof J P Karunadasa"
Date: Tue, September 2, 2014 2:57 pm
First time I met Prof. Lucas was in late 1980s, when he came to teach us the subject Electrical Measurements in the Second Year of the BSc Engineering Degree program at the University of Moratuwa. It was an amazing experience due to his unique style of teaching. Further, the way he rested his tong behind the cheek when writing on the board was also unique. .
Over the years we got closer and closer to Prof. Lucas, just to find how nice him a person he was as well as a teacher. We realized his true teaching potential when he taught us High Voltage Engineering in the Final Year of study. Even to date, High Voltage Engineering remains one of my favorite subjects even though it is not my current specialization..
Later, I was fortunate enough to be in the same academic staff and the advices and guidance I continued to receive from him have been immense. He is a true mentor of mine and one of the few individuals that I hold in high respect..
Prof. Lucas is a very fair person who always respects rules, regulations and customs. His presence in the Department is a blessing and a prestige to every one of us in the Department and the University as a whole. Even though he is now retired we cannot afford to lose his service for many long years to come..
I affectionately wish him good health and happiness and courage for a continued contribution to the Department of Electrical Engineering of the University of Moratuwa..
Prof J P Karunadasa [UoM Professor, UoM EE Graduate 1984].
From: "Aratchige, Methsiri"
Date: Fri, April 5, 2013 7:46 am
I came to know from Jahan Peiris that you will be retiring in couple of months time. Frankly I haven't thought you are that old. Then suddenly I realised that I am almost 51 now !!!
I still remember your High Voltage Engineering lessons - back in 1983 - Yes it was almost 30 years ago. Then you taught me the same subject (of course at advanced level) when I was doing M.Eng degree course between 1986-1989. I believe this was the very first batch of MEng. I recall we regularly met at that time. Dr P Dias was the course co-ordinator and in fact he was my project supervisor along with Dr Tilak Siyambalapitiya. There were number of CEB Engineers including LAS Fernado, BSP Mendis and JAS Perera studied with me. In fact graduation took place (in absentia) in November 1990 after I migrated to Australia. I think 8-10 students must have completed the course.
Fortunately I had couple of opportunities to meet you again in Sydney. When I was in Pacific Power (around 1994) you came to our office in Sydney Central Business District (CBD). Then we went for dinner with Sujeewa Rajapakse also joining us
The second occasion, I remember I picked you and your family up from late Asoka Nanayakkara's place in West Pennant Hills and then drove you up to Katoomba in Blue Mountains. We went to see "Three Sisters" and other attractions in Katoomba. We stopped at Jude's place at Warrimoo for lunch on our way back from Blue Mountains. . I recall I dropped you at Central Railway Station (just in time !!!) to pick a train to Wollongong to visit Dr Sarath Perera.
We also met again at Jude Perera's place at Castle Hill on the third occassion and a.number of your other past students joined us.
Nalin Pahalawatte is now working in TransGrid - next to my office building in Sydney.
You are a very good teacher. We were able to successfully complete our studies.
Thank you for all your efforts. I remember when I left Sri Lanka in 1990 one of the essential items I brought along was your High Voltage Engineering notes. It is a very good reference document - I recall I went through some sections especially when I was preparing for job interviews !!! At that time it was a cyclostyled set ofpapers - I am glad to know a revised pdf version is now available in Electrical Engineering Department website.
This short note is to appreciate your invaluable contribution.
Wish you a happy and healthy retirement life.
Methsiri Aratchige, Electrical Engineer, Sydney [UoM EE Graduate 1984], UoM EE MEng 1990

From: "Fernando LAS "
Date: Fri, May 3, 2013 10:24 am
The news of your impending retirement took me back to the days when I first met you. It was a belated joy, as I was a product of Peradeniya. This postponed my blissful encounters with you to a later date in my life, to be precise to the era where I undertook my postgraduate studies at Moratuwa. I call it blissful encounters, as the subjects taught by you included the very best of electrical engineering such as High voltage, Earthing design and Travelling waves to name a few.
In my professional life too, I was fortunate enough to witness the intelligence of two greats in the field of electrical engineering meticulously solving a complex problem. The other great in this chapter was Mr. H.S. Subasinghe and the problem was the rehabilitation of the Old Laxapana Power Station. I vividly remember how the two great minds battled under the chairmanship of Mr. Ivan Samarwikrama in a presidential commission, just like a clock smith removing wheel after wheel to explore what went wrong. Few in the power industry know the humble beginnings of Lanka Transformers Group, and not that many know about how this modest startup company operating from a remotely located factory in Angulana ended up in Park Street, elegant in every sense and competent even in global scale. The year was 1994 and the cast in this episode set in your residence included you, me and Mr. U.D. Jayawardena of LTL, who was desperate for an office in Colombo. With the least effort, you managed to secure office space from a building belonging to your brother which is located in Park Street. Ever since that stroke of luck, LTL seems to enjoy good luck expanding their business operations based in their Park Street office.
The next most memorable episode in 2009 was in a darker setting, where I had the opportunity to work with you in a technical evaluation committee appointed to investigate the Island-wide system failure which lasted about sixteen hours. You managed to exercise the same command over the complex issue, uncovering the root causes of the system failure. When I was serving as the Deputy General Manager (Transmission Operation & Maintenance), Mr. Jayasiri Karunanayake (former System Development Manager Lanka Electricity Company) initiated developing a prototype power system module using real 11kV vacuum circuit breaker panels. We had very interesting time then and work very closely as a team for the successful completion of prototype power system module. I can also remember the technical evaluation committee intended to initiate studies on "Back flash-over of transmission towers of the Kotmale-Biyagama 220kV line" which was widely suspected for the power system failures where I had the pleasure of associating you as a member.
During my long association with you, I have found you to be a very dedicated academic with profound knowledge in electrical engineering. However, this sincere appreciation of mine is not only about that academic, but also about the very kind hearted gentleman from the upper crust of the society who reached out to people of a lesser strata of this society like me. I take this opportunity to wish very good health, all the success in your future endeavors and a very busy retirement.
LAS Fernando , Additional General Manager, Ceylon Electricity Board [UoM EE MEng graduate -1991]

1985
From: "Lalith Gamage "
Date: Mon, May 13, 2013 10:07 am
I met Prof. Lucas first as our Theory of Electricity lecturer when I was in the second year at the University of Moratuwa. He was very organized and methodical in his teaching but one cannot say the same about his office and his desk. His desk has (at least used to have) piles and piles of books, notes, magazines and all types of stationery on it. But he had this incredible ability to pick the necessary item from that complete chaotic mass of books, notes and papers on his desk.
He was a very good teacher and was well prepared for his lectures. One thing that I remember very well is that he had literally his 'tongue in cheek', like a lollypop popping out when he was teaching. The size of this was proportional to the difficulty of the problem he was solving on the board.
He always had a very cordial relationship with all his students and was very keen on their performance. He was a dedicated lecturer who comes on time and was always available at the university. He is one lecturer who marked student answer scripts promptly and released results on time. However like many senior academics he was also seen by us as a bit absent-minded. He himself has proved this to us with something that he usually does or forgets to do when he comes to the university from his house at Milagiriya Avenue, on the sea side. Since he is not able to turn right at Galle Road because of the road-dividing island, he has to make a left turn and a U turn to head towards Moratuwa. Sometimes he forgets to make the U turn and drives on towards Fort and only realizes that he is heading the wrong way when he reaches the Galle Face area.
I was able to work with him very closely during the 1987 to 1989 period when he acted as the Head of Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The University has secured a grant from the Japanese government to upgrade the university facilities and a large portion of that had been allocated to build the labs and other facilities of the newly established Computer Science and Engineering Department at the time. The period was a very difficult volatile period for the country and the university and most of the lecturers and the incumbent head of the department were overseas. I had just returned after my master's degree in UK and there was only one other senior staff member in the department. The university was closed for students and not many staff members came on a regular basis as travelling was also very difficult and sometimes life threatening. During this period a Japanese team was in Sri Lanka to install the equipment and to set up the new labs. This was a challenging task given the situation in the country and the university but Prof. Lucas took the leadership with two of us assisting him and the Japanese team, to complete the project on time. Since it was successfully completed, we were also rewarded by the Japanese by offering three of us a training program and a visit to their facilities in Japan.
I was able to get to know Prof. Lucas more closely during this trip. Although, he was much senior to us, he was quite happy doing the stuff that we wanted to do in our free time during the trip. He enjoyed the rides as much as we did during our Disneyland trip. Prof. Lucas once told us that when you shop either in Bangkok or Hong Kong you have to bargain heavily to get a good price. In fact he told us, probably with his 'tongue in cheek', that we have to keep on halving the offered price until you reach an agreement. On our way back from Japan we had a stopover in Hong Kong and I went around shopping for some electronic items. At a wayside shop I saw a camera that I liked and started the bargaining. When I bargained the second time the shop owner chased me out of the shop.
On my return after my PhD, I joined the Electrical Engineering Department where I had even more interactions with Prof. Lucas. We always had a good working relationship with minor disagreements if any. They were always resolved expeditiously as we were all committed to the common goal of developing the Department of Electrical Engineering.
We hold Prof. Lucas in high esteem for his contributions to the electrical engineering profession for over four decades. I am grateful to him for all the assistance and advice he has given to me during the formative period of my career, and I am privileged to be invited to make this contribution to his autobiography.
Prof. Lalith Gamage, Chief Executive Officer, Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, [UoM graduate 1985]

From: "Aruna Ranaweera"
Date: Mon, July 29, 2013 7:03 am
My Memories of Prof Rohan Lucas
Thank you for this opportunity to share my memories of you as you end a very distinguished academic career in Electrical Engineering.
I believe the first time I was in your class was when you taught a section of Electrical Properties of Materials (EPM) in Part II. We were not fortunate enough to have you teach us Theory of Electricity in Part I, since you were on sabbatical that year. In the final year, I really enjoyed your lectures on High Voltage Engineering. This became one of my favourite subjects that I value even today.
My most valued experiences with you, however, were in the seven years we spent together as fellow academic staff members of the department. One of the key events I remember is the formation of EESoc to bring past and present students together. You took a keen interest in organizing it and worked tirelessly towards the success of it. We introduced the EESoc Award for the Best Undergraduate Project which I believe is still being awarded annually. Another important achievement during this period was the setting up of the postgraduate program in Electrical Engineering. Above all, I vividly remember those long and interesting discussions we had at the staff lunch room on a wide range of topics.
What I most admire is your commitment to the academic career and excellence in teaching. You always enjoyed working with fellow staff and students alike. You had a superb analytical ability and sometimes I was amazed at your readiness to dive deep into complex problems even at the end of a long the day.
Congratulations Sir, on completion of a long and distinguished academic career. I wish you the very best during your well deserved retirement.
Dr Aruna Ranaweera, PE. Director, Transmission, OCI Solar Power, San Antonio, Texas, USA, Academic staff 1985-2001, UoM EE Graduate1985
1986
From: "Priyantha Wijayatunga "
Date: Fri, May 10, 2013 6:45 am
Professor Rohan Lucas: As I knew him for over 30 years
As I grow older and becoming distant from the subjects I used to be so closely associated with for such a long time, my memories are fast fading away but not the most memorable ones though. This is particularly so with my pleasant memories of Professor Rohan Lucas with whom I happen to share the same Birthday.
I first saw Professor Lucas (then Dr Lucas) as my lecturer in Electrical Measurements in 1982 just after his return from sabbatical leave from UMIST. We were waiting for the lecturer to turn up at the L-Block outside the lecture room on the first floor. Suddenly our colleagues said the lecturer had come in and we were asked to go in. We were wondering how we missed seen him entering the lecture room. When we went inside only, we realized that most of us couldn't distinguish him from the students around…. He looked so young… and in fact he was actually young (35 years) though he just returned from his first sabbatical leave after completing 7 years of post PhD teaching. That was the start of a long journey in academic life with him, both as a student first and as a colleague later, which I never imagined at that time.
Professor Lucas has always been an excellent teacher who knew exactly what he taught and all the background information. You always think that after all the nice teaching and the depth he goes into, he would put you in trouble in the exams. However his question papers were always at the best standards while the marking schemes were to check the students' knowledge in the subject properly. Most students found his subjects fascinating to follow and comfortable to score in.
When it comes to rules and regulations in the academic life, Prof Lucas always stuck to them to the letter. Sometimes we managed to push him to the limit to deviate from certain guidelines though, under special circumstances. One such rare instance was the release of our final year results. Knowing him well, while I was not keen to push Prof Lucas so much, one of my colleagues really wanted to know the outcome just after the examination board meeting. Failing to persuade Prof Lucas to disclose, my colleague compelled me to visit Prof Lucas's house along with him in the evening. Prof Lucas stuck to his principle even up to the last minute. Finally without being able to be rude to us at his own place, he asked us what we expected as the outcome of the examination. After listening to us, he responded that one's outcome was positive and the other was negative, against the expectation. That was the furthest he has gone ever. We were expected to sort out who got what.
Prof Lucas was always on time (rather, in time) for any event he attended to. He used to be quite uncomfortable with us when we used to take too much of time to get ready in the morning even when we continue on field visits and too late to get back to the bus after a short stop in between. He never endorsed us taking liquor, whether it was during field visits or EESoc parties, but he never preached on the negative aspects of it as most do and provided company with a soft drink. The most remarkable thing is that he always used to forgive and forget these lapses on our part.
Since we joined the staff as Assistant Lecturers (equivalent to now Probationary Lecturers) at that time, we hardly missed getting a lift in his car from the university to Bambalapitiya. Around 5pm he never forgot to look around for us to see whether we would like a lift. But we never knew where we had to spend time in between though… accompanying him for everything he had to do on the way including finally picking up a crate of bottles of milk from Bambalapitiya supermarket and loading it to the boot. Most of the time our journey ended up at his house in Milagiriya Avenue and we used to leave only after a cup of tea.
We all know the very long period of time spanning into several months (and even more than a year) we need to wait for the promotion interview and the adjustment of the salary after our return from postgraduate studies. Completing this process within a short period of time was the minimum we expected from the university as a reward while many others stay back and never return. I can still remember the effort Prof Lucas put in personally talking to relevant officials and visiting them in person to ensure that this process was completed fast, at certain times taking those officials who were complacent, to task for our benefit. If I can recall correctly, my promotion and the salary adjustment and its arrears came not later than two months after my return to the university, a magnificent achievement even at that time. All the credit goes to Prof Lucas.
I was lucky to witness and be part of Prof Lucas's rise in the academic life from a Senior Lecturer to a Senior Professor at relatively younger age along with his recognition in the profession such as Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka and the JAYCEES Award for Outstanding Academic Achievements. Prof Lucas's contribution to maintain the quality of the academic programs and the bylaws, regulations and the guidelines in the university will be greatly missed by the Faculty of Engineering, the Senate and the Council. I doubt the generation of academics which he belonged to and immensely contributed to the improvement in the quality of university education and discipline at the university can ever be replaced.
These few of my memories of Prof Lucas form only a drop in the ocean but they will be ever remembered and passed onto generations, I have no my own younger generation to pass them on to though. I miss him in my day-to-day professional life but these memories make me feel that I'm still part of the wonderful life I had at the University of Moratuwa.
Dr. Priyantha D C Wijayatunga, Unit Head, Portfolio Management Unit, Nepal Resident Mission, Asian Development Bank, Kathmandu, Nepal, former Professor in Electrical Engineering UoM, [UoM EE graduate 1986]

From: "Udaya Madawala"
Date: Tue, March 26, 2013 4:05 am
Thank you for sharing the moments of your personal life with me which, as your former student, I consider a privilege. I still strongly believe in maintaining respect for ones teacher - a value which is rapidly disappearing in current society.
I read your email word for word with much interest as I reflected and tried to learn from your experiences. It took me back almost 30 years in my life, bringing memories of university life at Moratuwa. I still remember your lectures, notes in HV Engineering and Corona effect, your remarks when you saw me attending lectures (as my friends were 'kind' enough to sign in and make a carbon copy of notes for me while I was out in the field, engaged in Sports- perhaps you may remember that I was heavily involved in sports) and, without fail, the way you rolled and pushed your tongue inside the mouth, making a small protrusion in your cheek! Then, as a member of a small group, attending lectures while others were on continuous strike 'day after day' either voluntarily or involuntarily, being ostracized as traitors and escorted out of the campus by police with the subsequent closure of the university. What about the batch trips and colours nights "!"-the list goes on and on, as there are many more exciting and unforgettable incidents, events and experiences to share.
I am now in a similar capacity to you in my academic career and lead a large research group, but in a western environment. However, I still strongly advocate the importance of respect and gratitude amongst all my undergraduate and postgraduate students alike, believing that these virtues are more important to one's success in life, as well as to society, than mere learning.
It is time for you now to sit back, relax and be proud of your teaching career during which you taught one generation after another - the success of which you can clearly see from the international standing of your former students. When I retire, I hope that I will have the same feeling and sentiments!
My very best wishes for you and family and your new endeavors in life!
Dr. Udaya Madawala, Associate Professor/Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Auckland, New Zealand [UoM EE Graduate, 1986]

1987
From: "Priyantha Karunadasa"
Date: Tue, May 28, 2013 7:33 am
I was very fascinated by your autobiography. When I heard the news that you were planning to retire from Moratuwa some months back from one of your close friends, my neighbour, Ajith and Shanika, I was thinking of writing to you. It was overlooked until today, when I read through your column and realised that our 1987 power engineering batch has not been represented in any way. Though I was bit sad, nevertheless I thought of congratulating to one of the greatest teachers in our time at the University of Moratuwa.
For many of us in the power room, next to Prof Sam's office, the High Voltage Engineering was one of our favourite subjects. Unlike many other teachers at the time, you have had that easy-going attitude, which made you very special among us.
Once we clearly failed to name the previous week's lab demonstration, instead of pointing to the table where the demonstration was held, you were not terribly disappointed with us. I still remember many valuable discussions we had with you during our final year project. A tiny portion of many meters long Fortran programming sheets from your PhD dissertation was presented to us to study the impact on lightning surges on the transmission lines, which we have undertaken with immense pride to you.
After many years later, when I learned from Prof. Udaya Annakkage (one of my dearest teachers and a close friend) that you were visiting Auckland, I was reading towards my PhD and was very happy to see you for the first time after I graduated from Moratuwa in 1987. I was so glad and very humble to receive your family at my home and quickly learned that how charming was your wife and small daughter. My wife, Rajika had a special gratitude towards Ramala and you all left inviting us back to your home in Colombo. Even though we couldn't make it so far, we will now be more determined to come and see you.
I think that your carrier has been a model to many of the great teachers to follow. May you retire knowing that you have made a remarkable contribution to power engineers around the world. Best wishes to you and your family and please drop in to visit us, if you are in Melbourne. Australia.
Dr. Priyantha Karunadasa, Senior Engineering Consultant, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Victoria, Australia [UoM EE Graduate 1987]

From: "Rohitha Jayasinghe"
Date: Tue, May 28, 2013 8:18 am
Few random memorable moments
You taught us many subjects in the university. In some of the subjects, you came to fill in when the regular lecturer of the subject was away. Because of that, students used to say if Dr. Lucas has the file for any subject, he can teach that subject no matter what it is.
This is something that happened to one of the final year project groups. As in all groups, there are some students who do not do their fair share in the project. In this group, a student who did the least amount of work was the last one having the interview. Before the interview, he knew what questions were asked from other members of his group. Since his contribution to the project was very minimal, he decided to present some of the work the other members did (which did not come up in the interview with them) as his contributions to the project. Some of the work he claimed as his contributions required some good programming skills. In this case, Fortran language. After presenting all that in the interview, one final question from Dr. Lucas was 'Do you know Fortran?' We could not stop laughing hearing about this after.
Almost every day in the morning, you were kind to stop at the Katubedda junction bus stop and pick few students who were waiting for the bus.
There are not that many moments I remember where Dr. Lucas getting angry. One such situation was when you walked into instructor room while we were playing some games.
Although I wrote things happened in my undergraduate life, I got to know more of him only after I came to Manitoba to do graduate studies. A Month or so after I came to Manitoba, Dr. Lucas also came to Manitoba on his sabbatical. We had lot of discussions involving academic and social matters during that time. I also remember struggling to write my very first conference paper as a graduate student. Fortunately you were there to guide me.
I remember the farewell party we had in Univillage grounds for you after your second stint of sabbatical in Manitoba. At that time there were about 30 or 40 students of you there to bid farewell to you.
I wish you a happy and healthy retired life. You were an inspiration to many of us who crossed paths with you.
Dr. Rohitha Jayasinghe, Senior Simulation Development & Research Engineer, Manitoba HVDC Research Centre, [UoM EE Graduate 1987]

1988 No Convocation

1989 No Convocation

1990
From: "Fernando, Ioni"
Date: Wed, March 13, 2013 12:29 am
To date I remember when you asked me if I'd mind going to a freezer for post graduate work, sitting at the dinner table on the day we treated the staff after graduation.
Thanks to you I am currently enjoying a very satisfying and rewarding carrier in Engineering. I am the Lead Studies Engineer to the next HVdc project that is happening in Manitoba. I am forever grateful to you for the many rides you gave me (and others) going home after classes. Pardon me, but I got to ask if you still maintain the organized mess you use to maintain in your office back when we were students/junior staff in the Faculty.
I cherish the memories of the close friendship you had with us, it was unusual for a senior staff member to be that way. I am not sure if I've told you this before, but I must say that looking back we must have been somewhat confused by your friendly gestures. My mother was always amazed by your down to earth attitude when you visited our place, which you continued well after I had left home.
Dr Ioni Fernando, Manitoba, Canada [UoM EE Graduate 1990]

From: "Shanika Karunasekera"
Date: Thu, April 4, 2013 2:02 am
We are pleased to have the opportunity to write about some of our many interactions with Dr. Lucas (now Professor Lucas) during our time at the University of Moratuwa, first as students and then as junior staff, and beyond.
It has been over twenty five years since we first met Dr. Lucas, but even now, as we stop for a moment and try to recall our interactions with him, it brings feelings of great joy and respect. We think that memories of those interactions are so joyful because without fail he made us feel important and cared for; whether it was getting a doubt in the electrical measurements subject clarified, or requesting for yet another letter of reference for a postgraduate application, we knew that as soon as we got our turn to see Dr. Lucas, he would put one hundred and one other tasks away for the moment and pay us his full attention. One of the unique characteristics of Dr Lucas was his ability to interact with students at a level which most senior academics were not able to, but at the same time being able to gain the due respect as a senior academic. Below we attempt to highlight a few of the many interactions that come to mind, which demonstrate his unique qualities as an academic as well as an admirable human being.
A car ride to campus was a rare luxury for students during our time at University of Moratuwa; Dr. Lucas was one of the very few academics at the university who would care to stop the car and offer a ride to students who were waiting to catch the bus from Katubedda to campus or back. Like many other Moratuwa students before our time and after have experienced, we also had the pleasant surprise of being called by Dr. Lucas to get in his car to make this trip. A few years later, after several of us became junior staff at Moratuwa, Dr. Lucas joined us after work for a game of carrom or table tennis (he always managed to beat us convincingly, sometimes even playing with his non-dominant hand), and then drove us back in his car; sometimes he would even make a de-route to drop us at home!
We found Dr. Lucas to be an extremely helpful person who would go out of his way to help others if needed. One example is our final year project in which we designed a traffic light control system. An inductive sensor for traffic counting was a major component of the system which could only be tested by driving a car over it. Without a car, or for that matter even a driving license, for any of the team members, testing the sensor was a challenge we faced. It was Dr Lucas and his blue Toyota that came to our rescue on this occasion. Dr. Lucas drove the car back and forth as many times as needed on a prototype sensor placed outside the Sumanadasa building, till we got the sensor working. Thank you sir, for your help and patience!
Dr Lucas was respected by everybody even people who were not always that respectful to others. One encounter that comes to our mind is the time a group of us worked at Sampath bank while we were still students, when the universities were closed for an extended period of time. One day, a group of us, along with another engineer (Mr A.) from IBM, were working together trying to solve a problem when the door opened and in walked Dr Lucas. All of us stood up and took time off from what we were doing to talk to Dr Lucas. No sooner Dr Lucas left, our Sampth Bank boss (who was not a Katubedda engineer) inquired, "Who was that?" His next remark was, " He must be someone special because I have never seen Mr A being so respectful to anybody before."
More recently in 2011, we had the pleasure of hosting Professor Lucas at our residence in Melbourne for a couple of nights while he was on a University accreditation tour. On the second morning as we sat down for breakfast, Dr Lucas made his trademark jerky exclamation saying that his USB memory stick with all his important stuff was missing. Remembering that he had done his laundry the previous night, we went and checked the washing machine and noticed the memory stick sitting at the bottom of the drum. Calm as always, he picked the USB memory stick and put it on his laptop, and with a smile on his face said "Good, all the viruses are now gone and it is working."
Sir, just like you have achieved many noteworthy things in your career, we think you have nicely lined yourself up for a Guinness record for the so-called "autobiography" co-authored by the largest number of authors. Sir, we congratulate you on a brilliant career and thank you for all what you have done for us to get to where we are now. Enjoy a well earned retirement.
Dr Ajith Gunathilaka and Dr Shanika Karunasekera, Melbourne, Australia, [UoM, En&Tc Graduates 1990]

From: "Dr Chandana Samarasinghe"
Date: Mon, April 15, 2013 12:16 pm
I heard that you are planning to retire from the university in September. I am extremely saddened to hear that future students will not have the opportunity to experience your remarkable scholarly breadth and erudition. However, after doing a great patriotic service for so long, I agree that you deserve a well-earned break.
The word that most comes to mind for me when I think about "Professor Rohan Lucas" is integrity. You are a profoundly ethical man, whose values, work, and family life are seamlessly aligned. You are a bright, principled, and caring person with a fine analytical mind and sound judgement, whose interests go well beyond the classroom. You accept people for what they are.
During my undergraduate years, the first thing that I noticed about you was the quality of your intellect. You articulate issues, no matter how complex, in a clear and concise fashion so that others could understand. You were also able quickly to grasp the direction of the thinking of us and with insight point out other interpretations or conclusions that we had not thought to draw.
I have admired you as a student initially and then as a lecturer in your department and during those years have had the privilege of watching you make special and unique contributions to Moratuwa University. You have been active in departmental governance and committed to its effective functioning. You have been a consistent and effective advocate of development of electrical engineering education in Sri Lanka, with a broad interest in the overall academic process and a strong institutional loyalty to Moratuwa University as a whole as well as to the electrical engineering department.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to you for being such a wonderful teacher and mentor throughout my academic life at Moratuwa. Needless to say, it has been a great privilege studying under such an extraordinary scholar and teacher.
Along with other lecturers whom I have come to admire at Moratuwa University, you have always pushed me to strive for excellence, or what the ancient Greeks commonly referred to as "arête." For this, I will always be grateful. I conclude by wishing you the very best for your retirement. May this new phase see good health, happiness and intellectual fulfillment. Thank you for your service as an educator and inspiration to me as a student, best captured in Alexander the Great's famous reflection: "To my parents I owe my life, but to my teachers I owe the 'good life.'"
Finally, few lighter moments as I recollect:
  • Not only you have imparted a great amount of knowledge onto us, but you have also been a true friend to all of us. You have always taken the time to establish rapport with fellow staff by getting to know them personally. When I was a staff member, I still remember we often had our lunch with you in your offices chatting on various subjects. I learned from you how to eat drumsticks (Murunga) with fork and knife.
  • I still remember travelling to Iranawila (Chilaw) with you for a consultancy work undertaken for the Voice of America radio station. The persistent rain on that day did not stop you joining us for field measurements - earth resistivity testing. This is a very good example of your humbleness. By the time we returned to Colombo, you had already completed the report with all graphs and analysis.
  • You always fought for justice and fair treatment to all individuals. I can still remember you supporting me in some odd occasions where justice did notprevail. For example, the university non-academic governance penalised me for not completing the doctorate within three years by sending a "vacation of post" letter while I was in the middle of my dissertation. Later, you interfered to rectify their oversight by offering me to return once I completed the doctorate.
  • We (fellow staff) could not beat you in any of the "friendly" table tennis games.
  • "I still remember you assisting us with replying to visa officers (when they initially gave us a hard time in processing student visas for our higher studies). I am sure you would not do differently, if you knew exactly, at that time, that some of us would not return to the faculty.
  • "When you were in Auckland University in New Zealand on sabbatical, you showed us your capabilities in house painting too at Nalin's place. (Did Nalin award you the post-doctoral diploma in house decoration?)
  • "When you were planning to buy a government sponsored duty free vehicle, I admired the mammoth background work (tables, graphs, analysis) you conducted prior to ordering the vehicle.
  • "Had my wife's family enquired you about me (before my marriage), I would have been in big trouble as you would have said to them "Chandana Samarasinghe is married to Yamuna with two children" referring to Chandana Samarasinghe of CEB.
Dr. Chandana Samarasinghe,National Planning, AEMO, Australia, [UoM EE graduate 1990]

From: "Athula Rajapakse"
Date: Tue, August 13, 2013 12:47 pm
In my personal experience, you are the most accomplished and dedicated teacher at the University of Moratuwa. I need no effort to mentally go back over 25 years to High Voltage Engineering classes you taught us …insulation breakdown mechanisms, mechanism of lightning, corona effect, etc. I still remember how you surprised us with your mental math abilities - you performed very odd divisions up to endless number of decimal points in front the class without the help of a calculator - you only need to look at the black board for few seconds. One of the greatest qualities I admire is your fairness in dealing with both academic and non-academic maters. Also, you never answered a question or expressed an opinion without thinking - of course very fast thinking. You took constant effort to improve the teaching material even after many years of teaching. Also you were a very approachable teacher. Now I too follow an academic carrier as you and I often look upon to you as a role model.
I could more closely associate with you and your wife Ramala during your sabbatical spent at the University of Manitoba. It was clearly evident, the respect you commanded from your former students, just from the large contingent of students gathered at the Winnipeg airport to welcome you. During your stay in Winnipeg, I saw more closely the simple person within your complex character. I still remember the great discussions we had during coffee breaks, in the company of another great teacher Dr. Ani Gole. I cannot refrain from mentioning a story Dr. Gole often fondly recite. According to him, having noticed you using three-four sugar packets for a cup of coffee (as most Sri Lankans do), one day he offered to add sugar to your cup of coffee. As per the story, you never noticed the sugar level even when he added as many sugar packets as needed to saturate the coffee with sugar. Although Dr. Gole thinks you are insensitive to sugar, I believe you never complained out of respect to him.
I wish to congratulate on your well-deserved retirement after a distinguished carrier which rendered an invaluable service to Sri Lanka and the field of electrical engineering. I wish you all the best.
Prof Athula Rajapakse, Associate Professor, Engineering and Information Technology Complex, University of Manitoba, Canada [UoM EE Graduate 1990]

1991
From: "Patali Champika Ranawaka"
Date: Wed, March 27, 2013 1:59 pm
The meaning of fighting for freedom, justice and fair play was never alien to me. This I have maintained since my childhood. It is also no secret that I have maintained a keen interest in student struggles and always stood and fought for our democratic rights and equity.
When I recalled my childhood, I am proud to say that I came from a very humble background and can still remember my younger days without electricity or any other present day amenities. These are now considered as basic essentials but were quite alien to us as children. But those were the days of simple village life without any sophistications of a child from an elite family. But we were happy as simple rural children. Being a folk from a village background has without doubt added to my passion for student activities.
Having described briefly about myself as a prolog, I want to write few words about a person who is elite by birth but simple and humble in heart. This is non-other than our dear Prof. J. Rohan Lucas.
I first came to know Prof. Lucas in 1985 when I entered the University of Moratuwa as a first year engineering undergraduate. Those were the days of absolute chaos and separatist terrorism is beginning to sow seeds in our society. Especially after the July Riots in 1983 and mass massacre done by LTTE terrorist at Anuradhapura in 1985, our country was slowly and steadily but surely heading towards self-destruction.
This time period, still I can remember as yesterday. Our freedom for activities and speech as young students were greatly constrained, there were various restrictions, threats and intimidation imposed on student unions and its leaders. This was an era of constant pandemonium and disorder and it was obvious to us that the country was moving in the direction of an undemocratic atmosphere.
We also felt the heat of the student unrest, and can remember the manner in which the leading student meetings were disrupted by the authorities. These undemocratic activities and disruptions gradually paved the way for a radical insurgency led by students.
After my first year studies in the campus, I have selected Electrical Power Engineering as my chosen field of specialization. My resolve was further solidified by the inspiring teaching of individuals like Prof. Lucas. His teaching ability enthralled me like those of no other Sri Lankan professor. The manner in which he manipulates his lessons to get the optimum output from us, without destroying our self-respect and the special attention he pays to backward students is simply astounding!
To put things in the correct perspective, as a born freedom fighter I was engaged in numerous student struggles and had no intention to go for lectures. However, during our third year or Part II studies, I can remember going to the High Voltage Engineering lessons conducted by Dr. Lucas. This may be due to the great respect I had for this person.
This is somewhat strange; as a habit I normally will not go for any lectures and used to study on my own by means of the lecture notes of other students or getting help or Kuppiya ( in student language) from my friends whenever I want to learn something difficult. This was during 1987 and I was moved to go for the High Voltage (HV) Engineering lesson from the 1st day itself. Here, I found a very humble, down to earth and simple human being in Prof. J. Rohan Lucas.
In him I saw a true teacher who has taught us from A to Z about H.V. Engineering supported by a well written set of notes. I can still remember his first lesson about the lightning phenomena. We as students thought until then that lightning stroke means flow of a massive electrical charge from a rainy cloud to mother earth. But we learnt in a convincing way that this is not the case always. Subsequently due to his excellent manner of teaching I have decided to go for all of his lectures without any breaks. This I consider an exception from my normal behavior in the campus.
I want to complement some more of his characteristics. He was punctual and never discriminated a student because he or she is from a rural family or is a union activist or for any other reason. To him all the students were equal. This is especially true when it comes for the evaluation of course works or examinations. Consequently, not like some of the other lecturers, we never had any fear of reprisal as union leaders.
That is why I am proud to say that I did obtain an A grade for H.V. Engineering in the Part II examination. Thus, I can vouch Prof Lucas's unbiased and impartial attitude towards students.
His ability to explain complex theories of H.V. engineering without any complications is awe-inspiring. We all can remember his lessons and explanation of phenomena such as stray capacitance related to transmission lines. This will not be forgotten by many of us. His numerous teachings were extremely useful right through in our professional life.
Another remarkable practice we have experienced is his ability to solve sums without any calculators and certainly he was quicker than many students who were using calculators.
Most recently, soon after I became the Minister of Power and Energy, I visited the Head office of the LTL Holdings (Pvt) Ltd at Park Street, which is a subsidiary of the CEB. I was told that the premises belong to Dr. Lucas's family and was little surprised. I can state without any hesitation, that he is from an elite family, went to an elite school and had excellent educational qualifications. But, he did not leave his motherland for greener pastures abroad unlike like many others. This is the beauty of his simple and patriotic life.
I also wanted to recall invaluable services he rendered to me by helping me to sort out the 15% ceiling imposed on dispatching of the Puttlam Lak Vijaya Coal Power Plant. He as a learned professor has helped the decision makers to increase this ceiling up to 25 % by giving an expert opinion, thereby saving billions of rupees to our country.
Without any hesitation, I am proud to say that Prof. Lucas has served his motherland with flying colors and has paid back many times the benefits he gained from the free education.
I wish he will continue to serve our country in the future with equal vigor and strength. As a Cabinet Minister, I will not hesitate to seek his unbiased and impartial expert opinion whenever there is a professional doubt.
Patali Champika Ranawaka; M.P, Minister of Technology, Research and Atomic Energy (2013) Minister of Power and Energy (2011-2013), [UoM EE Graduate 1991]

