KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

prof ajith de alwis waste management conference

Prof. Ajith de Alwis

Coordinating Secretariat for Science Technology and Innovation (COSTI)
Ministry of Science Technology and Research
Sri Lanka


Ajith de Alwis, Senior Professor of Chemical and Process Engineering at University of Moratuwa having joined the Department on 1st Jan 1985 after graduating from UoMoratuwa.  He obtained his PhD from University of Cambridge and has worked at University of Reading, UK and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.  Also contributed as a Science Team Leader in the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology and served as the Project Director at Coordinating Secretariat for Science Technology and Innovation (COSTI), Ministry of Science Technology and Research from 2013 to 2019.   He is a member of the Intellectual Property Advisory Commission and a member of the Governing Council of National Occupational Health and Safety Institute (Min of Labour).  His interests are in Food Process Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Clean Technologies, Nano biotechnologies, Bioenergy systems and Innovation management.

He has a grounding intellectual property after participation in distant learning programs of WIPO distance learning school and has contributed serving as the co-chair of the committee appointed to deliver the National Intellectual Property Policy.  Has numerous papers and few patents to my credit from research carried out in teams.

head of circular economy, resource futures united kingdom

Emma Burlow

Head of Circular Economy, Resource Futures,
United Kingdom

Keynote Title : ‘Creating a more Circular Economy from Theory to Practice’

Emma is one of the UK’s leading specialists on circular economy and resource efficiency in business. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the sector and is Head of Circular Economy for Resource Futures.  Emma directs a range of circular economy projects for large and small businesses and the public sector; for Zero Waste Scotland’s CE Business Support programme and is a technical assessor for WRAP Wales’ Circular Economy Fund for business. She believes that sharing learning is the best way to speed up a transition to a more circular economy and in Feb 2020 launched her #CE100 series on social media, which aims to showcase 100 mainstream examples of circular business models or services. She is a mentor for the Circular Economy Club global network and has hands on experience of the challenges, barriers, drivers and ultimately, successful transition to more circular business models. Emma currently directs RF’s circular economy work in Scotland, delivered through the Zero Waste Scotland CE Business Support programme and WRAP’s collaborative change programme in Wales. She was project director for the recent Use Phase Characterization of Plastics report for the Resourcing the Future partnership. Her expertise includes Circular economy, Resource efficiency, SMEs & Corporates, Business models and Project management.

PLENARY SPEAKERS

eng (dr) a.g. thusitha sugathapala

Eng (Dr) A.G. Thusitha Sugathapala

University of Moratuwa
Sri Lanka

Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala is a Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering of the University of Moratuwa; and a Chartered Engineer. He obtained the BSc Engineering Degree from University of Moratuwa (UoM) and PhD from University of Cambridge. He served as the Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UoM, the Director General of Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority, founding Director of Enterprise, the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and University-Business Linkages of UoM and President of Clean Air Sri Lanka. Dr. Sugathapala’s key research areas of interest cover energy, transport, environment, and sustainable development, with over 25 years of active engagement. He has served several national level committees; conducted national and regional level research programmes; and involved with development of policies and regulations. He has also worked as a consultant for several national and international programmes under multilateral development agencies such as World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), United Nation Development Programme (UNEP), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Dr. Sugathapala’s contributions at national level include, among others, the development of National Policy and Strategy on Sustainable Development of Sri Lanka; National Policy on Sustainable Consumption & Production (SCP); National Energy Policy & Strategies of Sri Lanka; Sri Lanka Vehicle Emission Testing (SLVET) programme; Feed-in tariff for non-conventional renewable energy sources; Vehicular exhaust emission standards for in-use vehicles; Vehicular exhaust emission standards for importation, manufacturing or assembling of vehicles; Stationary sources emission standards; SCP Education Plan for Sri Lanka together with SCP course module and Resource Pack for the tertiary/university education sector; Clean Air 2025 Action Plan; NDCs for transport and energy sectors; Regulations for energy efficiency of appliances and building efficiency code; Sri Lanka Standards Specification on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainably Produced Fuel Wood; Initiation of the programme on Energy Efficient & Environmentally Sustainable Transport (E3ST) System at SLSEA; and Initiation of Fuel Economy Labeling programme for light duty vehicles.

Presently, Dr. Sugathapala serves in the National Expert Committee on Climate Change Mitigation; Independent Review Panel for Sri Lanka’s Third National Communication on Climate Change; Officials Committee on Cleaner Fuels and Technology Road Map; Technical Advisory Committee of Vehicle Emission Testing Programme; Steering Committee on implementation of Clean Air 2025 Action Plan; Expert committee for updating of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC);  Technical committee on preparation of Indoor Air Quality Guideline; Accreditation Committee for Inspection Bodies of Sri Lanka Accreditation Board; and Advisory Committee of Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority.

dr. madhavi venkatesan

Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan

Northeastern University
United States


Madhavi Venkatesan is an academic economist and environmental activist. She earned doctorate, master’s and bachelors degrees in economics from Vanderbilt University, a master’s in sustainability and environmental management from Harvard University, and a master’s in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School.  She has published three economics text books under the series A Framework for Sustainable Practices: Economic Principles: A Primer, Foundations of Microeconomics and Foundations for Macroeconomics. In 2019 she published her fourth text, SDG8 – Sustainable Economic Growth and Decent Work for All. She is presently under contract with Routledge to write SDG12: Responsible Consumption and Production and her text, Economics of Sustainability is scheduled  to be published by Springer in late 2020.

In 2016, Madhavi established Sustainable Practices, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission “to facilitate a culture of sustainability as defined by reducing the human-made impact to the planet and its ecosystems” within Barnstable County, Massachusetts and is the organization’s executive director. In 2019, Sustainable Practices initiated the Municipal Plastic Bottle Ban campaign. By November 18, 2019, 11 towns of the 15 that comprise Barnstable County, Cape Cod, adopted the Municipal Plastic Bottle Ban. As of spring 2020, Sustainable Practices filed the Municipal Plastic Bottle Ban in the remaining 4 towns and initiated the Commercial Single-use Plastic Water Bottle Ban campaign in the 11 towns that successfully adopted the Municipal Plastic Bottle Ban.

Madhavi’s academic interests include the integration of sustainability into the economics curriculum. She has been active in promoting education and stakeholder engagement to incorporate ethics into the existing economic framework and her written work has largely focused on these topics as a catalyst to promoting sustainability. Madhavi has also contributed to the literature on the relationship between culture, sustainability and economics, addressing the relationship between economic systems and cultural convergence.