The Annual Research Symposium of B.Sc. (Honours) Degree in Applied Sciences (Uni-In Alliance) was organized by the fourth year undergraduates of the respective degree program. It was initiated in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Pahan Godakumbura, Coordinator of the B.Sc. (Honours) Degree in Applied Sciences.
The first Uni-In Alliance symposium was successfully concluded on 5th January 2015 with 52 undergraduates of the B.Sc. (Honours) Degree program under the theme of “Leading Industry for Innovative Solutions”. At this event oral and poster presentations were presented in the areas of Chemistry & Material Sciences, Industrial Relations & Management, Polymer Sciences, Environment & Waste Management, and Statistics & Information Technology. The financial support for the symposium was provided by UDG/HETC grants.
Continually following the first batch’s lead, the second symposium was held along with 94 students in 2016 under the theme of “Amalgamating Science and Sri Lankan Industries.” The third Uni-In Alliance symposium, held in 2017, with 105 industrial research findings, became the first certified green event at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura due to the symposium’s thoughtful and deliberate planning process, which took steps to reduce environmental impacts and support the vision of sustainability. It was awarded the Platinum Level of Green Event Certificates offered by Yale Sustainability at Yale University in the USA. The symposium was themed “Fostering Industrial Development Through Innovation.” As the Main Supernova Event Sponsor, MAS Holdings provided their supportive hand to successfully conclude this great event. Aside from that, MAS Holdings contributed to the degree program’s professionalization by incorporating a skills program as a component of the degree, which ultimately contributed to the production of high-quality employable graduates with the soft skills required to launch their careers.
In 2018, the symposium was held for the fourth consecutive time under the theme of “Fostering Innovation through Tradition.”. The fifth Uni-In Alliance symposium, held in 2019, was themed “Science, Protect, Ocean, and Life, with the goal of being a voice for underwater lives”. It was organized with the intention of bringing out the research findings of 110 undergraduates. The beach clean-up event carried out at the Jungle Beach Unawatuna in parallel with the symposium added color to the theme. The sixth symposium mainly focused on the fourth industrial revolution and was held under the theme of “Stepping into the Future with Emerging Technologies” in the year 2020. The panel discussion “Industry 4.0 and Sri Lanka”, organized in parallel with the symposium, was an insightful discussion on the massive digitalization process happening all over the world at the moment across a wide variety of sectors. In 2021, despite the challenges due to COVID-19, the annual symposium was held for the seventh consecutive time under the theme of “Imagine, Innovate, Inspire” by holding it virtually, giving meaning to the theme itself by presenting the research findings of 95 undergraduates.
Preserving the culture that was established by earlier batches, the 2022 Uni-In Alliance Symposium is planned to be held for the eighth consecutive year under the theme of “Inspiring Young Researchers for Reviving Sri Lanka’s Economy.” About 109 research findings from approximately 16 subject areas, including Chemistry, Management Science, Polymer Science & Technology, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics, Economics, Forestry & Environmental Science, Botany, Zoology, Biology, Aquatic Resource Management, Electronic & Embedded systems, and Genetics and Molecular Biology will be presented at the symposium.
The great contribution and dedication of the degree program coordinators and the Society of Industrial Scholars have led to the successful continuation of the Uni-In Alliance Symposium for these consecutive years. Also, throughout the journey, many industry leaders held the event’s hand by giving their immense support to conduct the event successfully.
The Uni-In Alliance Symposium provides an enormous platform for undergraduates to publish and share their research findings, novel ideas, and experiences gathered during the six-month implant training in the industry. The merging of students, academia, and industry professionals in one place through the symposium has created a bridge between industry and the university. The symposium provides an opportunity to exhibit the knowledge and professional competence acquired by the students through this degree program to the outside world. The symposium, which was graced by the participation of many industry leaders, has created many job opportunities for the students, identifying their employability and suitability for the industry. The symposium has provided many career opportunities for the students, not only in industry but also in academia, which ultimately leads to the economic growth of the country. Other than the career opportunities, many opportunities were opened up for students for higher studies. The success of the degree program along with the symposium encouraged other universities to also start this type of degree program which embeds internships into their degrees.
Acknowledging the privileges of the symposium and the degree, the number of students for the degree has also increased throughout the years. Uni-In Alliance is the platform for the big thinkers and leaders of tomorrow, equipped with soft skills and academic excellence, who will be tackling the world’s great challenges.
Authors – Aluthge Mayuri Dilka Aluthge, Thanuji darshani
Cover Designer – Deshan Didulanga Rathnayake