From: "Anura Wijayapala"
Date: Tue, March 19, 2013 3:31 pm
First I thought I do not need to write because we have been understanding each other so closely that what I mean and what you mean usually match very well. However looking at the great many written responses you get from friends of all levels, I though of typing a few of my thoughts as well.
Humans have a relatively medium lives. If (or rather when) you live 90 years ( as you often estimate based on your ancestry), 43 year service needs to be extended by good 30%. So I am not happy at all your getting ready to call it a day on completion of 65 years or even with a few more years on contract. People of your caliber must associate with the university as long as you can afford to and I am sure financial terms for you have been always secondary. Department would have immensely benefitted if we had Prof. Sam dropping in here at least weekly and influencing the young lecturers' in shaping up their academic lives. We missed it. Now we want it from you.
I do not want to flatter on appreciating your work. Only thing I would say is the department will have a big empty space when it is minus of Prof. Lucas because we are yet to see a Department of Electrical Engineering at uom without you!
I have learnt from a lot of high caliber people; Prof. Sam Karunaratne, Mr. UD Jayawardena, Mr. Eelian de Silva, Mr. Joe Warnakulasinghe to name a few. But in this list you stand very very TALL.
Thank you for all what you have done to help me in finding my first job and the second job as well.
I will not forget to thank your wife for her understanding and help which must have made your work easier in this long journey of academic life. Wish you two a healthy and happy life in the coming several decades!
Anura Wijayapala, Senior Lecturer I, UoM, Former Vice-Chairman, CEB, Former Factory Manager Lanka Transformers,  [UoM EE Graduate 1991]

From: "W F Malraj Fernando"
Date: Fri, September 19, 2014 10:11 pm
Professor J. Rohan Lucas
It is a great privilege, and an honor with pleasure, to write a few words in appreciation of you, great Professor J.R. Lucas. Very little has changed from the day I met you in 1985 till now, and you look the same smiling pleasant person.
I first came to know you as a teacher in our second year teaching Electrical Measurement, notes of which I keep with me even today for teaching and for reference. We were little scared at the start when you came close to us asking questions on the subject but after sometime we were all at ease with your little humor. Although, those questions looked very simple, they always carried a profound meaning and practical knowledge behind them. One thing I cherish and value about your teaching is your ability to explain very difficult complex scientific concepts with day-to-day simple examples. Your ability to explain very complicated phenomena starting from first principles amazes me even today.
I always admire your great commitment for teaching and making sure the students have grasped what you have taught. I, as a student, always felt that you take great interest in teaching. Those days, we used to say that Dr. Lucas has the sets of notes and willingness to teach any class starting from first year NDT students to final year BSc Engineering Students and even the post graduate students now. We always felt that we were at home in your classroom with your cordial friendship and the smile on your face. You are an example to many of us in the manner you stand by your policies always. One very rare quality among academics, I see in you is that your humility in willingness to say 'I do not know' when you are not sure.
Outside the classroom, you were a friend helping us and advising us in our difficult circumstances. I still remember how you assisted us and encouraged us when we went through the turbulent and terror days in 1988-1990. When some of us came and requested letters of recommendation for applying for temporary jobs outside or getting exemption to follow other external courses, you never hesitated but assisted us. At the same time you encouraged and advised us not to lose hope of the future.
After a long delay due to insurgencies in the country, many of us had to wait in the Department after passing out as graduates without jobs. I remember how you assisted us in finding jobs in the private sector and opportunities to pursue higher studies during that time. I too was given the opportunity to work as an temporary assistant lecturer and invited me to join the staff while following an MPhil under your supervision. Although I declined that opportunity when CEB opened the doors, I will never forget the mercy shown to me in my time of need. I also remember with gratitude all the advice and guidance given at various stages of my life.
It is a real blessing to be a student of yours and consider it a great privilege to meet a wonderful person like you in my life's journey. May your achievements and great qualities in life be a blessing to many others even after your retirement!
May God Bless you and your Family!
W.F. Malraj Fernando, Project Manager [Clean Energy & Network Improvement Project -Pk1, CEB, UoM EE Graduate 1991]

1992
From: "Ramya Wanniarachchi"
Date: Thu, June 27, 2013 4:45 pm
Prof. Lucas is leaving UOM after an illustrious carrier spanning for 43 years. The Electrical Department at UOM will never be the same without Prof. Lucas. He is the cornerstone upon which the department, which we all have fond memories of, was built. We are privileged to be his students and It's both a pleasure as well as an honor that I am writing down my memories of him during the last 26 years.
We entered to the UOM in 1986. During the period from 1987 to 1990, more than two and half years, we were at home as universities were kept closed due to prevailing security situation in the country. When the university was re-opened in February, 1990 most of the Lecturers had left for higher studies or were on sabbatical leave. Only Prof.Lucas (Dr Lucas then) was there in the Department to teach most of the electrical subjects until a Senior Batch passed out. He worked tirelessly to fill the vacuum.
After selecting to follow the Electrical Stream, we had two options to decide between, either Electrical Power or Electronic & Telecommunication. Even before entering to the UOM, I had a dream to follow Electrical Power. But most of my senior school mates discouraged me on selecting Electrical Power. When I discussed the matter with Prof, he encouraged me to follow Electrical Power. Today I am really happy about my career. It is with a big 'Thank you' that I put down today on record your valuable advice. We were fortunate to obtain his service during the whole period we were in the Electrical Department. He was always available and ready to help students.
My friends who joined the temporary staff as Instructors or Assistant Lecturers told me that he treated them as close friends. In general we never expect such a close friendship with a very Senior Staff Member. Unfortunately I missed that period as I left the Department only after two and half months being an Instructor.
I am very proud to say that I am one among thousands of his students. There are no words to express the service you offered to the students at UOM. Athula and I wish him many more years of contribution to Sri Lanka's Electrical Power Industry and wish him good health, happiness and success at all times.
Ramya Wanniarachchi, Chief Engineer (Planning & Development) - Colombo City, Ceylon Electricity Board [UoM EE Graduate 1992]

From: "Deepthi Hewageegana"
Date: Fri, June 28, 2013 12:27 pm
It is nearing 30 years or 28 years to be exact since the first time I set my eyes on Prof. Lucas (Those days it was Dr. Lucas). It took another year before we started associating with him closely, that is when he started lecturing us on Part I Theory of electricity. He was different from most of the other lecturers, Very serious but friendly, and most importantly, it was very clear that he enjoyed the task.
Though, in our eyes he was a very senior and respected figure, he had this ability where he broke the Master-student barrier, so he became not only a Teacher but also a counselor. We felt very comfortable and relaxed to interact with him and naturally he became a wonderful role model for the budding engineering students.
The next time we had the fortune of associating Professor Lucas, was when we were in the final year, lecturing his pet subject "High Voltage" - Monday Morning, Most difficult day to come on time. Still 90% of the students will be there on time, with a few exceptions because we all knew Prof. will be on time. It was an excellent set of lectures, just like a mini skirt. Covering all the important aspects but keeping it simple and interesting enough for students like me.
The most valued aspect of his teaching was his commitment outside the class room. He will give assignments and submissions was marked and returned within couple of days with his comments and corrections well drafted. He was accessible any time during the working hours or after hours, and was more than willing assist us.
In the face of Rules and Regulations he was a different person. He stuck to them to the letter which sometimes found impracticable.
I still remember one incident. One or two days after the final year High Voltage paper, he was asking each of the batch mates, how we have fared at High Voltage paper. He did this with a funny look in his eyes. We were sure that he has already marked the papers and enjoying our comments. We tried our best get a feed back on individual or general performance, but no avail. But I am sure, already knowing how we have performed, on his own; he would have enjoyed our comments greatly.
We were blessed have a teacher in caliber of Professor Lucas who is a simple, uncomplicated mentor who not only showed us the way forward in Electrical Engineering, but showed us simplicity, commitment and principles by practice.
Sir, wish you health, peace and long life.
Deepthi Hewageegana, Director Hayleys Industrial Solutions Ltd, [EE UoM graduate 1992]

From: "Anula Abeygunawardana"
Date: Wed, July 10, 2013 7:24 pm
It is a great pleasure for me to write down my memories with you as a student and then as a member of the staff and beyond. I will always remember you as a simple man who wore a smile at all times and was always ready to help students and the junior staff.
As a student, I saw you as a teacher who interacted with students in a friendly and caring manner and enjoyed association with students. Your door was open for students and you always had time to chat with them. You were a compassionate teacher, who enjoyed teaching to an unimaginable degree that never failed to impress me; who was constantly dedicated to the student. I remember how you always endeavoured to mark every student's assignment and exam papers as soon as submitted.
When I was working as a junior staff member, just after graduation, I remember how much you cared about us and how you enjoyed interacting with us. Every morning, you would come to the staff room with a knowing smile and always ready to crack a joke. I remember how you always had a joke and how you never failed to make every aspect of our day seem light-hearted. I believe it made us all the more comfortable to interact with you closely. You were always there for the junior staff when they needed you the most. One of your most impressive qualities is how you never feared to fight with anybody for unfair treatment without reason. I remember a time when you heard Nalika's appointment letter got delayed for weeks and you directly went to the establishment branch, talked to them, and convinced them to get it done by the next day. This event is embedded in my mind as a quality of yours that I would always admire from then on.
After I joined the department as a Senior Lecturer in 1997, I was able to work with you much more closely. It was a great honour and pleasure to share my work with you. I especially enjoyed the shared lectures that Jahan, you and Idid for the first semester batch. I will never forget how you were always there to give me a lift from the university to Mt. Lavinia. It became a habit for you to check my office to see if I was there at the end of the workday, and whether I required a lift.
After I resigned from the department in 2002, I had the very fortunate opportunity to meet you, Ramala and Rosanthi in 2009 in Milan. We had a wonderful time during your stay at my place in Milan.I'm sure you recall the rushed trip in which you visited Venice, Padua and Verona in a single day, with Ajith and Vinuri. As I heard from Ajith, the most memorable part of your Milan trip is visiting the old Monza car track and, not believing that therewas a 45 degree slope awaiting you, had to climb the steep side on all fours.
Thank you Sir for all you did for us. You have an exceptional gift of humour; this made each and every one of us laugh and enjoy the environment we worked and studied in. Your commendable willingness to fight for fairness was one of your most admirable qualies. I will always remember you as a very simple man, who wasn't one to crave things that most other people desired and as a man who enjoyed the simple pleasures of life.
Ajith, Vinuri and I wish you a healthy retirement life, filled with happiness and full of laughter, which I'm sure you won't fail to add in.
Dr Anula Kumarihamy Abeygunawardena, Senior Research Fellow, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia [UoM EE Graduate 1992]

1993
From: "Peiris Jahan"
Date: Sun, May 12, 2013 2:37 pm
A very interesting article about a very distinguished carrier. There are so many things that we all can learn.
I was fortunate to have you as a lecturer when I studied at the Electrical Engineering Department. Unfortunately, you were on sabbatical leave for most of our Part I, so we missed you for most of Theory of Electricity lectures. However, we were lucky to have you for our Part II Power Systems and Part III High Voltage Engineering lectures. I still refer to your notes. In particular, I often refer to your notes on short circuit analysis when I want to refresh myself on sequence impedance calculations and zero sequence diagrams. We liked some lectures than others for different reasons. For example, we all really enjoyed Prof PAD's lectures because of various interesting stories he told and his wide ranging opinions.
Although you always talked about subject matter, we all liked and enjoyed your lectures a lot, because of the way you presented them.
After my undergraduate days, I had the privilege of working with you very closely at the Department of Electrical Engineering. It was a great honour to work with you and even to share lectures with you (such as in the instance where you, Anula and I shared the first year Electrical Engineering Course for the first group of students who entered the University under the semester system). During the time at the Department, I occupied the room next to your's. I still remember how much effort you put in to build up and maintain the department news page. I remember the time you found out a way to have a "Visitor No." counter on the news page. It was in late 1999 and everybody was talking about the MILLENNIUM. I remember one afternoon you shouted from your room "Jahan, we reached the millennium" when that Visitor No. counter reached 1000! I visited the Department news page a little while ago and can see how far we have come since then. Another afternoon, you were getting ready to leave for a meeting in Colombo. At the last moment, you realised that a button from one of the long sleeves of your shirt was missing. I remember how you used a paper clip like a cufflink when our search for a pin failed!
Most will not know that you are a very good cook. I still remember the very nice surprise dinner that you prepared for Shantha, Badra and me when we were in Auckland. That was the first time I had "marble rice"! I remember how you had set up the table with the cutlery in place to make it a very formal dinner. I also remember how you guided us when we got together to paint Nalin's house. You were very good at giving us all the hints in doing a good painting job.
When I showed your autobiography to Badra, she mentioned that you were her mentor when she was in her first year at the University. She mentioned how you took them around the department including the laboratories, in particular the high voltage laboratory. Another thing she mentioned is how humble you are, which I completely agree with her.
Dear Lucas Sir, finally, I would like to tell you that, you were like a father figure to me when I was studying at the University, and a very close friend to me since then. I learnt a lot from you and thoroughly enjoyed every minute that I have associated with you. The University will never be the same after your retirement.
Badra and I wish you a very happy and healthy retirement. Have a well deserved break!
With love and all good wishes,
Dr Jahan Peiris, Manager/Operations Technical Support TransGrid System Operations, Australia [UoM EE Graduate 1993]

From: "Dharshana Muthumuni "
Date: Mon, April 29, 2013 7:41 pm
Dr. Lucas - A man of great stature
Dr. Rohan Lucas is a teacher and a gentleman. He has touched the lives of thousands of students who graduated from the University of Moratuwa and certainly mine. He was the epitome of what a teacher should be. I learnt at firsthand how seriously he took his obligations as a teacher. If I were to pick a single quality that stood out about Dr Lucas, that would be it.
Dr. Lucas opened up the opportunity for me to go to the University of Manitoba. He had worked as a Research Scholar with Dr. Peter McLaren, an individual that both Dr. Lucas and I hold in the highest esteem, and through his brilliance and hard work had established a very high repute. Thus, Dr McLaren had no hesitation to recruit me when I was recommended by Dr Lucas. This was in 1995 and since then, over 50 Engineering students have come to Manitoba for graduate studies on scholarships. While I like to think that I played a minor role, obviously, it is Dr. Lucas who is to blame for this 'brain drain' to Manitoba!
I was fortunate to have gone through the undergraduate program at Moratuwa. I firmly believe that the Academic standards of the Electrical Engineering Department is world class. Maintaining this takes a highly qualified and dedicated staff and this has always been a challenge at Moratuwa. It is no secret that Dr. Lucas took it upon himself to ensure that nothing comes in the way of providing the students with the highest standards of instruction. There were times when I was a student where he would come to class to teach subjects outside of his normal schedule to cover up for the staff member who had gone on study leave or sabbatical.
It was our good fortune that Dr. Lucas agreed to come back to Manitoba in 2006 for his final Sabbatical. His research this time was funded by the Manitoba HVDC Research Centre, the makers of PSCAD software. I was the lead collaborator from the company side and was amazed that he was the faster FORTRAN programmer despite that being my day job for over 10 years. With his math skills still sharp as a tack, he developed for us an analytical tool to evaluate the 'stability' of electrical systems. The 'Lucas CT model' that he developed in 1991 is now an established module available in the industry standard PSCAD software. Students he tutored are contributing to the progress of the electrical engineering filed across the world.
All these and Dr Lucas' legacy in the engineering community is firmly set.
During his visit to Manitoba in 2006, me and my family got to know Dr. Lucas and his most wonderful wife in a more informal setting. These are some facts I found out...
I learnt that any time of the day is a good time for him to have a cup of tea. He can enjoy a cup of tea without sugar or with 10 spoonful's of sugar. Surprisingly (for me at least, as I never knew him outside of his pedagogues façade before) he was very good with little children and my little daughter loved his company. 'Sarama' is his favorite outfit when relaxing at home. He is always up for a weekend trip or any fun activity.
When irked, Dr, Lucas can be sharp and tell without mixing words that you did not meet the highest standards that he expected from his former students !
A not so well known fact about Dr. Lucas is his love for sports and his talent for any game that involves a bat and a ball. He plays a mean game of Table Tennis, a game that runs in his family. I recall that we played Table Tennis at our workplace in Manitoba pretty much every single day during that stay in 2010. Dr. Lucas was a 'player in demand' for our lunch time sessions and my colleagues at the HVDC Research Centre still recall the great times we had. He beat them all but one!
Dr Rohan Lucas is a man of great stature. That he is a Josephian is no coincidence!
Dr. Dharshana Muthumuni , Manager, Engineering Studies and Simulations, Manitoba HVDC Research Centre, Winnipeg, Canada [UoM EE graduate 1993]

From: "Sisira Kankanam Gamage "
Date: Sun, April 28, 2013 4:11 am
Prof. J Rohan Lucas
I consider it an honor to add my appreciation here on the eve of Prof. Rohan Lucas's retirement after 43 long years of service to the nation. Prof. Lucas undoubtedly a towering figure of University of Moratuwa for past many years and also shares the credit of making University of Moratuwa as it stands today, a word class University. Highly revered as a supreme expert in High Voltage Engineering, nation will greatly benefit if his expertise is continued to be sought in projects of national importance.
My interaction with Prof. Lucas started back in 1987 when I was a second year undergrad at the University of Moratuwa. This was the course on Theory of Electricity which he taught for many long years. For the past many years this was the first course that laid the foundation for budding electrical engineers. In my view it is this great foundation that helped us become better electrical engineers that employers competed to hire.
As I've chosen the electrical engineering degree program, I met him again in the third year and in the final year. His famous final year high voltage engineering course is one of the courses I was thoroughly drawn into and taking my focus away for other courses was quite difficult task at that time, I recollect.
Prof. Lucas I see as a professor who didn't preach but who set a solid example for others to follow. He was never late to the lectures. His lectures were started and ended on time. Punctual in every possible way, he never missed a single lecture during my time as an undergrad.
When I became the privileged few who could join the staff of the department of electrical engineering, I had the greatest pleasure of interacting with Prof. Lucas at a different level. To this date I consider this a very high privilege, to receive mentoring from a highly revered Professor like him. During my time as an assistant lecturer, he very willingly reviewed the tutorials I made for the course I taught on electrical measurements. After these review sessions I remember leaving his office highly motivated.
Prof. Lucas's door was always open to the students. He needed no prior appointments. I vividly remember one incident where he gave priority to students over us, assistant lecturers. This was the examination period at the university and Prof. Lucas told me and another assistant lecturer that he had a senate meeting to attend to and he could talk to us later. As we walked out of his room, in came a student to see him to clarify some subject matter. We saw Prof. Lucas let the student in and took time to explain the material for few long minutes and taking off for the senate meeting. This incident taught me a lesson on how to set priorities in the role of a lecturer.
I am sure to this date, Prof. Lucas is the first professor to pass the student grades to the examinations division, following the exams. During our time at the department, I was served a notice by him, reminding me of the department's practice to grade the answer scripts and to pass the grades to the examination division. This was a day before the new year holidays and I had to take the answer scripts home and greet the answer scripts than greeting and meeting the relatives during new year holidays. I later learnt that department of electrical engineering set self-imposed deadlines to release grades to set an example. This taught us an excellent lesson on deadlines and the need to honor them and on adapting to sub cultures that set better examples.
Our time at the department was fairly a dry period in securing student's grants for higher education and I remember Prof. Lucas providing me many recommendation letters taking no time what so ever. He at times discouraged me to apply to certain universities, telling me you can get to a better university than this. If I remember right he out right refused to provide me letters to some universities as well. This is a clear example of how he certainly wanted his students to aim high. This is an extraordinary act of Prof. Lucas that I myself and all of his students should be more than grateful to.
His famous line was "I am not a man of talk but a man of work". When we celebrated the 25 years of Prof. S Karunaratne' service (then Prof. of Electrical Engineering and head of the department), we made a prior request to Prof. Lucas to make a speech. Prof. Lucas was the most senior student of Prof. Karunaratne in the department at that time and we thought it was quite fitting for him to make a speech at that occasion. Though he used the "man of the work" line he agreed to speak and also asked us assistant lecturers to pass some pointers. We were quite surprised and thrilled to see he gave the speech along lines we passed on to him. This is clearly an occasion where he exhibited the lighter side of him.
During our time at the department, Prof. Lucas always encouraged us to go see the world outside the walls of University of Moratuwa. Whenever he attended the relevant events outside, he made sure to give us rides as well. I remember an occasion where Prof. Lucas asked us whether we would be attending Prof. R. H Paul memorial lecture, the father of electrical engineering education in Sri Lanka. When I told him that I thought he, Prof. Lucas was the father of electrical engineering education in Sri Lanka, he smilingly said he would be delivering the R H Paul memorial lecture that year.
Prof. Lucas in no uncertain terms stood as a giant pillar of the electrical engineering education in Sri Lanka for the past 43 years and no doubt in my mind that the history will place him along the lines of Prof. R. H Paul. On the day of his retirement, student community, electrical engineering community and the whole nation salute you Sir, for your greatest service to the nation!
Dr. Sisira Kankanam Gamage , Senior Design Engineer ( General Electric Sensing and Inspection, Fremont, CA, USA ), [UoM EE graduate 1993]

From: "Saman Gunasekara "
Date: Fri, May 3, 2013 8:07 pm
I was a student of Prof. Lucas in 1993. My field was Electronics and Telecommunication. I learnt Theory of Electricity from him. I found him to be a genius but very simple professor. I admired him as a role model or Guru in the subject. I liked his teaching very much as he could explain most complex subject maters in a very simple way. The teaching of Prof. Lucas was very clear and consistent. His lectures are crystal clear and he reiterates everything to make sure the class understands the material. He always made sure students have a clear understanding of the material and doesn't rely on the book to teach the class. He knew his subject thoroughly. He can actually TEACH. He was very well organized and fair enough in grading as well. He made me really love the subject.
Even now I am using Prof. Lucas's notes to teach my Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering students as I found them clear and accurate, which cannot be achieved even after reading many famous texts. He was very generous in giving me the go ahead when I asked the permission to use those notes as my class notes. His only humble request was to show his name at the bottom of each page. He has even published those notes on the web enabling anybody to use them free. That's why I love him as a rare kind of professor.
Not only that he was a very patient, humble and simple professor . I still remember his humble smile whenever I come across him in a corridor or cross path.
I think Mr. J. R Lucas is overall a great professor.
Saman Gunasekara , Technical Manager for EricssonTelecommunications Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd. [UoM En&Tc graduate, 1993]

1994
From: "Mohamed Firdhous"
Date: Fri, March 15, 2013 6:34 pm
It is nice to know all the details of yours from your birth to date. Let me put briefly details of contacts I had with you.
Initially I knew you as a lecturer during my undergraduate days at UoM from 1990 to 1994. I am glad to say that you were one of my best lecturers and I managed to get A (Maximum Grade - No A+ were given those days) for all your subjects. You even instructed some practicals in the electrical measurements lab. I even remember the practical where we had to measure the resistance of a short aluminum rod.
Then I was a temporary lecturer in the electronics depertment during 1996-1997 period. This time I spent more time in the electrical engineering department than in the electronic department. I still remember how you used to treat me. We even used to go to canteen together along with other senior lecturers like Prof. Ranjith, Prof. Wijayathunga etc and my immediate seniors like Dharshana Mutumuni, Jehan Peiris and Sisira Kankanamgamage etc., in a single group.
Then for the third time as a permanent lecturer in the IT Faculty after 2003. I always used to come to electrical engineering dept. to meet my lecturers. There in the staff lunch room we used to talk on everything under the sun and enjoy ourselves. You recommend me for the corporate membership of IESL and membership of IET (IEE those days). I am really grateful to you for that.
I traveled in your car several times when I was living at Mount Lavinia. I once even came to your house in Mount Lavinia with you when it was under construction.
Though I am on leave from UoM from 2010, I always make it a habit to visit EE department just to meet you and other staff members to say hi, because I really feel that EE dept is a part of my life. It is people like you who really made me feel like that.
I am really glad and honored I had a lecturer like you. I learnt a lot from you both on academic matters as well as others.
I hope you will be in touch with the UoM in the future too. I wish you long and happy retired life.
Mohamed Firdhous, Postgrad Malasia, [UoM Graduate 1994]

From: "Sanath Jayasena"
Date: Fri, April 19, 2013 1:49 pm
I first I came to know Prof. Lucas by name only, when I read the Student Handbook which listed the academics of all the Departments. The student handbook was given to me when I was admitted to the Faculty of Engineering at University of Moratuwa in 1986, having sat the A/L's in 1985.
I was fortunate to be selected to the very first batch of 16 students to follow the degree program offered by the newly established Department of Computer Science & Engineering headed by Dr. Abhaya Induruwa. We got to know that new equipment and labs were to be setup in our Department with support from the Japanese government. Due to unrests and political violence that prevailed during 1987-1989, Universities were closed most of the time. During this period, Prof. Lucas had served as the Head of our Department for about an year while Dr. Induruwa was away on his sabbatical; but we did not have any interaction with Prof. Lucas during this time as the University was closed.
When we returned to the University, in early 1990 as I remember, Dr. Induruwa was back as the Head of the Department and we noted that the Department had a significant improvement in resources and learning environment. Due to the unavailability of an elevator, the iron railing on the 2nd floor of the Sumanadasa Building (where the Department is located) had been cut in a few places to lift and move-in heavy and large items. We were delighted to see the new labs, computers and equipment other resources. Prof. Lucas has thus made a significant contribution to develop our Department since our beginnings, along with many others.
I got to know Prof. Lucas when he taught 'Theory of Electricity' in the 2nd year. Just like to many others, it was one of the favourite subjects that I followed in our 4-year degree program. His lectures are so rich and his ways of presentation make even complex subject matter easy to understand. It was a privilege to learn from him. Yet, I did not interact with Prof. Lucas outside the class; there was no need for me, probably because he made everything clear in the lecture itself. So I did not think he would even remember me later. Yet, after I graduated in 1993 and joined the University, he helped me with recommendation letters when I applied for graduate studies.
Perhaps the most memorable event for me with Prof. Lucas is not of academic nature. When we were in the final year (1993), there was a day for staff-student sports and recreational activities. As a part of that, I volunteered to play table-tennis and my opponent from the staff side was Prof. Lucas! I had played table-tennis before and I did not know how good or bad Prof. Lucas was; I had the feeling I would win. But to my amazement, I found him to be an excellent player, way ahead of me, and there was no way I could win, despite the cheering from my friends.
Dr. Sanath Jayasena, Associate Professor, Dept of Computer Science & Engineering, [UoM CSE graduate 1994]

From: "Lakshitha Weerasinghe"
Date: Fri, June 28, 2013 9:15 am
Memoires of a student
My first encounter with Prof Lucas (Dr Lucas then) was on the very same day I set foot on the revered soil of University of Moratuwa as a meek freshman, fearing for the presence of raggers. When all of us of the new Engineering batch were called in for the inaugural welcome to UOM, Dr Lucas too was one of the speakers. To this very day, I can remember how I first saw him, a rare thing for a person like me. To us, his name was somewhat amusing as the only name "Lucas" that we have come across till then was that of "Lucas batteries" and his name we thought was a good choice for a Professor of Electrical Engineering.
What happened a week after our first day at UOM is history! My second stint at the Uni began in 1990 and my second encounter with the great man was in 1991 when he taught us Theory of Electricity. Prof Lucas was one of my most admired academics, first for the strong foundation he laid on us on the fundamentals of the subject and secondly due to the man within him. It is not an over statement if I say that the caliber (and personal character) of lecturers like him at the Electrical Department then was one of the strongest reasons why the choice of many of us was tilted towards opting for Electrical Power and not the "trendy" Electronics.
My closest Encounter with Professor Lucas began when I was a final year Electrical Power student. It was really touching for us to see him giving a break in between his lectures, follow us to the canteen, sit on the same table with us and sip a "Plain Tea" before returning back to continue the lecture. He was a character with such modesty.
He has a very strange (and complicated) sense of humor too. Few years after leaving the university, I visited the university one day for some matter, which I cannot remember exactly what. I met him at his office and, to my utmost surprise; he looked at me like a total stranger and inquired "You look familiar to me! Are you a student of this university or are you a student of me or am I known to you due to some other association?" Knowing that professors can be really absent minded at times, I was totally unaware how to respond.
When I started slowly trying to gather one or two words to explain to him that I was once a (good) student of him , he immediately responded back and said "Lakshitha, what can I do for you?". (Thank God, his lectures were far less complicated to understand than his humor!!!.)
His connection with us continued long after we left the university. When I was holding the post of Editor of the IESL Newsletter (SLEN), I invited him to write an article to a special "Technical Trade Supplement" (the only one of its kind released with the SLEN), he readily obliged and gave me an excellent write-up on lightning.
I continued to meet him during my professional carrier too as his services was regularly sought after by the CEB, the Ministry of Power & Energy and PUCSL for many assignments. Hence, I continued to learn from him during such involvements and hence to me he continued to be one of my teachers, years after leaving the University.
Dear Sir, On the eve of your retirement, only thing I have to say is,…
"Great teachers never retire; they always remain in the minds of their students and continue to remind them what they were taught, year after year"
Lakshitha Weerasinghe, Chief Engineer, Ceylon Electricity Board, UoM EE graduate 1994

From: "Ms Vishaka Nanayakkara"
Date: July 13, 2011
A short Note to tell you that your kindness will be remembered always
You were my teacher, my mentor and my guide
But more than anything the friend I could go to with any problem
Thank you ever so much Sir for everything
For being there whenever I needed advice !
I truly appreciate everything !
Ms Vishaka Nanayakkara [UoM CSE graduate 1994, UoM Faculty; former Head CSE]

1995
From: "Dammika Nanayakkara"
Date: Tue, March 12, 2013 7:26 pm
Our dearest Lucas sir, First of all, we are very much privileged and lucky to be your students. You are true professor by example. You made electrical engineering really interesting to us. You are not only a teacher but also a good guider. We are really indebted to you. Your words resembles how real teachers are committed and dedicated for the profession and well being of the students. You are a nice blend of everything. The interesting history you have mentioned is unmatchable and unique and therefore it needs to be made an autobiography.
People will have history, but your one will be unique. It will definitely be very useful and a real example for all fellow engineers. In your biography hope you will remember to mention about EESoc as well. EESoc is a brain child of yours. I can remember how you were leading from the front to launch EESoc. I was privileged to be one of the vice presidents under your presidency. I can remember, you joined us for full 3 day field trip amid your busy schedules; usually 3 day field trips are not very common.
You used to enjoy jokes humors etc. When we printed cartoon book of all teaching staff and final year students of electrical department, even though you were the head of department, you were very happy and gave so much of encouraging suggestions. Nowadays, most of the lecturers will some time misunderstand such acts of students. I believe energy audit you conducted in Oruwala Wane could be the first energy audit in Sri Lanka. That would have been the time when electricity was almost free.
Dammika Nanayakkara, Chief Technical Officer, LTL Holdings [UoM EE Graduate 1995]

