Professor I M Dharmadasa (Commonwealth Scholar, PhD Solid State Electronics, Durham University, 1977-1980) is Professor and Head of Electronic Materials and Sensors Group at Sheffield Hallam University, reported on the research progress of his Solar Village project in the last alumni e-newsletter. The project aims to provide power to deprived communities in the developing world.

During July 2010, Professor Dharmadasa visited Qatar, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, meeting with university colleagues, government ministers, and communities to discuss the different stages of solar energy adoption and scope for development. The main events of the trip included:

  • a meeting at Qatar University to discuss a joint research proposal
  • a meeting with the Minister for Housing and Common Amenities in Sri Lanka, to update him on the latest developments in Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)
  • a workshop at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, to discuss ongoing solar energy research programme collaboration
  • a visit to Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, to monitor a pilot solar village project, viewing expansion of the solar water pumping system
  • community and college talks in Sri Lanka to increase awareness of solar energy
  • meetings with science teachers and students in the Maldives to increase awareness of solar energy use and sustainable environmental practices

Read the full report of Professor Dharmadasa’s trip.