Rev. Fr. Dr. Guy Fontgalland Regendram
MSc(Fordham University, New York), PhD(University of California, Berkeley)
(Former Associate Professor in Zoology, University of Jaffna and Former Vice-Chancellor, Eastern University Sri Lanka)
It is with deep sorrow; the Science Faculty Community records the demise of Rev. Fr. Dr. Guy de Fontgalland Rajendram. Rev. Fr. GF Ragendram had his Secondary Education at St. Michael’s College Batticaloa and received his MSc degree in Biology from Fordham University, New York in 1954 and PhD in Entomology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974 after specialisation in Philosophy. Re. Fr. Dr. Rajendram joined the Department of Zoology of the Jaffna Campus of the then University of Sri Lanka on 7/7/1979 as a Lecturer and was promoted as Associate Professor on 21/01/1989. Being an entomologist, he taught various aspects of entomology in addition to general aspects of Zoology to undergraduate and honours degree students in Zoology. He was a recipient of a number of research grants from the National Science Council of Sri Lanka and the Natural Resources Energy and Science Authority of Sri Lanka. His major research focus was on insect physiology, and biological control of insects and mosquitoes. He supervised a number of MSc and MPhil students. He was awarded a number of scholarships including the IRRI Research Scholarship, and the British Council Sabbatical Award. He had a quasi-link research programme with the University of Wales, Cardiff. He had published a number of research articles in reputed journals and also served as Editor of Vingnanam-Journal of Science published by the Faculty of Science, University of Jaffna. He had been one of the pillars of the faculty of Science to serve the faculty and the student community during the most difficult time in Jaffna from 1990-1995. He was with the Department until October 1995 and then he left the University to take up the Vice-Chancellor position at the Eastern University of Sri Lanka in November 1995.
Whilst the Faculty of Science fondly remembers his services and prays for his eternal rest!
Prof. R. Vigneswaran
BScHons (Mathematics)(Jaffna), PhD (Sussex, UK)
Former Head/Dept. of Mathematics, Dean/Faculty of Science and Vice-Chancellor/University of Jaffna
Professor Ratnam Vigneswaran: A dedicated Academic, Academic Administrator and Trade Unionist
Professor Ratnam Vigneswaran passed away on 17.02.2023 after his untiring services to the Eastern University, Sri Lanka and the University of Jaffna for more than three decades.
Mr. Ratnam Vigneswaran joined as a Temporary Assistant Lecturer in Mathematics in 1984 at the Eastern University, Sri Lanka (EUSL) after successfully completing his Bachelor of Science Honours degree programme in Mathematics with Second Class at the University of Jaffna in 1982. He was then appointed as a permanent Assistant Lecturer in Mathematics in 1987. He proceeded to the University of Sussex, UK, in 1988 to pursue his postgraduate studies leading to a PhD under the British Council Technical Co-operation Training Award due to the link programme between the Eastern University and the University of Sussex. He successfully defended his PhD Thesis titled ‘Iteration schemes for the implementation of implicit Runge-Kutta methods’ in 1991.
Dr. R. Vigneswaran returned to Sri Lanka immediately after completing his PhD degree. He served the Eastern University, Sri Lanka by holding several administrative positions such as Head of the Department of Mathematics for two terms and Head of the Department of Computer Unit for three terms. During his period as Head/Mathematics, he was instrumental in developing the curriculum for the BSc Honours Degree programme in Mathematics and commencing the said degree programme at EUSL. He had also served as the Director/Staff Development Centre for a term and actively involved himself in several Senate sub-committees, selection boards, curriculum evaluation committees, and many other academic development activities. He made a significant contribution to the upliftment of EUSL during difficult periods. He won the Commonwealth Fellowship Award for pursuing research work at the University of Sussex, UK in the years 2000 and 2001. He also won travel grants to present papers at International Conferences in Canada, UK and India.
Dr. R. Vigneswaran actively participated not only in administrative and academic activities in EUSL but also in trade union and welfare activities as President of the Eastern University Teachers’ Association (1999 – 2003), Senior Treasurer of “Students Fund”, EUSL (1996 – 2000), and Hindu Association, EUSL (1996 – 2000). He also played an active role in initiating, planning and constructing the temple inside the University premises for staff and students.
In 2004, Dr. R. Vigneswaran joined the University of Jaffna and took the responsibility to serve as the Head of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics for two terms (2006-2009 & 2013-2016). He served as one of the Joint Coordinators of the World Bank funded ‘’Improving Relevance and Quality of Undergraduate Education (IRQUE)’’ Project awarded to the study programme in Physical Sciences at the University of Jaffna from 2006 to 2010. He also served as the Chairman of the Faculty sub-committee on introducing the BSc Honours in Applied Science Degree Programme (from the academic year 2013/2014) and Chairman of the Commonwealth of Learning Review Improving Model (COLRIM) Self-Review Team, University of Jaffna. Dr. R. Vigneswaran was heavily involved in trade union activities as the President of “Jaffna University Science Teachers’ Association (JUSTA)” (2007-2008), President of ‘’University of Jaffna Teachers’ Association (JUTA)” (2011 – 2012) and Vice-President of the “Federation of Universities Teachers’ Association (FUTA)” (2011-2012).