From: "Vajira Wijekoon"
Date: Tue, April 2, 2013 10:11 pm
Somewhere in 1992, when we were on a batch trip to 'Atampitiya' mini hydro plant and having a bit of fun, cracking jokes and gossiping after our lunch, I remember seeing a person crossing a 'welpaalama' (suspension bridge) with great difficulty. This person looked very cautious. It looked like he was counting the swing amplitude and frequency of the waves he generated on the bridge while walking. Shaking of the bridge which is inherent to its design created resonance with the trembling of the person. He resembled a transformer's zig-zag winding posture as he walked cautiously. After a while, we could see him seated in the bus that we came in, reading a newspaper holding it upside down! He was challenging the lecturer seated beside him to read it holding upside down. This was Professor Lucas. We were attracted to his simple, humble and humorous ways with a great sense of affection.
During the lectures next day, I drew a cartoon of the Professor crossing the rope bridge and passed it among my colleagues. Someone had finally put it in the notice board. When the Professor came for lectures, he saw this. To our surprise he was not cross seeing him cartoonized, but recalled the past day's adventures with the students in a very cheerful manner. Most amazing thing is that he recollects this incident correctly even after 20 years!
My daughter never keeps her study table tidy. Whenever I blame her for not maintaining it nicely, my conscience asks me "would she become a Professor one day..?" It is because the ever messy office table I had seen in my life is that of Professor Lucas's.
The phrase 'tongue-in-cheek' implies that a statement is not seriously intended. I have seen Professor Lucas using this phrase very often in his casual writing. Not only that, he really used to put his tongue-in-cheek while deeply engrossed in some thought. This behavior was humorously referred to as he is having a 'weralu' seed in his mouth. This is very common when he is drowned in solving a mathematical equation.
I was blessed to be a student of Professor Lucas from my second year to the final year. During our stay in the university in the early 90s we were in our twenties and now I count to realize that Professor would have been in his late forties. We had very close relationships with our teachers. When I was a temporary instructor, I used to obtain lifts in his brand new Toyota car that was bought on a long awaited Government permit. Professor really enjoyed offering lifts. When I mentioned it to him recently I was surprised to hear that now such solicitation is very rare among the students. Travelling with him was very enjoyable. He was seeing the world in his own way. Once a tiny spider hanging on the rear view mirror of his car was called a 'scaled down crab', I remember.
I still remember how the Professor voluntarily interfered in our final year project, insisting us to do the load flow programme in Pascal (our project supervisor was Professor Priyantha Wijayathunga). We had to stop all work and learn Pascal programming to write our load flow programme. At that time we were very critical of the Professor, with the belief that Pascal is a dead language, but later in my carrier I learnt that still Pascal is being used as a front end language in modern compilers.
Soon after obtaining our final year results, along with a few of my colleagues, I got appointed as a temporary instructor at the Electrical Department. During this period, I had the privilege to work under Professor Lucas as a research assistant in a research project implemented by the Ministry of Power and Energy. It was a study to encourage energy efficient lighting equipment in Sri Lanka by providing Government concessions for imports. Although Professor was searching for a first class degree holder to work under him, he could not find any, as there were none in my batch. His choice was me, who had only a general degree! As we knew very well that Professor generally prefers honors degree holders, I wondered why I was chosen. I was offered a 'five figure' salary (Rs. 10,000) per month during the four month period I worked, which was a superior salary when compared to the 'four figure' salary of newly passed out engineers received during that time.
One fine day I found a letter hidden under a bunch of letters on the Professor's ever messy table. It was a letter from the Ministry of Power & Energy to the Professor, saying that Rs. 15,000 per month would be paid to the research assistant who should be a first class honors degree holder. This disturbed me very much. I made up my mind that because I was not a first class degree holder I was paid less. Though I was disturbed, I determined to carry out my task beyond his expectation. Keeping the turbulence in mind to myself, I never indicated any dissatisfaction. I think I performed my task very well, that the Professor selected me to co-author with him in many technical papers, later. I wonder whether I am the only general degree holder who had co-authored with Professor Lucas. Many years later I was thrilled to see our papers listed under bibliographies of many other technical papers and even in a book published in U.S.A.! Once Mr. Nihal Kularatna (Former Director, Arthur C. Clarke Centre) told that one of our technical papers was the world's only available publication that had truly disclosed the current waveform of compact florescent lamp! I still remember how I worked hard in the Power Systems laboratory to save the waveforms in a storage oscilloscope and to get the plots by connecting it to the large plotter that was in the Machines lab. Professor was well conversant with the equipment in the laboratories and was always behind me, providing valuable guidance. This would have been an easy task if we had waited for another three to four years that saw rapid advancement in electronic instrumentation.
Though I was a general degree holder for the mere reason of not having scored well in my final exams (I have my own excuses and explanations for it.), I managed to add shine to my carrier by working with Professor Lucas, which finally paved the way to enter Ceylon Electricity Board as an engineer.
Thirteen years after leaving the university I got registered for a M.Sc. Programme offered by the University of Moratuwa. Again I had the opportunity to learn under Professor Lucas as a M.Sc. student. At my final defending, when I saw the Professor in the panel, I was happy thinking that I wouldn't get much troubled… which shortly I found was only an innocent hope! During the presentation, Professor was unbelievably disturbing with so many questions. He was arguing and even challenging my PSCAD simulations. It was almost an interrogation rather than a Thesis defense! I could see the sympathetic looks of other members in the panel, but I was helpless. Finally I was asked to alter so many simulations using certain tools that the Professor suggested and to handover it within three days; I was told otherwise I wouldn't qualify for that year's convocation. I strived hard working day and night and completed it in time.
Later, I came across rumours that Professor Lucas is one of the members of the PSCAD team and he flies to Manitoba University very often for attending PSCAD software revival sessions! [Only very recently I found out that this was not true, but that he had many students who were members of the PSCAD team]
I met the Professor recently at the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL), where I am a Council Member and we both work together in a committee, and I was surprised when he suggested writing my thoughts about him! Dear Professor, I thank you for giving me this privilege, but don't you think that I am a mere novice compared to the giant professionals that you have already asked to write about you and who have already written about you?
Having reached the zenith of your professional life and being the main Electrical Consultant for the Colombo Lotus Tower Project, I wish that you would one day climb its maiden steps to reach the highest elev ati on in South Asia and spread the fragrance of your knowledge not only to your motherland, but to the whole South Asian region! May you live long!
Vajira. B. Wijekoon, Chief Enginer, Ceylon Electricity Board [UoM EE Graduate 1995]

From: "Manjula Perera"
Date: Tue, March 12, 2013 12:58 pm
There are no words to express the service you offered to the students at Moratuwa. It is you who found me the job at LTL, even 3 months before my final exam at Moratuwa. It is you who found me University of Manitoba for my higher studies by writing to Prof. Raghuveer personally. It is you who brought me into IET as a committee member. You have done too much for me to achieve what I have achieved today.
So saying thank you will not be good enough at all.
Manjula Perera, Director/CEO, Wind Force (Pvt) Ltd [UoM EE Graduate 1995]

From: "Narendra de Silva"
Date: Wed, March 13, 2013 7:57 am
You are the greatest teacher I have met and probably the greatest man.
Prof. Lucas learned web page development in two weeks. I do not know anybody who can do that? If not then are we to say that those two weeks is equivalent to two weeks of intellectual time of another person. I finished my high voltage paper on a Wednesday. Thursday was a study leave and again we had the next subject on Friday. On my way to the canteen I met Prof. Lucas and found that he has finished paper marking. Do we know anybody who can do that? So are we going to say those two days of paper marking is equal to two days of any other persons intellectual performance.
Prof. Lucas learned power system stability within two weeks by Prabah Kundur. I am lecturing power system stability for last seven years and still have not come to the knowledge level of Prof. Lucas. Therefore it looks like my seven years is not equivalent to his fourteen days. When it comes to your academic service again the same question emerges. I have five or six books in electrical machines in my library. Ten or fifteen in power systems. Same with other subjects. But one and only one book for high voltage engineering. It is the most torn and worn book since I have referred to it over seventeen years now. This is Prof Lucas's high voltage book. When I come to think of it not only I do not own any books but I have never read any other book than this book. Therefore anything and everything I know of high voltage is from this book. I asked from couple of my friends and they confirmed that it is the same with them. I with certain confidence declare that all over the country all electrical engineers from Moratuwa know only what is in that book for High Voltage Engineering. I know Prof. Lucas spent around two or three years in writing this book. Is this two or three years equivalent to two or three any other years of academic. Therefore this time measurement is wrong somewhere.
Either we have to say that within one year Prof. Lucas does more than one year's job or as Einstein said for Prof. Lucas time goes slow.
Dr Narendra de Silva, Head of Engineering, LECO [UoM EE graduate 1995]

1996
From: "Sisil Kumarawadu"
Date: Wed, March 13, 2013 10:27 am
You have been the iconic figure of Dept EE all throughout and all your past/present students deserve a complete autobiography in printed form.
Your service stands out among the best not only in the Departmental point of view but also University level.
Prof Sisil Kumarawadu, UoM Academic Staff [UoM EE Graduate 1996]

"Lanka Udawatta"
Date: Mon, July 22, 2013 9:33 pm
ExplainSimplyEinstein (72K)
Simply Explained and Simply Understood
Giving a toast meaning to the above characterisation, it is my pleasure and honour to take on a true professor who served the University of Moratuwa for more than a quarter of a century. Important concepts, complex theories or extended equations in electrical engineering, he explained in simple ways, giving a remarkable meaning to the phrase "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough".
This gentleman is non-other than Professor J. Rohan Lucas from the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa. As a student, I had the opportunity to learn from him, listen to his lectures, observe how he solves the problems and appreciate how he thinks as an intellectual. To me, it was simply amazing. All electrical engineering undergraduates who graduated from this university enjoyed his lectures and his theoretical explanations will live in their memories for years to come. During his academic life, he blended his different phases of experience with lesson planning and used in his classroom teaching in an effective fashion. Among his teaching, we enjoyed the Theory of Electricity and High Voltage Engineering beyond doubt. Towards the later part of his career, he contributed to many post graduate courses, expanding his service further; maintaining the simplistic lecturing style which was very effective indeed.
As a fellow staff member, I was lucky enough to observe him further - associate and share in his experience. Professor Lucas was one of the very few staff members who came in the early morning and stayed till the end of the day with a brimming smile on his face, setting a good example to the people who are starting their early careers. To young staff members, he was a role model and many have learned from him. He knew all the procedures and protocols of the university system and people used to consult him. His service to the University Senate, Engineering Faculty and to the Department of Electrical engineering was more than substantial. He never refused to serve in the above committees - this was undeniably an admirable amenity. In a nutshell, Professor Rohan Lucas transferred a remarkable service to the university as true professor of Electrical Engineering. We wish him all the best!
Dr Lanka Udawatta, Faculty of Mechatronics, Higher Colleges of Technology, United Arab Emirates, former Professor in Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa [UoM EE graduate 1996]

From: "Champika Periyapperuma"
Date: Tue, August 20, 2013 9:13 am
Prof. Rohan Lucas - Inspirational teacher and a gentle human being ...
I got the news of Prof. Rohan Lucas retirment from the university from our colleague Manjula Perera, and was saddened by the thought. My wife Chandrika and I first met Prof. Lucas at the sports council room as freshers in 1991, where we spent most of our 'free time' where he was a frequent visitor. Whenever we met him, he was always smiling, which kept us at ease as freshers and an instant bond developed that was to last for years forward. Upon getting the first year results, our obvious choice was Electrical due to three figures who made such a big impact in our early university lives - Dr. Lucas, Dr. Priyantha Wijayatunge and Dharshana ayya (Muthumuni). Time flew while in the university, adding fond memories that we treasure now. In particular, two incidents stand out in my mind involving Prof. Lucas.
The sports council organizes an annual Teacher - Student event, where cricket and TT were the main events and Prof. Lucas was always a keen participant. In one year, guys came with an idea of a cartoon contest where students displayed cartoons of teachers and popular figures in the university. Needless to say that most cartoonists sought to sketch Prof. Lucas with his pencil slim figure, curly hair and of course the 'Topiya' in the mouth. As one of the judges of the competition, he had such wonderful sense of humour that to some of the cartoonists (who had to be beside their exhibits) he remarked - 'Topiya thiyenne waredi patthe' (you've drawn the toffee on the wrong side of the face). Dasse won the competition with a portrait of 'Kanapathi', but I bet Prof. Lucas would have voted to one of the cartoonists who decided to sketch him. Such was his compassion towards students and for sure the cartoonists were never at the risk of failing in HV Engineering in years to follow !!!
Second incident was when the conflict between B.Sc. and NDT students exploded during our third year. There was a certain head to head clash developing in front of the Mechanical Department and suddenly our teachers came from no-where led by Dr. Lucas and Dr. Wijayatunge, Dr. Attalage and others followed. Immediately they were able to calm the situation and disperse the mob, as students from both fractions had such high respect for these lecturers and could not face them with anger. In present times, where teachers kneel in face of pressure, such was the respect commanded by this gentle but firm personality...
It is also with deep sense of gratitude that we acknowledge, it was with your personal reference that Chandrika got her first job at Lanka Tranformers where she served for 15 years before an early retirement last year. We learned a lot from you sir, not just HV Engineering and subject matter; but how to lead a balanced life, mutual respect for others and above all to be humble as one reaches new heights in life. I'm sure there are thousands of fellow students who share similar sentiments, and we are forever grateful to you for these lessons in life. Let us wish you a future blessed with happiness, health and quality time with your loved ones, and let our paths cross every now and then ..
Champika Periyapperuma, [Director / CEO, Avena (Pvt.) Limited] and Chandrika Jayawardena Periyapperuma [formerly Manager - Exports, LTL Holdings][UoM EE Graduates - 1996]

From: "Dr Vajira S. Pathirana"
Date: Wed, September 25, 2013 8:56 pm
Engineering Excellence Award Vs Teaching Excellence Award
Congratulations on receiving these two prestigious awards!! I firmly believe that you deserve both these awards being a great teacher and a wonderful engineer. I don't think you have to be working as an engineer in an institution all your life to be recognized for your engineering excellence. You have shown your capabilities many times during your sabbatical appointments and your involvement with the industry as well as undergraduate projects.
These are great achievements that would further shine your illustrious career. We, as former students of you, are glad to see these accomplishments which you thoroughly deserve!!
Dr Vajira S Pathirana, [UoM E&T Graduate 1996, P.Eng. Chief Engineer, Teshmont Consultants,Canada, Past Chair of IEEE Power and Energy Society Winnipeg Chapter]

1997
No Convocation

1998
From: "Rukmal Jayasinghe"
Date: Fri, March 29, 2013 2:23 pm
It's a pleasure, indeed an honour, for me to write down my memories with you during the last 10 years. Still I remember the day I met you for the first time to get my passport application signed by you in year 1996 to participate in a series of Hockey matches in Singapore when I was at the second year. But we were pretty unfortunate during the final year to learn from you , because you were on sabbatical leave.
The real interaction with me occured during my LTL days, where you were heavily involved in HV and Temp. rise testing for the transformers which were our first export. I still remember one incident, that due to some mis-communication with one of our engineers, you got annoyed with us and gave me a call told me "Rukmal I'll never visit the transformer plant for any testing, if your people are acting like this!!!". All were all were really upset including the factory manager. Then I was given the task to be a mediator and somehow get you back for testing. I did it. But that was one of the most difficult moments in my life.
After that our relationship went a long way. You are the one who proposed me the thesis topic for my masters degree and guided me to present it up to IET. Also still I'm interacting with the university because of the opportunities given to me by your initiatives.
Sill you are the inspiration for us and wish you all the best and long life.
Rukmal Jayasinghe, Secretary IET Sri Lanka Network, CEO Kevilton, LTL Factory Manager …., UM EE Graduate 1998, Postgrad …

From: "Rasika Amarasiri "
Date: Tue, April 30, 2013 7:40 am
Congratulations on your milestone in service at UoM. Happy to drop some random thoughts about the wonderful encounters that I had with you during my short stay at UoM.
One of the best memories that I have of you is your humbleness and eager to learn new things. I can still remember the morning you dropped in to see me to find out how to fix some HTML issues in your EENews page. I was just a fresh graduate and you were a professor in the university. Still you didn't have any hesitation to ask for help and learn from a student of yours what you wanted to learn. I am happy to see the EE news page still running more than a decade after its inception by you.
I also cherish some of the long chats that the EE staff and CSE staff had over afternoon tea at the canteen on various topics in technology. You were one of the anchors in these discussions directing the chats along paths that you wanted to learn more on helping juniors like us to learn a lot from our senior staff.
Getting on to your teaching, I had only one subject with you, but can still remember the wonderful teaching you did with all your experience flowing through examples making it easy to digest a very theoretical subject. When it came to hard points, you never hesitated to help us with our queries amid your busy schedule. You were always one of the early starters at the Uni and one who left late in the evening.
Hope you would be able to continue your valuable services to the university for many years to come.
Rasika Amarasiri , Manager Research IT Services, Department of Accounting and Finance, Monash University, Victoria, Australia [CSE Uom graduate 19..]

From: "Chandrasena, Waruna"
Date: Thu, January 16, 2014 3:07 am
A trip down the memory lane....
I met Prof. Rohan Lucas almost 20 years ago when he taught us Theory of Electricity. I consider him as one of the greatest educators that I have ever met and it is a great honor and privilege to share some of my memories with him during a time when he is celebrating his distinguished academic career.
I am sure anyone who had crossed paths with him can relate to many many occasions where Prof Lucas would go above and beyond his teaching duties to offer help and advice to his students, peers and colleagues. If my memory serves me correctly, one of the first interactions I had with him as a Part I student relates to an interesting idea that my best friend Kaushal and I had on measuring the magnetic fields due to electricity. I think this was around two or three months into the Part I course and we had just started learning the basics. Prof Lucas was kind enough to listen to our great ideas and graciously offered his time to test some flux meters in the Measurement Lab. As one could imagine, we didn't go far with that project. However, one thing that struck me was even an absolute rookie like me could go to Prof Lucas and discuss any grandiose plans we had. I also remember inquiring whether I should consider installing lightning protection on our roof. This related to an incident that had happened in 1980s when a lightning strike on a nearby coconut tree had taken down the electrical switchgear in my house. Prof Lucas, as usual, took lot of time to explain to me that it was not a smart idea.... instead of simply putting what a dumb idea it was!
During the Part I exams, we all fared well in the Theory of Electricity paper thanks to his teaching style and his patience to answer numerous questions we had. However, most of us had failed miserably to maintain a good overall average. The second highest average was in low sixties and the median was in low fifties. Although Part I marks accounted for just 20% of the final grade, for many of us, passing with first class honors appeared as a distant dream that was slipping away. One day Prof Lucas offered us an excellent tip to cheer us up! He went on to say that 'if you want to get an A, you should aim for 100, if you aim for 70, you will never get there'. I am sure this must have been quite obvious to him and when he was a student he must have got 100 out of 100 all the time! Anyway... many of us in that gathering took his advice seriously and managed to turn fortunes around in the Part II and Part III exams, with Namal winning the Patuwathavithana Award (awarded for the highest grade point average in the finals out of all disciplines).
In the final year Prof Lucas taught us the High Voltage Engineering course. As any former student would attest, I would rate this as one of the best engineering courses offered anywhere in the world. I must admit though that I did not understand everything he taught us as an under graduate student. However over the years after going through couple of graduate courses and professional work as a studies engineer, I have come to realize and appreciate the depth of knowledge he had presented in this course. I am still referring to his notes from time to time…
The Electrical Engineering Society (EESoc) was formed in 1994 and Prof Lucas was voted in as the founding President. Prof. Lucas and Prof. Ranjit Perera were responsible for coordinating the inaugural EESoc get together organizing committee. I think, leading into the event, an over enthusiastic group of students must have given lot of headaches to Prof Lucas. However the get-together was a great success and this became an annual event. Through EEsoc we all had an opportunity to get know Prof Lucas outside the class room.
In 1998, after returning from his sabbatical in New Zealand, Prof Lucas started reorganizing the Department website. Around the same time he started updating the News page, which became the most frequently updated webpage in the University. During this period we had many interesting conversation with Prof Lucas on programming, html code and all kinds of interesting facts about to the web. I understand that this News page is still getting updated periodically. However, when Prof Lucas was maintaining this page we could expect a news item to be posted within a couple of hours of the event (if not the very next day!!).
Soon after graduation Prof Lucas opened up an opportunity for me to pursue graduate studies in the University of Manitoba with Prof Peter McLaren. Prof McLaren had no hesitation to offer me a fellowship when I was recommended by Prof Lucas. Soon after arriving in Winnipeg, I realized that the bar was set so high for Sri Lankans by .... you guessed it .... by Prof Lucas when he was on sabbatical leave, followed by Rohitha, Ioni and Dharshana. It was tough act to follow. As a graduate student, the minimum expectation was to get an A+, and getting an A was considered a 'failure' in a graduate course for a graduate from Moratuwa. Well, according to these standards, I have to report that I failed in one course.
In 2006-07 Prof Lucas visited University of Manitoba for his final sabbatical leave. By this time, things had changed quite a bit from his last visit to Winnipeg. The total number of students had grown (over 40). Some are serving as faculty staff members, as professional engineers in a utility, or as consultants. Almost all of them had come through his recommendation! I am sure he must have been really proud to see that his original contributions to electromagnetic transient simulations, which we affectionately call as 'Lucas models', are being widely used in system studies.
In 2007 summer Prof Lucas, his wife and my family went on a trip to visit the Canadian Rockies. As one could imagine, Prof Lucas was an excellent navigator (co-pilot). I did not have a GPS in the car but I never missed a turn! During these six days of travel I was able to 'download' so much information from him on so many topics including parenting tips for dealing with my three year old son. Since then we have travelled on a number of long road trips, however this was special.
I realize that these memories represent just the tip of an iceberg.... If I may paraphrase a poem written by Prof Lucas to sum up:
'You have shaped our minds by giving the gift of learning, enabled us to reach new frontiers and become great achievers by bringing out our best'....
Congratulations Sir!!
My wife Manjula joins me in wishing you and your wife all the very best and wish you a happy, healthy retired life.
Dr. Warurna Chandrasena,Senior System Studies Engineer, Manitoba Hydro, Winnipeg, Canada, [UoM EE Graduate, 1998]

From: "Sudharma Wijegunawardana"
Date: Mon, September 8, 2014 4:09 pm
I am honored to be contacted by you, and if it is not too late, here is my little message. I have been in US for the last 15 years (from 1999) and had lots of spare time in the past. I was keeping up with the department thru your EE news for years and also wrote in your EE Guest Book.
16/12/1999 "Though you are ready to accept both Bouquets and Brickbats, I'm sure that you'll never receive the second as this Announcements and News page is popular among not only Electrical Graduates but also most web surfers who love the UOM as a whole. Hope you'll keep it up providing us more hot news !!!"
19/07/2000 "News Item on Vol 3 No 11 July 2000 issue of Pariganaka is a real tribute to your time and effort on updating the web page (though it has been written by one other beloved student of yours, Sandagomi)
May you have all the blessings to keep up your good work as we all (frequent visitors) really love it and feel we are at home."
17/09/2006 "Just wanted to let you know that I have been up-to-date on things happening around the dept for the last 4-5 years because of the continuous efforts on the news page along with Prof. Lucas's humor.
I know that readers are allowed to send both bouquets and brickbats but being a past EE Student and being away from Sri Lanka and Moratuwa, I would like to remind the readers who are so concerned about nature of news items that this page has a disclaimer "News, Views and Announcements [This is not an official release]".
This web page is what makes EE Dept unique and we all should be proud of having our unique Professor Lucas to spare his time, reminding us of our good old days @ EE Dept with his own way of picking the news items."
Prof. Wish you a good time in cold Manitoba.If you would like to visit sunny Florida, just drop an email.
However, due to recent changes in my personal life I had no time to spare. Gomica my husband, and I became parents little late in our lives so we have only 3-year old twins. Our lives all of a sudden became very busy and I hardly visited EE news. So, I had no idea about your retirement and now I am kind of ashamed of not knowing.
There are not enough words to explain your dedication to students at UOM and your humble nature to be friends with the same students. I came to know you thru Theory of Electricity about 20 years ago and got really close outside the class during the formation of EESoc. However, I was an average student and never had any reason for you to remember me among all these students you have taught over the years, but you still remembering my maiden name is how extraordinary you are as a human being. You never treated your students as students unless you are lecturing. You considered them as friends which I had never seen as a quality of a senior lecturer like you, especially at UOM.
Last but not least one of the greatest memories of you that makes me a smile is your great sense of humor.
I wish you long and healthy life and good luck in whatever you plan to do with your spare time now that no Theory of Electricity and High Voltage Lectures in your daily schedule !
Sudharma Wijegunawardana (Nee Weniwelkola), [UoM EE Graduate 1998, Senior Electrical Engineer, OCI Associates, Inc. Florida, USA.]

From: "Priyantha Sirisooriya "
Date: Wed, October 2, 2013 9:08 am
Two back-to-back Excellence Awards
Congratulations on your great achievement! We were lucky to have you as a teacher. I actually practice hardcore power engineering (with little bit of management) here is the US but still have my "Theory of Electricity" notes handy.
I had also heard that Roshanthi [who was a trainee at the Lanka Transformers Factory soon after her A/Ls when I was the design engineer there] did very well at UOM. Please give my regards to her.
Priyantha Sirisooriya, [UoM EE Graduate 1998, Electrical Engineer, US]

1999
From: "Champika Palayangoda "
Date: Mon, April 29, 2013 1:30 pm
I graduated in 1999 as an electrical engineer from the University of Moratuwa. I was an average student in the class and there was no reason why a department head would remember me for a long period of time even after my graduation and also never met since final part 3 high voltage class until the date this particular incident happened. My only presence in a committee at University was as the social sectary for EESOC in 1997 and that is when I was doing my final part 2.
This was happened in 2009 at 14th EESOC AGM, the place was the "Fingara Town & country club". Just after it was announced that the AGM proceedings were over and the time was for the fellowship, all senior members were rushed to the bar and at far I saw the tall gentlemen talking to another well-known gentlemen standing next to him. Professor Lucas and Professor Ranjith Perera were the gentlemen. Without any hesitation I decided to reach them and introduce myself. "Sir, Good evening. Can you remember me?" The reply of Professor Lucas was "Yes Palayangoda"
Thank you Sir for what you did for all of us, our nation and the whole world.
Champika Palayangoda , [UoM EE graduate 1999]

From: "Sandagomi Jeewapadma "
Date: Wed, May 22, 2013 10:14 am
විදු හුරු මහැදුරු - මතක වරුණ
ඉන්ටර්නෙට් හය හතර දන්නා ඕනෑම අයෙකුට අද දවසේ බ්ලොග් වෙබ් අඩව්යක් පවත්වාගෙන යාම, අමාරු කාරියක් නොවේ. එහෙත්, ලංකාවේ ඊට ආරම්භක ප්‍රවේශයක් ලබා දුන් අයෙකු ගැන වසර  2000 දී පමණ ලියූ ලිපියක් මා සතුව ඇත.
එවකට සරසවියෙන් පිට වී ඉංජිනේරු රස්සාවත්, පත්තර රස්සාවත් දෙකම සමසේ කරගෙන යාමට උත්සාහ දරමින් සිටි මම, විජය පරිගණක සඟරාවට එකී ලිපිය ලියුවෙමි.
ලස්සෙට කොඩි දමා, රටටම අඩබෙර ගසා, ආරම්භ වන ඇතැම් වෙබ් අඩවි, සති මාස ගණන් අලුත් නොවී පිළුණු වෙන අතරේ, දිනපතාම අලුත් වෙන වෙබ් පිටුවක් ලෙස හදුන්වමින්, මා ඒ ලිපිය ලියුවේ මොරටුව සරසවියේ ඉංජිනේරු පීඨයේ විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු වෙබ් පිටුව සම්බන්ධයෙනි.
බ්ලොග් අඩවි කරණයේ තාක්ෂණ ක්‍රම වේද කිසිත් නැති 2000 වසරේ දී පමණ,  මූලික HTML සමග හරඹ කරමින් මේ සරසව් වෙබ් පිටුව අඛන්ඩව කර ගෙන ආවේ, මහාචාර්ය රොහාන් ලූකස් ව්සිනි.
මොරටුව සරසවියෙන් පිට මං වූ පසු, විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු අංශයේ තොරතුරු, වගතුග දැන ගන්නට අපට උදව් වූයේ මහැදුරු ලූකස් දිනපතා අලුත්කළ මේ වෙබ් පිටුවයි.
මොරටුව සරසවියෙන් අප පියමංකොට දොළොස් වසරකට වඩා ඉක්ම ගොස් ඇතත්, මහාචාර්ය ලූකස් ගුණ-රුව-සොබා මතකය තවමත් අළුත්ය. ඒ, අපට ඔහු වචනයේ සැබෑ අරුතින්ම සරසවි මහැදුරකු වූ නිසාය.
විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු ක්ෂේත්‍රයේ ඔහු අප්‍රමාණික උගතකු වූවා පමණක් නොව, එකී දැනුම සරලව සුගමව සරසවි සිසුනට උගැන්වීමටද සමතකු විය.
අත්ල උඩ තිරස්ව තබා ගත් ෆයිල් කවරය මත, හුණු කූරු පෙට්ටිය සමබර කරගනිමින් ඉක්මන් ගමනින් දේශන ශාලාවට පිවිසෙන ප්‍රොෆසර් ලූකස් ගේ දේශන වාර කට් කිරීමට අපි කිසි විටකත් උත්සාහ නොකෙළමු. වසර හතර පුරාවටම සෙරෙප්පු කූට්ටමක් පයලා සරසවි ගියද මහාචාර්ය ලූකස් ගේ දේශනය දා පමණක් කෙසේ හෝ සපත්තු පැළඳ ගියේ ඔහු කෙරේ පැවති ගරුත්වය නිසා විය යුතුය.
ප්‍රොෆසර් වසරේ වඩාත්ම සතුටු වන දවස EESoc AGM , එකදාය යන්වෙන් ප්‍රවාදයක් එකල අප අතර තිබුණි. විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු සිසුන් සහ ආදි සිසුන් එකට එකතු කරන EESoc හෙවත් විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු සංගමයේ මහා සභා රැස්වීම සාර්ථක කර ගන්නට ඔහුට තිබුණේ අධික උනන්දුවකි. විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු අංශයේ ආචාර්ය මණ්ඩලය මෙන්ම වසර තුනේම විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු සිසුන්ද එකට එක් කොට ඇද බැඳ දැමූ මේ වාර්ෂික මෙහෙයුමේ සමාරම්භකයාද මහාචාර්ය ලූකස් මය.
අවසාන වසරේදී EESoc සමරු කලාපයට දෙන්නට සිතා මා ලියන්නට මුල පිරූ කව් පෙළක් අවසන් කළ හැකි වූයේ සරසවියෙන් පිට වී වසරකින් හෝ දෙකකිනි. එකී කවි පෙළ, මහාචාර්ය ලූකස්ට පුද දෙමින් මේ “නොස්ටැලීජියානු“ සටහන හමාර කරන්නට රිසියෙමි.

