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Prof. Nimal Rajapakse

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Officers of the University | SLIIT

Career Summary

Dr. Nimal Rajapakse is currently the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology and a Professor of Civil Engineering. He has been a Professor in the School of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University, Canada since 2009. He was a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba (UM) and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Dr. Rajapakse has extensive experience in academic administration having served in administrative roles in four research universities in Canada.

He served as Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at UM from November 1997 to June 2000. He was the Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UBC from 2000 to 2007. He was appointed in 2007 as Director of the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems at UBC until 2012. Dr. Rajapakse was recruited to Simon Fraser Univeristy, Canada in July 2009 as Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences. He served in that role until 2015. He thereafter served as Vice-President (Research and International) of Carleton University until November 2016.


  • D.Eng. (Applied Mechanics) - Asian Institute of Technology, 1983
  • M.Eng. (Structures & Mechanics) - Asian Institute of Technology, 1981
  • B.Sc. Hons. (Civil Engineering - University of Sri Lanka (Katubedda), 1977


  • Special Visiting Professor Award, Science Without Borders Program, CAPES Brazil, 2014-2018
  • Fellow, Engineering Institute of Canada, 2009
  • Meritorious Achievement Award, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, 2005
  • Fellow, Canadian Academy of Engineering, 2002
  • Horst Leipholz Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Engineering Mechanics Research, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, 2000
  • Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, Humboldt Foundation of Germany, 1992-1993
  • Rh Award for Outstanding Contributions to Scholarship and Research in Applied Sciences, Rh Institute and University of Manitoba, 1991
  • Visiting Fellowship, Japan Society for Promotion of Science, 1990
  • King's Scholarship, Thai Government, 1981-1983
  • Open Scholarship, Asian Institute of Technology, 1979-1981

Research Interests and Memberships

Research Interests

  • Mechanics of nanomaterials and nanostructures
  • Geomechanics and elastic wave propagation
  • Smart materials and structures 


  • Vice-President and Member, International Association for Applied Mechanics
  • Member, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists
  • Member, American Academy of Mechanics
  • Member, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering

Ongoing Research

  • Molecular simulation of hydrogen diffusion in zirconium in the presence of oxygen
  • Atomic-scale finite element methods for nanomaterials and nanostrucutures
  • Topological design of 2D materials via molecular simulation and machine learning
  • Molecular simulation of piezoelectricity of 2D materials

My Publications

Journal Publications

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