Short Description about Institute of Astronomy, Sri Lanka (IOAS)

Institute of Astronomy is the first ever astronomical learning institute in Sri Lanka which is organized for local students and adults. From this institute,  we have inaugurated Astronomy school for local students since December 2018 and also astronomy certificate courses. Especially, we designed an open lecture series for students and adults every month and it is also we offer freely. On the other hand, we are developing techniques of research methods and data analysis methods. Due to its quality and highly academic structure, our institute has designated as the main astronomical learning institute in Sri Lanka.

Structure of Academic Staff

Minimum Qualifications Academic Staff

Academic Advisor(s) 

1. A senior lecturer of a reputed university

2. Post graduate degree holder in astronomy or related discipline (or equivalent qualifications)

3. Professional in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Senior Academic Staff

1. Should be a graduate in Astronomy and/or Astrophysics or related disciplines (Physics, Mathematics Engineering, Astrobiology, and Chemistry). Or Post graduate degree holder in related discipline

2. Should be a professional in Astronomy, Astrophysics, Astrochemistry or Astrobiology with accredited paper qualifications.

3. National Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad medal or merit holder.

4. 8-year experience in conducting night camps and lecturing for Astronomical clubs (or similar category) of Sri Lanka.

Junior Academic Staff

1. Should have at least a medal or merit of National Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad competition.

2. Gold Medal winners of National Junior Astronomy Olympiad competition.

3. 5-year experience in conducting night camps and lecturing for Astronomical clubs (or similar category) of Sri Lanka.

All officials are ranked and listed according to the qualification and the experience.

Responsibilities of Academic Staff

Academic Advisor(s)

  1. Advise to the Senior Academic staff during academic activities when required.
  2. Validation of contents, observation reports and marking schemes when required.

Head of the Academic staff

1. Most responsible person for maintaining quality and standard of the course units and observation reports.

2. Final selection of Senior and Junior Academic staff members. 

3. Preparation of Lecture notes, Observation reports.

4. Assign senior academic committee members for the preparation of lecture notes and observation reports.

5. Taking final decision on any matter related to academic activities.

Senior Academic staff

1. Conduct lectures and preparation of lecture notes and observation reports.

2. Taking decisions regarding on any matter related to academic activities.

3. Selection of Junior Academic committee members.

Junior Academic staff

1. Help to the senior academic committee for lecturing and preparing lecture notes and observation reports.

2. Inspecting teams for unauthorized activities at the observational fields and other theoretical rounds.

Current Academic officials

Academic Advisors

Mr. Yasith Ramawickrama

  • Master of Applied Electronics · Master of Applied Electronics · Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • BSc in Physics University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.
  • Assistant Lecturer-/Program Manager- Electronics, Esoft College of Engineering & Technology, Sri Lanka
  • National Point of Contact of Sri Lanka- Space Generation Advisory Council.
  • Online instructor- William Paterson University, New Jersy, USA
  • Teaching Assistant- University of Kelaniya (2015-2017)
  • Student researcher- Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands
  • Scholar- Japan Government Scholarship(JST) for participated in the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) Summer School in Tokyo 2016 organized by the Graduate School of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.
  • Scholar -National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) scholarship for participated in the Optical Design Summer School (ODSS) in Chiang Mai, Thailand 2017 organized by the NARIT & Institute D'Optique Graduate School.
  • Gold Star awarded Cub-Scout and awarded Best Cub-Scout in Mahinda College Academic year 2000                                                    

Head of the Academic Staff

Mr Jude Vijayanga Wijesekara

MSc in Material Physics (reading), University of Peradeniya.

