Dr. Anura Rathnayake, Founder and CEO of Advanced E-Textiles Pvt Ltd, Nottingham, UK. Dr. Ratnayake was born in the remote border village of Nikawewa, Welioya in the Vavuniya District, at the time the country was faced with a challenge of battling terrorism in the country. He grew up accustomed to the sound of mortars being fired in the vicinity of his neighborhood. During times when most of the world was asleep, Anura’s family along with their neighbors frequently spent their nights huddled under a bush in the jungle, in fear of dodging a bullet, they held on to their dear lives. With all turmoil and hardship, he forged ahead with his college studies and qualified to enter the Engineering Faculty of the University of Moratuwa. He was the first person to achieve such a seemingly unthinkable feat in his village.
On receiving his Bachelor’s degree in 2002, his ambition to become the best in his chosen field, he went on to obtain a Master’s degree at the University Of Bolton in 2007. He then went on to obtain his Postgraduate degree in relation to new researches as well as his Doctorate on new dimensions of electronic and smart textiles, from the Nottingham Trent University in England.
With all his innovative ideas and hard work, Dr. Rathnayake was able to win third place at the ‘Global Change Award’ which or organized annually by the H & M Foundation. He won this award for his revolutionary innovation ‘Content Thread’, which facilitates sorting and recycling of clothes using a digital thread.
He has many publications and has attended many conferences on electronic textiles. He is also a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and The Textile Institute (TI)
In addition to all of the above, from the time he was an engineering student he helped students from his village realize their goals in education by conducting seminars. He had a determination to broaden the horizons of education and support his sisters and brothers from his village. He expanded his services and while in the UK, he granted scholarships to children who were selected to Universities from his village. He is resolute to give back to the society by helping young students from less affluent families, to help them achieve their targets in life.
His astonishing story of becoming an outstanding scholar and scientist is an inspiration to all of us.