Bright Sparks Lectures - 3rd International Conference in Geotechnical Engineering (ICGEColombo-2020), Colombo Sri Lanka

Bright Sparks Lectures - 3rd International Conference in Geotechnical Engineering (ICGEColombo-2020), Colombo Sri Lanka

The YMPG in collaboration with the Organising Committee for the 3rd International Conference in Geotechnical Engineering (ICGEColombo-2020) in Colombo, Sri Lanka would like to announce the winners of the Bright Spark Lecture Award to two distinguished young geotechnical engineers: Chathuri Arachchige and Lilanka Kankanamge. They are both invited to give keynote lectures on 6-7 December 2022.

  1. Chathuri Arachchige, PhD Student, Transport Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.
    Bright Spark Lecture Title: "Use of Rubber Intermixed Ballast Stratum (RIBS) for Enhanced Longevity of Rail Infrastructure"
  2. Lilanka Kankanamge, Geotechnical Engineer, National Building Research Organisation, Sri Lanka.
    Bright Spark Lecture Title: "Improving the performance of badulusirigama landslide using subsurface drains: a numerical study"

The Bright Spark Lecture Award was established to promote young members of the ISSMGE to play a major role in various international and regional conferences. Recipients of this award are invited to give a keynote lecture at ISSMGE conferences. All Technical Committee conference organisers and Member Society conference organisers are encouraged to select Bright Spark Lecturers at their conferences. Details regarding the award can be found on the ISSMGE website:

We invite everyone, especially young geotechnical engineers, to come and enjoy the lectures. We hope these lectures can inspire and motivate us further to excel in our beloved field, geotechnical engineering.


Winners Bio


Chathuri Arachchige

Dr. Chathuri Arachchige is a current Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Transport Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney. Chathuri has a well-rounded technical background with a strong interest in innovations and passion related to geotechnical and railway geotechnics, which is consistently directed to her current and past positions in academia and industry. Chathuri obtained her bachelor's degree with First Class Honours in Civil Engineering from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, in 2013. After completing her bachelor's degree, she served the industry as a practising Geotechnical Engineer in Sri Lanka. She also completed her postgraduate diploma in geotechnical engineering at University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, in 2017. She obtained her PhD from University of Technology Sydney, Australia, in 2022 and her research area mainly focused on granular materials for infrastructures, rail track performance under dynamic loading, modelling of energy-absorbing materials, sustainable use of waste materials for infrastructures, large-scale physical modelling of innovative track elements, and related field testing. Her research area has made an enormous impression on the industry and opened a broader positive discussion with industrial partners, which directed her to extend her research outcomes to real-life applications. Her PhD thesis received examiners' special commendation' for exceptional innovation, impact, and broader research outcomes, and she is the winner of the runner-up award at the AGS NSW Research Award 2022 offered by the Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS).



Lilanka Kankanamge

Eng. Lilanka Kankanamge has over seven years of experience in the field of geotechnical engineering and has engaged in complex projects with challenging geotechnical conditions. Some of the key projects include Landslide Disaster Protection Project (LDPP) of the National Road Network of Sri Lanka, Extension of Southern Expressway Development Project, and Nature Based Landslide Risk Reduction Programme. In addition to the technical skills, Lilanka has a strong background in research and publications. His research interests include unsaturated soi mechanics, rain induced slope instabilities and numerical modelling of complex geotechnical problems. He has co-authored a book chapter and several journal and conference articles internationally. Lilanka graduated from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka in 2014 and obtained his masters degree in Geotechnical Engineering from the same university in 2020.