සිප් සැරිය වැරෙන් පදවා
බොල්ගොඩ තොටට ගොඩ බට
දුක වළඳා 
Power කෙරුව
කෙළෙඹි පුත්‍ර නුඹ සහ මම....
සිව් වසක් පුරා පේවී
සිප් හිමේ නිරා දුක් විඳ
විදුලි සිප්ලකුව උගනින
සොඳුරු දසුනක්ය මතකය.
විජ්ජුලතාවක අසිරිය
Avalanche වලින් පැහැදුව
කිකලක අමතක කරම්ද
පැණසර මහැදුරු විලාස.
Bus Bar වලින් මගතොට
අසා ගෙන ගම් බලා දිව යන
Transmission line සකි සඳ,
නුඹට කිසි ලෙසක වැටහෙද
Tanθ දුන් හිරිහැර...
විදුලි සරින් අකුරු කෙරුව
Comp. පද්ධති මිතුරු කළණ.
අගක් මුලක් නොම තේරුණු
IEM මහප්‍රාණ….
මල් හසරුළි කෝළ සිනා
අපට නොදී බිමට දාන,
සිව් මහළින් පායන සඳ
පාට පාට Archi ප්‍රාණ
දහසක් mmf වලට අසුව
කැරකෙන අත සිතණු නොහී
රොටරයක්ම බඳු විය සිත….
දුක් දොම්නස් සතුටු සිනා
එක පතේ එකට වැළඳුව
නොව පැරණිය වන රමණිය
සිව් වසක මොරටු ගීතය…
 
ජීවපද්ම සඳගෝමි
සාමාන්‍යාධිකාරි- අවදානම් කළමනාකරණ, මොබිටෙල් පුද්ගලික සමාගම
Jeewapadma Sandagomi, General Manager, Enterprise Risk Management, Mobitel Pvt Ltd [UoM, EE Graduate 1999]

2000
No Convocation
2001
From: "Chaminda Amarasinghe "
Date: Mon, June 10, 2013 7:01 pm
Thank you very much for the opportunity to write something about you, as you are planning to retire from the university in September. Initially, I was a bit sad to hear about your departure from the University, and then realized that you deserve a well-earned leave after serving the University in different capacities for more than four decades.
I am thankful that I had a wonderful opportunity to learn from you during my undergraduate years and then work with you as a lecturer. I was really lucky to have you in teaching two Electrical Engineering core courses -"Theory of Electricity" and "High Voltage Engineering", which provided the solid theoretical foundation.
After my graduation, I did not have any interest in pursuing higher studies. In fact, it's you that motivated me for higher studies while I was working in the industry and brought me back to the University as a lecturer. Your encouragements and advice really helped me in completing my post graduate studies successfully at the University of Manitoba, Canada.
Wish you all the best and have a happy retirement days ahead!
Dr. Chaminda Amarasinghe, Electranix Corporation, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada [UoM EE graduate 2001]

From: "Ranga Rodrigo"
Date: Thu, April 25, 2013 12:10 pm
Prof. J R Lucas
Prof. J R Lucas stands tall as a just, truthful, innocent, and honorable man, providing a sure counter example of what popular culture portrays as a successful man.
To be inspired by a teacher, in the modern day, one must attend a class taught by the teacher. I never got the chance to be in Prof. Lucas' class---the class he taught on the Theory of Electricity: When we were at the University of Moratuwa as second-year students, Prof. Lucas was on sabbatical leave. Some sympathized with me: "Oh, you are so unfortunate not to be taught by Prof. Lucas." Well, I was not in his class, but Prof. Lucas' ability to inspire students was not bound by the walls of a classroom. I am better informed of the Theory of Electricity and the right way to teach because I heard of what Prof. Lucas taught and all the praises Prof. Lucas' students had for him. Popular teachers of the day, advertise on television, and talk at length; I am an inspired student of Prof. Lucas, who never got the chance to take a Lucas class!
When a student becomes a lecturer, he gets to sit in the same Faculty Board as his teachers sit. It was truly overwhelming when I got to sit in the same Faculty Board as Prof. Lucas. The Faculty makes many decisions, which affect the University and the lives of our students. When Prof. Lucas sits there, I feel confident that the Faculty would do the right thing. For me, Prof. Lucas is the very conscience of the Faculty, and the University at large. How can this be so? Prof. Lucas knows all the by-laws, the precedence, and the implications: well, he himself has written most of the by-laws. He fearlessly talks in any forum until the right decision is made. While sitting in the Faculty Board room along with Prof. Lucas, we learned who a true and just academic is.
Prof. Lucas is a fellow of the Institution of Engineering Technology (The IET-UK)---and several other professional and academic forums. I was fortunate to be a committee member of the IET Sri Lanka Network and sit in the same board room with Prof. Lucas, and following the meeting to be given an "educational" ride to the Galle-Road bus stop. He would attend all the committee meetings, and enthusiastically contribute to the betterment of the profession. The radio program that was done with his colleagues at the IET Sri Lanka network won the IET award, which earned them the commendation of the his Excellency the President of Sri Lanka.
Prof. Lucas willingly attends the events organized by the Catholic Students' Society of the University, and encourages students. I think he ensured that he attended any event of that nature, if his schedule permitted. Once I heard someone asking him whether he would be there for such an event. Prof. Lucas said, "If it is there in my diary, I will be there." I realized that one can "count on" him. I think the secret of this rare trait is keeping a conventional diary well, not using a cellular phone to be interrupted often, and being respectful of even the simplest person. He keeps his promises---all his appointments are in a little diary which he carried in his shirt pocket.
Prof. Lucas respects the morals of the law and follows them faithfully. Men of the world follow the law in fear of getting caught, and make a mockery of the law after assuming power. Perhaps, in the eyes of such, Prof. Lucas' innocent obedience is foolishness.
Prof. Lucas is a simple man. Prof. Lucas comes to the University early in the morning. He values the relationship with even the least of his students. He wears simple clothes. He considers worldly riches as mere means of discharging his duties well. His humble greatness surpasses the pomp and glamour the society seeks and upholds.
I am not too sure how Prof. Lucas survived this wicked world, as a just, truthful, innocent, and honorable man: I think he owes the readers an explanation in his book. He is my role-model of the true academic. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (NAB, Phil. 4:8).
Dr. Ranga Rodrigo, Senior Lecturer in Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Catholic Students' Society of UoM (2000), Director, Zone24x7-UoM Advanced Electronic Systems Laboratory (2008 to 2011), Chairman, Center for Open and Distance Learning, UoM (2011 to date) [UoM ENTC Graduate 2001]

2002
From: "Gayan Wijeweera"
Date: Thu, July 18, 2013 11:22 am
I remember asking one of my friends at first year, which field he wanted to go to. His answer was that he wanted to go to Electrical Engineering. Then I asked why he wanted to do Electrical Engineering. I thought he will give me a typical answer like he likes Electrical Engineering etc. However, his reason for doing electrical engineering was that he likes staff in the electrical engineering department. I really didn't understand this until I joined the department of Electrical Engineering in my second year.
Power system fault is the first lessons you taught us in the department. Even today I can remember how you explained the sequence components.
I selected Ceylon Electricity Board as my industrial training location. During that time, some of us really wanted to go to a power station. When we request power station training from CEB, CEB training DGM refused our request due to security reasons. However, we also learned that University of Peradeniya engineering graduates are getting power station training. When I mention this to Prof. Lucas, who was the head of the department at that time, he wrote a letter to CEB General Manager requesting training for Moratuwa engineering undergraduates at power stations. I took that letter to the GM with one of my friends. He granted two power station visits (one to Mahaweli complex and one to thermal complex) to all the electrical engineering undergraduates in our batch.
I still remember that, you issued me a reference letter, within 15-30 minutes, for me to apply to University of Manitoba for my post graduates studies. This reference letter helped me to get into the University of Manitoba, which opened up a new chapter in my life.
These are just two of my personal experience, which shows how you stay behind your students and helped them when they needed it.
I would also like to mention that, I was also one of the many fans of your EE news updates. I read EE news many years after I left the department. Not only it provided updates on what is happening in university it also had an explanations for why computer people celebrate Halloween on December 25th (Posted on: 24/12/2002) and reason for not raining on day of EESOC annual get together (posted on : 07/10/2000).
Many graduates from University of Moratuwa will remember you as great teacher and great human being.
Wish you all the best and happy retirement.
Gayan Wijeweera, Transmission Capability Engineer, Transmission System Operation, Manitoba Hydro, Canada [UoM EE graduate 2002]

From: "Amali Kumarage"
Date: Fri, July 19, 2013 5:10 am
It's a great pleasure and an honour to write down the memories of you
I still remember you as an iconic intellectual, a great teacher, unique personality and a simple man.
I had the true privilege of learning "High Voltage Engineering" from you. You almost utilised the two hours for the subject matters, in your unique way. You have always been an excellent teacher who knows what you taught.
It's about a decade I left the university and moved to the Industry. I worked for CEB and now working in a utility in Australia as a High Voltage design Engineer. I still have your lecture notes sitting aside me assisting in my everyday life.
I enjoyed your teaching, your simple approach of handling students and your great sense of humour. I recall one incident, our batch just returned from Industrial training and few guys were at Lanka Transformers for their training. During a practical session, you casually asked them "what size of transformers you dealt with during your training at LTL?" You wanted them to share their knowledge with the class. Being known as a very notorious batch, I remember one guy straight away answered "Sir, It is this size" showing a 1m x 1m box with his hands. The whole group could not stop laughing and we were expecting you to get cross at any time and send him out. But I still remember you were not cross seeing he was joking! You looked at him smiled and said, "No, I meant the capacity of the transformer, not the physical size" you were indeed a humble teacher.
I haven't met you many times since I left the university in 2001, but still every time we met, you called me Amali! I am inspired of your memory of remembering names of your students which is a difficult task with the increasing number in 43 years. I still remember you humbly accepted my invitation and were present at that very special day of my life, a special appreciation from my husband Thusi too.
I wish you an excited retirement! You well deserved it. I am sure all my colleagues of 2001 batch join hands with me to wish you a happy and healthy life for many years.
Amali Wickramasinghe Kumarage, Transmission Design Engineer- Endeavour Energy, Sydney, Australia, [UoM EE graduate 2002]

From: "Prasad Thibbotuwawa"
Date: Sun, September 22, 2013 9:13 pm
It is indeed a great honor for me to recall my memories of you during my university life.
Thank you very much for your help given to us during our final year project. I especially loved how you always related the lessons to real-life examples that would allow the material to make more logical sense to us and always give us something relate the lessons to. During some stages in our final year project, our members were over concerned about some parts of the project. You simply explained to us that a car is not designed to withstand in an airplane crash on to it since the occurrence of such an incident is very rare.
It is almost 12 years I left the university. I will never forget all the simple explanations you included in your lectures to enhance learning.
I hope that you will have a great retirement and wish you a very cheerful and healthy life.
Prasad Thibbotuwawa, Project Engineer - Perth, Australia [UoM EE graduate 2002]

From: "Dr. D. P. Chandima"
Date: Sun, September 14, 2014 10:14 pm
I entered to the University of Moratuwa in July 1996 as a student and got selected to the Electrical Engineering field one year after the admission to the University. Before we came to the Department of Electrical Engineering, we got to know about the lecturers in the Department and the subjects they teach us, from our seniors. It was known that the module, “Theory of Electricity” will be taught by “Prof. Lucas”. When we heard the name “Lucas”, we all thought that he is the person who invented the “Lucas Battery” and that thought was there for years. He was such a big person to us during that time. However we didn’t get the chance to see him in the second year as the lecturer of the “Theory of Electricity” module. I think Prof. Lucas was on Sabbatical leave during that time.
I saw Prof. Lucas first time as my lecturer in High Voltage Engineering module. We were really motivated to study, not only his subject but other subjects as well. His punctually in attending lectures is extremely admirable. Since that time, Prof. Lucas is known as the best teacher in the university. When I joined the Department as a probationary lecturer in 2002, Prof. Lucas was the Head of the Department. A recommendation letter from the Head of the Department was very important to get a scholarship for higher studies. I can still remember, whenever a recommendation letter is requested from him, he issues it without any hesitation. I remember, when I was awarded the Monbukagakushou Scholarship to study in Japan, it was Prof. Lucas and Prof. Wijayathunga who recommended me for the scholarship. Prof. Lucas is always a helpful person whenever we need him.
I could closely associate with Prof. Lucas in the recent years as the Secretary to the University of Moratuwa Teachers’ Association (UMTA). Unlike in the past, University teachers have been very active in Union activities. I cannot remember a single Union meeting which Prof. Lucas didn’t attend. He was a UMTA member who regularly attended union meetings and contributed in a positive way to come up with a solution for the problems we faced then, especially in 2011 and 2012 when we had two major Trade Union actions to win the legitimate demands which have been deprived from the University lecturers. We specially keep a wooden chair for Prof. Lucas to sit in the meetings (as he does not like the plastic chairs which sometimes collapse) waiting for his presence for the meeting. As expected he is there on time and we are happy because his presence makes a big impact on making the Union decisions. He always helps make decisions for the majority and he could be convinced (sometimes with some difficulties) the decisions as we stood for a genuine cause. Whenever we wanted a workable advice, it was Prof. Lucas whom we reached first. That is because he always stood for us. His service to the UMTA will be remembered for many more years to come because he is a pillar of strength for all our activities throughout.
Dear Sir, We expect you would be available to advice us whenever we need you, even though you are retired from the University service. We will keep in touch with you.
I am glad that you still give your valuable service to the University though you were given better offers outside. This reminds us how loyal you are to the State University service. I wish that you service would be available for the University for years and wish you a long, healthy and happy life ahead.
Dr Deduwa Pathiranage Chandima, [Secretary UMTA, UoM EE Senior Lecturer, UoM EE graduate 2002]

2003
From: "Lidula"
Date: Fri, May 3, 2013 11:44 am
I am honored...
I am blessed...
To be taught by you...
To be guided by you...
To be honest...
You are a father to me...
I'm observing you...
I'm learning from you...
Dear Sir, please be with us in the department...
You are the potential...
Even with a little voltage you give..
It illuminates the whole Department...
I think the whole university....
Hope you will continue to stay with us in the Department...
My hearty wishes for all your achievements and wish you good health and happiness throughout.
With my highest gratitude...
A loving daughter to you
Lidula
I wrote the above words and sent it to you on the day I heard of your 43 years of teaching in the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. Sir, although it is very difficult to put into words, I want to write a little more to express why I said you are a father to me.
I lost my father when I was four years old and I don't remember him living. I don't have a brother too. I use to observe great people who lighten up my mind. I found a wonderful brother (my best friend) and a father-like person too. That father-like person is no-one else sir, it is you.
You taught me Theory of Electricity, High Voltage Engineering and most of all how to learn what you are teaching. The most interesting thing in your teaching was, sometimes you suddenly pause the lecture with getting all our attention to think of something practical. One example, is the day you started to teaching us on lightning. Suddenly, you paused with that sound and your unique expression "Ah!" looking outside the class room window, asked us did we just see lightning or hear thunder! You got our entire attention sir, and still there are my friends who imitate that incident reminding me how interesting your teaching was. You never scolded us, but we were scared and had a great respect for you. Even the lab assistants scared us using your name. We had the greatest respect to you, which I may have had for my father.
You were straight in taking decisions. I admire it, and hope I could be like that too. I know some incidents where you took bold decisions looking at our future, at times where all other senior people kept silent. Our friends who were directly involved now admire you for speaking up straightly taking the right decision. I am from the 2002 graduated batch, which was involved in the clashes between NDT and BSc. I think you may recall the incident.
You were greatly recognised by all the Universities I attended to complete my higher degree studies. I went for all my higher degree studies with your kind recommendation. My supervisors during M.Eng. (Dr. N. Mithulananthan) and Ph.D. (Dr. Athula D. Rajapakse) personally told me that your recommendation of me was a major reason for awarding me the scholarships. You were always ready to give me a recommendation whenever I asked, even if I made the request through an email. Thank you very much for being such a great teacher. So, I am honoured and blessed to be a student of you.
After starting to work in the Department, I started to realize how correct I am to think of you as a role model. You lightened me more with your humbleness and kind heart. Do you remember sir, one day when my PhD supervisor, Prof. Rajapakse visited our University I planned to arrange lunch for him at our small house. I could not invite you before, but when I invited you just 15 minutes before lunch time, you said, OK and came to our small house. Not only me and my mother, but also Prof. Rajapakse admired you saying what a great person you are. Not only that, I told this to all my close friends as I was honoured to have you at my place and they all respected you. Listening to me one of my friends (UOM batch-mate), Sarani Wijerathne, who is the Business Development Manager at DIMO, Sri Lanka said "Prof. Lucas is down-to-earth isn't he?" Also, my friend (UOM batch-mate), Niroshinie Dayarathne, who is a Software Engineer at IFS said "how humble he is." I said indeed he is and told them how you are willing to help the needy people too.
With all these, you are helping me now in starting up my carrier as a lecturer. You are always ready to guide me with your immense knowledge and experience as a lecturer. I would need your support very much sir. I would also like to support you at any time in my capacity too.
To complete my statement, saying you are a father to me, last but not the least I want to add, you always try to tease us and it is full of life when you are around sir. Yes I'm a victim in your jokes most of the time but, I would love them and am happy if I could fight back like a little daughter. You always stopped in the corridor to crack a joke, and I remember the news items you posted about me in the department website. I enjoyed them all :)
There are many more memories of you sir, to recall with great honour. Ah! One thing I should not miss. You always try to say yes when it comes to University work! Sir, I am wondering, how you are managing your time. I want to learn that from you. There are many more things to learn from you, so please stay with us in the University of Moratuwa sir.
When I talk about you with my brother (my best friend, UOM batch-mate) Vajira Dhanapala, who was the Union President of University of Moratuwa then and now the Principal Solicitor of his own firm in the UK, said "Prof. Lucas must have definitely got many opportunities to migrate/ work in western countries or to work in the Industry for much higher salaries. But, it was our (students) luck that he made a conscious decision to be a teacher and a great teacher." Also, Vajira said you may have many colleagues who look like they are more successful in their life materially, but they would not have and they will never earn the respect or the happiness you have earned in your life. I totally agree with Vajira, and yes indeed it is our greatest luck that you made the decision to stay in Sri Lanka as a great teacher and I wish you will continue to stay in the University of Moratuwa.
On behalf of all my batch-mates of '96 batch I wish you happiness, good health and love every moment.
With loving regards from Lidula...
Dr. Lidula Widanagama Arachchige, Academic Staff 2012, [UoM EE Graduate 2003]

From: "Chandana Karawita"
Date: Wed, June 5, 2013 7:53 pm
Thank you very much for sharing one of very rare auto-biographies with us. It's amazing how you reached the role model status that you show us today. This would be a great reference for any student/professional planning for the success.
Please let me share some unforgettable memories that I have. It was a bright sunny day and you were teaching us about lightening and thundering in the final year at Moratuwa. You simply asked "can you hear thunders now?" from one of our colleagues. He accidently said "Yes" and I still remembered the wonders you showed by running to the windows and looking at the shiny sky.
We really enjoyed both of the subjects: theory of electricity and high voltage engineering that you taught us and they were the "BEST" in my bachelor degree. When I selected the field choices at the end of my first year, I chose computer engineering as the first choice. Luckily I was 1.5 marks short and automatically selected for Electrical Engineering. The "Theory of Electricity taught by Prof. Lucas" was the reason to like the electrical engineering and to achieve whatever the achievements that I have achieved today. If someone argues that a great teacher should be a good speaker, I won't agree with him. We invited Prof. Lucas to make a speech at our farewell party. You came to the podium with a little "cheat sheet". You started as "I am not a good public speaker, so I am going to read this" and made a big surprise. I never felt that in your lectures. You made everything simple and easy to understand. So a great teacher wouldn't necessarily be a good speaker (usually politicians are good in speaking). In the final year,
We painted the final year room ourselves. In the next morning you came to the lecture with a big scissor in hand and cut the "imaginary ribbon" to enter into the newly painted room. This is the way you showed us the sense of humor. When I was in the university, you were the head of the department and you were known as a tough person among the students. Dr. Jahan Peiris (Jahan sir) was our "duk ganna rala" and we used to access you through him.
When I joined the university as a probationary lecturer, I realized how easy to deal with you and your fairness towards the students (especially in marking) and the staff. I was glad that you were our head and I learnt a lot from you. I really understood your true analytical capabilities when we worked together on the PSCAD-small signal stability project in the University of Manitoba in 2007-2008. Again, it was a good learning period for me. You also shared the unique jokes among the grad students and used to come to the lunch table (where we shared all the jokes and gossips) as a close friend. We were lucky to have you there.
Finally, I would like to add a personal thanking note and I know that thousands of your students who had the same opportunity (especially Mora-Winnipeggers) would join with me. I do not hesitate to say that "I am here because of you". You were the one who introduced me to two more great teachers and great persons: Dr. Raghuveer and Dr. Annakkage at the University of Manitoba. I cannot ever forget these three great heroes in my life. Thank you very much SIR.
We wish you all the best and good luck.
Dr Chandana Karawita, Power Systems Studies Engineer, TransGrid Solutions, Manitoba, Canada [UoM EE graduate 2003]

From: "Indunil Kaluarachchige"
Date: Wed, June 26, 2013 10:43 am
I am very very lucky to be a student of you. I respect you with all my heart. All your teaching has lightened our lives, our careers, from the beginning of our University life till the end of our life. I cannot express in words how much thankful I am to you.
In this moment I would like to bring back memories of the "We are with you" programme. I still remember you call me the "live wire" of that programme. It is true that I started the whole concept with my friends. But with your advice and guidance the Electrical Engineering Society is still continuing that programme.
To give the students, who are in the verge of taking responsibility in the world, an understanding of another part of the world, who are deprived of essential needs... this concept of being sensitive to such people as part of our world..... I am very proud that you have adapted that within the Electrical Department as an annual event.
I am in Melbourne, Australia now. I am working as an Electrical Design Engineer in a company called Balpara (Pvt.) Ltd. I am changing jobs in 3 weeks time and starting as Electrical Line Design Engineer in Tenix (Pvt.) Ltd.
Indunil Weeraratne Kaluarachchige, Electrical Design Engineer, Balpara (Pvt) Ltd, Melbourne, Australia [UoM EE graduate 2003]

I first came to know Prof. Lucas in 1998 when I entered the University of Moratuwa as an engineering undergraduate. Prof. Lucas taught us Theory of Electricity in the second year and that was the first learning experience I had from him. He took an excellent effort using well organized subject material together with his own special teaching style to make such a core module understandable to everyone. His ability to explain complex theories of HV engineering without any confusion is really remarkable. As a result, still I can remember his lessons and explanations on some topics such as lightning phenomena and high voltage transients even after 10 years. When I need any clarifications on basic electrical engineering subject matters, I still refer to his lecture notes which are available online (EE departmental website).
When I worked in the EE department as a lecturer, he was one of my key mentors for all my departmental work. Prof. Lucas is not only a great academic, but also a very kind hearted down to earth man. Sometimes he used to give me lifts in his car to Ratmalana when I had to work till late in the department. Especially on rainy days, he was so kind to drop me home all the way driving another 1km away from his normal route (Galle road) and even had not forgotten to talk to my family and say 'hello' to my little daughter.
Dear SIR, We are blessed to learn from you. You made Electrical Engineering really interesting to us. Also, I never forget your guidance and advice when I work in the EE department as a Lecturer. I regard you as a great teacher, a good friend and a dear father all the time, more than the senior professor in the department of Electrical Engineering.
I wish you good health, happiness and success at all times!!!
Upuli Jayatunga ,{Academic Staff - EE dept UOM, PhD candidate University of Wollongong, Australia [UoM EE graduate 2003]

From: "Dharshana Abeysundara"
Date: Fri, September 27, 2013 6:51 pm
People Work for People
In a school, university, work place or in the community there are people really dedicated and focused on service to the others makes these places pleasant and meaningful. We may be attending to the best school, best university in the country or employed by the best company in the world, but only the people you are working with can make your interaction meaningful and get the best output from you.
In my university life you became the most influential person to get the best out of me, showed me my true potential and made me seriously think about planning my carrier.
At this important juncture in your life you can look back how you helped me and I know I am just one of the thousands of your students you helped to get to where we are today.
In the early years of my University life I attended to your lectures and I found your lectures were very interesting, I never missed any of them. However I thought you are not approachable, besides you were the Head of Electrical Engineering Department at that time so I felt a certain distance.
The first considerable conversation between us started during my Industrial Training Period when I was assigned to do a project on behalf of Lanka Transformers Limited. I was really nervous and did not feel comfortable with the initial findings of the research project and our testing plan. You started with cracking a joke "how is your transformer deep frying project" and then me and my colleague realized how different you are from what we thought...
You steered the project which was then become quite famous as "Coconut oil Transformer" project where we successfully proved that purified version of edible coconut oil could be used as an alternative to traditional mineral transformer insulation oils. It was a trendy and environmental friendly concept at that time and I was told that the coconut oil filled transformer we manufactured is still serving in the national grid without any breakdown.
During this project I learnt many valuable lessons from you. I learned that before trying to find the solution I need to find the correct methodology to find the solution, asses all possibilities and most importantly not afraid to critically analyse the solution I found. I became my best critic. During this project you gave me the skill of technical report writing and confidence in technical presentations.
I really treasure the memory of being a student of you. You were an excellent teacher and a very good mentor to me. I will not forget your sense of humour and the simplicity.
I wish you a happy retirement and also wish best of luck for your future plans.
Dharshana Abeysundara, Engineering Manager, CBI-Electric Australia [UoM EE Graduate 2003]

From: "Dr A M Harsha Abeykoon"
Date: Thu, September 11, 2014 11:21 am
It was the year of 1998 and we had just entered the EE department. "Mr. Police of the computer lab" Dayaratne, threatened most of us saying "Prof. ලුකස් ලඟට ගෙනියනවා". But it never happened ... we were afraid of this "Head Prof. Lucas".
When you taught, for the first time in my life you explained how a paper is marked, how marks are awarded and that there is a logical way of writing answers. I still remember that lesson and your explanations, more than even the "High Voltage" you taught.
High Voltage was the easiest subject for me, as it was taught in a very methodical manner and there was a free text book written by Prof. Lucas. If you understand it you are done!
During undergraduate project progress reviews, you come and sleep. However, at the end of each of the presentations, you woke up and asked endless relevant questions. We discussed a lot on "whether you really sleep".
Finally, we managed to get a final year project supervised by you! It was a real victory to get a project supervised by the Head - Prof. Lucas. The first intension was to put you as the referee in our CVs, then to get a good reference letter and last but not the least, to get a good grade! I achieved all of them. I got an "A"(there were no A+s at that time) though Bala (Dr. Balamurali now) did most of the hardwork!
Once I joined the EE department as a lecturer, I think I learnt from you, how to help students who are in need of academic assistance. But could not learn when to stand up and leave a meeting when you get angry... It needs correct timing and a big cooling fan to meet the person next day and to react with him as if nothing has happened the previous day.
In conclusion, I think you as the core of the EE transformer. Without the core, magnetic flux would not be directive and there will be high stray losses! So EE needs the Lucas core in time to come as well!
Your obedient student
Dr A M Harsha Abeykoon , [UoM EE Graduate 2003, UoM EE Senior Lecturer]

From: "Dr W D Asanka Rodrigo"
Date: Sun, September 14, 2014 10:34 am
I have never seen a person like Prof. JRL who has devoted his entire life on university students and committed to the University. I first got to know Prof. JRL way back in 1989, when I was a second year UG student.
He had a very unique teaching style. He was never late for lectures, never missed or cancelled any lecture and never stopped a lecture early. He provided all the lecture notes and past question papers with answers. I am very happy and proud that I have been one of his students. At that time, we thought he was a very tough foreigner, who cannot speak Sinhala (so, we were scared to talk to him, since we have to talk in English). After joining the EE department as a temporary lecturer in 2004, I realized that how easy it was to work with him, and that he is such a generous person who cares much about students.
He is a very simple person who never had a mind that he is one of the most senior persons in the university. One simple example is that, when he wants to contact us (even a very junior instructor), he rarely asked us to come and meet him, but he comes to us. He loves to hang around with his students as a friend, not only as a teacher. I can remember that, when I once sent him an email, greeting him as “Dear Sir”, he replied back saying that don’t call him “Sir”, but either “Dear Rohan Sir” or “Dear Prof. Lucas”. He is such a genuine person.
I must thank Prof JRL, that I am in the university system because of him. He is the one who asked me to join the EE department. He is my Godfather of Electrical Engineering and my mentor in the university life. Whenever there is a problem or doubt, I (and many others) always consult him. He always gives unbiased advice by thoroughly analyzing the problem. I don’t think there is anybody, and will not be anybody like him, in the university who thorough on university rules and regulations.
There is no doubt that Prof JRL made a remarkable contribution to the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa and to electrical engineering around the world. He is a figure who played his role perfectly. These words are not enough to explain his qualities. I would like to conclude by extending my deepest gratitude, admiration, and commendation to him for his exemplary contribution to the society and wishing him good health and long life.
Dr W D Asanka Rodrigo , [UoM EE Graduate 2003, UoM EE Senior Lecturer]

2004
From: "Rangika Halwatura"
Date: Thu, April 4, 2013 9:33 am
This is excellent sir. I want to share this with all the other universities to show the strength we have at UoM.
Being a young and a junior staff member in the faculty, I struggled to start writing this note about you. I was wondering whether I am suitable to write a note on a very eminent faculty member like you. However, I soon realized that there cannot be better people than who were groomed by you to write about you. You were the 'star' that I looked up to and the unforeseen strength of me to stand for justice. Therefore, I believe that I have the right and the duty to express my thoughts about you. I consider this opportunity to write about you an honour and a privilege and I thank you for giving this honour to me.
Thirteen years ago, in the year 2000, I came to the University of Moratuwa as a student. It was then that I started seeing you as an incomparable and an unmatchable figure. I was even scared to greet you in the morning due to the respect that you received from everybody in the faculty. Only a very few scholars such as Prof. Dayantha and Prof. Chandrakeerthi were in the same calibre as you. As a student, I chose the Civil Engineering field but I have a twinge of regret of that decision because I lost the opportunity to attend your lectures. Fortunately, however, I had the opportunity of learning a lot from you later on in my career.
Only after joining the university as a permanent staff member in 2009 I realized how commanding you were in the university set up. As a lecturer I have had a few role models in my life and you are one of them. I was impressed by your personality and confidence which you may have developed through your experience and maturity. Whenever there was a critical discussion in the faculty, I was looking at you waiting to hear your opinion. I am sure you became a role model to many academics due to such abilities in you and your expertise in your field.
Your character influenced me especially after I got selected as the president of UMTA. I naturally looked at you to start any meeting that I chaired because of the respect that you gained from all of us. I am very sure you would accept the fact that I had tough times. We had many SGMs and EGMs and heated arguments over and over in these meetings. Whenever there was a critical argument, I looked at the senior staff members and you were one of the key figures that I could rely on for very productive thoughts. I may not have accepted your opinions always; however, your opinions opened my eyes to see wider and from different perspectives. I have attended many meetings including faculty boards and union meetings and I hardly saw you getting absent and also you never got absent without a valid reason and an apology. This proves your immense character as a true leader and an exemplar academic to both your colleagues and juniors. You have been truly a giant of both words and deeds.
There will be no ending to this writing if I mention everything that I want to say about you. However, I would like to state five main qualities that I have observed in you which I always admire. The first is that you were very keen on punctuality, you were always on time whether the occasion was formal or informal and there was a notice if you were not able to make it.
The next quality that I admire in you is your readiness to respect and listen to others. I remember two occasions in my career that I was criticized by you: one was on a PhD application and the other was at the SGM held to suspend the 100 day TU action. On both occasions you supported your arguments with facts and more importantly once your explanation was over you had the patience to listen to the other side of the story. I have seen on many occasions that you stood for what you believed and had the courage to keep on backing your opinion logically no matter what others thought or said. Despite the fact that your opinion was not compatible with that of others, you always respected the majority's decision. Similarly, if you found you were wrong, you were never hesitant to apologize to anyone. I observed this quality in you on both occasions that I have mentioned and I liked being criticized by you because I knew they were constructive criticisms. There was no hatred in you.
The third quality that I would like to highlight is your ability to talk with facts and prepare for any argument. I can recall an incident in which I made a typing error in a group email. Instead of the word 'temporary' I had typed 'peremptory' and I did not know that I had made a mistake or even the meaning of that word until you explained that to me. I can remember you came with a paper that had the meaning of this word written on it. I realized that you came there after searching the meaning of that word in many dictionaries and many other places. This incident taught me a very important lesson for my life and I really admired your preparedness even to handle such a situation.
The next quality of you that I want to state here is your openness to criticisms. You never believed in revenge. You have been always kind to others and a positive thinker who has lived up to those values. Last, but not least, you have been a devoted lecturer. Your contribution to the UOM is immense and you were one of the pillars of success of the university. As far as I know, you did not teach in any other private university or tuition class to earn money. You only dedicated your service to UOM and apart from that to Kotelawala Defence Academy as a service to the country.
The five qualities that I have mentioned have made you a prominent scholar, a gentleman and a true human being. When I was a small kid my grandfather used to tell me.
ගොයම් ගහෙන් ඉගෙන ගන්න ගොඩාක් දේවල් තියෙනවා.
අපි ඉගෙනගෙන වයසට යන්න යන්න කිරෙන් බර උන ගොයමක් වගේ වෙන්න ඕනේ.
බොල් වී කරල් අහස උසට නැගෙන කොට කිරෙන් බර උන වී කරල් මෝරන්න මෝරන්න බිමට නැවෙනවා.
You are a god given example for this. I consider that I am really fortunate to be in the same staff with such a distinguished personality like you and to receive your guidance which has been and will be very important for both my career and personal life.
You have worked in this university for many years under many VCs and Deans and you have witnessed both ups and downs of it. The experience and knowledge that you possess is invaluable to this university and also to this field in general. I am sure there is much more for us to learn from you. So, finally, let me make a kind request of you even though I do not have any right to demand things from you. I am sure you have written many interesting and important things in your life, but please leave a note on your experience of this great place as well. I wish you would fulfil my request sir.
Wish you all the very best and I am really proud to keep this small note about you sir.
Dr Rangika Halwatura, President Academic Staff Union UMTA, (2011-2013), Vice President FUTA(2013) [UoM Civil Graduate 2005]

From: "Amila Wickramasinghe "
Date: Sat, May11, 2013 11:04 am
Professor Lucas I know;
Before entering the university, my picture of a professor was from a funny story of three professors who were at a railway station (at least the version I heard had three professors in it). They were entrenched in some serious discussion, loosing track of time. Just as the train was pulling off from the station, the three professors noticed, panicked and started running behind it. Two of them managed to catch the train, but one could not. Unfortunately the professor who missed the train was the one who was supposed to travel in that and the other two had only come to see him off… Upon coming to the university, I could not find a match for my picture, instead, had to contend with Prof. Lucas, though not at all disappointing. From there onwards, he became my model of a professor, maybe because he was the first one I got to know, or maybe because he is what I want every professor to be like.
As a teacher with so many years of experience, there was nothing surprising about the expertise he showed in explaining the subject matter. Of cause it is always refreshing to see someone being comfortable with maths as Prof. Lucas was when he was teaching Theory of Electricity during our second year. But what strikes me even now is how effortlessly he was able to relate the physical meaning and practical implications of the theory he taught. This helped us not only in understanding, but also in developing a liking to the final year 'High Voltage Engineering' subject taught exclusively by him. Perhaps it is the reason for 'High Voltage' and 'Prof. Lucas' to be stored in the same memory location of mine and most of my contemporaries.
One instance I can relate to on how genuinely Prof. Lucas wanted his students todevelop as all-round engineers is when he encouraged and supported us to organize a program to improve our communication skills. As undergraduates, we were quite aware and worried about our weakness in communicating, especially in English. To deal with this, we got-together and organized a program for the electrical engineering students to have a weekly assemblyto practice different skills including public speaking, making presentations and even debating on selected topics. Despite this being an entirely informal, non-engineering and elementary level activity, Prof. Lucas was considerate enough to attend every sessions of the assembly and guide us by pointing out the mistakes we made and clarifying the intricacies of the language. It was amazing to see how the department's Senior Professor found time every week to spend with the students to sharpen their social skills, amidst responsibilities of much more serious nature.
Another service of him I relied upon heavily, even after leaving the university, was the 'News' section of the Electrical Engineering Department's website, managed by him. Though the website may not have been as glamorous as some others, it was an accurate reflection of its overseer. Simple, timely, up-to-date, useful, reliable, informative and at times funny. There was no better way of getting updated on our good old electrical department than reading the news section of the website.
My admiration of Prof. Lucas grew many folds with the time I spent in the industry. It is rare to come across a person with such knowledge, integrity and professionalism. Yet he was friendly and down to earth, giving us the courage to walk to his room and discuss any issues we had. To have such an eminent person so easily accessible was indeed a privilege the students of University of Moratuwa had for years and would miss a lot in the future. I sincerely hope that Prof. Lucas would miss the university as much as the university misses him, enticing him to be engaged with the future generation of engineers produced by Moratuwa as he did with us and our predecessors.
Amila Wickramasinghe, PhD Student, University of Wollongong, Australia [UoM EE Graduate 2004]

From: "Nuwan Perera"
Date: Tue, January 21, 2014 2:05 pm
If someone says “Prof. Lucas”, it always reminds me the “Theory of Electricity” class, where I saw you first. I was surprised with your simple and well organized teaching approach. It was so easy for everyone to follow. I was so lucky to have someone like you, doing fundamental subjects in Electrical Engineering.
I never forget the way you were doing the numerical calculations on the black board with no calculators, especially the complex number divisions.
When you were working as the Head of the Department, I had an opportunity to work as a junior lecturer under your guidance. It was my first job and was a very pleasant experience for me. I have learnt a lot from you. But, I never understood your jokes!!
After I came to Winnipeg for my higher studies, I was so glad to meet with you and your wife here in Winnipeg, during your sabbatical leave. We had some great timetogether.
Finally, I would like to thank you for your kind and generous help in my academic and professional achievements. You are one who helped and guided me to get the higher studies opportunity at University of Manitoba.
I wish you and your wife a happy and healthy life!
Dr. Nuwan Perera,R&D Engineer, ERLPhase Power Technologies, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada [UoM EE Graduate, 2004]

2005
From: "Dr. KTMU Hemapala"
Date: Tue, September 9, 2014 11:39 am
My Gratitude to Professor Rohan Lucas
I cannot express my gratitude to you in words.
I want to follow your good professional and personal qualities to make you as the most influential person in my university life. I am grateful for everything you gave me. You didn't just teach, you mentored me during my life as a lecturer.
Dr. KTMU Hemapala, [UoM EE Graduate 2005, UoM EE Senior Lecturer]

From: "Buddhika Jayasekera"
Date: Tue, September 9, 2014 10:57 pm
Memories of Lucas Sir
First I came to know Prof. Rohan Lucas sir in 2001 in second year of my studies. He taught us Theory of Electricity in the second year and it was the first experience of his unique teaching style. Lecture notes were provided in printed form and the soft copies of the notes, even the question papers and answers were available online. This was a unique experience in our undergraduate studies. Further, in the final year, he continued his unique way of teaching in the high voltage subject. I can remember he gave permission to obtain copies of his book on high voltage printed by the Open University of Sri Lanka. As the final year field representative, I met him during his tenure as the Head of the Department to obtain the permission for using the photo copier available in the electrical machines lab, in addition to the lectures.
He was the supervisor of our final year design project titled “Impedance permeability tester”. It is like preparing for an exam when we were planning to meet him for a discussion about our project. However we improved a lot from those discussions. I can still remember he explained us how to present the outcomes of a project by comparing the relevant quantities. For examples, in our project, he explained us how to compare the output, without our development and with the new impedance permeability tester.
Thereafter I am reminded of the recent memories as a junior lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering. I learned a lot on academic matters, managing, coordinating related to other activities from him, especially from recent engagements. These included the Engineering Design module soon after students join the department, preparation of the proposal for the Quality and Innovation Grant (QIG) and other involvement such as the preparation of the Vocational and Educational Plan for Electrical and Electronics sector as a consultancy.
You encouraged me on these activities, especially in preparing the proposal for QIG grant, which we subsequently won, and your phrases like “Yes I can, and so can you” encourage me in continuing the same. You guided us in many ways in university activities by first proving those by yourself. It is a great honour to be one of your students. I wish you will continue to stay in the University of Moratuwa as an Emeritus Professor.
I wish you good health, happiness and success at all times.
Buddhika Jayasekara, [UoM EE Graduate 2005, Faculty Member, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa]

From: "Dimuthu Leelarathne"
Date: Sat, March 30, 2013 10:21 pm
You have inspired me as a teacher and as a person.
You are a great teacher and a greater person. To me, thundering is associated to you! Let me tell you why. It was our first lecture on "Theory of Electricity" and we were all seated waiting for the lecture series to begin. You walked in, introduced yourself and played a sound of a thunder over the speakers. Then you said thunder carries so much power and went on to give numbers. That is how we started to learn Theory of Electricity. Ever since then, whenever there is thunder, I think of you.
You have nurtured thousands of students over the past 43 years. You have inspired many and it feels you are like a thunder indeed, larger than life!
Dimuthu Leelarathne, Software Architect, WSO2 Lanka (Pvt) Ltd [UoM CSE Graduate 2005, Postgrad ...]

