Prof. Upul J Sonnadara

Prof. Upul J Sonnadara

Senior Professor and Chair

Head of the Department
Department of Physics
University of Colombo,
Colombo 03,
Sri Lanka.
Room: PH205
Work Phone: +94 11 215 8367
Work Fax: +94 11 258 4777

Career History:

  • Ph.D., High Energy Physics, University of Pittsburgh, USA, 1992
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Pittsburgh, USA, 1993-1995
  • Senior Lecturer, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1996-2002
  • Visiting Research Scientist, University of Uppsala, Sweden, 2003
  • Professor, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2004-2012
  • Senior Professor, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2012-todate

Research Interests:

My research interests are spread across three broad areas; Computational Physics, Instrumentation Physics and Atmospheric Physics. In recent years I have been focusing on Computer Vision, Autonomous Robots and Climate Change studies.

Awards:

  • CVCD Award for Physical Sciences (2016)
  • University of Colombo Research Award (2015)
  • NRC Merit Award (2014)
  • NSF Commendation Award for Basic Sciences (2009)
  • President’s Awards for Scientific Publications (2008)
  • President’s Awards for Scientific Publications (2007)
  • Presidential Awards for Research (2006)
  • NSF Commendation Award for Physics (2004)

Google Scholar Profile

Recent Journal Articles Published:

  1. Spatial interpolation of weekly rainfall depth in the Dry zone of Sri Lanka, H.K.W.I. Jayawardene, D.U.J. Sonnadara and D.R. Jayewardene, Climate Research, 29 (2005) 223-231
  2. Trends of rainfall in Sri Lanka over the last century, H.K.W.I. Jayawardene, D.U.J. Sonnadara and D.R. Jayewardene, Sri Lankan J. of Physics, 6 (2005) 7-17
  3. The lightning radiation field spectra of cloud flashes in the interval 20kHz to 20MHz, U. Sonnadara, V. Cooray, and M. Fernando, IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility, 48 1 (2006) 234-239
  4. Characteristics of cloud to ground lightning flashes over Sweden, U. Sonnadara, V. Cooray and T. Gotschl, Physica Scripta, 74 (2006) 1-8
  5. Channel tortuosity of long laboratory sparks, D. Amarasinghe, U. Sonnadara, M. Berg, and V. Cooray, J. Electrostatics, 65 8 (2007) 521-526
  6. Correlation between brightness and channel currents of electrical discharges, D. Amarasinghe, U. Sonnadara, M. Berg, and V. Cooray, IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulations, 14 5 (2007) 115-1160
  7. Performance of artificial neural networks for forecasting daily occurrence and annual depth of rainfall at a tropical site, A.D. Kumarasiri and D.U.J. Sonnadara, Hydrological Processes, 22 17 (2008) 3535-3542
  8. Fractal characteristics of simulated electrical discharges, D.I. Amarasinghe and D.U.J. Sonnadara, J. of National Science Foundation, 36 2 (2008) 137-143
  9. Modelling free flowing vehicular traffic noise, R.T. Sooriaarachchi and D.U.J. Sonnadara, Engineer, 40 2 (2008) 43-37
  10. Performance evaluation of multipliers in reconfigurable hardware, W.A.S. Wijesinghe, M.K. Jayananda and D.U.J. Sonnadara, J. National Science Foundation, 36 3 (2008) 249-251
  11. Detecting and preventing plagiarism in online assessment, C.T. Wannige, D.U.J. Sonnadara, H.A. Usoof, K.P. Hewagamage, J. Science University of Kelaniya, 4 (2008) 95-104
  12. Predicting three-dimensional fractal dimensions of electrical discharges using two-dimensional projections, D. Amarasinghe and U. Sonnadara, J. Science, Eastern University of Sri Lanka, 6 (2009) 57-67
  13. Measurement of noise within passenger trains on a coastal railway line, N.S. Pahalavithana and D.U.J. Sonnadara, Sri Lankan J. Physics, 10 (2009) 44-56
  14. Performance of neural network in forecasting daily precipitation using multiple sources, H.D.P. Weerasinghe, H.L. Premaratne and D.U.J. Sonnadara, J. National Science Foundation, 38 3 (2010) 163-170
  15. Simulation of Diffusion Limited Aggregation in Field Programmable Gate Arrays, W.A.S. Wijesinghe, M.K. Jayananda and D.U.J. Sonnadara, J. National Science Foundation, 38 4 (2010) 213-218
  16. Performance of neural networks in forecasting short range occurrence of rainfall, V.S. Rathnayake, H.L. Premaratne and D.U.J. Sonnadara, J. National Science Foundation, 39 3 (2011) 251-260
  17. A Simple Reconfigurable Microprocessor in a 36 Macrocell CPLD, W.A.S. Wijesinghe, M.K. Jayananda and D.U.J. Sonnadara, J. National Science Foundation, 39 3 (2011) 261-266
  18. Traffic noise enhancement due to speed bumps, S.N. Wewelwala and D.U.J. Sonnadara, Sri Lankan J. Physics, 12 (2011) 17-23
  19. Fractal Nature of Simulated Lightning Channels, M.D.N. Perera and D.U.J. Sonnadara, Sri Lankan J. Physics, 13 2 (2012) 9-25
  20. Study of Diurnal and Seasonal Wind Characteristics for Wind Resource Assessment, R.M. Weerasinghe, A.S. Pannila, M.K. Jayananda and D.U.J. Sonnadara, International Energy Journal, 13 4 (2012) 177-188
  21. Reconstruction of missing monthly temperature observations in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, A. Thevakaran and D.U.J. Sonnadara, J. National Science Foundation, 41 1 (2013) 23-30
  22. Computer simulation of tree development with random variations and probabilistic growth of branches, K.D.S. Jinasena and D.U.J. Sonnadara, J. National Science Foundation, 41 3 (2013) 229-235
  23. Performance of lightning locating systems in extracting lightning flash characteristics, U. Sonnadara, V. Kathriarachchi, V. Cooray, R. Montano and T. Gotschl, J. Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics (2014)
  24. A Markov chain probability model to describe wet and dry patterns of weather at Colombo, D.U.J. Sonnadara and D.R. Jayewardene, J. Theoretical and Applied Climatology (2014)
  25. Assessment of the Impacts of Sri Lanka’s Programme for School Improvement on Students’ Academic Progress, H. Aturupane, P. Glewwe, R. Ravina, U. Sonnadara, S. Wisniewski, J. of Development Studies (2014)
  26. Fractal dimension of long electrical discharges, D. Amarasinghe, D.U.J. Sonnadara, M. Berg and V. Cooray, Electrostatics (2014)
  27. The onset, retreat and the length of growing season in the north-eastern region of Sri Lanka, D.U.J. Sonnadara, International Journal of Climatology (2014)
  28. Interannual variability of rainfall in Sri Lanka, H.K.W.I. Jayawardene, D.R. Jayewardene and D.U.J. Sonnadara, J. National Science Foundation (2015)
  29. Spatial and temporal variations of thunderstorm activities over Sri Lanka, D.U.J. Sonnadara, Theoretical and Applied Climatology (2015)
  30. Simulation of optical flow and fuzzy based obstacle avoidance system for mobile robots, G. Illeperuma and U. Sonnadara, International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks (2015)
  31. An Assessment of CSIRO Conformal Cubic Atmospheric Model Simulations over South Asia Centered on Sri Lanka, A.Thevakaran, J. L. McGregor, J. Katzfey, P. Hoffmann, R. Suppiah and D.U.J. Sonnadara, Climate Dynamics (2015)
  32. Traffic composition and variability of road traffic noise levels in the vicinity of Colombo, Sri Lanka, C.M. Kalansuriya, A.S. Pannila and D.U.J. Sonnadara, J. National Science Foundation (2015)
  33. Characteristics of Narrow Bipolar Pulses observed from lightning in Sri LankaT. Gunasekara, M. Fernando, U. Sonnadara, V. Cooray, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics (2015)
  34. Century scale climate change in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, G.J. De Silva and D.U.J. Sonnadara, J. Earth System Science, (2016) 10.1007/s12040-015-0652-z
  35. Multifractal behavior of wind speed and wind direction, R.M. Weerasinghe, A.S. pannila, M.K. Jayananda and D.U.J. Sonnadara, Fractals, (2016) 10.1142/S0218348X16500031

