School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Staff

Dr Ishara Dharmasena Ph.D. (University of Surrey), B.Sc. (University of Moratuwa)

Photo of Dr Ishara Dharmasena

Doctoral Prize Fellow

Ishara obtained his B.Sc. Engineering degree (First Class) from University of Moratuwa (Sri Lanka), in 2014. Following his B.Sc. degree, Ishara worked as a research scientist at Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC). He completed his Ph.D. studies at the Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey in 2019, studying triboelectric energy harvesting, wearable electronics and self-powered energy systems. He worked as a Research Fellow at University of Surrey from January to October 2019. Ishara joined Loughborough University as a EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellow at Wolfson School since November 2019, investigating triboelectric energy harvesting and wearable electronics research areas.

Key Awards

  • EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship – Loughborough University (2019)
  • ABTA Doctoral Researcher Award (Engineering Category), UK – (2018)
  • University Research Scholarship (URS) – University of Surrey (2015)
  • Overseas Research Studentship (ORS) – University of Surrey (2015)
  • MAS Award for the Best Overall Engineering student – University of Moratuwa (2014)
  • Gold medal for highest grade point average (Textile and Process Engineering) – University of Moratuwa (2014)
  • The Textile Institute Sri Lanka Section Gold Medal – (2014)
  • Pritz Kunz Trophy for the most outstanding student - Ananda College, Sri Lanka (2010)

Ishara’s research interests are focussed on mechanical energy harvesting technologies, wearable electronics, and smart textiles. His current project is related to triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) and their applicability in capturing energy from ambient energy sources, under following specific areas.

  • Distance Dependent Electric Field (DDEF) Model for TENG simulations
  • Theoretical modelling, fabrication and characterisation of TENGs
  • Wearable TENGs
  • TENGs for ambient energy harvesting
  • Direct Current TENG (DC TENG) developments
  • Smart textiles for IoT and medical applications

Grants and contracts:

  • University of Surrey post graduate travel grant

Current teaching responsibilities:

  • Visiting Senior Lecturer – University of Moratuwa (Sri Lanka)
  • Module: Smart Textiles (TT 4480)

Recent publications:

  • R.D.I.G. Dharmasena (2020). Inherent Asymmetry of the Current Output in a Triboelectric Nanogenerator. Nano Energy, 105045.
  • R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, H.M. Cronin, R.A. Dorey, S.R.P. Silva (2020). Direct current contact-mode triboelectric nanogenerators via systematic phase shifting. Nano Energy, 75, 104887.
  • B. Dudem, R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, S.A. Graham, J.W. Leem, H. Patnam, A.R. Mule, S.R.P. Silva, J.S. Yu (2020). Exploring theoretical and experimental optimization towards high-performance triboelectric nanogenerators using microarchitecture silk cocoon films. Nano Energy, 104882. 

Journal Articles:

  • R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, S.R.P. Silva (2019). Towards optimized triboelectric nanogenerators. Nano Energy, 62, 530-549.
  • R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, K.D.G.I. Jayawardena, Z. Saadi, X. Yao, R.M.I. Bandara, Y. Zhao, S.R.P. Silva (2019). Energy Scavenging and Powering E-Skin Functional Devices. Proceedings of the IEEE, 107(10), 2118-2136.
  • R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, J.H.B. Deane, S.R.P. Silva (2018). Nature of Power Generation and Output Optimization of Triboelectric Nanogenerators. Advanced Energy Materials. 8(31), 1802190. (Top Downloaded Paper 2018-2019)
  • R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, K.D.G.I. Jayawardena, C.A. Mills, R.A. Dorey, S.R.P. Silva (2018). A Unified Theoretical Model for Triboelectric nanogenerators. Nano Energy, 48, 391-400.
  • J.H.B. Deane, R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, G. Gentile (2018). Power computation for the triboelectric nanogenerator. Nano Energy, 54, 39-49.
  • R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, K.D.G.I. Jayawardena, C.A. Mills, J.H.B. Deane, J.V. Anguita, R.A. Dorey, S.R.P. Silva (2017). Triboelectric nanogenerators: providing a fundamental framework. Energy & Environmental Science, 10(8), 1801-1811. (2017 Energy & Environmental Science HOT article)

A full list of publications can be obtained through google scholar

Conference Presentations:

  • R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, S.R.P. Silva (2019). Power Generation and Output Optimisation Criteria for High Efficiency Triboelectric Nanogenerators. EMRS Spring Meeting, Nice, France.
  • R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, S.R.P. Silva (2019). Effective use of Structural Design in Engineering the Output Trends of Triboelectric Nanogenerators. International conference on materials for advanced technologies (ICMAT), Singapore.
  • R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, K.D.G.I. Jayawardena, C.A. Mills, R.A. Dorey, S.R.P. Silva (2018). A Universal Theoretical Model for Triboelectric nanogenerators. MRS Spring Meeting and Exhibit, Phoenix, USA.
  • R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, K.D.G.I. Jayawardena, C.A. Mills, R.A. Dorey, S.R.P. Silva (2018). Textile based Triboelectric Nanogenerators. MRS Spring Meeting and Exhibit, Phoenix, USA.
  • R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, K.D.G.I. Jayawardena, C.A. Mills, R.A. Dorey, S.R.P. Silva (2017). Triboelectric nanogenerators – back to fundamentals. International conference on materials for advanced technologies (ICMAT), Singapore.
  • R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, K.D.G.I. Jayawardena, C.A. Mills, R.A. Dorey, S.R.P. Silva (2016). Study of the Working Principle of Contact Mode Triboelectric Generators. International conference on advanced energy materials (AEM), Surrey, UK.

External collaborators

Academic Institutions

  • University of Surrey (UK)
  • University of Moratuwa (Sri Lanka)
  • Exeter University (UK)
  • Ecole des Mines de Saint-Étienne (France)
  • Tsinghua University (China)

Industrial Collaborators

  • MAS Holdings (Sri Lanka)
  • DZP Technologies (UK)

External roles and appointments: 

Reviewer for International Journals:

  • Nano Energy
  • European Physical Journal Plus

Other activities:

  • Organising committee – Advanced Energy Materials (AEM) International Conference, Surrey, United Kingdom (2017-2019)
  • Reviewer – MERCon international conference, Sri Lanka (2019-2020)

Promoter of Science and Technology:
Ishara works as a promotor of science and technology among students and general public in UK and Sri Lanka, and, some of his research activities have been featured in BBC, BBC Radio, Sri Lanka National Television, Yahoo, MSN, Physics World etc.