From: "sidantha tantirimudalige"
Date: Sat, April 13, 2013 6:34 pm
Firstly, I was saddened to hear that Prof Lucas was retiring as he was a key figure in not only our Electrical engineering department, but also of the University as a whole. I had the privilege of learning under him during 2000-2004, while he is also personally known to me, as Roshanthi his daughter is a good friend of mine from school days.
Prof Lucas always reminded us of the quintessential professor and he somehow made 'High voltage electricity' an interesting class to attend! His classes were also never without the tough moments where he used to check attendance keenly (since we were cutting classes sometimes), asking probing questions & at exams checking even the back of our calculators to see if we had written down 'fomulae' in pencil to help ourselves! ? Though we found it annoying at that time, we now greatly appreciate his commitment to groom us in discipline and attention, as a true academic master. I still remember how he 'grilled' me a few times on his subject matter in class & at vivas, so I actually did quite well in them, due to this 'pressure'?. I can surely speak for my batch mates as well, when I say that he was a tough but fair person who had a key impact in molding us to be who we are right now. His support for the changeover into the global modular semester system, his support for the EESoc & continuous support to help us mature as leaders is exemplified by the current standing of majority of students who have been groomed under him. Many of us are unfortunately not in the country, but we are who we are and where we are, thanks to dedicated and committed teachers such as Prof Lucas.
I wish him all the very best in his retirement and hope he does continue to teach perhaps as a visiting lecturer and still go on to support & encourage the University. I also hope he now finds the time to explore many other aspects in life, which I am sure he has been looking forward to.
Thank you sir for giving me a chance to write this and I hope I get to meet you sometime when I come to Sri Lanka for a visit, when I meet Roshanthi & Lakshitha. All the best and God Bless!
SidanthaTantirimudalige, Managing Director, Franke Foodservice Systems ASEAN (Part of the Swiss based Franke Artemis Industrial group), [UoM EE Graduate 2005]

2006
From: "thilini gunawardhana"
Date: Sat, May 11, 2013 3:15 am
First of all thank you immensely Sir, for the inspirational character that you have been throughout my academic carrier. We are very much fortunate and blessed to be your students at the University of Moratuwa. When we first entered the electrical engineering field you were the Head of the Department.
Since we were the second batch under semester system we had to approach you for many issues which we came across when adopting to the system. You were involved in these issues with patience, and understood the things from the students' point of view which was a big relief for the students. I am personally thankful to you for your support given to me when I came across a situation under the semester system where I have added two electronic subjects to my elective subject list and instead of dropping the two subjects during the add-drop period (since I later decided not to do both subjects) had dropped the same subject twice. Your involvement and understanding in that situation was a great relief for me.
In undergraduate level, you taught us not only *Theory of Electricity* and *High Voltage Engineering* but also the subject, *Presentation Skills* while repeatedly emphasizing that you are lacking the same. Sir, whatever subject you lectured us, you did it with a great passion. Your teaching method, throughout my academic carrier, built my confidence and interest on the field of electrical engineering in general and high voltage engineering in particular.
After completing the degree I joined LTL and I again had the opportunity to approach you in numerous occasions to get your assistance on various tasks. You were always so kind to assist us whatever the situation was and gave your opinions and suggestions whenever requested. The general comments you were giving at your visits to LTL directed the young engineers to think differently to analyse problems.
Dear Sir, I, with my family, wish you all the best for your future endeavours and appreciate all the support given to us in numerous occasions. We are very much privileged to have the opportunity to associate such a great personality and an esteemed professor as you in our life time. Although you are retiring after 43 years of service at University of Moratuwa, I hope your guidance and support will always be there for us.
Thank you Sir.
Thilini Chamika Gunawardhana, Design Engineer, LTL Transformers, [EE UoM graduate 2006]

From: "Anuradha Mudannayake "
Date: Wed, May 8, 2013 9:43 am
I would like to write about three ideas that came to my mind when I got your email regarding your retirement from the regular service
Firstly, what would be the impact of your retirement? As everybody knows Prof. Lucas is the unique figure behind the EE department of UOM and high voltage engineering. It would definitely be a big blow to these two and may take some time to recover the vacuum. There's a considerable scarcity in power electrical experts in universities as most of them are migrating. Undoubtedly, it is extremely difficult to retain a person of your caliber and capacity. You served that great job for your motherland for more than 40 years. We respect you for that forever, Sir.
Secondly, I'm one of your MSc student at UOM but not fortunate enough to have a lecture from you! I met you several times and if I sum up all these occasions, it would definitely less than 12 hours! But in each time we only discussed the spirit of engineering and it valued more than a decade long discussion. You were one of my supervisors for the final year MSc project. I did hard work and you appreciated it always with constructive criticism. You were so humble to drop me an e-mail by requesting to recall my memory of you and it was an unexpected respect I received from an eminent person like you. It is one of your born talents on how to address a wide range of personnel from 'men of letters' to grass root people.
Thirdly, your email was an assignment for me as I was instructed to reply within a week. How can I compose all my feelings? Yes, I don't want to lose a few marks for late submission which I never tried to exercise during my career. I just outlined few things pop up in my mind.
If I'm not kidding, during my bachelors I remembered your name very well as there's a reputed battery brand having your surname. I still remember how you reacted with a gentle smile during one of my MSc presentations, when I was caught by Prof. Ranjith Perera's eagle eye. There I have wrongly typed Prof. Locus instead of Prof. Lucas. Prof. Perera then asked me "We know Prof. Lucas. Who is this Prof. Locus? Where's he working?"
As Dr. Narendra de Silva correctly said the most worn book in my book shelf is also the 'High Voltage Engineering" authored by you. Also I have many other text books I frequently refer even these days, contributed by you as an author.
I remember you came to review my final year project in bachelors and we had an hour long interview. Still I feel how you were drowsy during my presentation time and suddenly continued with a chain of questions thundered on me after the presentation. If I was not genuine to my work I will definitely be hammered by you. At last you approved me A+.
During my Masters you guided me as one of the two supervisors for the final dissertation. The other person was Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya, one of the most outstanding performers in the subject. We developed two probabilistic models for mini-hydro and wind plants which can directly be used in generation planning studies. We were not confined to a theoretical basis but we used these models in WASP optimization, and proved their practicability. These models will be used by national planners. It was your proposal to publish two technical papers and we did that for the betterment of the society as a whole. This endeavour would never have been a reality except for the support I received by both my supervisors.
Dear Sir, you are one of the most smart teachers I have ever seen. It was a blend of sound academic foundation cum humanity. You were very punctual and genuine at work. You are blessed with fantastic teaching ability. You gave birth to thousands of engineers to the nation and some are world-class performers. Retirement is merely a milestone and it's time to start a new chapter. You are a good father to all of us and we respect you all the time. May God bless you with best of health and happiness.
N. Anuradha Mudannayake , Project Engineer (Electrical-2), Broadlands Hydropower Project, CEB,[OUSL, EE graduate 2006, UoM MSc graduate 2011]

From: "Chinthaka Mallikarachchi"
Date: Mon, April 8, 2013 1:57 am
It's an honour to start my undergraduate studies as one of your students and write this as a junior colleague at the time you are getting ready to retire from the University. I have six distinct memories of you but each with a different relationship status.
First, I met you as a friend of my father (in fact, you and my father had been very close friends from the time both were exempted from the first year in Engineering in 1966) in the early morning of the very first day I step on the soil at University of Moratuwa. You were really nice and helpful. So you are the first lecturer I met at Moratuwa and first to advise me to come this far in my career.
Second, you were one of the three lecturers who thought us Electrical Engineering in our first year. I was very interested in electrical engineering and very grateful to learn it from one of the senior most lecturers at the university (very few departments do this).
Third, you were the chief invigilator/supervisor for our first year Electrical Engineering paper and clearly instructed that all students have to start and stop on your signals. There were couple of students who didn't stop on your signal and you took one student's pen and it went flying. Thus everyone stopped. Though most students were scared and upset, I really respected you being strict and fair by everyone.
Fourth, I met you as a member of the Toastmasters Club at the university and you were really encouraging. You gave me lifts several times on the way home which helped me to participate in almost every session.
Once I was selected to Cambridge you had included my name in the Electrical Engineering website. This never happened in my department and even today that news item pops up when search for my name in google.
Fifth meeting was at the University Cambridge as a father of one of my friends. We (all your family members, Dr. Viraj and myself) went on punting. I got the chance to operate the punt thanks to you, but I put all of us in a bush due to bad punting skills. To be honest I was bit scared remembering what happened during the exam. However you were quite sporty and smiling. That was the first and last time I punt in my life.
Sixth and most recent meeting was as a senior colleague of the university and a team member of Project Consultancy Unit (PCU) for the Lotus Tower Project. This is the first time I have been to China and got the chance to visit the Great Wall thanks to you (all the other senior members had been to Great Wall before and I was not in a position to even suggest a visit). We had a great time climbing in icy weather. You were the first to climb to the top at a time most people thought even a young person will not be able to reach the top under those weather conditions.
Thank you so much for all these valuable experience and wish there will be much more to come even after your retirement. Wish you great health and happiness!
Chinthaka Mallikarachchi [Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa, UoM Civil Graduate, 2006]

From: "Thuresha Kothalawala"
Date: Thu, March 14, 2013 9:33 am
I have read the great story of your achievements.
You was a great teacher to me from the starting of my university life and up to completing my post graduate studies. Still we are recalling the theory you teach to us and guidance you gave to us.
Very sad to hear that Professor Lucas is going to retire from UOM, but I wish that your guidance and support to the UOM as well as to the country will be continued as before for a long time.
At present I am working as a Transmission Planning Engineer in the Ceylon Electricity Board for more than 6 years. Basically we are using load flow, dynamic stability and transient stability analysis to plan the optimum future transmission network to deliver the required demand by accommodating the future generation additions.
Recently I got a posting letter to a transmission project in CEB but still working in the transmission planning branch for few months. I have applied to this post because I believe that the both theoretical and practical knowledge and experience is necessary to develop my carrier in CEB.
I have completed by M.Sc. in year 2010 and qualified as charted engineer in year 2011. Professor, your support and guidance given to me for these two achievements is also highly appreciated. I wish you a healthy and happy future!!! May all your dreams come true…
Thuresha Rangani Kothalawala, Transmission Planning CEB [UoM EE Graduate, 2006, UoM MSc 2010]

From: "Nissanga Mendis "
Date: Sun, May 5, 2013 11:31 am
I got to know about Prof. Lucas on the very first day I entered to the University of Moratuwa in 2001. He delivered a short introduction about the Electrical Engineering (EE) Department and the benefits of being an Electrical Engineer. In my first year, I had a chance to learn "Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering" which was taught by Prof. Lucas. He explained the theory with the help of some funny examples which made the entire class active all the time. In addition, he taught High Voltage Engineering in my fourth year which was one of my favourite subjects. It was always easy to reach him to clarify the unclear theories. I met him several times during the study leave periods (i.e. prior to semester main examinations) to get clarifications on the unknown past papers questions. Irrespective of his busy schedule, he was always happy to explain the theories/answers without any hesitation. I can still remember how he was strict during the inspection in the examination hall. For example, once the allocated time period given for answering the question papers was over, he announced loudly to stop writing. If someone was still answering, he quickly attended to that person similar to the velocity of a jet, in order to prevent him further writing. Such was his response because he felt that it was unfair on the other students.
One of the other interesting qualities that I observed of Prof. Lucas was his enthusiasm or passion towards university activities. Sometimes, I felt that he was much more active compared to his junior counterparts. He was truly dedicated to the student activities/matters whether it related to academic or external. As an example, most of the times he participated to the EESOC related activities, field visits, etc.
Personally, I had a great chance to interact with Prof. Lucas when I was doing my undergraduate project (i.e. Design and Construction of Constant Voltage Transformer). He performed as one of our main supervisors. He helped our project team in many ways by giving guidance and directions. Once he independently designed the behaviour of the constant voltage transformer using the Excel spread sheet and explained its behaviour. After his demonstration, one of our team members requested him to give a copy of that Excel sheet. Then he said "No. You have to learn. Do it by yourself" which gave us the courage to do the things by ourselves.
Soon after finishing my undergraduate studies, I was determined to do a PhD. I always got some good advice/overseas contacts from Prof. Lucas. Once of the most sincere memories that I want to emphasize here is the way how he helped me to obtain a scholarship. I applied to several universities (nearly 15) and all the time, I was required to attach a recommendation letter together with my main scholarship application. Prof. Lucas gave me nearly 15 recommendation letters without expressing any hesitation or reluctance. Sometimes, I contacted him through emails/telephone calls requesting to provide recommendation letters. Some of memorable incidents are as follows: One day he called to my office phone (at Noratel International (Pvt) Ltd in Katunayke) and told me that the scholarship letter was ready to be picked up. I was surprised to hear such a call from him and never expected such a response from a senior professor. Another special incident was Prof. Lucas gave me a recommendation when he was on sabbatical leave at the Manitoba University. I got his contact details in Canada and requested him to provide a recommendation letter. Within two days, he sent me a recommendation letter. That was the way he helped me to secure a scholarship and perhaps, without his support I would not be able to obtain a scholarship to pursue my PhD.
After I came to Australia to do my PhD at the University of Wollongong, I contacted him over emails several times. Most of his replies were consisting of jokes. I would like to quote one of such email as follows:
I had addressed him as "Halo Sir" and had commented "I prefer to have a natural brain rather a computer brain which I feel myself as a human ;D".
Dear Nishad
Don't give me a "halo", I am not a saint in heaven. [English correction]
How can you be sure that you are a human, although you "feel as a human" ? :-)
Having stated all above things, I would like to thank Prof. Lucas for the support given me to obtain a scholarship. Loss of his service to the EE Department at the University of Moratuwa cannot be replaced with any other. He has such a capacity, true dedication, expertise and enthusiasm to uplift the profile of the EE Department. I wish if he could have given the service to the department for another longer period. However, he had made a choice to retire which all of us need to do at some point in our lives. Sir, I wish you all the best and good luck. It was such a pleasure and honour to be a student of you!
Dr Nishad Mendis , Design Engineer, Alstom Grid-Sydney [UoM EE Graduate 2006]

From: "Chandrika Wijesinghe"
Date: Fri, May 31, 2013 12:08 pm
It is a pleasure to write about a teacher who supports his students always.
All EE graduates from UOM have memories about Lucas Sir, because he always stood for students and do his best for them.
We were the second batch in the semester system and we had many problems in selecting our subjects and add/drops. We can still remember he helped all of us without any hesitation. All of us used to visit him whenever we had any problem regarding academic matters, because we knew that he would have the solution.
As a senior professor he never kept a gap between him and the students. He wants to be with students. In all activities and events, he comes on time and waits until the end. In his busy time schedule, he always had enough time for students. It is lucky to be students of such a teacher.
Lucas Sir never gets late for lectures. For each lecture, he is very well prepared. We can still remember how he draws sine waves for three phase in the space of James George hall with detail explanations. He uses examples of water flowing, water drops on the windscreen, to where water will flow from an open tap to illustrate what he is saying. During his lectures, sometimes students sleep, he never disturbs them, but asks a question from the next one.
It was not normal to see that teachers, especially senior professors give a lift to students. But he is very different. When he is on the way, he is looking for students. In the mornings, while we were crossing the road at Katubedda, he waited for us to come. Sometime before we saw him, he has noticed us and was waiting for us. While on the way to the University, he was asking about the last lecture, any difficulties. Sometimes we forgot what we learnt in last lecture (as usual), but he could remember it well.
When writing this, we suddenly remember his messy table. It's unique to him. But the most important thing is he can find anything from it within a few seconds. During our EESoc AGM, we decided to include some cartoons from the past souvenirs. But we had a problem in finding past souvenirs and thought Professor might have it. Then when we went to meet him told him our requirement, the Professor was very happy and pointed out a cupboard and told to get all what we wanted. All the EESoc AGM souvenirs were there to refer.
And Lucas Sir's unique identity, toffee in the mouth that never ends. In our second year we played a drama in EESoc AGM imitating staff members and our seniors' actions. There was a character having a toffee in his mouth. Earlier we thought professor might not happy with this. But he enjoyed the drama very much.
There was one thing we were afraid of, seeing Lucas sir in a presentation. If he starts questioning, it will continue for sometimes. As undergraduates, we wanted to finish our presentation as soon as possible (I think it's common to all undergrads). It was the presentation day of our final year projects. As usual we had some last minute work and after finishing them we were coming out of our computer lab. Lucas sir was on his way back to his room. Suddenly he stopped his way and asked us "are you going to do the presentation?" and we said "yes sir". Oh... he returned back to the presentation. We felt like "ada ivarai". Yes, he had many questions at the end of the presentation. Our project was about tariff, and he had many suggestions about that.
Even after passing out, we used to get updates about the University. Thanks to the Lucas Sir, the department web site was always updated. If it is not updated, what we fell is "Lucas sir might be busy". Time passed and it is already 8 years. But he can still remember our names.
Our wedding was three years after we graduated from UOM and we wanted to invite Lucas Sir for the wedding. We had no time to visit Sir as we had leave problems. So we invited him through the phone and he accepted with joy. Our wedding day was a heavy rainy day, but Lucas Sir came on time with Prof. Perera, because he never wants to miss anything related to his students. It is a privilege to be a student of such a humble teacher.
Missing him will make a big space in the department. Lucas Sir and the Electrical Department are not two; both are linked together.
Thank you very much sir for what you do us and all students at UOM. May god bless you as always and have a peaceful retired life.
Pubudu Niroshan, Project Manager, Dimo Power Solutions [UoM EE Graduate 2006]
Chandrika Wijesinghe, Electrical Engineer, CEB [UoM EE Graduate 2006]

From: "Asha pubuduni"
Date: Sun, June 23, 2013 3:13 am
Best wishes from Asha!
It was quite a shock to read that you are retiring from the EE Department of UoM, even though it may sound a bit strange, as the saying goes 'All good things must come to an end'. I just can't imagine the UOM dept without you. It will be left with a hole which cannot be filled.
I have the memories of good times and challenging times at Mora and one thing I specially appreciate is, you had your door open for us to walk in and talk to you on any academic matter.
I still remember me visiting you at your home in my rush to arrange a recommendation letter to apply for my masters at UEL and I have to say that I still praise you for the genuine support you offered your students to succeed in their lives even at a personal level.
I wish you all the very best in your retirement and thank you for the invaluable contribution to the EE department of UOM.
Asha Pubuduni Gamage, Electrical Engineer, Rolls-Royce plc, Bristol, UK [UoM EE graduate 2006]

2007
From: "
Date: Sat, March 16, 2013 11:38 am
I hope it is never too late to say thank you for everything you have done not only to me but also to all the students over the years at Moratuwa.
What I can remember are the days you taught us (2002/2003 MPR batch) first year EE, theory of Electricity, how to write a resume, HV etc. Also the great reference you gave me when I applied to University of Western Ontario for M.E.Sc. Thank you for all that and many more I have not mentioned.
You asked to update you of our progress. As at now I am several hours from leaving to Long Beach, CA for IEEE APEC conference. Since I am about to defend in June 2013 this will be my last tour as as Ph.D. student. After my Masters's I started the Ph.D specializing in Power Electronics, specifically designing and building three-phase ac-dc power supplies for Telecommunication applications with power factor correction and reduced switching losses. I have three IEEE journal papers and 10 IEEE conference papers and still trying to survive in the harsh cycle of submitting proposals and trying to get them accepted by the reviewers. Most of the time I fail because they come up with numerous excuses and reject, then we try again. And this goes on..........
Thank you for remembering me and I wish you all the very best for everything and Good health.
Dunisha Wijeratne, PhD Student, University of Western Ontario, Canada [UoM Graduate 2007]

From: "roshan tantirimudalige "
Date: Mon, May 6, 2013 9:54 am
I had the honour and privilege to study under Professor Rohan Lucas during my time as an engineering undergraduate at the University of Moratuwa from 2002-2006. I was sad to hear that he was retiring, but after more than 40 years of serving the profession and the university it is well deserved indeed. It's will be hard to imagine the Electrical Engineering department without him, as most of our memories on the department and also the conversations when past graduates meet up are many a times associated with him in one way or another.
Not only being a brilliant scholar, academic, teacher, he was also a source of guidance to many of the students when it came to helping with carrier decisions, organising student or alumni activities, or to connect any of us with his vast network of academics and professionals. I still remember the many encounters I had personally with him during those years and also the theory of electricity and other high voltage engineering lectures which he did for our class. One thing most of our class will probably never forget is the difficult theory of electricity exam which he gave us in 2004, which I remember many of the students came out of the exam hall almost in tears and preparing themselves to sit again the next semester. But it was not to be, to the relief of all, the results were standardised and most of the students were able to get through.
Professor Lucas always came across as a flexible and fair person and gave a very positive image to the department within the university. I remember he allowed students flexibility in subject selections, industrial training, international exposure opportunities in line with specific student's career aspirations and departmental guidelines. This was at a time some other departments were very bureaucratic for these matters, and for this I am personally indebted to him as well. It's hard to picture that seven years have already passed since I left university and that Professor Lucas is also retiring. I wish him the very best in his retirement, but trust that he will still continue to be involved with the electrical engineering department and the profession as many can still learn from his vast experience and knowledge.
Roshan Tantirimudalige , Strategy Manager in the Unilever Global Supply Chain Organisation, Switzerland, [UoM EE Graduate 2007]

2008
From: "Melinda Yasaranji "
Date: Wed, May 1, 2013 6:37 pm
Prof. J. R. Lucas - A True Legend
I am a proud alumnus of the Electrical Engineering Department of the University and Moratuwa and at the same time I am humbled that I was in an era of a legend of the department.
Our first encounter of Prof. J. R. Lucas was during the First Year June Term Projects where he was part of the evaluation team during the final presentations. One incident in particular will never be forgotten among our batch. Madawa Jayawardana (a fellow batch mate) was giving a presentation on the breakdown of the cost of his project which was quite detailed showing the cost of each item and finally the grand total. As he moved on to the next slide, he thought he was safe but then Prof. requested to go back. His question was "What happened to the one rupee?". All of us were baffled and wondering what on earth was he referring to and Madawa asked for clarifications. It was then we realized that the good Prof. had actually mentally summed up all the items and noticed it was Rs. 1 less!
'Theory of Electricity' was a subject that needed to be properly taught for any undergraduate who wanted to pursue a career in Electrical Engineering and Prof. Lucas did not let us down. We unfortunately didn't get the opportunity to be tutored by him in major subjects afterwards as he left on sabbatical during our final year.
Apart from academia, Prof. Lucas was a stout supporter of extra-curricular activities with a soft spot for our very own EESoc (Electrical Engineering Society). He also gave support to the Gavel Club of the University of Moratuwa which during my time had just formed and was trying to find it's feet. Upon my request as Vice President Education of the club at the time, Prof. Lucas published news items on the Electrical News website which can still be found by typing keywords in a search engine.
We were certainly lucky to have Prof. Lucas as our lecturer, mentor and friend during our time in the campus. I am sure that he has touched thousands of lives in one way or another during his 43 years in the department and on behalf of all his students, I thank him for a selfless service.
M. A. Melinda Yasaranji , Engineering Manager - Energy, Aitken Spence Hotel Managements (Pvt) Ltd [UoM EE graduate 2008]

From: "Anuradha Kariyawasam"
Date: Sun, July 28, 2013 10:58 pm
Although I have encountered many capable lecturers and professors at University of Moratuwa and elsewhere, beyond the shadow of a doubt Prof. J.R. Lucas has been the most influential figure in my life out of all of them. Therefore, I consider myself privileged to have the opportunity to write-up my memories of him.
The first thing that comes to my mind about Prof. Lucas is his professionalism and work ethic. He was always punctual and never under-prepared for his lectures and he expected nothing less from us. His lectures were intriguing and insightful. His marking was fair and we never had to wait longer than the final day of the exam for the results. Prof. Lucas had come to terms with the evolving technology, most times better than the students. His lecture notes were readily available online and he used the latest technology in his presentations.
He was never the one for exaggeration which complimented his humble character. I recollect that he gave us a great lesson not to overemphasize our work in first year June term projects as well as the final year projects. We were throwing around words such as "efficient", "low cost", "fully functional" and "accurate" into our project titles and we had a real hard time explaining to Prof. Lucas how our projects accomplished all that.
Prof. Lucas is a telling reason for me, as well as thousands of others, to excel in the field of Electrical Engineering. I gratefully remember that when I was at the crossroads about following higher-studies, his advice was decisive to make up my mind.
Prof. Lucas is a profound example of an outstanding academic and a dedicated educator. I regard that Prof. J.R. Lucas truly represents the pinnacle of university education in Sri Lanka.
Anuradha Kariyawasam, PhD Candidate, University of Manitoba [UOM EE graduate 2008]

From: "Nilusha Rajapaksha"
Date: Fri, August 29, 2014 12:05 pm
Memories of Rohan Sir
I felt very upset when I was asked to write memories of you. That gave me an impression of whether I need to stop thinking of our heart touched professor or the memories of you should not come to my mind hereafter. I was struggling to write this for months from the day I received the mail.
I still remember how you advised me: It was the short term of first year, when I met you in the first floor corridor, "you should balance your study and extra curricula activities". Thanking or appreciating is an insult for what you have done for us. It is placed in bottom of our hearts and when we remind it will come to you through the air as a blessing. You are so lucky, I know that I know you receive thousands of them every day, every hour, every moment. It is very unlucky to not having you in the uni for our sons and daughters, but surely we will tell them a story about you and they will take to the next generation. When they learn "High Voltage Theory", they will tell to their friends proudly; "He is my grandmother's & grandfather's professor" along with the stories we tolled to our sons and daughters.
Now that I am leaving;
I can tell you how I feel;;
For helping all of us. ;
So from me you get this THANK YOU,;
As well as this A PLUS;

No, that's not enough either;
For the teacher that you are;
You get this Thank You, an A+;
As well as this GOLD STAR;

We love you sir, until the last breath.
Nilusha Rajapaksha [EE Graduate 2008, Lighting Consultant for Intec Systems & Solutions (Pvt) Ltd.]

