> A closer look
I have always been passionate about contributing to education from a young age. I believe tertiary education is the key to developing new knowledge and technology for the future community in any country.
In 2016, as a fresh graduate, I chose the research pathway and collaborated on a project on “Impact of Sustainable Features on the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) of Green Buildings.” This research promotes Sustainability thinking among industry practitioners, encourages them to select green buildings over conventional ones, and refurbish the existing buildings with sustainable features. Additionally, I was involved in four research grants worth up to LKR 1.5 Million and held responsibilities for preparing research proposals, conducting research projects, writing research papers, and submitting for possible publications. I also won an International Travel Grant worth LKR 200K from the National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka, to participate at the 32nd Annual ARCOM (Association of Researchers in Construction Management) Conference and General Meeting in Manchester, UK, in September 2016 and to present the LCC implications of sustainable features in office buildings.
I enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy program at the School of Built Environment, Massey University, in 2019, where I am challenged and pursued further development in my skills, knowledge, and experience. With Massey, I started my current research project on “Impact of Occupant Behaviours on Energy Consumption of Office Buildings.” Knowledge of multi-domain comfort stimuli and the influence of environmental, contextual, and social-psychology factors on occupant energy behaviours are essential to consider alongside the advanced building design and technology to achieve energy reduction goals. The study enables how occupants feel the indoor environment, how their personal and social-psychological perspectives influence their behaviours, and how building managers prioritise the occupants’ comfort and behaviours, thereby influencing building managers to embrace occupants to the companies’ energy culture. The building managers may change the energy-consuming behaviour of occupants through channelling knowledge and awareness, energy feedback, and more responsibility for their impact on energy,
My research is published in high-impact journals: Energy and Buildings (Q1, 7.201), Sustainable Development, Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Built Environment Project and Asset Management, and Facilities. During my PhD I also won several awards: Best Confirmation Presentation (2020), PhD culture award (2022), Best Sustainability-themed Paper Award (AECOM Sponsored Award, NZBERS 2022), and School of Built Environment Research Innovation Award (2022) for my impact on Sustainability related research producing high-quality research publications.
Coming from a Facilities Management (FM) background, Sustainability is always at the forefront of FM’s curriculum. I have contributed to teaching, assessing, and evaluating students in this field. Also, I have engaged in content development in Facilities Management courses since 2017, which embedded Sustainability concepts: energy management, sustainable building materials, waste management, ISO energy and environmental management systems, and climate change for the construction industry.
In 2021, I also had the opportunity to work as a research assistant for a research project titled “The relationship between building design and performance: A New Zeland office user satisfaction model,” funded by Facilities Management Association New Zealand (FMANZ) Research and Innovation Grant, and we presented the project outputs including the occupants’ perspectives on establishing mandatory sustainable practices in the office environment for industry partners at the FM Summit 2021.
From 2020-2021, I volunteered as the Vice President (Administration) of the CIB (International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction) student chapter at Massey University. In this role, I participated in monthly CIB committee meetings, prepared meeting agendas and minutes, organised research seminars, and was involved in funded research projects. While on duty, I was able to contribute to two research projects/awards:
- The CIB Sebestyén Future Leaders Award 2022 – Lessons learned from the impact of Covid-19 – A case study of skill shortage in the construction workforce
- CIB Student Chapter Funding 2021 – A collaborative study across the student chapters on Higher Degree by Research (HDR) training in Built Environment (RMIT University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Massey University, Tsinghua University, University of Hong Kong, Western Sydney University)
My objective is to pursue in-depth and rigorous research about the pressing challenges of built environment Sustainability and the processes of environmental, economic, and social development in built environments to excel in the field of sustainable development for the excellence of sustainable education and community engagement. Therefore, I aspire to keep a modest mindset, learn continuously, and work hard to reach reflective milestones by engaging in research, teaching, and community engagement activities.