  • BSc in the Physics Open University of Sri Lanka.
  • Selected for NARIT International Astronomical Training Workshop 2019
  • Graduated in NARIT - Institute D’Optique Graduate School “Optical Design Summer School 2018”
  • Successfully participated for NARIT Computational Astrophysics and Cosmology (NARIT COMAC) Workshop 2018, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
  • A member of a Geological Society of America, 2018
  • An online data analyzer of the American Association of Variable Star Observer (AAVSO) 2018
  • A member of a Space Generation Advisory Council and Space Exploration Project Group. At present his contribute for The Poland Mars Analogue Simulation 2017.
  • Certificate of Participation, Astronomical Data Reduction Workshop, Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka 2016.
  • A Trainer for Sri Lanka National Astrophysics Olympiad Team at Institute of Physics Sri Lanka.
  • Online researcher for International Asteroid Searching Campaign organized by International Astronomical Search Collaboration (Texas, USA) in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
  • An active member of S & T group and contribute as a night sky observer.
  • Participated 22nd Asian Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF), Bali, Indonesia 2015 and 2nd Asia Pacific Space Generation Workshop (AP-SGW2), Bali, Indonesia 2015. Team discussion: "Space for all: Utilizing Small Satellite Program for Space Education and Awareness”.
  • Participated Sentinel Asia Tsunami WG Session held in Bali, Indonesia 2015.
  • Participated in the International Olympiad of Astronomy and Astrophysics held in Poland in 2011 and his team achieved 17 places out of 32 countries.
  • The silver medalist of National Astronomy Olympiad competition.
  • Ongoing research An investigation about revisiting lensing systems for the deduction of the Hubble parameter- presently Jude working with Thulsi Wickramasinghe, a professor of theoretical astrophysics at The College of New Jersey, USA, on an investigation about revisiting lensing systems for the deduction of the Hubble parameter. In this investigation, the possible evolution of the dark energy will also be considered.

Senior Academic Staff & Junior Academic staff

Mrs Thathsarani Bulathsinghala

  • M.Sc. Degree in Environmental & Industrial Chemistry, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.
  • Research assistant and Demonstrator for undergraduates, At Department of Chemistry, University of Canterbury, New Zealand (2009-2011)
  • Participated in workshop Physical Containment level 2 training and has been trained for PC 2 lab facility at Department of Chemistry, University of Canterbury- New Zealand
  • BSc. Degree in Biological Sciences (Microbiology), University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.
  • A part-time lecturer on General Astronomy - Astronomy Night Camps and seminars Organized by S&T Group (Since 2002)
  • Chemist/ Quality Assurance Executive Interpharm (Pvt) Limited (Established Pharmaceutical Company in Sri Lanka) July 2004 - October 2005
  • Participated workshop on introduction to animal cell culture, Conducted at Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, organized by the SAAS- Section E2 (2014)
  • Participated workshop “Fundamental and Essentials of Good Documentation Practices in the Pharmaceutical Industry -Training Program Conducted by Mr Michael Anisfeld of Globepharm Consulting, Illinois, Organized by the Pharmaceutical Society of Sri Lanka
  • Participated workshop and has been trained for PCR + FA modules by St John, Christchurch conducted by St John, Christchurch. At the Department of Chemistry, University of Canterbury- New Zealand
  • Competency to run the highly advanced techniques using NMR, HPLC, GC and spectrophotometer and competency to handle and run cell culture experiments and cytotoxic lab.
  • Chief Editor - S&T Group (from 2007)
  • Editor-“Tharulowa” Astronomical Monthly Magazine (2006-2007)
  • Editor- “Orion” Astronomical Monthly Magazine (2000-2001)
  • Free-lance writer- “Vidusara” Science weekly Magazine (1997-1999)
  • Author- Astronomy Books (Pasalen Wishwayata, Lowa Helikala Vidyanyayo, Ape Hiru Paula, Pitasakwala Jeewayak Pawatheeda)
  • Translator- 05 Science fictions into Sinhala (4 Arthur C. Clarke SF novels and 1 Andy Weir SF novel)
  • Secretary of the Astronomical Society of Visakha Vidyalaya and a Member of Astronomy Quiz Team -1996/97
  • Secretary of Inter-school Astronomical Society affiliated to the Sri Lanka Planetarium- 1996/97
  • Secretary of Inter-school Astronomical Society affiliated to the Arthur C. Clark Centre, the Institute for higher technology- 1996/97

Mr Isuru Abeyrathne

  • An Undergraduate student at the Faculty of Science of University of Colombo (B.Sc.).
  • Trainer of National Teams for International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) & International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO).
  • Former Secretary of Nalanda College Astronomical Society (the year 2014).
  • A Bronze Medalist at International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics 2014 held at Suceava, Romania.
  • Honourable Mention awards at IOAA 2013 & IOAA 2015.
  • 4 Times Gold Medalist at National Astronomy Olympiads (Out of 4 times, including 3 first places and a second place)