2009
From: "Thilanka Sooriyaarachchi"
Date: Mon, March 11, 2013 8:00 pm
It is an honor and a privilege to share my memories of you at your retirement, after 43 years of service. I still remember swearing myself not to do Electrical Engineering when I was in my 1st year in 2004, and yet ended up in the same department, much to my great pleasure in the years to come.
I remember seen you at a distance in the 1st year and wondered what it would be like learning from this larger than life academic whose reputation extended beyond our shores. I thought most of us were initially intimidated by your reputation as a great mind. For a bunch of school levers who became engineering undergraduates, it's only honest to say that your work ethic was beyond our comprehension. 9 years later after getting to know the person behind the professor, things are crystal clear. Knowledge is power, and with that power comes great responsibility. With all that responsibility upon your shoulder and the burden of a senior academic, you managed to stay simple in a sophisticated world for 43 years. I believe that is partially why your clock ticks ever so slower than the rest of the world.
I remember how much you loved being and sharing with students than any other faculty member in the department. I still can remember how much you enjoyed the 'Communication Skills' course and that you were the first person to enter the classroom and would wait for the students to come. And some of us would even ask you a question during our own speech so that you would do the talking for the rest of the allocated time. I also remember how much you enjoyed student dramas and films we did for the EE-nite in both 2005 and 2006 and the smile on your face when you saw the character imitating you. We had our concerns what your response might be, and then later on, you always admired and praised all our efforts for the event in the department news website with much enthusiasm, displaying your great sense of humor, soul of a youngster and the wonderful heart. It's exemplary how you never missed any of the student events that took place in the department. And I would never forget the treats you shared with me after returning from Canada in 2007.
Your lecture notes were the best I have ever come across which were so elaborative that I never needed to look for other texts to understand their content. And you were the only faculty member in our department, who would publish model answers to the exam papers which helped us a lot when preparing for exams. And with such a slow clock and ample time at your disposal; you were always the first to release our grades.
I am grateful to you for the wonderful person and the teacher I found in you. You will always be the model professional any aspirant would want to become and your retirement will be a great loss to the future generation of engineers produced by Sri Lanka and to the University of Moratuwa. I believe you have already laid out your retirement plan based on your unique slow clock, and I take this opportunity to wish you on that journey which will be as thrilling, fulfilling, long, healthy and simple as was your professional life.
God Bless!
Thilanka Sooriyaarachchi, Postgrad, Abu Dhabi, UAE [UoM EE Graduate 2009]

From: "Rasara HL"
Date: Sat, May 25, 2013 8:28 am
Prof. Rohan Lucas and the Samarasinghe Family
First and foremost, we, the Samarasinghe family, consider it a privilege to be part of the "Memories" of Prof. Lucas, our beloved teacher. It is indeed a rarity to find an academic who has enriched a whole family, especially when it comes to tertiary education. Prof. Lucas has taught my whole family, which includes me, my father, my mother, my wife, and my sister, during his 43 years of service at the University of Moratuwa.
The link between Prof. Lucas and the Samarasinghe family originated in 1976, when he taught my father Chandana, and my mother Yamuna, Theory of Electricity during their second year in the university. My father and mother are currently working at the Ceylon Electricity Board as the Deputy General Manager Western Province North and the Additional General Manager Transmission, respectively. My parents always talked of him highly, and I can still remember them introducing me to him at a wedding of one of their batch mates at Hotel Sapphire, Wellawatta. I was a small kid then.
I became closer to Prof. Lucas in 2004, when I entered the University of Moratuwa for my undergraduate studies. Prof. Lucas also taught me the all important second year subject Theory of Electricity. At that time, he did not know me as the son of Chandana and Yamuna. At the third or fourth lecture, Prof. Lucas threw a question at me when he found me talking with Rasara, a friend of mine who was sitting next to me, in the middle of the lecture. Honestly, I was not listening to the lecture, but managed to answer thanks to the high quality study material that he made available through his website to all students. Without any doubt, this is the best and the most useful set of notes that was provided to me by a lecturer during my undergraduate studies.
In 2009, I married Rasara, and Prof Lucas was one of the two witnesses of our marriage. Prof. Lucas was in fact so happy to be a witness at the wedding, and considered it a unique opportunity. Rasara, who was a student of the department of electrical engineering, had stronger ties with Prof. Lucas, and was lucky enough to learn more subjects from him. The final year subject High Voltage breakdown and testing, which was taught by Prof. Lucas, actually motivated her to do her PhD in the same area.
In 2010, my sister Savini became the lucky fifth to learn Theory of Electricity from Prof. Lucas. She is currently in her final year as an undergraduate at the University of Moratuwa.
It is not a secret that Prof. Lucas is an excellent academic. His qualifications, publications and experience will back this claim. However, according to all five of us, the things which make him stand out in the academic community are his qualities as a human being, and the way he treats his students. Out of all of us, I think Rasara had the closest relationship with Prof. Lucas. I am herewith integrating some of her words to express our feelings of Prof. Lucas.
"Prof. Lucas is a valued lecturer, a mentor and most importantly, a good friend to all of us who studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Moratuwa. He was my favourite lecturer in the university and the most humble academic I have met throughout my undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
He was our hero in times of need. I remember one embarrassing situation at the AGM of EESoc in 2005, where I turned to the Head of the Department and asked "Sir, your name please...". I could not recognize him since I was a new member of the Electrical Engineering family and have only seen him once, which was at the welcome party held for us by the department. The surrounding became so tensed, but I still did not realize what I have done wrong. Prof. Lucas, being the white knight he is, came to my rescue making a joke out of the situation saying "even we cannot recognize you girls today, all dressed up for the occasion", and leading the shocked faculty members away.
Prof. Lucas always understood the students since he closely associated with us. Needless to say that he was the most reachable member of the faculty. He was always available and willing to help us on any matter, even after we graduated from the university. He enjoyed friendly bantering all the time, and always started a discussion with a witty remark putting us at ease (or sometimes even confusing us). As I have already mentioned to Prof. Lucas, an email from him is something to look forward to. He brings merriment to an otherwise boring day with his witty and hilarious writings.
All jokes aside, Prof. Lucas is one of my most beloved teachers and an important figure in my life. I could not think of any other person to be my witness when I got married in 2009 "
It is with mixed feelings that we acknowledge the news of Prof. Lucas's retirement since future students will be missing out on a lot. Sir, thank you very much for everything you have done for us, and we wish you all the best.
Dr. Tharaka Samarasinghe, Research Fellow, Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, Monash University, Australia. [UoM ENTC Graduate, 2009]
Mrs. H.L. Rasara Samarasinghe, PhD Candidate, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University, Australia. [UoM EE Graduate, 2009]

2010
From: "Devinda Perera "
Date: Fri, May 10, 2013 2:19 pm
It is a great privilege to write up memories about you as you bid farewell to University of Moratuwa and embrace your well-deserved break. It is not an exaggeration to say that you have been the backbone of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Moratuwa, and it will never be the same without your valuable contribution.
The first thing I learnt about you during our first year Engineering Project presentations, was your passion to explain complex theoretical concepts in a simple to understand and memorable manner, though your natural desire to question students during your lectures and presentations was sometimes a pain for me and my colleagues . As I recall, at one point, one of my colleagues asked you not to interrupt him with any questions during his presentation, only to be met by a big smile on your face, with a series of unrelated questions which were quite amusing. (As I remember the starting question was "Is there any particular reason for the design of your slide").
One of your unsung services to the department, was maintaining of department website. During my undergraduate studies, I made a habit of visiting the department website every morning as it was the only website in the university that was up to date. Apart from all the academic and administrative matters, you never forgot to add some humour to the news page. I was able to dig up one such post reported on the inter-batch cricket tournament.
The Editor of EENews who witnessed some of the Intra-University Cricket played last week, accurately captured the following picture in his minds eye, drew it in MS-word and converted it to a picture in Corel Photopaint for your viewing pleasure. It shows Prof Rohan Lucas getting out, to a new mathematical delivery (the delivery termed "|sin x/x|" is pronounced "Absolute Sine X by X"). |sin x/x| is a multi-bounce, mid-pitched delivery which stops well before it reaches the wicket, enticing the batsmen to come forward very many steps. It has a very great resemblance to the corresponding mathematical expression shown on the right. It is to be patented through the Inventors Club of the University before the next World Cup. Incidentally, Prof Lucas scored the highest inverse score possible, and also earned five negative bonus points for his team. Prof Lucas had just arrived late at the ground after a meeting and immediately had to go and bat without even knowing the weird rules applicable for the day.
Another much loved quality of you was your keenness to attend university activities despite your busy schedule. During my days at the University of Moratuwa, I can't recall any sporting event organised by the department without your presence. You were always there to encourage students and even took part in some events.
You have always been a role model and a great mentor to me. Whether it was a matter related to studies or even making a choice between academia and industry, you were always there to listen and provide valuable guidance to me. It was not only the theoretical knowledge that I gained from you but also qualities of a human being who was ready to go that extra mile to help anyone. It is with great gratitude that I recall that you provided me with a recommendation which helped to secure a scholarship at the University of Wollongong to pursue my PhD.
To sum up, it is a great honour to be one of your students. I wish you all the best. May the next phase of your life bring you all that you seek and much more. Your dedication, your presence, your advice and your encouragement will be definitely missed by all future students at the University of Moratuwa.
Devinda Perera, Postgraduate Student, University of Wollongong [UoM EE graduate 2010]

From: "hansi rajapaksha "
Date: Fri, May 10, 2013 11:11 pm
Getting selected to do 'Electrical Engineering' was quite a surprise for me as I had no interest in that subject. I can still remember hearing the introductory lectures given by Prof. Ranjith Perera and also by Prof. Rohan Lucas with a very warm welcome smile on their faces. At that moment I knew that the coming 3 years at the university is not going to be tough for me with the assistance of these humble senior lecturers.
As we joined the Electrical Engineering department, day by day we got to know more and more about our mentors. Prof. Lucas, being the most senior lecturer, did not hesitate to assist us every time when we felt helpless in some academic issues. He was capable of understanding our issues at the very first moment and we felt relieved when we talked to him regarding our studies and research. During his lectures, we touched all the corners of 'Electrical Engineering'. We always felt free to ask questions about the basic concepts of the subject as he always encouraged us to do so. He had always been an interactive lecturer who did not make us uncomfortable by scolding for giving wrong answers. Likewise, his lecture notes were the best lecture notes I found at the university. All the theories were well-explained in every note and pictorial representations were at its best. I still can't imagine how he found the time to write-up these notes with his busy schedule.
When I published my first novel (still it's the only book I published so far), I handed-over one copy to Prof. Lucas. Within one week, he mentioned about the book in the webpage of the department of Electrical Engineering which made me surprised by thinking he spent some time in writing-up this as I was just a second-year student at that time. He always had time for us whether junior or senior.
Prof. Lucas was really interested in moving with students and he is very genuine in whatever he does. I can remember he was playing in a cricket match (as the batsman) which was between the lecturers and students where I was the bowler in that over. Two consecutive times the ball hit the wicket,but the umpire who was a student signaled those as 'no-balls'. However, third time again the ball hit the wicket and when the umpire was going to signal it as a 'no-ball', Prof.Lucas smiled at us and left the pitch as he understood we felt uncomfortable to make him 'out'. That was one time where Prof. Lucas had been our friend, a genuine friend.
I am really grateful to you Sir for all the seconds you spent on making our future brighten. You were one of the best mentors I met in my life and I feel sorry for the students who won't get lucky to get to know you after your retirement. With all my batch mates of batch-05 I wish you all the very best !!
Hansi Rajapaksha, Electrical Engineer, Ceylon Electricity Board, [UoM EE Graduate, 2010]

From: "Nadeesha Manamperi "
Date: Sat, May 11, 2013 5:37 pm
My favorite teacher
Last week, when I was scrolling through 'facebook' I came across a post carrying a picture of a very familiar face of our beloved teacher. The post was for congratulating him for his 43 years of priceless service in the university. It was a moment I spend thinking how lucky I am, being able to be a student of him and how blessed our Electrical Engineering Department of University of Moratuwa to 'own' such world recognized intellectual. Even though being very humble in his character, he is the pride and the recognition of our Department. He is none other than Prof. J. R. Lucas, our beloved teacher.
Down the memory lane, I meet Lucas Sir, as we called him, in 2006, as a second year Electrical Engineering Student. My first impression of him is that he is a very simple and sweet tempered lecturer.
By the 3rd year, I and my friend Nadeeshani started our six months Industrial Training at Lanka Transformers (Pvt) Ltd in Angulana, Moratuwa. Two of us became familiar with Prof. Lucas and he also got to know well about us and the extraordinary friendship of 'Nadeehsa and Nadeeshani' during this time, as he visited the Transformer Plant often. Nadeeshani and I've had a very long friendship since school days. Our names, appearance and even the scores in academics were very similar. Even today if Prof. Lucas meets one of us, he would definitely ask about the other. That is the inherent friendly nature of Prof. Lucas.
I must say, unlike most senior lecturers, Prof. Lucas has a very unique quality of being able to talk with students as a friend and he accepts them as they are without pre-judgment. Among the qualities I appreciate in him, this superior quality of equality to everyone is prominent. It may be the very strong reason that many students consider him as an inspiring role in their lives.
Henry Adams, a famous Historian and Intellect has once said that 'A teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops'. Prof. Lucas is one rare teacher who could inspire and influence his students.
During the Final year, Prof. Lucas taught us two subjects in High Voltage Engineering. I used to sit in the first or the second row in these lectures despite of the trouble of answering to his questions every now and then, which anyone who sits in the front has to bear, because I loved these lectures very much. It may be his great knowledge that he was able to teach us in a way that everything was explained well. I ended up with two A+ s for these two subjects easily.
Prof. J. R. Lucas was the supervisor from the University for my final year project. Due to his friendly nature, our team could discuss the problems with him at ease and his knowledge guided us to overcome many bottlenecks to finally end up in success.
On our convocation day, I remember Prof. Lucas personally came and wished all our batch mates. That day I learned how he enjoyed his teaching career by seeing his students succeed to a new world.
This great scholar spent a very humble life at the university. He wouldn't mind having a tea at the canteen sitting close by to his students or loosing to his students in a cricket match. The door labeled 'R. Lucas' was always open for the students to come in. He was very rarely absent in a function organized by Electrical Engineering Students, may it be a charity, sports, new year or Annual General Meeting. If in any case, Prof. Lucas was unable to participate, it was a big disappointment for everyone.
After two years of graduation, I and a quite a big cluster of my batch mates started our Masters Degree in 2011 in the University. It is our misfortune that in our course Prof. Lucas did not teach any module. But he was guiding us through our projects as a progress review panel member.
Even though he didn't teach us by this time, it was his usual habit to stop by for a minute or two to speak with us, whenever he sees us in the University. This made us feel homely at the Department regardless that we are now 'outsiders' to the University.
I was really saddened to hear that Prof. Lucas was planning his retirement in September this year. His service to the Department and the University is so huge, that would be hard to cover up.
A famous American Writer, William Arthur Ward ones said that 'The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."
In my eyes I see Prof. J. R. Lucas as a great teacher who inspired many Sri Lankan Electrical Engineers to rise up to their excellence.
I wish you good health, and success in all your future endeavors, Sir.
As now you are writing your auto-biography, perhaps this may be the beginning of a new journey of Prof. J. R. Lucas as a great author…
Nadeesha Manamperi, Electrical Engineer, Ceylon Electricity Board [UoM EE Graduate, 2010]

From: "Nadeeshani Rathnayaka "
Date: Sat, May 11, 2013 11:54 pm
When I entered to Faculty of Engineering, University of Moratuwa on 8th February 2005, the first thing I felt was that this place is a different world, and how can I adjust to this new world with so many big characters, like Professors, Doctors who were engaged in highest positions in the country. But getting selected to do Electrical Engineering changed my entire perspective. Prof. Rohan Lucas was one of those who made us feel comfortable in that different world.
Lucas sir's first lecture for us was "Theory of Electricity" which is a five credit subject in level two second semester. I can remember that within the first two or three days the entire three hours were felt like we are learning some alien language. But when we read your lecture notes, day by day we could understand the basics of theory of electricity in an interesting way, since your lecture notes touch each and every corner of the subject in a complete manner. Truly saying sir, I am still using the lecture notes which you have updated in the Department web site, when I have to work in Technical Evaluation Committees. It is like a hand book for Electrical Engineering. I can remember that every day at the end of the lecture, Lucas sir asks for questions from the students. Even though we do not ask any single question he never gives up and next day also he asks that again. At that time we do not have the confidence for doing such things. But day by day we understood that Lucas Sir is not a person who we have to fear about and he is such a humble and genuine person who always likes to help the students and share his knowledge with them.
There were thirteen girls in our Electrical Engineering batch and we thirteen were the nastiest and most obstinate girls in the entire batch (I think you can remember our dances for so many events). Before and after each and every lecture it is a common scene that we were chatting at each and every corner of the Sumanadasa building. For the bad luck of us we were always found by Lucas sir at that time; doing nothing valuable and just chatting. But when you found us in anywhere in the university, you did not forget to do some friendly chat with us. Those were the moments we understood your great personality of always accepting people for what they are. In three years life in Electrical Engineering Department, I saw Lucas sir was there in forefront for each and every event organized by the students. For EEsoc AGM and nights, for "we are with you" program and even for cricket matches, you did not hesitate to participate. In that way you appreciated all the good work in our university life.
When I am doing my MSc Research work, I got to know more about Lucas sir. You were there for each and every presentation done by research students, and I am honestly saying that all of us were fearful about your presence at the presentations. Because you are the one who continuously asked so many questions from us even regarding very minute things. But in my first progress review I understood that you are so much interested about the new things we were doing and the questions you asked were for our betterment.
One day you have met Nadeesha (My friend since school time) on the way to department office and while talking with her you have asked "how about your friend, Nadeeshani's project progress?" I was surprised when she told me that and I was surprised how much you have paid attention on us and how much you are interested in our work, even though we were such junior people compared to you.
I am really happy that I could study in University of Moratuwa in an era that Lucas sir was there to teach us. You taught us by being an example, how to be a humble and down to earth person while holding so many responsible positions. I am really thankful to you for the great support you gave us and wish you all the very best in the next chapter of your life.
Nadeeshani Rathnayaka, Engineer, Ceylon Electricity Board, [UoM EE Graduate, 2010]

2011
From: "Hasala Dharmawardena "
Date: Fri, May 10, 2013 3:08 pm
When we entered the university in 2006 Professor Lucas was the public face of the electrical engineering department. Such was his charisma that some opted to follow electrical engineering, just to get lectured by the great professor!
I can still remember the first day, when he came to the lecture, connected the speakers to his laptop, and got a recording going mirroring the lecture notes, I wondered how the professor got time to get it edited by a professional…… Believe me only at the end that I understood that he had used Microsoft speech function…. Effectively he introduced us to this technology when it was thought that Professors were the old schools black board users!!!!
I can still remember how he made us visualize lumped modeling of the power system. He asked us the voltage drop when we short a socket outlet, and thereby he explained that the system can be replaced by such an impedance as to derive this voltage drop, ingenious lecturing!
The Professor was so homely and friendly that he would even take the time to stop and give a lift to any of his students he met on the road, I too were a recipient of this honor several times over the years! He was there for the students were it a Sports event or a Speech contest, in sun and in rain. He was an exemplarily person that we all looked up to in awe, and he was always there for us, were it for career advice or a recommendation.
Hasala Dharmawardena , Probationary Lecturer in Electrical Engineering, UoM, Engineer LTL Projects 2011-13, [EE UoM graduate 2011]

From: "Randupama"
Date: Mon, July 15, 2013 10:32 pm
After graduating 2011 from the University of Moratuwa, I used to work in a private company where I got chance to meet a lot of Engineers working in the industry. When I met them, the first question they asked, knowing my university, "Is Prof. Lucas still teach in our university or I am a student of him". Now I am a grad student of the University of Manitoba in Canada. Even after coming to this university, I was asked so many times those same questions. Which made me realize that how much respect and recognition Prof. Lucas has earned not only in Sri Lanka but also abroad and how lucky I am to be considered as a student of him.
I had the privilege to attend insulation coordination, high voltage break down and testing courses of you. The clear and detailed notes, which are readily available on the web for everyone even today, helped me to remember those whenever I needed for class or research. I personally believe knowledge must be free, shared and cheered. And you Sir is the ambassador from our institution in this context.
I have always found you humble, enthusiastic and a devotee of learning as a teacher either in class or outside the department who was always ready to help the students. Personally my gratitude to you Sir for having a faith on my credibility by giving me a recommendation letter to continue my higher studies which means a lot to me as now I see what I could be.
I wish you a happy and healthy long life. Last but not least, you will always be remembered with honor for the hard work and sacrifice you made for our University.
Randapuma Gunasekera, PhD Student, University of Manitoba, Canada [EE UoM Graduate, 2011]

2012
From: "Sasanka Herath"
Date: Tue, March 13, 2012 4:49 pm
Congratulations sir, Thank you very much for this. I just started to read it and didn't feel that this is too long until finishing, as it is very interesting.
The service of you for the society during this 42 years is excellent. A very few of the people in the country were fortune enough to get the service of you. I have a little proud to be one of them. Actually sir what I learnt from you during the project is vast. They may be both academic and non-academic. Some times after working with you I personally thought what good characteristics you have. May be I discussed with my friends. Nowadays that qualities I trained from you is very helpful to me for carry out works.
You have a big personality which influence others and make them at the correct path. During this 42 years this is surely may have caused to the university and its development up to now. Still now you are the earliest to come, isn't it ? I personally believe that you are a Pearl for our country. All of the students who were in our batch knew that you are doing the teaching to the best of you. They say that they can hardly find a teacher like you. How you describe complex things with simpler examples is magnificent. In all the semesters we receive the results for your subjects most earlier. Happy to memorize that I had over A passes for all the subjects done by you.
The child hood of you seems to prove that you are a special person. I think that is why you got the most of the opportunities for education. It is awesome how you did the plantation. Can't believe that a child in a area like that do so. I think it is the specialty of you.
I was shocked with the inconvenience you faced down while come down from Sripada, Which you didn't tell us earlier. In future hikes I would like to accompany with you.
Though you can spend a superior life you live very peacefully. That was clearly observed during our project period. Sometimes you surprised us. We could work in a relaxed mind due to that. Feel very sorry to hear that you are leaving the university. That will be a huge loss to the department as well as University. We wish you could stay there for another 10 years for the betterment of the future undergraduates.
Sasanka Herath, Electrical Engineer, LTL [UoM EE Graduate 2012]

From: "sujani madurapperuma"
Date: Mon, March 11, 2013 8:31 pm
Sweet memories bring smiles and that story emphasis your great courage and effort. But it is so sad about your retirement. Even you get retire I wish that you serve for the country as previous. Think you are happy and satisfied about the past.
It is my gratitude for your guidance and valuable knowledge given during both Undergraduate and Postgraduate studies. Happy to be your student for more than 4 years. Wish you good luck, happy and healthy long life !!!
Sujani Madurapperuma, Electrical Engineer, CEB [UoM EE Graduate 2012]

From: "Lahiru Himal"
Date: Thu, April 4, 2013 8:40 pm
First of all I should tell you that I am a very lucky person because I was able to learn from you, work with you, listen to you. You are the person who gave me the key to open doors of LTL Kingdom. You are not only a teacher to me, you are not only a mentor to me, you are not only a friend to me; You are a teacher, mentor and friend to me. I can remember that you listen to me and gave suitable opinions when I was in a bad mood.
I can remember the style which you taught us. When we asked a question, you get answer from us by another simple question asked by you. How wonderful. You are the only teacher I met in my life who can give answers by questions. I felt some kind of specialty of you. Now I realize you are very special from the birth . "Perhaps we got independence within 4 months of my birth because I would have refused to live in a country under occupation and given an ultimatum to my neighbour who would have done the needful on my behalf"
I do not feel that you are going to retire. I feel this is a beginning of another era. I am sure you will plan your future successfully.
As a Engineer, I am very proud to say that I AM A STUDENT OF PROF. LUCAS. This is why I say that I am lucky.
I am very happy to read your mail. Finally I wish you a healthy, wealthy and happy future.
Lahiru Himal, Electrical Engineer, LTL Projects, [UoM EE Graduate 2012]

From: "Malaka Gunasekara"
Date: Wed, March 13, 2013 12:08 am
It's an honour to have been a student of yours.
I read your e mail while traveling from Nebbi to Kampala in Uganda where Mr. Chaminda and me from LTL Projects went to a meeting and site visits related to the project we are doing there.
I really enjoyed the read and I wish that our country will be blessed with great academics like you.
I wish you good health and happiness.
Malaka Gunasekara [UoM EE Graduate 2012]

From: "Pawithra Gamage "
Date: Wed, May 22, 2013 1:17 pm
I'm really happy that I got a chance to express my gratitude to you, Prof. Lucas.
".....About 6 years ago my journey started at University of Moratuwa as a fresh undergraduate. After one year I selected Electrical Engineering as my field of specialization and today I feel really happy about that decision.
We were guided throughout this journey by a well experienced and caring group of teachers and I believe that Prof. Lucas is on top of that group.
I highly appreciate his effort and commitment in creating a young generation of capable Engineers and think that he can be proud of his work. He inspired and challenged us throughout this quest to help us to achieve our goals. I am happy where I am today as a young Engineer and I thank him for being a guiding light for my path.
I wish Prof. Lucas all the very best in his future endeavors and hope he will continue the process of enhancing the younger generation with his knowledge and experience....."
Pawithra Gamage , Electrical Engineer, JW1 International (Pvt) Ltd [UoM EE graduate 2012]

From: "Ruwinda Herath "
Date: Sat, April 27, 2013 7:17 pm
Sir when you asked me to send you a write up of my memories about you for your Autobiography I felt honored and privileged - just as I am to be one of your students. Since then I have been pondering the best way to convey my immense gratitude towards you and your tremendous service to the nation in an appropriate manner. Rather than compiling a conventional write up with numerous adjectives, I decided to focus on four memories that I cherish about you during the period I have known you.
During our third year at the University all of us were confused regarding the number of credits we have to take from other departments in order to fulfill the minimum credit requirement. Hence as a whole batch we got together after a lecture to discuss how we can advance regarding matter. As the batch representative I asked my batch mates to come up with their own solution. Every single person had the same thing in their minds - "Let's go and meet Lucas sir for advice". This shows the immense faith and trust the students have in you sir. It is hard coded in all our systems that you know what's best for us and that you will always guide us in the right direction.
EXMO 2010 exhibition was one of the most challenging scenarios we found ourselves in as a batch. All the other batches were having exams, so it was our responsibility to get most of the work finished for the exhibition. We spent most of our evenings stressed out worrying that we might not be able to finish up in time. During such an evening around 5pm when we were down and out (I was lying on the floor of the exhibition lab) you came in and discussed about the exhibits we were going to present and the problems we had. You visited every single laboratory, motivated us and offered to help us by educating the presenters on how best to explain their exhibits to visitors. On the day of commencement, you came early in the morning to the University and visited each laboratory and asked the presenters to explain their exhibits to you. Then you helped them to correct their mistakes and add more details. This shows your dedication towards the well-being of the students and the immense responsibility you feel for the University and it's students. All the students felt touched and grateful for the guidance you provided.
At a personal level, I feel indebted to you as well. After my graduation I needed to get some advice regarding an interview I was going to face. I had a few doubts which I wanted to get clarified. So I decided to come and meet you with the questions I had expecting a short time to be spent on the meeting. Instead, you met with me for 45mins, conducting a long mock interview teaching me how to present myself during the interview. This really meant a lot to me. You were always willing help out any of your students whenever they are in need. That is one of the most striking facets I have seen in your personality.
My fourth memory consists of the way you send greeting cards and photos to your students. In a way it's quite surprising how you manage to allocate time for them in your busy schedule. You spend so much of your time on them because deep down you are a very fun loving character.
I am afraid to think about the future of Department of Electrical Engineering University of Moratuwa without you. All I can say is that it will never be the same again.
Ruwinda Herath , Electrical Engineer, Ceylon Electricity Board, [UoM EE graduate 2012]

From: "Chirath Pathirawasam"
Date: Tue, September 9, 2014 4:07 pm
I still remember how Prof. Lucas was introduced by our seniors on the first day (Unofficial welcome done by immediate seniors) of our life in the Electrical Engineering Department. They introduced him as an iconic figure of the department. Prof. Lucas proved their claims for the next three years of my university life inside and outside the classroom.
His intention to deliver his message to the students is very admirable. He was fluent in describing any abstract concept, which are very abundant in Electrical Engineering, with a real world analogy. He took a large fraction of his time in lectures to explain more abstract topics as they are very important to the overall understanding of the subject, albeit it was not easy. Not only is Prof. Lucas’s presence was enthusiastic in the classroom, but he is also found to be in the front in any department event. I can recall an event; ‘We are with you- 2010’, where he was present till the end without the presence of any other staff member.
I had the opportunity to associate him more closely after I joined the department as a staff member. Having a conversation with Prof. Lucas ‘storms’ the brain because, his arguments are always in the context of engineering. It opens another avenue in mind to think in. When he was preparing materials for a TV interview about lightening he went the extra mile by inquiring our experiences on lightening and analyzing the situation rationally to provide valuable information to the public.
I feel privileged to express my gratitude on a great personality like Prof. Lucas. I hope our department will not miss his service even after his retirement as it would be like a cricket team playing without its star player. I wish Prof. Lucas great success in his future endeavours!
Chirath D. Pathirawasam, [UoM EE graduate 2012, UoM EE Temporary Lecurer]

From: "Kasun Hettiarachchi"
Date: Mon, September 22, 2014 5:17 pm
It's a great, great pleasure to add few words regarding you. It's a privilege for me and thanx a lot for giving such an opportunity.
It was in 2007 at JG Hall. At that time, the level one co-ordinator was Mrs Premarathne, and on her first appearance, she has given some tutorials related to the first lecture. This tutorial was prepared by you and Mrs Premarathne didn't forget to mention about you at that lecture. She tagged Prof Lucas as one of the best lectures and she mentioned your capacity in electrical engineering. That's the very first time I heard about you and I was amazed even without seeing you.
Then in 2008 I got into the Electrical Engineering Department and from there onwards Prof Lucas is an often sight for each and every student. But in the first year in the Department of Electrical Eng, most of the students were scared to have a word or two with you including myself. Don't know the exact reason for that, and now I believe that's due to your high esteem personality where we thought we are not strong enough to reach you.
After few semesters we used to meet Prof Lucas frequently and then and there we figured out how soft he is. Every time he welcomed our suggestions and was very keen to listen even on a personal matter. I was lucky enough to work under Prof Lucas in my final year project and the given support and guidance is priceless. I'm sure we may not have been able to finish even one third of the project, if this great personality wasn't there with us throughout the project. My uni and college friends used to call me as Hapaya and I'm privileged that Prof Lucas also sometimes used to call me as Hapaya. One day during our project discussion suddenly Prof Lucas asked "Hapaya, why you are playing "Bad"minton. You should play "Good"minton rather than "Bad"minton?" So like this we worked under Prof Lucas and he never misses to crack some jokes.
Dear Sir, again and again I am thankful for the given courage, guidance and knowledge for thousands of Electrical Engineers including myself. We will miss "THE ICON" of Electrical Engineering Dept badly with your departure and wish you strength and good health to continue your immense service at least for few decades.
Kasun S Hettiarachchi (Hapaya), Electrical Engineer, Dialog [UoM EE Graduate 2012]

From: "Tharindu De Silva"
Date: Wed, January 14, 2015 1:00 pm
Thank You for Everything
It is always an honour and privilege to send a write up about such a legendary teacher like Prof. Lucas. I tried to start this a couple of times, but I couldn't come up with a good beginning to expresses my heartfelt feelings about this iconic character. So I thought of just starting it saying "Thank you for everything." Thank you for being an absolutely amazing teacher and making such a significant impact on generations of students to change their lives over last 40 plus years.
It was way back in 2007, where I heard your name for the first time when Mrs. Janaki Premarathne mentioned about you and thanked you during the lectures at JG Hall. She conducted the first ever subject offered for us from EE department and all the tutorials were prepared by you. But at that time, we never thought that name, "Prof. Rohan Lucas", printed on the tutorials, would do such a change in all of our lives. Instead, we got a feeling like "yet another traditional professor in the traditional field and traditional department building". We were not just wrong. We were absolutely wrong.
I can still remember the very first day you came for our lectures at Room 215, Sumanadasa building with your legendary laptop. Once you projected it to the screen, I counted sixteen open windows (not less than 16) but you were quick enough to open up the relevant lecture slides. We came to a conclusion that "This man" is kind of a busy professor who is out of our reach. Again we were not just wrong. We were absolutely wrong.
During the time in EESoc, we were fortunate enough to work under the supervision of you. You were so concerned about the department's reputation and advised us to do every event with zero error. You always tried to come early, in every event, and search about every matter till you got the feeling that proceedings are satisfactorily organized. Once the funny time comes, you blend with students and participate in games and take photographs where you know the exact time to leave the rest of funny time to students without staff.
From "Theory of Electricity" to "High Voltage" along four years, you installed a series of concepts in us, which we are still enjoying in our career. Even if we ask a stupid question, you get the answers out of us while keep questioning about the question we asked. (I can remember one such question I asked: "Nothing will happen if I touch only one 33kV line on bare foot, isn't it sir?" You took it serious and told me that "YES, but only from your domain of knowledge". I was not letdown. Then you asked couple of questions about ground coupling and leakages to explain the answer to me).
When you asked me for a write up about my memories, I couldn't give it to you on time. So I was bit upset when I saw all the other articles in the department website from your students over the past 40 plus years where I couldn't pay my gratitude with at least a couple of words. I was more disappointed when I heard that you are going to publish an autobiography with those articles. (All the students were invited for the launching ceremony). I replied back to you saying that I will definitely participate in that prestigious event where I will get an opportunity to pay my gratitude. But, I was over the moon when I realized that there is some sense of true in the old saying "Good things always come late". I was asked to organize this ceremony by Dr. Narendra from LECO. It was one of the great events that I got opportunity to organize and probably the best ever with much pleasure and hard driven satisfaction.
With having much to say, I thought of concluding this short write up at a point where it started. Dear Sir, Thank you very much for everything. You are a book which we cannot finish reading until we die. Because, you can be seen from a multidimensional view point for us as students where, sometimes as a father, as very good friend and as a very close teacher. So we wish you all the very best in your future endeavours. The University will never ever forget the tall, smiley and tongue in cheek face at Sumanadasa second floor corridor.
Tharindu De Silva, Electrical Engineer, LECO [UoM EE Graduate 2012]

2013
From: "Apeksha Weerasekera"
Date: Sun April 28, 2013
Memory Journal
2008 Sep - 2009 Jan
It was the first semester at University of Moratuwa for us we all were kind of nervous; Prof. Lucas was one of the lecturers who conducted EE101-Electrical Engineering at JG (James George Hall). After his lectures students talked about the way he drew waveforms, phasor diagrams and other diagrams in free space with hands.
At the end of the lecture series, There was a 'Kuppi' organized by the senior batch conducted by a Level 3 student who was on industrial training (whom we later came to know as DJ Shami). He told us about the reputation, Prof. Lucas holds in the industry. He said many people knew our Department with Prof. Lucas's name. He also advertised about a 'Complicated' yet an 'Interesting' subject called 'Theory of Electricity' taught by Prof. Lucas, which many of us were planning to do in Level 2.
2009 Sep - 2010 Jan
Prof. Lucas came to the lecture hall 215 with his 'Toshiba' Laptop with a few dozens of windows opened. We thought he must be a very busy person because working with so many documents. Then he showed us the 1st lecture slide set of Theory of Electricity, no notes distributed, and we were planning to write down all what was on the slide. The first day lesson was about Electrical Safety, he did the lecture looking only at student faces. He was changing the slides such a way that no one had time to write down all what was in the slide. Later we understood that unlike all other subjects, notes, past papers and even the answers to them were available online.
During the lecture he was asking questions and students were thinking very hard yet at the end always the answers were very simple, most of the time it was 'one', 'zero', 'infinity', 'yes' or 'no'. He has been checking to see whether the students have got the basic idea to mind.
2011 Feb - Aug
It was '08 batch's time to go out to industrial training. After finishing Level 3 exams on a Friday we were assigned to training places and we were to start next Monday onwards. The company which I was planning to go to asked to bring a CV on Monday. I was very eager to get into their industrial training program without delaying a even a day beyond my friends, but I could reach the academic staff only through email and only Prof. Lucas and Prof. Nalin could save day by replying.
During that time even some engineers, who look very old, ask about Prof. Lucas and said "He is looking the same as when we passed out".
2011 Dec - 2013 March
08' EE batch met Prof Lucas two times a week at the Final year room for two compulsory subjects 'Insulation Coordination', 'Fault Study' and once a week on the next semester for the optional subject 'High Voltage Breakdown and Testing'.
After all having done all the great work, he is the first one to smile with the students walking down the EE corridor in Sumanadasa Building. There was a day some crazy and lazy roommates, smiling at their own high heel sounds, were walking down the EE corridor even when we were late to 8.00am lecture of another subject. Prof Lucas suddenly appeared from the EE office and greeted us with a smile and asked us for the reason to laugh. Being two crazy ladies, I and Nadeesha couldn't explain the reason that time, just told him that we were late and ran towards the lecture room.
Prof Lucas remembered most of 08' batch. When he called them by the their names, at first the students got astonished, and started pondering for how long did professor know him or her personally, and worrying about the things they did during his lectures.
He was always a mentor to us, being very close with the students and also holding many positions in the university. Hence whenever we have a problem, which seemed to be rhetorical, we tend to reach him and discuss about the problem. Prof Lucas at all times had answers to complex problems in students' mind. He shows empathy towards them always, and had enough time to discuss with them personally and explain the real situation. As with many of the EE academic staff members, he also was willing to make more effort than is expected at our crisis rather than just counseling. He makes the calls, adjust his schedules for us, even corrected the writing.
When I asked for permission to include him as the referee in my CV, there was a replying email asking, with a friendly gesture, to meet him with the CV. After the meeting only I realize that I haven't prepared a proper CV at all.
2013 March - Present
During this hard time where there's nobody to guide us as before, it is feeling of real safety to have a close friendly mentor.
It is always a pleasure to share interesting facts with a mentor who is the founder of the 'Crazy Gang' which was formed from an innocent group students who went to take advice from him, award gangster sort of names such as 'hockey stick' and 'Curly hair', makes wanted posters using the photo is in the CVs which we submitted and send great New Year cards and poems.
It is indeed an honor for me to get to know this great personality so well.
Apeksha Weerasekara , hockey stick, Electrical Engineer, Dimo Ltd, [UoM EE Graduand 2013]

