BScEng(Ceylon), MSc(Manch), PhD(Manch), FIEE, CEng, FIE(SLanka), IPEng, MCS(SLanka)
BScEng(Ceylon), MSc(Manch), PhD(Manch), FIEE, CEng, FIE(SLanka), IPEng, MCS(SLanka)
I was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 17th October 1947. From my young days, my parents Dr Anthony Lucas and Mrs Erin Lucas always encouraged me to study well and take part in extra curricular activities. My brother Nimal, and my sisters Marie, Srini and Iromi were always by my side.
I had almost my entire school education at St Joseph's College, Colombo, (except for an year or two spent at the Montessori at St Bridgets Convent, Colombo). I am proud to have risen to be a Josephian Prefect and the Captain of Table Tennis.
I am normally called by my friends and colleagues by my middle name Rohan. I started my engineering education at the Univerity of Ceylon at Peradeniya in October 1966. Based on my performance at the GCE (Advanced Level) examination, I was permitted to skip the first year and complete the four year engineering degree course in August 1969, obtaining First Class honours and Second Class honours (Lower division) respectively in the two examinations, Final Part I and Final Part II, that I sat. I played for the University in Table Tennis; and for my hall of residence, Jayathilaka Hall, in many sports including Table Tennis and Cricket. I will always treasure these memories.
After a short stint as an Temporary Instructor at the Engineering Faculty at Peradeniya soon after graduation, I joined the Ceylon College of Technology at Moratuwa (presently upgraded to the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka) on 13 March 1970, having been instilled by Professor Sam Karunaratne, who was the Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering for thirty-three years. In October 1971 I proceeded to the United Kingdom on a UNESCO Fellowship for my postgraduate studies at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). In October 1972, I obtained my Master's degree (MSc) having successfully completed the relevant written examinations in Electrical Power Systems Engineering and defended the dissertation on Cross-bonded cables and analysis of non-linearities. In October 1974, I successfully defended the doctoral thesis on Representation of transformers in switching surge studies and obtained my PhD and returned to Moratuwa. I still place in high esteem Dr Keith Cornick who guided me through this period. I am fortunate to have been at St Anselm Hall throughout my studies in Manchester and for being able to Captain the Table Tennis team in my final two years. I was also a member of the Bridge team, and a regular Snooker player in the evenings.
I married Ramala in May 1978, and we have a daughter Roshanthi who was born in May 1980. Ramala who was employed at Hatton National Bank after leaving school gave up working when we got married. In October 1981, I was awarded a Commonwealth Research Fellowship on which I continued my post-doctoral research with Keith Cornick in the Department of Electrical Engineering at UMIST for one year. My next sabbatical was in September 1989, where I accepted a Visiting Professorship for one year at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Manitoba, Canada and undertook research with Professor Peter McLaren. My visit was funded by the Manitoba HVDC Research Centre. The visit was very fruitful resulting in a large number of journal and conference publications which greatly helped me in reaching my present position. I am extremely grateful to Peter for this opportunity.
In May 1997 I visited the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand on the prestigious Erskine Fellowship and remained there for about eight months and spent my time doing teaching and research. During my time at Canterbury I was associated in my work with Professor Jos Arrillaga, Dr Chris Arnold and Dr Neville Watson. I spent the remaining four months of my sabbatical at the University of Auckland, New Zealand doing teaching and research associated with Dr Nalin Pahalawatta and Dr Udaya Annakkage.
Ramala and Roshanthi have accompanied me on my sabbatical visits. Roshanthi in particular gained a lot from these trips, especially as she was able to attend school in Canada and New Zealand for short periods, although her regular studies were temporarily interrupted. In September 1999, Ramala, Roshanthi and I spent one month visiting some of the Universities in Melbourne, Brisbane and Wollongong in Australia and the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. We also spent a one week holiday at the Gold Coast during the visit.
Roshanthi studied at Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya from where she sat for her GCE (Advanced Level) examination in August 1999. She offered Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry and was admitted to the University of Moratuwa as an undergraduate student in December 2000. She was selected for the high demand specialisation of Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering at the end of the first year. She graduated with First Class Honours on 1 November 2004. Roshanthi also took part in the Drama It runs in a family conducted by the English Literary Association of the University during her first Semester at the Univeristy. She was also an active member of the Rotaract Club of the University and has helped in organising the "Are You Ready programme" for the graduands for 3 years and and ended up as the Community Services Director of the Club during her last year at the University.
She likes to go swimming and also played tennis at the University. Roshanthi was employed as an Engineer at Suntel Ltd in its Corportate Technical Services Division for two years soon after graduation. She still managed to find time to take part in extra-curricular activities including playing badminton and taking part in Drama.
In 2006, I was fortunate to enrol in the Toastmaster's International programme at the University of Moratuwa where I made my ice breaker on How I do things differently which will also give you some additional insight into my life.
I then spent one year of sabbatical leave from October 2006 to October 2007 at the University of Manitoba in Canada, in collaboration with the Manitoba HVDC Research Centre, developing a small signal stability module for the well known PSCAD/EMTDC programme. Roughly during this same period, Roshanthi embarked on the prestigious MBA programme at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. She obtained the MBA degree in October 2007, having done the Individual Project at the Global Fund in Switzerland. From mid-December 2007, she was employed at Dialog Telecom. Then she has obtained the position of Strategic Officer at The Global Fund in Geneva, Switzerland and took up the appointment on 1 June 2008.
She got married to Lakshita Gunaratne, a financial analyst, in October 2010. After marriage she worked for a while in Geneva and returned to Sri Lanka to work for LIRNEasia. In 2015, Roshanthi left LIRNEasia to take up a management position at Stax Colombo, a global strategy consulting firm, where she is a Data Analytics Manager to date.
Avisha was born to Roshanthi on 7th February 2017, and within half-an-hour of his birth he was in my arms just wrapped in linen. Today, Baby Avisha is a very cheerful one-and-half year old kid who likes to play any ball game, is a big chatterbox with home folk, and keeps me company every weekday from aroun 5:30 to 8pm. He keeps changing the activity - bouncing the ball, saying nursery rhymes, drawing his favourite "ball", going for a walk in the internal roadway and kicking or throwing the ball and catching it, spinning the ball, looking at pictures and recognising them, counting, playing with his toys in the playpen and so on - so that I will not get bored. He also likes to play hide-and-seek - usually behind my chair, which he calls "Aviiisha, Where are You"
I retired on 31st March 2014 having completed 44 years of teaching at the University of Moratuwa (and its predecessors) on 13th of March 2014. I launched my autobiography in October 2014, and memories received from my Students, Friends and Colleagues are published in the web. I continue to serve society in various capacities, including part time teaching at the University of Moratuwa and the KDU, and as an Electrical Consultant.
The Rohan Lucas High Voltage was ceremonially opened by the Chancellor Vidya Jyothi KKYW Perera, and Eng UD Jayawardana, Chairman LTL Holdings, unveiled the nameplate of the new Laboratory on my Seventieth Birthday on 17th October 2017 in the presence of a distinguished gathering including my family. I am very grateful to the University for bestowing that honour on me.