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Techno.....Reflections - by Eng.B.R.O.Fernando, Past President IESL and Past Chairman Techno

Speech delivered as the Guest of Honour on   the 28th October 2016 at The IESL Techno Awards Ceremony held at Hotel Galadari.

Eng.B.R.O.Fernando, Past President IESL and Past Chairman Techno

I wish to thank the IESL Techno Chairman and Committee for inviting me as the Guest of Honour for the 2016 Techno Awards Ceremony. Techno 2016 the 31th in the series held in October 2016 was a great success.Techno Exhibitions organised by the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka have always been very popular over the years and is today looked forward to by the business establishments and by the Sri Lankan community from all walks of life.The Techno Exhibition was first held in 1985 and its venue was the BMICH till 2002, when it was shifted to the newly built Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre. The first inaugural exhibition was organised by the Electrical Engineering Sectional Committee on a proposal put forward by its Chairman Eng. Joe. Varnakulasinghe. The secretary was Eng. Ranjit Gunawardane. This exhibition was organised with the sponsorship of the Lanka Electricity Company (Pvt) Ltd.and the first exhibition was named Electro Techno Exhibition and was attended by a large section of the public. Later it was named IESL TECHNO Exhibition and I was Chairman Techno for the exhibitions held from 1999 to 2001 which were the 14th to 16th series of the Exhibition. With pardonable pride I was able to raise the standard and popularity of the Exhibition with the efficient organising committees some of whom are present here today. I could see Eng.B.D Ratnapala and Eng Kosala Abeysiriwardane’ who were then members of the organizing committee and later served as Chairman Techno in this august assembly today. We were able to introduce new ideas and proposals and with the valuable sponsorship we received it was a very illuminating task.


During successive years, Techno Exhibitions gained its popularity as the launch platform for the exhibitors to introduce their products and services.This provided the industry players, an excellent opportunity to keep abreast of the current trends, as changes occurred in the engineering industry and new technologies surfaced. Apart from the industrialists, stalls were available to the engineering faculties of the Universities which were the centres of professional excellence. Their exhibits included engineering education,research, and industrial collaboration and consultancy services. These were the avenues for the budding engineers to get more information of IESL which also conducted the Junior Inventor of the Year contests annually and reserved a separate area within the exhibition arena, to enable the first five winners to exhibit their innovations and inventions.The winners were also informed that they will be granted scholarships if they chose engineering as a carrier at the universities The participants at these contests were school children over the age of 14 years from all parts of Sri Lanka. This created an innovative spirit among the youngsters.Innovation for the 21st century meant taking risks, designing completely new original ideas or causing new brains.


One of the important aspects of Techno exhibitions since the year 2000, was to help school children and others who may be interested in the engineering profession, to inculcate in them an interest in the engineering profession. Invitations were sent to schools to enable school children to visit the exhibition on a day allocated to them.Stalls run by the different engineering sectional committees of IESL were included. These were,Electrical & Electronics,Civil, Mechanical, Agricultural& Plantations, Communication& Information Technology and Chemical, wherein exhibits and models including working models depicting engineering applications were displayed. This definitely cultivated an interest among youngsters who wished to pursue engineering as a carrier. An IESL carrier guidance desk was provided for school leavers, technicians and graduates to obtain details on how to become a Professional Chartered Engineer. During the past few years a Building Clinic was organised by the civil engineering sectional committee to help the general public to obtain advice on building plans when they had problems in building their homes.


The culmination of the Techno Exhibition is the Techno Awards Ceremony at a hotel where awards are made to the stalls displaying the best Display, Local Product, Demonstration,Engineering Services, the best local product and the best imported product.


The Vision and Mission Statements of Techno focus on the importance and credibility given to Technology.Technology is defined as the scientific Study of practical and industrial arts. Technology has taken vast strides during the 21st century in witnessing the advances made in the fields of Information and Communication Technology and Nano Technology, which have revolutionised engineering to an extent that the present generation is fortunate to see the experience the advancements made in the Twenty First Century.


At this moment, I will be failing in my duty if I did not mention about Eng. Jayavilal Meegoda, the current Techno Chairman and President IESL When I took over as President IESL in 2001, there was an unfilled vacancy in the Council. Having witnessed the hard working and self and project oriented talents and skills of Eng. Jayavilal Meegoda when he served as a member of the Organising Committee of Techno I co-opted him to the Council. I did not leave him at that but appointed him as the Chairman Junior Inventor of the Year competitions, which position he has held till recently .for nearly 15 years. He brought in a new life to the JIY competitions by propagating the entry of applications from school children which was earlier limited to Western Division to the entire country. This reaped immense benefits as children from outstation schools and rural schools won prizes. Not limiting at that, he was able to enroll the prize winners to international competition annually. JIY winners who obtained top places in the Sri Lanka Science and Engineering Fair (SLSEF) have participated in the Intel ISEF in USA during the past few years , and some of the children won valuable prizes.It has been reported that more than 1750 students participated from seventy countries this year and two of our JIY winners won a number of prizes.


IESL the Premier Engineering Institution of Sri Lanka was honoured by the Minister of Science and Technology a few years ago by renaming the Techno Exhibition as The NATIONAL ENGINEERING&TECHNOLOGY EXHIBITION. I wish to make a request to Eng Jayavilal Meegoda who wears two hats as President IESL and as the incumbent President of The Federation of Engineering Institutions of South and Central Asia (FEISCA) of introducing a new concept for Techno by providing IESL Techno Corridors or Techno Parks for the benefit of IESL students and any other interested individuals by allocating to them temporary cubicles or rooms with the necessary facilities so that the students could spend their leisure hours profitably in innovation and entrepreneurship. We could commence such a programme with the help of our Provincial Chapters in a small way. I am certain the Government will provide the necessary assistance in allocating land to IESL for this purpose. I give this challenge and opportunity to our erstwhile IESL President who I am certain willwith his international connections be able to ensure that IESL will be held high in its esteem by the Sri Lankan community to its pristine glory in the years to come.


Thank you

Techno Sri Lanka Awards Ceremony 2016 Photos >>>
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