From: "Dilantha Liyanage"
Date: Tue, April 16, 2013 2:39 pm
How have our lives crossed?
It is a common site to seestudents knocking at a door adjoining the High Voltage lab in the second floor of the Sumanadasa building and then keeping their ears very close to itto hear the most exciting "Yes, Come in" I've heard during my undergraduate life.The unhappy faces, if he was not in the seat showed how important the discussions would have been to them. He had reached the highest limits of knowledge and education yet he was a simple man. His desk was cluttered yet his life was well organized. He had friends of the highest ranks yet he spent time trying to make friends with all of us. "How have our lives crossed?" is a small write up to show my gratitude to my teacher, mentor and friend.
If I am not mistaken it was at an introductory lecture to Electricity in level onethat I met him. After the lecture he insisted that we should ask questions and we felt he was not going to leave the James George unless. It was one of our maiden lectures and none of us were brave enough to stand. After a long silence a question reaches him in a folded piece of paper. It read if P V2, how come power loss is minimized when transmission voltages are increased? He smiled and wanted to know who asked it. Obviously no one owned it up. Just from the way he answered I felt he was a lecturer who had a real passion in what he taught, and made us feel very comfortable to ask more questions. On another day at his Theory of Electricity lecture at hall 215 his presentation begins with a picture on how to be seated in the hall. That was his unique and interactive way of telling us to come and sit in the front.
Since then I have met him on various occasions and I still believe that it was Gods major plan to make us friends and none of the relating events happened by chance. During our year, the order of selecting a project was decided by a numbering system. Who would've thought that we'll be the 1st out of 17 groups to select a project? It was the obvious choice of many to choose a project that he supervised, and so did we. In that same year I was appointed Secretary of Electrical Engineering Society which paved the way to meet him often and get to know him better. As a patron of EESoc his advice to us were priceless.
He used a pocket diary in which he wrote down all his appointments so when we ask for an appointment he used to refer this diary. I remember him telling me that his diary doesn't have a book mark and how all diaries should have a book mark to make reference easier. One fine morning he comes and hands me over a diary saying "it's a present from me". I liked it very much but to this day I do not know what that present was for.
It was quite difficult for me to understand him in the beginning. Is it only me? or is it because he was quite different from the men of his caliber. It was through a couple of emails I really got to know him. At times I used to wonder whether it was actually him or some other person who writes on his behalf. The writer sounded very young more like one of my batch mates and had the ability to make a joke out of anything I wrote. May be because of the respect I had for him it took me hours to reply as I thought I had to be very careful of how I replied. Now we are two good friends.
I may not know everything about him but I do know certain interesting characteristics of him. He loves to eat sweets. So much love he has for sweets, he chooses only the corner pieces of a cake which has the most icing. He enjoys trying out new technology. He comes back from an assignment in China with so many devices and I still remember how enthusiastic he was in showing me his new Tab and iPhone. I am still wondering how he managed to do so much of work in such a small time. Even if his paper was the last in the semester, he was always the first to put the marks on the notice board. To this day I do not know how he marks super fast. Everyone would definitely remember him for the strict supervision he had at exams. His rule was "Stop writing, when I say Stop writing". He has put zeros to some after getting caught but he never reduced their marks when marking the paper. He was kind like that. Maybe that was his unique way of teaching us to be fair and square.
There is one particular thing that I cannot thank him enough for. I was one of the three whom he recommended for LTL. True it was my dream, job but never would have been possible without him. I was called for an interview even before the final two exam papers, and now I am working for LTL. What he did unknowingly was to make me believe in myself. I still remember how I had to sit in front of him for hours while he took me through my entire CV. He was so concerned about the issues of his students and he truly helped them out. Maybe that is why he was so different from the others and took me time to understand.
You would've probably guessed this character already. Yes, you are right. It's no other but Prof. Joseph Rohan Lucas. Many called him either as Rohan Sir or Lucas Sir. He's not a very difficult person to guess because of his unique personality. Well, those were some of the memories I had with him. So here is what I have got to say,
I am a very lucky person. My dreams of being an engineer came true when I got selected to university of Moratuwa. I selected Electrical Engineering, maybe because I got influenced by teachers like you. Then I got selected to be an electrical engineer at LTL, thanks to you. I am very lucky that I met you. Like they say the rich got richer, the lucky got luckier.
Before I end my thoughts there is another person who wanted to say Thank you to you . I like to thank my batch mates (whose identities are now relieved) who secretly gave you the information about Roshaya. I am glad that you were able to give us valuable advice, wish for our birthdays with e-cards and share your experiences with us. I will treasure them forever.
In life we meet different types of people from different walks of life. And I was fortunate enough to get to know Professor Lucas.He is one humble human being who cares for his students and would go an extra mile to get to know them personally.He always takes extra care and would go out of his way to make his students feel they could turn to him whenever they needed him. Now days when people are so involved with money and materialistic world it is nice to find a Human being who is so involved with people.
And Professor Lucas is one of them. - Roshaya
God uses us in unique ways. In a university where the majority is Buddhist, a person of your caliber setting the example of a Christian has without any doubt spread Gods word among many. Sir, you were a great example of Christian values.
I have a feeling that love is moving away from the society, not only the love for your husband or wife but also the love for your parents. The main reason is competition among us we forget the affection and care for the people who are close to us. We limit our love to be only a duty for the name sake of love. In a society where love is at such a stake you stepping up to be an example is truly admirable.
And finally to end my thoughts,if someone comes to me and asks me who my role model is,I would not hesitate to say it is Prof. J.R. Lucas. Thank you for everything you've done for us, the department and university of Moratuwa. I will always keep in touch with you and wish you all the best for your next chapter in life.
In short I would like to say you are the greatest. A professor who is friendly and funny... how cool is that?
Dilantha Liyanage Electrical Engineer, LTL Projects, [UoM EE Graduand, 2013]

From: "Mihiri Madawala"
Date: Sun, March 17, 2013 9:28 am
First of all I would like to express my heartiest gratitude for the service you have done to the university and in particular, us. You made Electrical Engineering really interesting to us. I can assure you that you and Prof. N. Wickramarachchi were the reason for me choosing the field of electrical engineering, as you have taught us well in Level 1.
You are not only remarkable teacher but also a good guider. It is only recently that I have got to know you personally, but now whenever I have doubt in anything the first thing that comes to mind is 'I should ask Prof. Lucas. He knows what's best'.
I am personally thankful to you for your recommendation for LTL even though I didn't have the chance to join them. I totally agree with Dr. Narendra of correcting the statement to 'change of working patterns after incomparable service', because we will always consult you for any difficulty in subject matter or otherwise.
We are very much privileged and lucky to be your students, sir. I wish you a very happy future.
Mihiri Madawala, [UoM EE graduating batch 2013]

From: "Nadeesha Akarawita"
Date: Fri, May 10, 2013 10:57 am
Please accept my heartiest congratulations for completing 43 years of successful teaching. And it is sad that our future batches will not get a chance to learn from you (because of your retirement in the end of this year.)
Sir, I came to know you from the mentoring sessions at Level one. You were our mentor. There were ten students in our group. At the very beginning of your mentoring session you asked for a briefing about us. When the chance came to me, I told that my ambition was to become a programmer. But you were not satisfied with the statement. You asked me why did I choose to be a programmer. My answer was that I liked programming. Then you kindly explained that becoming a programmer was not a goal or an ambition. It was the first lesson I learnt from you. If I say it in simple words, that day you taught me to think big and have clear targets. Before that day, I had not thought what my career path should be. But your advice made me to think different. Throughout the mentoring sessions you taught us many things to make our professional lives better.
Sir, you are a great mentor. Some of my groups in our batch were able to meet their mentor only on the first day. But you made sure to allocate whole two hours from your busy schedule, for our mentoring session every week for three months. You did not miss a single session. You considered mentoring as much important as any other academic activity. I think it is because of your passion towards making the others' lives better.
From my personal experience, I know that you helped many students in various problems. I remember one such incident about a boy who was in our mentoring group. He got selected to the University from a very rural area in Hambanthota. His English knowledge was very poor. The mentoring sessions were held in English. On the first day, when it was his chance to talk about himself, he did not talk. Everyone was silent and looking at him, waiting for him to start. We could see he was terrified, like he was caught by a monster. After asking him two or three times in English, you kindly asked him in Sinhala, what the problem was. Then the silent boy answered in Sinhala and said he doesn't know to talk in English. Your response was quite encouraging for him. You told him that many bright students got selected from rural areas to the University but some of them drop out because of the lack of English knowledge and he should not be like that. You encouraged him to study more and practice English. At the end of the mentoring programme, he was able to manage English to express his ideas. He did not drop out from University because of you, Sir.
I am one of the few lucky people to have the opportunity to learn from their parents' teachers. I am happy to say that my father and I were both lucky to be students of a great teacher like you. You did not just teach, you showed the beauty of Electrical Engineering. You aroused our interest about the subject. In any problem or any subject (not essentially electrical related) you see a whole different aspect than us. When we were doing presentations for final year projects, our group always tried to guess what your questions would be and we create answers for those guesses. But you always surprised us. Actually your questions were a blessing for us. When you told one of our group members that you were interested about our project, we were so happy and excited. We knew that if you are interested, that means we have done something worthy. Your advice and direction was a great help to make our final year project a success.
Most of the time when I come across people from the Industry, and when I say I'm from the University of Moratuwa, their next question is "Is Prof. Lucas still working?" That is because you are so close with students. You enjoy the company of students. You always think about students and you always try to help them. When people get into trouble they ask God to help, because they trust God. Sometimes you are like a God to students because they trust you. When a student faces a problem (academic or non academic), I myself have heard a lot of times that his/her friend says "You should ask from Lucas sir. He will give a solution".
Your retirement will be not only a loss of a great teacher to UoM, but future students will lose their guardian and a great friend of their university life. We are lucky to become students of a great lecturer like you.
Sir, I thank you very much for your great service and especially for the knowledge and help you offer us through our University life. I wish you a happy and peaceful retirement life!!!
Nadeesha Akarawita, [UoM EE graduating batch 2013]

From: "Thilina Rajapaksha"
Date: Sat, April 6, 2013 10:27 pm
I met Sir in 2008 during the first semester in my university life, the module being the well-known Electrical Engineering. Somehow with a great deal of pain going through to memorize all the equations, I thought I was done with that person for the rest of my life, after the first year exams.
This belief was there till the day I was selected to the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa. During the first few weeks we were given to organize the event "We Are With You" which is a annual CSR project done by EESoc. We being Level 2 had to perform a Drama during the event. Unfortunately in that particular Drama my role was to behave as a lunatic and most dangerous thing was that I had to laugh at somebody from the department during the play. On the day of the event, I laughed at Prof. Lucas, which I thought that I had to repeat exams that were yet to come. To my surprise, the next day when I was climbing the staircase of Sumanadasa building, I met him, and he instead of blaming me, appreciated my role and asked "Did you have previous experience in performing?" Being confused with that question, I answered "no". That was my first personal chat I had with Prof. Lucas.
The chat we had made me more open to Sir and always look for advice when I am in doubt. He helped me a lot organizing the IET YP events in and outside the university. I still have no clue about one thing, that is, whether it's the respect, interestingness or curiosity that lured us to his lecturers all the time.
He was the only lecturer, teacher I met who put the results just few days after the exam, being his papers the hardest to correct. So we among students had various explanations such as he uses a secret way of correcting exam papers. Being inside the friendliest department of the university, I can put him in the front for being approachable, and always ready to listen to the students. His door was always open to students, except as he once mentioned me that after fixing the air conditioner it was always closed.
One sorrow I have is that I couldn't associate him any closer, because it was during the last few months of my life I got to know the person thoroughly Prof. Lucas.
One thing to grumble about him was that he never remembers my name and he used to come to the Computer Lab and asked from the people there for the curly hair guy. I wish Prof. Lucas a wonderful life ahead, and hope he will guide me and many thousands of his other students during their careers.
Other than that he was one of the influential persons in my life that I will respect all the time. God bless him with his future endeavors.
Thilina Rajapaksha [UoM EE graduating batch 2013]

From: "Kaumadee Samarakoon"
Date: Tue, April 23, 2013 10:53 am
To a teacher like a second father
One of the luckiest things in my life as an undergraduate is being taught by you. Sir, you are such a good and kind teacher. I got the opportunity of learning from the most experienced lecturer in our department from my first year to final year.
It was really interesting to learn high voltage from you. When you teach, the piece of chalk and the duster acts very different roles at our lessons. Once duster becomes a capacitor, then a transformer. You can explain very complex theories using just a half sheet. Your favourite example about the heaviest person of the world and the strength of a chair in our final year room made us understand the concept of optimization of insulation very effectively.
When we select final year projects everybody recommended to takeover projects supervised by Prof. Lucas. Our group was lucky enough to get the project, the automated battery test bench supervised by Prof. Wickramarachchi and you.
Whenever we visit you, you had time to advise us on our project, The Automated Battery Test Bench. Also I can't forget how much trouble you took to correct our project research paper when university is closed. You read word by word and correct our engineering mistakes as well as grammar mistakes also. We couldn't present any presentation prepared by us without severely edited by you. And we always remembered to add your favourite dark blue theme for presentations. We never got stuck at presentations because you were behind us.
When I go to industrial training viva, the advice I got from one of my colleagues is "look at Prof. Lucas's eyes and answer the questions. If they become big your answer is wrong." I answered looking at you even for the questions raised by others and got an 'A' pass.
You never forget " We Are With You " programme. I can remember the joy on your face when you watch how children are playing. You never forget to bring your camera at each function. You can still become a child in mind even after decades of years. I admire that quality.
At last days I realized the artistic side of a professor of electrical engineering. The creative cards, cartoons, result sheets were wonderful. You gave life to the mere black and white result sheet with smilies. I was surprised to see the cartoons and graphics designed by you. I got a chance to see your collection of photos and poems also.
You are a personality who respects rules strictly. I can still remember the way you cut off a part of my answer sheet when I wrote after you said "STOP". We learnt to respect rules from you sir.
You always wear a smile and always eager to help us at any issue.
The light you gave to our department is incomparable. Your experience, knowledge, dedication and presence will be sorely missed. It cannot be easily replaced. But the time has arrived to say good bye to such a great lecturer.
May god grant all the happiness to you and may goodwill be on your side for the years to come. You can put new tires on an old car. That's what you are doing now, 'retiring.' So I wish you a healthy and satisfied retired life.
Enjoy writing this next chapter of your life!
Warmest Regards,
Kaumadee Samarakoon, [UoM EE graduand 2013]

JRL_poem (185K) From: "Chathuraka Kaushalya Samarasekara "
Date: Sat, April 27, 2013 7:30 am
First I wish to express my heartiest gratitude to you for making us valuable people to the country. It is you who taught us the basics of electricity in the module "Theory of Electricity" and also went on to teach advanced aspects in the modules on "High Voltage Engineering". It is thus obvious that it is you "Prof. Rohan Lucas" who made us Electrical Engineers.
Even though you seem like a tough person, you are the friendliest professor that I have ever met. You have been very helpful to us during the 3 years we spent in the electrical engineering department. You gave us your fullest support when we needed it from you, even if it was not related to the academic matters.
Thank you so much for being with us and helping us. Wish you all the best for the next chapter in your life.
"The best teacher is not the one who knows most
but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge
to that simple compound of the obvious and wonderful. "
He is one humble human being who cares for his students and would go an extra mile to get to know them personally. He always takes extra care and would go out of his way to make his students feel they could turn to him whenever they needed him.
Chathuraka Samarasekara , Wild life photographer, [EE UoM graduand 2013]

From: "Sachintha Kariyawasam "
Date: Wed, May 1, 2013 11:19 am
My Reminiscences of Professor J.R. Lucas
Seldom have you seen a person epitomizing an establishment as Professor Lucas has epitomized the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa. I had heard about Professor Lucas before I entered University of Moratuwa and once I did, it wasn't long before me realizing that, for once, the rumors were correct. He taught me from the very first week of my university carrier to the very last.
He teaches with the utmost assurance. I, as many others before me had over the years, have had the supreme confidence in Professor Lucas's unparalleled knowledge of the subject matter. He possesses the great gift of conjuring up analogies whenever he wants to explain things. Questions are never in short supply when Professor Lucas is around and one should do well to answer them, a lesson we learnt the hard way, during our final year at the university.
Electrical Engineering was not the only thing we learnt from Professor Lucas. He cared for and participated in every single event organized by the department. His wisdom guided us through many difficult circumstances. I can recall him personally representing the issues of the students, more than once, during my stay at the university. He has been the ultimate guardian of the Department of Electrical Engineering for the better part of his carrier.
One doesn't find him being late or coming under prepared to a lecture he conducts or, for that matter, any other event he attends. I would struggle to see an individual more punctual or well-organized than him, during the rest of my days. I have not seen Professor Lucas take more than a week and a little to release exam results, nor have I seen a student with a glum face walking away from the notice board having seen them. He is the embodiment of proper conduct; his benevolence and fortitude are common knowledge around the university.
Professor Lucas stands head and shoulders above many, as one of the founders of University of Moratuwa and one of the leading academics the country has ever produced. All of us who were lucky enough to have the privilege of learning from Professor Lucas can rejoice in the knowledge that we had been brought up as Electrical Engineers in the presence of true greatness.
Dear Sir, the history is beckoning; I have little doubt that you would go down in university folklore for all eternity as a legend, a prodigy, a grand servant of Sri Lanka and above all, a great human being. Please do accept my sincerest gratitude.
Sachintha Kariyawasam , [UoM EE graduand 2013]

From: "Sajani Thotagamuwa "
Date: Wed, May 8, 2013 12:38 am
From the first year to the final year of my university life I was able to learn from you and I think it is a great opportunity that I ever got as an undergraduate. I was lucky enough to be the one of the final year final batch who got the opportunity to learn High Voltage Engineering from you sir. Starting with 'Theory of Electricity 'to 'High Voltage Breakdowns & Testing' I was taught by you and the knowledge I gained from you is incomparable.
You were a really good lecturer with good qualities that I appreciate very much. In the lecture room, you were a well experienced lecturer. You did teaching with all your effort for the benefit of students, even not regarding your health. I can remember that there was a period; you conducted lectures while continuing treatment. You always were punctual and well prepared for the lecture. I tried to be in the class in time if it was conducted by you sir. Because we all knew you were there at least ten minutes before the staring of the lecture. Even though High Voltage Engineering subjects were really hard to understand, you tried hard to teach as easy as possible by taking examples.
Not only in academic activities, but also in other programs organized by our department, you played a great role and never missed to take part in those. I can remember that you took part in avurudu games in the Electrical New Year festival and enjoyed with us. Annual charity program 'We are with You' was an event you never missed to participate, and you were with us until the last moment to share the happiness with those children. Your enthusiasm on sports was well displayed In the Electrical cricket festival where we all had unforgettable memories of battle of cricket. I think those events all built up a great bond between you and the 08 electrical batch.
Our final year project group was very lucky to select a project supervised by you, as your support always took us towards success. Your advice before each presentation inspired us to face it confidently. You defend us when we face to problems. I never forget your dedication of your valuable time in correcting our final year project research paper within one day. One thing I understood about your character is your commitment to do anything in the best way. You were a great person with humanity who always helped the students.
As a fellow member of IET Sri Lanka network, you always were behind us in all IET events organized by the IET Young Professionals Chapter - University of Moratuwa. Your speeches, loaded with your experiences, always encouraged active participation of our chapter members. I like to remind the grand occasion of www.ietypuom.org web site launching event which was enlightened by you sir. Your guidance always carried our chapter towards such achievements.
The enlightenment given by you as a senior professor to the department of Electrical Engineering is exceptional. Your incomparable knowledge in electrical engineering, your experiences, and your guidance gave strength to the department and your retirement is a great loss to the department. Finally I like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to you and wish you a healthy, happy retired life.
T. Sajani , [UoM EE Graduand 2013]

From: "Sasanka Ranjitha "
Date: Fri, April 26, 2013 10:04 pm
First of all I should say that it's a great honour for me that the legend of the field of high voltage engineering in Sri Lanka has stated "I would be pleased if you could send me your beautiful poem."
When I saw that topic the 1st time, my vision got blurred and I re-read it to verify that whether I have read it correctly. Please accept my humble thanks for such a privileged statement.
Whoever told you "You are strict sometimes and very friendly, the rest of the time" has deceived you, saying that. Can I clarify what is "Rest of the time"? In my lifetime I have never seen a so called strict face of your's, neither at lectures nor at any other event. What I have only seen is either face with a childish smile or a face with a question mark (at Final Year Presentations).
So how come "Rest of time"? I'll give you a recent example. In our final semester I had only A- s, A s and A+ s except for the subject "Renewable Energy and Environment". Because of your generosity Wijayapala sir has moderated all the results,in such a way that I have received A-. So in this semester I am in Dean's list, only with the A results for all my subjects, Thanks to you! So it helped me to conclude a 1st class "2nd UPPER".
So who says you are strict and not friendly?
Coming to the subject of the Poem: After the successful project demonstration,our group members took a photo with you after the tea party.
When I received the photo I thought, with this I should practice one of my old hobbies after a long time and put it on facebook. And the results was unexpected and unbelievable. Most friends of mine and students of yours, even from the industry have commented there; and even sent me personal messages saying that the poem was great... since it was rhyming well and included all the GENUINE projections of your's, from the view of a student. (If you invite me to write a poem about you, the outcome would be so different since I'm writing nothing else but only the few lines of praising you. But this is so genuine I must say because I never meant for you to see.)
Here is the original poem ...
අධිසැර විදුලි බලයට සුපතල නිපුණු...
සැමවිට අසන පැණයකි පිළිතුරු නොවුනු...
පිළිතුර නැතත් සැදු ක්‍රමයට දුන් ලකුණු...
මහැදුරු ඔබයි "ලුකස්" ලොව නම රැඳුනු...
You know sir, it's a very difficult to translate a sinhala poem to English, since the nature of using the words and pattern of idioms are very different from Sinhala to English. The same sinhala poem can have many meanings as the different readers grab the meaning in different ways.
But in literature it doesn't matter since it adds colour for entertaining purposes.
Only the narrator can give the exact meaning about what he intended when he was writing the initial poem. Here is the meaning which I have intended. I don't know whether it is the same meaning that you have grabbed.
It doesn't matter since it depends on the reader...
Line 1: He is a veteran legend in the field of High voltage.
Line 2: He always has a question about anything, for which the answer is very difficult to explain or the answer cannot be given at all.
Line 3: He gives full marks for the answer script which has clearly stated the assumptions and the steps of the method, even when the final answer is not there.
Line 4: You are the senior professor whose name is "Lucas" and whose glory and fame have travelled every nook and corner of the world.
So sir, this is the poem and my meaning. I don't know why, but after typing this I have a guilty feeling for being honest. Sorry sir, my experiences in the final year presentations led me to write the second line and the third line was written because otherwise I wouldn't get A s for your subjects.
Extremely sorry sir, my genuine feelings for you cannot be expressed in 2 or 3 lines as you mentioned when you asked me for my poem. No lies, no exaggerations..I have written what I saw through your character since the very 1st day that I saw you.
As far as I know, I'm the only student in the entire 08 engineering faculty batch, who is a friend of your beloved daughter in facebook. I don't know how it happened but when I sent a friend request through facebook several years back, Roshanthi Akka had accepted my request, even we have never seen each other. From her face book profile, I could see some of your family photos even. The photos of trip to Maskeliya in 2012 were really beautiful.
It's a great honour to me to support you even in this way.. Thank you very much sir!
Sasanka Ranjitha, [UoM EE 2013 graduand]

From: "Rangana Punchihewa "
Date: Thu, May 9, 2013 9:07 pm
For you Dear Prof. Rohan Lucas
Four years and nine months, since the day I stepped to my university life
Met some great people and admired them, but you have been always my top admirer
You were always with us, no matter what the situation was
Guided us through the right path, Million poems are not worth enough to pay you back
Teacher and advisor in academic matters, Counsellor and friend in other matters
Imparter of experience and knowledge, which never has an end, ever
"Prof. JR LUCAS"
A name which is carved into many hearts,
A name which won't be forgotten,
A name which will always be respected,
A name which always be legendary.
Rangana Punchihewa, [UoM EE Graduand 2013]

From: ""Michelle Athukorala"
Date: Sun, May 26, 2013 12:06 pm
This is Adieu and not Goodbye
It is with deep sense of gratitude and love that we, the members of the Catholic Students' Society of University of Moratuwa, recall and go back alongside the memory lane to remember and pay homage to our stalwart lecturer, Prof. Rohan Lucas, the ardent lecturer of Electrical Engineering.
Our close comradeship with this citadel of knowledge made us radically feel that this lecturer whose knowledge in his particular field is also an oasis of wisdom, was not just a lecturer, but also was a man of great filial love whose paternal assistance added colour and meaning to the students of our society. His love for Jesus, aptly legitimated by humble practice of faith, became his true hallmark. It is with saddened hearts, yet with overflowing joy that we say 'good-bye, dear sir' as he reaches his graceful retirement period.
Professor Lucas as a lecturer
More often than not, we hear our colleagues prompting to each other with words of appreciation of the incredible presentations and soul-stirring explanations he imparts to the students entrusted to his care. He was truly a man of distinction when it came to teaching. The merit that he earned as a professor would never be diluted by any future happening, for he was truly of rare calibre. Literally, all his students will endorse and vouch that he was among the best, because he worked with such a great sense of vocation.
Professor Lucas as a Humanitarian
Cheerful as he is, we have never seen him weary and worn out. The explicit character of feeling one with everyone, even with subordinates, is rare and often seldom among the people in our society. He will go down to the shoes of anyone to show his paternal love and never probably regretted the standards being mitigated by such action. The ability to reach out to him to attract his concern was never too little for youngsters who left awhile the family, friends and colleagues.
Professor as a catholic
The diehard quality of being catholic to the maximum capacity, was innumerably exemplary for the youngsters like us to shape our lives after the image and example of Jesus. Not only was he, his whole life was Christian. The quality of never missing Holy Mass and being faithful to the faith he professes was incredibly in high standards. One can appear to be holy, while others can externally show up in practical happenings, but his whole being was an ardent follower of Jesus.
Professor as an Integral Part of Catholic Students' Society
He had so many activities lined up, but he never mixed up his priorities when it came to his contribution to our society. The inherent quality of being a profound stakeholder of our society was never too little for us as his availing himself to be with us in every important moment was like the presence of a mighty giant. It is still fresh in my mind, the way he expressed joy over our society being named after St. Joseph. "That is my patron saint too; mine and my wife's..." were the immediate deliberate words that came. He was an integral part of our life as catholic students. He became so open to us to an extent that we always reached out to him for every required advice and guidance.
In Conclusion
God makes saints while people are still living. You are one such person. As you enter into your graceful retirement period, you are also entering into a world of prayer, reflection, meditation and recollection. All our hearts will be extended to you in love, tenderness and amity. We will be with you in spirit always.
May you enjoy a stupendous evening of life with your family and friends. God Bless you!!!
Michelle Athukorala, MAS Intimates - Ratmalana, Secretary Catholic Student's Society 2012 [UoM Textile Graduand 2013]

From: "Madhavi Nakandala"
Date: Tue, September 9, 2014 3:09 pm
The Teacher Prof. Rohan Lucas
Prof. Rohan is far more a teacher than a lecturer to everyone, because it is not only at the academic level; he is there for anyone who wants guidance. From the first day of your lecture for level one, you have been my lecturer in every year. Sir your knowledge is like one of a kind and I'm honoured be your student in my degree as well as in the postgraduate level.
I don't know why, but starting from level one, we (three of us M, N & C. ;-)) were quiet afraid of you. If you are coming on the left corridor of the Sumanadasa Building, we'll definitely be using the right one.
Even though things were like that, we all knew that you are a person who thinks about the students. When it comes to exams your paper was kind of like the least stressed-out paper, because what everyone said was "Lucas sir kawadawat lamayeka kapanne ne. :-)" and by my experience I think it's definitely true. You have this enormous knowledge, but when you are grading papers I think you try to squeeze into our little shoes. :-)
I regret not knowing you closely during my 4 years of studies. You are a such a wonderful person to be with, a person with a never ending smile and ability to make a joke on anything , even regarding academic matters. Only after graduating I saw you for who you are; a humble person with a huge knowledge who likes to make "mada" pictures of his students and laugh with them. Every time I get a new mail from you, even before opening it, there is a smile in my face because I know there will be a joke definitely.
I might forget what you taught, but I can assure that I'll never forget you, or the practical Breakdown of Air Gaps. ;-)
So this is the end of my memory of you for your memory wall.
Wish you a happy healthy long life. Wish to see your smiling face and hear your teasing sound at Sumanadasa every day.
Madhavi Nakandala [UoM EE Graduate 2013, UoM PG Student]"
..
From: "Prabuddhi Edirisinghe"
Date: Tue, October 1, 2013 9:25 pm
First of all congratulations for your achievement of both Engineering Excellence Award and Teaching Excellence Award both of which are well deserved by you with no doubt at all!!
It is again really happy to hear that your day of retirement is also extended by six months, which is definitely good news for our undergraduates.
In your stumbling block [original cartoon created on the path to graduation], I am wondering why you have represented the modules you taught by different types of thugs and finally the academic staff is by a gorgeous lady. Are they carrying any particular reason?? :D
Hope you are doing well sir.
Prabuddhi Edirisinghe , [UoM EE Graduate 2013, Engineer Hayleys]

From: "Uditha Lenaduwa"
Date: Wed, September 25, 2013 8:13 pm
You are the best teacher, I ever met. Congratulations sir, for Teaching Excellence Award and the Engineering Excellence Awards.
Uditha Lenaduwa, [UoM EE Graduate 2013, Electrical Engineer, Synex International (Pvt) Ltd]

From: "Heshani Fernando"
Date: Tue, June 3, 2014 4:53 pm
When jogging my memory, the first thing coming to my mind about Prof. Lucas is that he is the person who offered me the first A+ in my academic life, which was for Theory of Electricity. Subsequently, I have always got A+s for all his modules.
Until the final year I didn't know that he is not a typical professor but a very fun filled character. I still remember the first day that our FYP group went to meet him for introducing ourselves. We were little bit afraid of talking to him. But after a few days he became a part of our group.
I was delighted that he became our supervisor for the Final Year Project (FYP). It was a pleasure to work with him even under stress, because he was always there to bring us a smile. But of course some times I felt like, "why sir is always asking our report parts every day????? I can't even get a rest." But I knew finally our report and project will be successes if we work hard a bit. We knew he awoke more than us for correcting our report. That's why we are always saying that he is the best supervisor that one can have once in a life time. I'm pleasantly surprised about the coincidence that my Last A+ too came for the FYP module supervised by him.
The most memorable things of him are his nice funny mails that he composes for us and his remarkable photo editing. He is always keen in finding new friends and making new names for them, such as Queen of Orangeheap, Smiling Terrorist, Orange avoiding Robothead etc.
As a member of his last FYP group, I'm proud to say that I was a student of Prof.Lucas and we were perhaps the last luckiest group to have him as our supervisor.
Dear Prof.Lucas Sir, may you always have enough strength and health to serve more to the Engineering field!!!
Heshani Fernando, Engineer, Inova IT Systems, UoM EE Graduand 2014 (2009 Intake).
From: "Chathuranga Fernando"
Date: Wed, June 26, 2013 8:25 pm
What we think about Lucas Sir
It's hard for anyone to either assume or absolutely say what kind of thoughts crawl inside an undergraduate's mind, until the day a mind reading device is being invented. Ironically, this implies that the undergraduates mind is filled with thoughts which are not meant to be exposed as most of them would be negative attributes towards the process of learning. Thankfully for us, this wrong perception was changed by a teacher/father/friend, whom we met during in our second semester.
Lucas sir was a very well reputed person, of whom we had heard before we had entered the department. Our first glimpse of the individual was at the welcoming ceremony. Fair, tall and seeming to exist in the department for a long time, made us feel bit scared. All of these perceptions were changed when we started learning "Theory of Electricity" during the course of our second semester. His teaching skills are excellent. It was easy for us to understand most of the theories by listening and observing the slides and what was written on the board. He was humble to stop and clarify any question raised by students and made sure that the student clearly understood by explaining it until he did so. Tests were quite different from most lecturers. His testing style was having a test each week and taking only the 4 or 5 highest from all. This gave us a large benefit as though we missed a class, we were ensured we can cover the missed assignment. Another opportunity the students were given was of meeting sir anytime and clarifying any doubts. Though he was lenient towards the process of learning, he was very strict during the exam. His Policy of start on time, end on time and no copying was kept always. But, unlike most, he was full of heart towards the student during the marking process and gave the maximum possible marks.
Our journey didn't end in the second semester. We again met him in our fourth semester for Power Systems II and in the fifth semester for High Voltage I. Today he has become our supervisor for the final year project as well, which we consider as a blessing. The approach towards us regarding the project can be defined by the word "Empowering". Each aspect of the project is initially brought up from deep within ourselves and then would be amended and guided appropriately. This had created a better understanding about the project and has led in achieving tasks quite easily.
It has been now almost 4 years since we had come on our journey. Now we are in the pinnacle of concluding this journey. Even we pass out from the university and leave to far off places, our hearts will always remember the great man who taught us and his noble qualities which we look upon always.
Thank you Sir!!
Chathuranga Fernando, Heshani Manjula, Sankha Dissanayaka, Roshan Devinda, [Final Year Project Group 2013/2014, 2009 Intake, UoM EE Students]