Mr Ethige Isuru Priyaranga Silva

  • BSc undergraduate in Microbiology (Specials) - the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka (USJP)
  • Research Assistant - South Asian Astrobiology & Paleontology  Research Unit of Eco Astronomy Sri Lanka (EASL) (Since 2018)
  • Finalist -  National Science and Research Project Competition Organized by National Science Foundation (2010)
  • Secretory and the Founder member – Jayawardenapura University Astronomy Club (Since 2017)
  • Writer on Astrobiology -  Tharulowa Astronomy Magazine (Since 2017)
  • A Junior Research Assistant - EASL (2014-2017)
  • A Lecturer on General Astronomy - Astronomy Night Camps Organized by S&T Group (Since 2015)
  • Facilitator - National Science Camp organized by National Science Foundation (NSF) (2013)
  • Participated Residential Workshop on Introduction to Space Science and Eco Astronomy by EASL (2012)
  • A Member of Astronomy Quiz Team - De Mazenod College, Kandana, SL (2010-2012)
  • The president of Young Inventors’ Club - De Mazenod College, Kandana, SL (2010-2011)

Mr B V Ashen Chathuranga

  • An Undergraduate student at the Faculty of Science of Open University of Sri Lanka (B.Sc.).
  • A team member of the National Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad team for the 5th International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad in Poland in 2011 and was the youngest team member in national history.
  • A team member of the National Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad team for the 6th International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad in Brazil in 2012.
  • A team member of the National Astronomy Olympiad team for the 17th International Astronomy Olympiad in South Korea in 2012
  • Awarded by International Astronomy Union for works done by Isipathana college astronomical society in 2009 for the international year of astronomy.
  • Silver medalist at the Sri Lankan astronomy and astrophysics Olympiad competition – 2010 organized by Institute of Physics, Sri Lanka
  • Silver medalist at the Sri Lankan astronomy and astrophysics Olympiad competition – 2011 organized by Institute of Physics, Sri Lanka
  • Member of the Isipathana college astronomy and astrophysics quiz team 2009/14

Mr P L Veelochana Jayamal Sigera

  • An Undergraduate student at the Faculty of Science of University of Ruhuna (B.Sc.).
  • Secretary of De Mazenod College Astronomy and Space Society (2013 & 2014),
  • President of De Mazenod College Astronomy and Space Society (2015)
  • Quiz Team Captain of De Mazenod College Astronomy and Space Society (2013-2015)
  • Gold Medalist -Sri Lankan Junior Astronomy Olympiad 2012  
  • Gold Medalist (Island 2nd) Sri Lankan Astronomy & Astrophysics Olympiad 2015
  • Member of the Sri Lankan Team participated in 10th IOAA ( Bhubaneswar, India)

Mr Banuka Dimuthu

  • BSc (Hons) in Logistics and Transportation, Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College (CINEC), Sri Lanka.
  • Participated to the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad 2012 in Brazil. Representing National Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad team Sri Lanka.
  • Sri Lanka Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad Competition 2011, Gold medal (individual), organized by Institute of Physics, Sri Lanka, University of Colombo.
  • Participated to the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad 2011 in Poland. Representing National Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad team Sri Lanka.
  • Sri Lanka Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad Competition 2010, Silver medal (individual), organized by Institute of Physics, Sri Lanka, University of Colombo.

Visiting Lecturers

Mrs Chathurie Niluka Nupearachchi


  • Mrs Chathurie Nupearachchi is currently doing her PhD research at OUSL in solid state physics while working online as an educational consultant to Headstart (Pvt) Ltd. Previously she has worked as visiting lecturer in Universal College Lanka teaching engineering physics. Prior to that, she has also worked as an executive MBA Lecturer in Metropolitan School of Business and Management in the United Arab Emirates.
  • MPhil. (2013) under Characterization of Composite Electrodes of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Using Impedance Spectroscopic Analysis from The Open University of Sri Lanka.
  • BSc. 1st class in Natural Science (2009) from The Open University of Sri Lanka