In 2015, Dr. R. Vigneswaran was promoted on a merit basis as an Associate Professor in Mathematics. Prof. R. Vigneswaran was elected as the Dean of the Faculty of Science in July 2016. Within a year of serving as the Dean of the Faculty of Science, he was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the University on May 01, 2017. During his tenure as the Vice-Chancellor, a contract was signed with the Ministry of Higher Education in the latter part of 2018 for erecting a three-storeyed building and other related structures for the Department of Computer Science in the premises of the Faculty of Science with an estimated cost of LKR 240 million that was funded by the World Bank under the AHEAD Operations, and the building was ceremonially opened in June 2022. Under his leadership, the Faculty of Science conducted a mega-conference in 2019 with the participation of more than four hundred researchers including one hundred and twenty researchers from India and western countries. As the Vice-Chancellor, he helped the faculty to conduct the conference successfully and to establish a Research Laboratory, the Clean Energy Research Laboratory (CERL) at the Department of Physics. In 2019, he was promoted as a Professor in Mathematics. He had been fully concentrating on teaching since May 2019 until the last few hours of his sudden demise on 17.02.2023.
The faculty expresses deep sadness and sorrow on his demise and conveys deep gratitude to the bereaved family. May the departed soul attain eternal rest.
Prof. Ravirajan, Dean/Faculty of Science
University of Jaffna
Prof. (Mrs.) Rajeswary Mageswaran
BScHons (Chemistry)(Ceylon), PhD (Sheffield, UK)
Emeritus Professor and Former Head, Dept. of Chemistry
Former Rector (09.04.2003 – 10.04.2006), Vavuniya Campus, University of Jaffna
Emeritus Professor Ms. Rajeswary Mageswaran: Dedicated Academic of highest calibre
Words may not suffice to express the heartfelt sorrow that we feel for the passing away of our beloved Professor Rajeswary Mageswaran at the age of 77 on 17.04.2022 in Croydon, London.
Professor Rajeswary Mageswaran launched her distinguished career with a BScHons Degree in Chemistry from the then University of Ceylon in 1968 and a PhD in Organometallic Chemistry from the University of Sheffield, UK in 1972 with many postdoctoral experiences.
After serving at the Peradeniya Campus of the then University of Ceylon for eight years, she joined the newly established University of Jaffna as a Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry on 01-04-1976 and subsequently promoted to Senior Lecturer, Professor and Senior Professor of Inorganic Chemistry on 03-03-1980, 17-03-1986 and 01-01-1993, respectively in recognition of her achievements in the academic, administrative and research activities. Professor Rajeswary Mageswaran was a distinguished scientist and teacher, who maintained the highest standards in her teaching, research and administration. She was the corner stone in the development of the Department of Chemistry and the Faculty of Science of the University of Jaffna.
As an able academic administrator, Professor Rajeswary Mageswaran served as the Head of the Department of Chemistry of University of Jaffna for more than a decade during the most challenging period in the Northern Sri Lanka and Rector of the then Vavuniya Campus of the University of Jaffna from 2003 to 2006. Her resourceful contributions to the uplifting of the Department of Chemistry and the then Vavuniya Campus will be remembered forever.
The faculty expresses deep sadness and sorrow on her demise and convey deep gratitude to the bereaved family. May the departed soul attain eternal rest.
Prof. Ravirajan, Dean/Faculty of Science
University of Jaffna
Prof. Karthigesu Chitravadivelu
BSc (London), MSc, PhD (Charles, Czech Republic), Dip-in-Ed. (Sri Lanka)
Retired Associate Professor in Zoology
Former Head, Department of Zoology and Botany
Former Director, Centre for Development of Fisheries
Retired Associate Professor Kathigesu Chitravadivelu: Dedicated Academics
Words may not suffice to express the heartfelt sorrow that we feel for the passing away of our beloved teacher Prof. K. Chitravadivelu, Retired Associate Professor in Zoology and Former Director, Centre for Development of Fisheries, University of Jaffna on 03.09.2021 at his residence. A beautiful soul, full of love and faith, ascended to heaven, away from us, but closer to God.
He joined as a Lecturer in Zoology at Department of Zoology in 1980, served as an Associate Professor in Zoology with effect from 1993, served as Head, Department of Zoology from 1990 to 1991, served as Head, Department of Botany from 1992 to 1995 and extended his services as a Co-ordinator, Centre for Development of Fisheries from 1998 to 2008. Being a person specialized in Fish biology and culture he disseminated incredible wealth of knowledge among the undergraduate and postgraduate students of University of Jaffna, but at the same time, a simple person, humble and truly compassionate for the less fortunate. He helped in various ways, notably serving as the external examiner for several masters and doctoral candidates to improve the research standards with his critical guidance.
He is leaving an enormous legacy to the Fisheries Science education at the University of Jaffna. He was the founder Co-ordinator and then Director of Centre for Development of Fisheries which emerged as a department in year 2009. He contributed significantly for the development of the Department of Fisheries and developed an imaginary belief that it will be elevated as a faculty which was not materialized until his demise ultimately.
During his working period, he contributed towards many research projects in Fisheries and Aquaculture in Jaffna. His research findings are published in many national and international Journals. He provided his services as a consultant to many national and international organizations. He invested his energy and time in capacity building of his students to prepare them for independence in their future. His students are now in high-level positions in governmental agencies, industry and academia in nearly every country.
On behalf of the University of Jaffna, we express our deep sadness and sorrow on his demise and convey our deep gratitude to the bereaved family. May the departed soul attain eternal rest.
Prof. Ravirajan, Dean/Faculty of Science
University of Jaffna