Sri Lankan students in the CERN Summer Student Programme.
The four students who completed the two months programme last week were, Ms. Thenmolie Gnanaguru a graduate of the Department of Physics, University of Jaffna, Mr. Nimmitha Karunarathna, a graduate of the Department of Physics, University of Colombo, Ms. Kaplanie Madara Liyanage, a graduate of the Department of Physics, University of Ruhuna and Ms. Chamini Shammi Pathiraja Mudiyanselage, a final year undergraduate of the Department of Physics, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
The Sri Lankan students were selected on merit by CERN, following a funding arrangement negotiated by the Permanent Mission in Geneva, where CERN provided financial assistance for two students and the National Science Foundation (NSF), Government of Sri Lanka funded two students. Last year, for the first time, 2 Sri Lankan undergraduates joined this programme, which has been in operation since 1962.
325 international students representing 92 countries joined this year's coveted summer programme.
This has been a tangible benefit Sri Lanka accrued following a process initiated in June 2015 by the Permanent Mission to begin cooperation between CERN and the scientific community in Sri Lanka which was galvanized by the signing of the International Cooperation Agreement (ICA) with CERN by the Minister of Science, Technology and Research, Susil Premajayantha in February 2017.
It provided a broad legal framework to ensure on a long-term basis, opportunities for participation by scientists, engineers and technicians from Sri Lanka in research projects of CERN, in addition to providing increased opportunities for Sri Lankan undergraduates and physics teachers to participate in CERN's scientific and training programmes such as 'High-School teacher' and 'Summer Student' programmes.
Sri Lanka is presently in the process of joining the CERN's high end 'Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Experiment', as a consortium of Sri Lankan physicists and PhD candidates representing the key universities of Sri Lanka. This follows discussions held by the first Sri Lankan scientific delegation that visited to CERN from 3-5 May 2017. The delegation comprising five physicists representing the universities of Sri Lanka agreed on a Road-Map for future collaboration with CERN and to enhance scientific collaboration in 'high energy physics' between the scientific community of Sri Lanka and the CERN.
At a de-briefing session with the Sri Lankan students, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha discussed efforts being made to develop a network of Sri Lankan scientists and researchers, who could remain engaged with the research activities carried out by CERN. He also impressed on the Sri Lankan scholars the importance of sharing the knowledge they had acquired within their respective Universities, as well as the larger community of physics teachers and students in High Schools, so as to popularize Physics.
Plans for a visit to Sri Lanka by a scientific delegation from CERN later in the year was also discussed. Associated in this discussion were Ms. Shashika Somaratne, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission who coordinates relations with CERN and Dr. Nadeesha Wickramage, Senior Lecturer, Department of Physics, University of Ruhuna, who will be a member of the Consortium of Sri Lankan physicists in the CMS Experiment. Dr. Wickramage is currently working as a part time researcher/L3 Validation Manager in the physics data and Mote-Carlo validation (PdmV) group of CMS, having joined the experiment in 2010.
Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from Asian Tribune.
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