IESL Annual Session today | Daily News

IESL Annual Session today

The much awaited 114th Annual Session of The Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka (IESL)will be held from 8.30 a.m. onwards today at the Main Hall of Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH). The much looked forward to event of the engineering fraternity scheduled to be held in Last October was forced to be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governing body of IESL is the Council, elected by the general membership annually and led by the President. The apex professional body for the engineering profession in Sri Lanka, will also make way for present President for the session 2020/2021, Eng. K P I U Dharmapala and President-Elect Eng. Arjuna Manamperi to take over the reins of the body.

Widely known as IESL, is the successor to the Engineering Association of Ceylon formed in 1906 and in 1956, the Association was reconstituted to become ‘The Institute of Engineers, Ceylon’ and from then on only engineers opted to be its members.

The Institution obtained the membership of the Commonwealth Engineering Conference in 1958 and in 1968 it was admitted to be a member of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations. It was in the same year that the Institution was incorporated by an Act of Parliament. In 1996, the name of the Institution was changed as The Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka by an amendment to Act 17 of 1968.

The activities of IESL has become broader and diversified with time, and at present it has a significant number (IESL Member Directory) of engineering professionals of all branches of engineering serving in all parts of Sri Lanka and abroad.

One of the key functions of IESL is to ensure the quality standards of engineering professionals practicing in Sri Lanka, by conducting Professional Review of suitably qualified members for the status of ‘Chartered Engineer’ and ‘International Professional Engineer’.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic the IESL was very active and agile and carried on their duties expected from them to the nation. During the Pandemic and extended lockdown period the IESL members came forward to assist in the repair of the Air conditioning system of the IDH hospital taking huge health risks as well.

Extending their honorary services outside Colombo they provided their services to help in repairing much needed ventilators in several hospitals in Puttalam and North Western Province hospitals which in turn helped to save many lives for which the people are still grateful to the engineering fraternity. In a bid to provide a safer environment for health workers who were nursing the COVID-19 patients IESL members of IESL together with undergraduates of engineering faculty of University of Peradeniya, designed and presented a robot to take medicines to the patients.

Taking another step further they also engineered Personnel Protective equipment (PPE) to safeguard the health and others which also came in to high praise from the public. The IESL skills and opinion were also sought for burning national issues such as the East Container Terminal episode when their members went up to the extent to meet President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and other senior members of the Parliament to express their views and make their recommendations. After discussions with the SLPA Engineers’ Association in this regard the government subsequently reversed its decision and implemented what IESL has suggested.

Lack of a proper National Transportation Policy is one of the major issues in the Sri Lankan transport sector. The IESL Council has taken an initiative to gather the experts and stakeholders in the transportation sector to draft a National Transportation Policy through the IESL policy forum. Similarly several other public and private entities like Urban Development Authority, (on high rise buildings) Environmental Authority, Colombo Port City, too sought their opinion on several issues for which suggestions and solutions were provided.

With the UDA intending to revise the Planning and Building Regulations, IESL Council immediately formed an expert committee of engineers from the related sectors to study the proposed draft regulations to propose improvements to its content.

The final report with the suggestions of IESL will be forwarded to UDA soon. While helping to keep the health aspect in good shape the IESL also continued with their other services and a huge shift towards digital was witnessed.

“We did not want to keep our students and also member’s idling and we provided our services on line and kept the momentum going,” said President, Eng. K. P. I. U. Dharmapala. Adapting to the ‘New Normal’, IESL has set an example by successfully completing their examinations (IESL General Qualifying Examination and IESL Part I/II/III examinations) starting from January 19, 2021 following safety measures opted by the government. One of the key functions of IESL is to ensure the quality standards of engineering professionals practicing in Sri Lanka, by conducting Professional Review of suitably qualified members for the status of ‘Chartered Engineer’ and ‘International Professional Engineer’.

“Through the IESL Policy Forum, IESL Council has taken initiative to develop a national engineering education policy. Since the inputs of both academia and the industry professionals are valuable, the initial discussions with engineering-related industry professionals were held and discussions with academia and other relevant stakeholders to be held with time.

The IESL conducted long and short term Continuing Professional Development programs, seminars, learned lectures and orations and also recognizes organizations that provide training for the charter candidates after a rigorous evaluation process. “Most of them were conducted on Zoom.” Several amendments to the SLIA Act are proposed by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects recently.

On the invitation of the Ministry of Rural Housing and Construction, IESL has given its inputs, both in writing and verbal form, on the proposed amendments to the SLIA Act with the prime objective of safeguarding the integrity of the engineering profession and the national interest. Moving the quarterly Provincial Chapter Liaison Committee to a local chapter and giving prominence to regional and national engineering matters. This historic move took place in Kurunegala under the initiatives taken by the Wayamba Chapter in March 2021.

Overseas chapters participated via zoom and the President, President Elect and many Council members participated in person and via zoom. The energy level and enthusiasm for the new initiative to more prominence to local PCs was well received.

This is one of the many steps taken by the council to strengthen and engage PC and DC in the development of the country and being engineering know how to the society at large Engineering Council, Sri Lanka recently completed preparing the Draft of the ‘Roles, Responsibilities and Competencies of Engineering Practitioners’ as per subsection39 (2)(e) for each category that falls under ECSL. IESL submitted their comments on the draft document and the contribution of IESL representatives in this endeavor was highly appreciated. IESL has sole authority in the country to confer Chartered Engineer status following stringent professional reviews.

As member of the International Engineering Alliance (IEA), the global body governing educational accords and competence agreements, IESL accredits, on the latter’s behalf, engineering degree programs for the Washington Accord (WA) and registers International Professional Engineers for the International Professional Engineers Agreement (IPEA), giving international recognition. IESL is also a provisional signatory to the Sydney Accord of the IEA which will pave the way for accrediting engineering technology degree programs in the future. The governing body of IESL is the Council, elected by the general membership annually and led by the President.

The headquarters of the IESL is located in Colombo 07, Western Province, where the secretariat is established to serve the membership, and there are Provincial Centres established in all other Provinces of the country. IESL carries out business through the Sectional Committees, Standing Committees, Forums, Boards and Adhoc Committees, supported by the secretariat. Provincial Chapters have been set up in the provinces for the benefit of members residing outstations.

IESL network of chapters are: Local Chapters 1 Vadakkin Chapter-Northern Province 1. Vauniya District Centre 2. Kilinochchhi District Centre 3. Mulathiu District Centre 2 Rajarata Chapter - North Central Province 3. Wayamba Chapter - North Western Province 1. Puttalam district centre 4. Eastern Chapter -Eastern Province 1. Batticalo District center 2. Ampara District center 3. Trincomalie District center 5. Kandurata Chapter - Central Province, 1. Kegalla District center 6. Uva Chapter - Uva Province 7. Sabaragamuwa Chapter - Sabaragamuwa Province 8. Ruhuna Chapter- Southern Province.

Foreign Chapters 1 Western Australia Chapter 2 New South wales Chapter 3 Queensland Chapter 4 New Zealand Chapter 5. Qatar Chapter.