From: "Sankha Dissanayaka"
Date: Fri, September 27, 2013 12:47 pm
Engineering Excellence Award Vs Teaching Excellence Award
My congratulations for obtaining the two valuable awards in two consecutive days. It is a rare opportunity anyone can get. I think you are the one and only one who got them both in the engineering history. Because there isn't anyone to compare with you, in either side of "Engineering excellence" or "Teaching Excellence".
Sankha Dissanayaka , [UoM EE Graduand 2014, 2009 Intake]

From: "Roshan Devinda"
Date: Sun, April 6, 2014 7:46 pm & Wed, September 4, 2013
Felicitation on Retirement
I don't know how to reply on this email sir, you are a great personal recognized by not even the university but also from the industry as well.
"The Golden Rule" had been justified by you by serving our country. (that's the way I believe). and also by forcing me to the direction of the Wind. We know all giants like you leave our country but amazingly you stayed with students, the quality of rare individual. Wish you healthy and happy future sir.
It’s been a pleasure and honor working with you and I am thankful that I had a wonderful opportunity to work with you, the friendly way you treated us makes us feel happy. We are grateful to salute you for your dedication of work.
The postponement news from the penguin is a relief for us because we highly acknowledge your guidance to our project "Power system simulator"
Hope we will be fortunate to continue our alliance.
Roshan Devinda, [UoM EE Graduand 2014, 2009 Intake]

From: "Hasini Madhurangi"
Date: Sat, September 6, 2014 11:32 am
Memories of Professor J.R.Lucas (The Teacher)
When thinking about the memories, I have heard about Professor J.R.Lucas as the most senior professor in the university and a very valuable person to the country. But then I saw a very simple and smiling person which was completely different from the imaginary person which I pictured on my mind. I also have heard of you as a very good teacher but I never thought of you as that much pleasant and kind.
You are a teacher with an extraordinary talent to keep the student totally immersed in the subject. I can still remember how you tried to explain subject matters using nice examples and asking questions from the students. You made a pleasant environment for students without letting us to get stressed and all those techniques you used were very effective.
You have that great quality of caring for others. When you talk with me, you never let me feel any difficulty even from a word. You gave me confidence in myself and help me see what I could be. You have helped me (and I know for most of others) in difficult situations to keep us strong. I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom.
You were lucky to have a blissful life and you are spending it with a great worth as an exemplary gentleman. I wish you to have a delightful life filled with everything you wish.
Hasini Madhurangi [Engineer, Venora, UoM EE Graduate 2014 (2009 Intake)]

From: "Isuru Kasthurirathne"
Date: Wed, September 10, 2014 9:43 am
Prof. J R Lucas – A Simply Outstanding Person
Universities are busy places and the lecturers are busy people too. So it’s not surprising that sometimes we miss out a chance to meet a lecturer for some purpose. But what if I tell you that there are lecturers who can be met even on your way in the corridor? Yes, the best example is the very Prof. Lucas himself.
Prof. J R Lucas is the most exceptional lecturer that I ever met in my life as a student. As a person he made a very friendly impact at the beginning of a lecture and he tried his best to keep us awake by making jokes during the lectures too. Prof. Lucas was well known in the University for his teaching methods and also about the examples that he used to describe theories in the lectures. As I remember, we kept talking about a single example he told for several weeks (eg: Laksith Sirisena and the Kettle).
Prof. Lucas was always the first to issue the marks of a subject after the exam. After my 7th semester High Voltage exam, we got our results prior to the next exam date which was three days later. This is an example of his enthusiasm for teaching. He also helped us in many ways to learn and understand the subject. As I learnt, his teaching goal was about the students understanding the subject. So he gave us all the past papers with answers prior to the exam and also did some paper classes too.
He was very keen to know new things. Every time he walked pass the lab, he normally peeked in and observed what’s going on with our projects. I remember the way he asked questions about Muthugala’s project of robot head, making various movements from his head. Even in the non-academic stuff, he needed to participate and get experienced. At the 2012 New Year Festival at the University, there was this weird game which I didn't understand, but Prof. Lucas wanted to participate for that game and he really enjoyed it. He loved us organizing various events to get together students and lecturers.
It must be the truth if I say there won’t be a Department of Electrical Engineering in UOM without Prof. Lucas in it. But we all have to accept the reality and it is his time to retire from his services. I truly believe that we were blessed to have a teacher like Prof. Lucas who is very smart, simple and kind person who has shown us the best possible way of learning engineering.
I would like to thank him with the bottom of my heart for all the things that he has done for all of us throughout his career. He must be the sole reason for the success for hundreds of Electrical Engineers in Sri Lanka. I feel sorry for the young undergraduates for the missed opportunity of learning from the best. But he has earned his retirement after his unmatchable service. So I wish all the best for him in his future plans.
Isuru Kasthurirathne [UoM EE Graduate 2014]

From: "Mohasha Isuru Sampath"
Date: Wed, September 10, 2014 11:43 am
It is always my pleasure to recall the memories of Prof. J. R. Lucas as a student of Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa. As I remember, our first meeting happened four years ago, as you are the lecturer for the “Theory of Electricity” module, which is on the basics of Electrical Engineering at semester II. It was a bit hard module at that time, since we are novices to the field, and due to the large content it covers. But fortunately, your way of explaining made me interested in the subject. Little by little, I understood that although it feels like difficult, it is not that much hard, if I thoroughly understand and follow the basic principles step by step. Later I had the privilege to attend in few other modules which were conducted by you too namely Fault Analysis, High Voltage I and High Voltage II.
You always had a unique way of delivering the lectures, which is clear, rare, interesting and simple to understand. The small incidents in the day to day life were used as examples to explain the complex theories. One such example is the ceiling fan, with the hand being used to visualize the harm of wrong phase sequence for three phase electrical machines.
You are a role model for punctuality, since you always come to the lectures exactly on time, never later and not earlier too. You always try to put others at ease as much as possible. It made us a lot easy to prepare for the exams of the modules conducted by you, since all the clear and detailed lecture notes and the past papers with model answers are available in the department website. You always considered discipline first. You are a simple and humble character, who is easy to understand, in the department.
Since I’m currently working as an instructor in the department, I have interacted a lot with you in various academic activities. You are a person who I see at least once walking along the department corridor, which provides evidence of your availability. The great commitment you provided in the department mentoring sessions, conducted for semester I students, well proves that you consider each and every single duty as equally important.
You are a prominent character in the field, and a giant of the department. Whatever the achievements of the department are always involved with your participation and sacrifice. You were always behind the students in need of academic recommendation or professional advice.
It may be difficult to think about the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa without your presence since you are a symbol of it, through its all milestones. I’m honestly saying that you are still working with a lot of courage that makes me difficult to believe that you are going to retire until the end of your life span.
Sir, I wish you the entire very best in whatever good things you prefer in the future!!!
Mohasha Isuru Sampath [UoM EE Graduate 2014]

From: "Nirmal Undugoda"
Date: Wed, September 10, 2014 6:33 pm
I remember the first time I went through the staff section of department website. I am pretty sure that first time visitors do not forget to click the Lucas sir’s “view profile” and I too gazed upon your personal tab: the shared personal life of Prof. Lucas. Your Achievements inspired many; and students like to study under great achievers; being a cause to opt for Electrical Engineering as my life-long career. Yet the personality exhibited by you surpassed the achievements, from the day one to now, being a friendly teacher and a humble advisor to us. I can’t imagine any other person to consult in our studies. Besides, you were quite easily accessible. You shared your experience and knowledge, in the easiest way to the students, with a smiling face, encouraging us to pursue more questions. You always help the students to break the ice, with cracking a joke, lowering the gap of the student and the professor. Your room is not a strange place to most of the students as it was always filled with cheerful enjoyment.
Even very old students, always rush to meet you whenever your presence is known, even with their busy schedules. I could see the respect and desire of all your past students, in the very short time I had at LTL.
Sir, the wiki says, “A role model is a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people”, and you are!!
Sir, we’ll always cherish the memories with you in our hearts and the void you make in the department will be never filled. "
U.A.N.B. Undugoda, [UoM EE Graduate 2014]"

From: "Sandamali Sanchala"
Date: Thu, September 11, 2014 9:27 pm
Memories of a humble glorious personality I ever met in my life
After being selected to the Electrical Engineering Department, I came to know that “Professor Lucas’ was the well-known and giant character there. All of us believed that there is no Electrical Engineering Department without Professor Lucas. During the four years I spent in University of Moratuwa, I realized why everyone believed in that.
Sir, you were an exemplary and a greatest character a student can ever come across. You always wanted to give the best and largest portion of knowledge to the students from your vast wisdom like an ocean. You always explained the more complex theories with simple examples and encouraged all of us to ask questions with a humble smile on your face. You always grab the attention of all students with interesting jokes during the class. Inside your character, there are unlimited valuable lessons to be taken for our lives. You are such a humble man to spend your precious time to attend to any students matter. We had a belief that you will always look from our side and give us the best solution for any problem. I know that even personally you would be helpful to a needy one. Not only that, if have you engaged in something, you always did the maximum. If you correct something there was nothing to be corrected by someone else. That was one of the most valuable lessons I could learn from your character. Once I got a chance to admire your qualities by writing the poem for you on the plaque given by the 09` batch of students.
Your memories will always be with us and I know that your mark will be never fade from the Electrical Engineering Department, as a person of your kind is so rare in this world.
Memories of You
Will never fade away
Wisdom you shared
Will not walk away
Qualities imprinted
In student heart
Will never be flushed away
With smiling face
Was a father companion
For us all
There are no words
To admire at all
Wish you all the best Sir
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sandamali Sanchala, [UoM EE graduate 2014]

From: "Savini Samarasinghe"
Date: Sun, September 28, 2014 3:02 pm
As my brother (Tharaka) very rightly mentioned in his memories to you on "Prof. Rohan Lucas and the Samarasinghe Family", I was the "lucky" fifth of our family to learn from Prof. Lucas. To me, Professor Lucas always appeared as a legend, having taught my WHOLE family! It has been a great privilege to be taught by an individual with such exceptional talent, knowledge and intelligence. However, what is most striking about him is his character. How he could be so successful in life and remain so modest and humble has always filled me with admiration.
I was first introduced to Professor Lucas at my brother's wedding in 2009, a few days before my entrance to UoM. During the 3rd semester at the university, Prof. Lucas taught us Theory of Electricity. Thanks to the wonderful lectures and impeccable lecture notes, I was naturally quite fond of the subject. The only thing I did not like was of course the weekly continuous assessments (CAs). However, looking back I believe that these CAs did help us comprehend subject matter more effectively.
During the first year at the university, I was unfortunate enough to have my brand new laptop stolen. Thanks to the efforts by the police, the thief was caught. I was later summoned to courts to claim my stolen property. However, the court case was scheduled at the same time Prof. Lucas had scheduled his famous weekly assessment. Being very understanding and flexible, Prof. Lucas put an extra effort to conduct the assessment on time to facilitate my court case. It has been nearly three years now. However, he still does not miss an opportunity to make a witty remark about my missing laptop.
Prof. Lucas, you have and you will always be a true inspiration to us, the whole Samarasinghe family. Please accept our heart-felt gratitude for everything you have done to us. Thank you!
Savini Samarasinghe, [UoM ENTC 2014 Graduate]

From: "Dilini Hansika Dharmawardhana"
Date: Sun, June 23, 2013 5:37 pm
Time drags on... Memories fade away... But some special memories, lingering with our thoughts, dwell deep in our hearts. Dear Lucas sir, you have given us such memories, worth remembering... worth sharing...
Time flashes back to the year 2010, when I was a semester 1 student. While distributing handouts, madam Janaki told us that they were prepared by a senior lecturer called Professor Lucas, not only a giant in the Department of Electrical Engineering, but also the most senior lecturer in the university. She also pointed out that you are a very great person too, which filled me with an immense desire to see you, since Electrical Engineering was the discipline that I was most interested and was dreaming to get selected to.
It's at the seminar room of the Department of Electrical Engineering that I first saw you. I was lucky enough to get selected to the Department of Electrical Engineering and you had visited to welcome us, the green horns. You also gave us advice regarding our group projects. I was astonished to witness your friendliness and humility, which were quite contrary to what I had anticipated. You came to each and every group, had nice chit chats with students here and there, making us all feel at home and warmly welcomed.
So, I started to admire you as a great human being and not a day have you failed me. One particular incident is sacred in my memory, which made me realize how sensitive you are. It was the day of our group presentations and I was the representative of our group. During those days, I was feeding a baby squirrel, since the poor thing had fallen from the roof and was helpless. Each passing minute, I got more and more upset, since I could not go early to feed that little fellow. But, when I told you my problem, you gave me permission to do my presentation first and leave early, without much hesitation. You were so interested about the baby squirrel, that the next day, you wanted to know more about my little pet. Though it's a little incident, it reveals your inner self... your true character... how soft hearted you are...
I consider it a great fortune to be a student of someone like you. No matter how brilliant you are, you always adapted simple, easy to understand examples to teach us complicated subject matters. I will never forget the "water analogy" you taught us under "Fundamentals of Electricity". Due to the interactive way you lecture us, I often felt as if I was back in my school days, under the watchful eye of my dear teachers, which I missed very much at the university. You always considered us as "Children" rather than "Adults" and it made the department a much comfortable place.
Dear Sir, you always gave due consideration to our problems. When we asked you to write on the white board, you did so without any hesitation. When we said that the students at the back could not properly see you, you took all that trouble to keep standing throughout the lecture, which I felt, was not an easy task at your age. When we complained that the lab facilities were not adequate, you at once got involved, so that the next time, we could do our programming assignment in a fine computer lab. Ready support was always given whenever we came to you. Such is your commitment to the university and to us all.
Other than performing the duties entrusted to you wholeheartedly, as a senior lecturer, you were always keen to improve our knowledge and skills. You spent hours of your precious time teaching me "how to write reports" when I said that I didn't know. Actually you could have asked me to refer internet or ask from a senior student, but you personally attended my problem. Showing me various reports you had collected, you gave me valuable advice. Thinking back, I feel ashamed of my ignorance, to bother the most senior professor in the university, regarding a simple matter as such. But you actually admired and encouraged me to ask more and learn more. I am very much obliged to you sir, for the ready support given, every time I visited you. You also encouraged and advised me regarding my individual project, which had a major contribution in making it a great success.
Thinking how forgiving you are, another memory floats back to my mind. It was our Annual General Meeting (2012). I was appointed to usher you. I knew so well that you were invited and I had personally requested you to be present there somehow. But, a senior "akka" had advised me to inquire each and every one, whether they had been invited to the function. I asked the same question from you. At hearing that foolish question, everybody got bewildered... even you did... I was so embarrassed and thought that you might blame me for sure. But to everyone's greatest surprise, you made some witty remark and behaved as if nothing happened. How humble you are... and how understanding you are... you asked me to forget it when I apologized to you. Dear Sir, the kindness you showed me that day will remain forever in my heart, giving more glow to my memories of you...
Sir, you are greatly loved by students for some other reason as well. Every time when there's an event or a function in the department, you are there to help us. You never miss a function, if invited. Moving so well with the students, you add more value to our efforts. Among a million and one other duties, you somehow manage to spend some time with us, empowering us...encouraging us... to do our best... to step from the possible to impossible...
Dear Sir, you are an exceptional lecturer, not only because of the expertise you have gained or due to the subject matters you have mastered, but also because who you are, and how you interact with us. I am more than happy that I could learn under a great human being as you are. I wish you good health and long life, to continue your invalid service to the nation.
Dilini Dharmawardhana, [2010 intake, UoM EE Semester 5 student]

From: "Harshani Amanda"
Date: Mon, June 24, 2013 9:50 pm
First of all I would like to recall the beginning of my university life, the first semester, because during that time I heard the name Prof. Rohan Lucas for the first time. I still remember well that Mrs. Janaki Premaratne conducted the Electrical Engineering module in our first semester and she told that "I'm referring Prof. Lucas's notes". That was the first time I heard Prof. Lucas's name. It made a curiosity in my mind because Janaki madam was also referring his notes and therefore I wanted to know who that person is.
Then I would like to recall the day that I faced to the Electrical Engineering paper in the semester one end examination. After the examination while talking about the question paper, one of my friends said "Have you seen that Prof. Lucas was in the hall during the examination?" but I didn't see and I still remember that then I was reminding the persons in the examination hall and tried to decide who was Prof. Lucas. After I selected to Electrical Engineering department in the field selection, there was a module called Theory of Electricity in the second semester and Prof. Lucas conducted it. It was the first time I saw him. I felt a big honor as well as I felt a little scared because I got to know that he is a Senior Professor and once he was the head of the Electrical Engineering department.
With time, while learning the module, I was able to talk with Prof. Lucas to clarify subject matters. He explained those things very clearly, kindly and friendly. Then I and my friends used to talk him and clarify our subject matters frequently. He is very humble and he understands student's minds well. We can talk with him any time. Even today, while walking in the department if we meet him he doesn't go without talking to us. I really admire that.
Once my IESL application was missed by that Institution and after they informed me, I told Prof. Lucas of the situation. At that moment he called to that Institution and I didn't need to post my new application again because Prof. Lucas handed it over it to that Institution by himself. I'm really grateful to him forever.
Finally I want to say that Prof. Lucas is a real gentlemen and thank you very much sir and I wish you will teach us at least until our university life ends.
Harshani Amanda, [2010 intake, UoM EE Semester 5 student]

From: "Muditha Karunathilake"
Date: Sat, August 30, 2014 9:08 pm
Memories...... From our birth till the death, we gather millions of memories. Of course, everything we do, do not stay in our memories for a long time. But there are very precious memories that we cherish everyday and the memories of Prof. Lucas are some of them.
Today, we are under the giant pillar of the university called “Prof. Rohan Lucas”, within the Department of Electrical Engineering carrying out our final year project. I can still remember the first day I saw Prof. Lucas. It was our orientation program at the seminar room after the field selection. He was tall, pleasant and was looking at us, the new faces of the department. I had heard about Prof. Lucas before as he was the most senior professor in the university. Being the most senior professor, actually I was scared of him. I never thought that I could have such a good bond with him as I have today.
‘Professors……… They are very dreadful. If we mess with them, we will have to go back to home without the degree or else, we will have to study in the university forever. We can only talk about the studies with them. If only we have a difficult, serious problem regarding what they teach, we can meet them’. That is how I had thought about professors in the university. But after meeting Prof. Lucas, I understood that I was totally wrong. He is a kind hearted, fun loving professor whom you hardly meet.
We were lucky enough to have him as our final year project supervisor although he is retired from the university. He still comes to the university everyday and is still carrying out his lectures although he is officially retired. That is merely because, he wants to be with the students whom he call as ‘Friends’.
When we started the final year project, we had to meet Prof. Lucas very often and it is at that time I first saw the fun loving Prof. Lucas. Of course, at the High Voltage I lecture, he had shown some cartoons, but I never thought that they were designed by him. And later even the first few days that he showed us the cartoons when we went to meet him for the project, I thought that some person had designed and sent them to Prof. Lucas. But finally I had to accept his talent. He always questions us ‘Don’t you draw cartoons like these? Do it at your leisure time’.
‘Compassion’..It was the name given to me by you, dear sir. I’m so proud to be one of your friends and I hope that the friendship between Prof. Loose Screw and Compassion would last forever. You are a giant pillar who shows me the correct path, my mistakes and guide me towards the success. Dear sir, I wish you a happy and long life and I hope you will be able to make another hundreds of friends from the university in the coming years. Although you are officially retired, we all wish to see you in the department every morning.
May Triple Gems Bless You
Muditha Karunathilake, [2010 intake, UoM EE Semester 7 student]

From: "Manusha Indika Deegala"
Date: Sat, August 30, 2014 9:08 pm
Most of the people have their leisure time every day. They have different hobbies, which help them to relive stress and forget about everyday work and problems.But professors are hardly finding those. After this story, every one of you will identify Prof. Lucas’s strange hobby.
He was a senior student and one of my friend. He showed me a photo and told me that it was sent by Prof. Lucas. It was a congratulation card containing an edited photo of my friend and his girlfriend with a hidden meaning of their pet names. I actually thought it was not an edited one and said “No, it cannot be. You are a liar. Prof. Lucas will not create photos like these. He will have more hobbies than editing photos“. When I started my final year project under the supervision of Prof. Lucas huge tree, I realized that my friend was right. I could not believe myself that Prof. Lucas is a that kind of person having a strange hobby with excellent capability of photo editing. I asked him “How to find time for those thing? How to do those thing with your heavy work schedule, even we cannot find time for playing cricket as students” and he gave me this advice. “No one will have leisure time. You have to find those even if you are the busiest person on the earth”.
Manusha Indika Deegala, [2010 Intake, UoM EE Semester 7 student]

From: "Mihirani Kethumalika"
Date: Sun, August 31, 2014 12:52 pm
My Memories of Prof.Lucas
When I received your very first email, a few months ago, I was wondering "Is this really from the Genius Professor Lucas ?" Is it possible, for a professor to be this much friendly with the students?"
So you must be very proud of yourself being so friendly :D
Sir, it is very much appreciated that you have given me a chance to express myself about being teased. So about Cone, who was caught by Prof.Lucas with her school friends in the paddy field, there is lot to say. Cone was not expecting anyone to find out about her farming research in the paddy field after she became interested in engineering. So she was not interested in her university friends finding out about it being presented in Sweden. But it was out of her control, so she couldn't even blame the internet which was responsible for this discovery.
After you found out about Sweden, and our winning second place in the international youth competition on water conservation, you boasted to everyone, and the rest of the department also got know about that.. So Cone was thinking to disappear like it's the world ending.. Her friends were asking a grand party for a thing which happened, like 8 years ago; but as a back-effect, she was very happy about the fact that, again she got a chance to sink on those sweet memories which were awesome. So she was thinking "I am already in my final year. Whether I should return again into a farmer instead of struggling with our FYP?"
I must say this. Sir, seeing you appreciating our school-time project and achievement I was really happy. It is true that I felt shy, but to tell the truth your appreciation made me feel like a real achiever...I respect your humbleness and let me tell you about a great quality of a great teacher as Lord Buddha defined. A great teacher introduces his students to the wise, recognises their talents and appreciates them in front of the wise. (ශ්රේෂධ ගුරුවරයා තම සිසුන් නුවණැතියන්ට හදුන්වා දෙයි. සිසුන්ගේ දක්ෂතා ඔවුන් ඉදිරියේ අගය කරයි. වර්ණනා කරයි.) You should be very happy about being very rich of that quality.. To be honest, I must say that Cone is enjoying herself being teased with the others together. I mean with Pearl, Swan and Compassion. Because it is much better to get teased with friends than alone. :D I call it as "Mutual Sharing"
But there is one thing that she enjoyed being teased alone. That is Tennis. She is very much interested in sports so the comments. And as you said, it is really great that she can control her FYP group with her tennis power
Sir, if you can propose names for my group mates too, then our FYP group will be completely under the power of the great supervisor "Prof.Lucas".
Finally, it is really nice and great to have you as our supervisor. It was also a blessing decided naturally when we ended up by getting number 1 in the project lottery. My group mates were so happy and appreciated me because they thought it was my luck. I even got a message from Chamath (a good friend of mine) saying that "You are the luckiest one ". Because they also know that anyone who got first is going to choose you as the supervisor and others are missing the chance.
And I must say that your daughter has a great fortune to have you as her father. She has followed you behind and got success even much more better a daughter can be. I am really happy about the name "Cone" given by you.. I will use it often. May be I should think of a signature :D. It is simply a nice name that I can ever imagine. And my friends also got lovely names from you.. My favorite name is "Pearl" which is given to Ashani; and from the names given to seniors it is "Smiling terrorist" to Terashmila.
Mihirani Kethumalika, [Kethu or C@ne 2010 Intake, UoM EE Semester 7 student]

From: "Udayantha Niraj de Silva"
Date: Sun, August 31, 2014 9:38 pm
When I first noticed you at the University delivering a nice presentation during my orientation period, a boast came through from colleague sitting next to me that you are a legendary of electrical engineering. Then I worried why you spend most of the time in the university compromising the time you have for creating the future with new technologies, sciences and philosophies. Since then it took years for me to understand the reason, that you greatly value sharing your knowledge and experience with younger generation in order to create future rather than just doing it by yourself, even though you are way more capable than it required in doing so. I learnt theory of electricity and high voltage engineering from you. I loved the way you made us study and your extraordinary teaching methods perfectly engrave our minds with each tiny bit of the important details of the lessons. Not only that your cartoon creations, a gifted talent of you made us laugh and felt comfortable in many times. They blessed us with relief from pressure created by academic studies. I believe the future lecturers and students are supposed to take you as an ideal person in their lives to achieve their goals.
We are very luck to work under you especially in final year project as last bunches of your students. Your support and guidance is massive for us. Your kind advices and that true fatherly smile encourage us a lot. Your retirement is not just a big loss to us, but a big loss to the nation.
Your leaving marks the end of an era in the University of Moratuwa.
Udayantha Niraj de Silva, [FYP group student, 2010 Intake, UoM EE Semester 7 student]

From: "Ashani Muthumala"
Date: Fri, September 5, 2014 4:19 am
Memories of a Humble Legend
First of all I'm thankful to you sir, for giving me this great opportunity to write few things about a LEGEND like you.
When I walk backwards in my memory lane, I can recall that I first met Prof. Lucas during my first year when we were studying “Theory of Electricity” in Semester 2. The way you taught that subject was very unique and you were always willing to share the interest of the subject with your students. You always come up with different examples to make our life easier, to make us understand the electrical theories easily. Then again I met you in the “High Voltage I” subject in Semester 5 during the third year. I personally loved that subject and your notes helped us a lot. During this time I actually didn’t know much about you sir and even you didn’t know much about me either. You were “Prof. Lucas” for me. And we are also waiting to learn “High Voltage II” in semester 8 under your guidance.
And for my curiosity I never thought a professor, a genius, a legend and a huge pillar of the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Moratuwa can be so friendly with students. I would say that you are humble at its BEST. You remembered my b'day from a long time and wished me on my b'day which I never expect from someone like you. I'm blessed to get a wish from a legend like you. And I'm really happy that I could get teased by you. I might be one of the few people who likes to get teased from others.
PEARL NECKLACE and PEARL the names you gave me, I loved most. Even though I had my name for about 24 years, I never thought of this sweet name. I also love the names cone and swan given to my friends too. And I would like to say that apart from your great knowledge you are a very creative person.
Finally I would like to say that you are a great pillar for our Electrical Engineering Department and we would like you to be with us forever.
I wish you good health. May the noble triple gem bless you!!!
Yours loving Student,
Ashani Muthumala, [PEARL NECKLACE or PEARL , 2010 Intake, UoM EE Semester 7 student, Secretary | IEEE Women in Engineering Affinity Group]

From: "Dimuthu Punsara Colambage"
Date: Sat, June 15, 2013 5:50 pm
It is honour and privilege to me that I was given the opportunity to send my short memories to your e-autobiography.
Sincerely happy and proud to have been one of your students in your last batch (before your retirement) of UoM. It is very fortunate to have opportunity to study under a world recognized (most) senior teacher like you who wish to spare your precious time and knowledge for the betterment of your students. If I questioned my senior colleagues by asking their favourite teacher in UoM, no doubt that I would be given the answer as "Prof. Lucas". Wishing that we'll be taught by you in future as an emeritus Professor. looking forward to your kind participation (for the recommended modules) in future.
I wish you all the best in your future endeavors'
Punsara Colambage, [2011 Intake, UoM EE Semester 3 student]

From: "Guvanthi Abeysinghe"
Date: Fri, June 21, 2013 10:21 am
Prof. J.R. Lucas, the man of Electricity in University of Moratuwa...
As a most recent student of Prof. J.R. Lucas, I'm privileged to turn over pages of my memory book and give life to the memories on Prof. J.R. Lucas... I met Prof. Lucas, as the most senior professor in the University of Moratuwa, delivering lectures on 'Theory of Electricity' during my second semester of the University. Personally, I am proud to take lectures from the most senior lecturer of the University.
Have you ever been to Prof. J.R. Lucas's office room recently? Cupboards are sunken with piles of penned documents, few photographs hanging over the walls and at the hands reach, a rack of books and magazines; and his table..., filled with student assignments all over. If not Prof. Lucas is a tall man the one who sits other side of his table can hardly see him. I have no idea how valuable is those penned documents tucked up in the cupboards and I may hardly understand the stuff written in them, but I knew once upon a time they were accredited to be his master pieces of work... I was lucky enough to pop my head into several lab sheets compiled by Prof. Lucas during his time as a university undergraduate. First, I was little bit surprised with the long discussions they carried, but soon came back into my senses, 'he is THE Prof. Rohan Lucas' after all...
Prof. J.R. Lucas can be reckoned as one who is always on the side of the students. During various events held in the University, he was not sitting in the seats reserved for honourable guests; instead he was sitting elsewhere among his students. His professor hood never was an obstacle for his close relationship with the students. Have you ever had a word with Prof. Lucas? You should..., because no need of prior appointments, you can meet him at any time. A word from Prof. Lucas is more than enough to inspire you. Students always preferred his company and they were very enthusiastic from his words.
Ever experienced the efficiency of Prof. Rohan Lucas...? Even at this time of his age, his speed is remarkable... In marking the answer scripts of the students, I have never witnessed such speedy teacher in my life. He is such a quick man...
At the end I should say, I'm honoured to be a student of Prof. J.R. Lucas and find myself so lucky to be his most recent student... He always has been THE Professor Lucas and my personal belief is that he is the man of Electricity in the University of Moratuwa.
Dear Lucas Sir; You made the history..., we being your students are proud to be a part of it... The day you leave the University of Moratuwa, the red giant (Sumanadasa building); making home to the Department of Electrical Engineering will find herself empty..., all the electrical engineering students will miss the company of their inspiring man..., and the whole University will feel the loss of a valuable jewel in possession... But the future will definitely talk about you...
Beloved student,
Guvanthi Abeysinghe , [2011 intake, UoM EE Semester 3 student]

From: "Hasantha Malavipathirana"
Date: Sun, December 15, 2013 5:05 pm
The tallest Professor .....
He is a tall man, tall not just in appearance but in his qualities. If you have ever talked to him, you would have noticed that it is not very difficult to talk with him, the most senior Professor in the University (and of course the tallest Professor), because he bends to your level. He is such a humble and friendly person, that everybody should talk at least a word with him.
I met Lucas sir in our semester 3 'Theory of Electricity' class. At first I didn't like that subject as well as Professor Lucas because he gave us quizzes every week. One day after a quiz, I was walking towards the canteen with a mind full of hopelessness and frustration, when a gentle voice from the back asked me 'how was the quiz?'. Unexpectedly it was Professor Lucas, but with the mindset I had, I told him a whole lot of grievance just as I'm talking to my school class teacher and without giving any time for him to talk. Only after telling everything I realized that I'm talking to the most senior professor in the University. I felt ashamed and even afraid. Amazingly his words were very mild and soothing and he encouraged me. I'll never forget his inspiring and soothing words. He was there to encourage me, every time when I'm down.
He is not just a teacher, but a 'Dear' teacher in the real sense of the word. He is always at the side of students and his words are inspiring and encouraging. He is an amazingly efficient person. I have never seen a teacher that much quick in marking answer scripts. Also amidst all his big work, he has time to talk with us, reply our mails and even make jokes. Sometimes I feel he is a magician who can do lot of magic. The most powerful magic that I have seen in him is his ability to take the best out from his students. Before I met him I sometimes felt like a dunce and I was very much disappointed. Professor Lucas, as the great magician who rub his magic lamp to summon an angel, summoned the good in me and made me confident and stronger so that I also can do magic. However he jokingly called me an idiot, and I love to hear those words from him.
I have no words to express my gratitude for Lucas sir. Simply I'm blessed and proud to be under the guidance of such a humble happy teacher and a friend. He is such an amazing person, that once you become a friend of him there's no way that you can forget him.
Dear Lucas sir, I wish you all the best for your future endeavors and wish that you will be with us as long as possible.
Hasantha Malavipathirana, [2011 Intake, UoM EnTc Semester 3 field Rep]