Contributions to Academic Publications/Books:

  1. Treasures of the Education System in Sri Lanka: Restoring Performance, Expanding Opportunities and Enhancing Prospects, The World Bank Human Development Unit, South Asia Region, ISBN: 955-8908-14-2 (2005)
  2. Attaining the Millennium Development Goals in Sri Lanka: How likely and what will it take to reduce poverty, child mortality and malnutrition and to increase school enrollment and completion, The World Bank Human Development Unit, South Asia Region, ISBN: 955-8908-17-7 (2005)
  3. The towers of learning: Performance, peril and promise of higher education in Sri Lanka, The World Bank Human Development Unit, South Asia Region, ISBN: 978-955-8908-35-8 (2009)
  4. An Impact Evaluation of Sri Lanka’s Policies to Improve the Performance of Schools and Primary School Students through its School Improvement and School Report Card Programs, The World Bank Human Development Unit, South Asia Region, ISBN: 978-955-8908-40-2 (2011)
  5. Transforming School Education in Sri Lanka: from cut stones to polished jewels, The World Bank Human Development Unit, South Asia Region, ISBN: 978-955-8908-41-9 (2011)
  6. Strengthening Mathematics Education in Sri Lanka, The World Bank Human Development Unit, South Asia Region, Discussion Series 43 (2011)
  7. Strengthening Science Education in Sri Lanka, The World Bank Human Development Unit, South Asia Region, Discussion Series 45 (2011)

Research Degrees Supervised:

  1. M.Phil. Thesis, Characteristics of Cloud-to-Ground lightning flashes obtained with a wide band magnetic direction finding system, A.B. Weerasekera, Department of Physics, University of Colombo (2001)
  2. Ph.D. Thesis, Measurements and Analysis of Fast Transient EM Fields Generated by Ground and Cloud Flashes with Special Attention to Lightning Direction Finding, I.M.K. Fernando, Department of Physics, University of Colombo (2001)
  3. M.Phil Thesis, Exploring the spatial and temporal variations of rainfall in Sri Lanka, Perera H.K.W.I., Department of Physics, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (2003)
  4. Ph.D. Thesis, Correlation between optical and current signatures of electrical discharges with special attention to remote sensing of lightning flashes, Liyanage J.P., Department of Physics, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (2006)
  5. M.Phil. Thesis, Channel Geometry and Modelling of Electrical Discharges, D.I. Amarasinghe, Department of Physics, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (2007)
  6. M.Phil Thesis, Numerical Computation in Configurable Hardware, W.A.S. Wijesinghe, Department of Physics, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (2007)
  7. M.Phil Thesis: Application of Computer Vision and Fuzzy Logic on Traffic Control, C.T. Wannige, Department of Physics, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (2010)
  8. M.Phil Thesis: Community Perception and Assessment of Transportation Noise, C.M. Kalansuriya, Department of Physics, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (2010)
  9. M.Phil Thesis: Simulation of Tree Growth with Environmental Sensitivity,K.D.S. Jinasena, Department of Physics, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (2014)
  10. Ph.D. Thesis: High Resolution Climate Change Projections for Sri Lanka, A. Thevakaran, Department of Physics, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (2015)