You mentioned that many did not attempt to copy your course works. True. I sat next to you in Final Part One lectures. When I could not catch up some difficult points in some lectures, I peeped into you notes with no success. I saw how your mind deeply got involved in lectures not distracted by the people around you. I am not sure whether you were there in the boring metallurgy lectures of Dr Kothari, frequently disturbed by fun loving batch mates, and following them would have been a tough job even for a person like you.
He did procure a brand new Japanese Car (Toyota was it?), which I think he cared for, more than anything else. I have seen him go down during the lunch break to the car park, to look at his car lovingly, and to check whether it was in good condition.
On the academic side, all of us understood power systems in a better way than most of the other subjects, mainly because of Dr. Lucas's efforts in explaining the ideas, and concepts behind the theories.
To this day, I recollect with interest the calculations we did related to pumped storage power systems, and sags on high tension power lines. We also spent some interesting times with him in the high voltage lab, sometimes having a little fun with the Van de Graaff generator, much to his concern.
Since leaving Katubedda Campus, I have kept in touch with Dr. Lucas closely. We have had long and interesting conversations about elephants of Sri Lanka , which I am quite passionate about. During my time at Arpico factory he wanted some custom designed stools, not only for sitting, but for standing on, which I obliged!
He was also instrumental in getting me involved with the mentoring programme that the Department of Electrical Engineering started for their senior students. Using his persuasive skills he cajoled me into serving on the then IEE (UK) local committee for 2 years, when he was an office bearer.
I met him about a month ago at the supermarket, and was amazed that except for a few streaks of grey hair, the man looks, talks, and behaves just as I remembered him three decades ago - a fitting compliment to a committed teacher, and above all, a thoroughly decent being.
Though we live in different countries we still think about those happy days at the campus. I couldn't stop laughing reading your auto-biography and it reflects your character which we know of very well. You were a role model to us at the uni and an excellent teacher and for that I am eternally grateful to you. We are where we are now because of the lecturers like you but unfortunately we didn't have many. I still refers to your HV notes and Sarath's machine notes whenever I want to brush my theory. We don't find such excellent notes in new text books.
Thank you Sir for all you did for us. As I am writing this I am getting a little tear to my eyes. God bless you.
Dr Lucas was a poor man, when I first met him as one of his students. He owned a brand new blue Toyota Corolla and used to give us rides. Dr. Sriyananda was another who offered rides to students in his sports two seater. Today's generation wouldn't know that owning a car in the early seventies was an achievement. One had to go for a PhD, save over a period three to four years and then get a permit to import a car. It was a prized possession. They were the days even to carry a bag of rice one needed a permit, and yet Dr Lucas ran a free transport service!
"Why do you say you are poor, you know you are not?" queried one of the participants, who also happened to be one of my buddies at Katubedde campus (It was University of Sri Lanka, Katubedde campus, then) and knew me and my background well, during a training session that I was conducting. I smiled mischievously, and said, "I am poor of greed and I am poor of jealousy." When I was asked for my random thoughts that's what flashed across my mind. He was a simple man free of greed, pride, envy, hatred, hypocrisy, and the adjectives could go on. Dr. Lucas was simple and yet sophisticated in his profession. True to what Leonardo da Vinci said, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
Dr. Lucas smiled, so did Dr. Sriyananda. Perhaps it was contagious. They shared a room. Everyone knows academics and medical doctors do not smile. He was young then. With time when he became a fully fledged academic he would become morose, I used to think. Professor Lucas smiles too. Age has not changed him. His friendliness and camaraderie were his trade mark. Once over a disagreement I remarked "loose Lucas". The first word was soft. "What?" he queried, perhaps he had heard it. "Choose Lucas for success" was my reply. On hind sight, how true I was. Anyone who followed his steps would succeed.
I was an instructor and awaiting our results which were about to be released. He loves to amuse with teasing remarks. "Are you missing your class?" he queried, with a twinkle. "Yes, I am" I answered. I had done my calculations and I knew I was missing my second upper by a whisker. It was confirmed by the inkling glint in his eyes and I was happy. He did not know he had played an important role in it. He is punctual. He is methodical and he is habitual. I had studied him and more thoroughly his past papers. I predicted the sections he wouldn't test that year. I selected exactly six sections and even prepared model questions. It was a risk but I had faith in statistics and I was very good at it. His habits prevailed and I got almost 100 for High Voltage Engineering, though I knew very little of it. No wonder CEB has so many HV failures!
I am proud to have had teachers of high caliber. Dr. Lucas taught us simplicity, Dr. Sriyananda humbleness and Professor Sam Karunaratne perfection. The power system class on how to hold a tumbler so that you wouldn't throw it with the water or drop it absent mindedly is etched in my memory. They were gifts. They made us drink deep. "A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring", was their message.
A times I am saddened. Hundreds of their students have passed through me. Some blemish their tutors by their dishonesty, greed and worst of all, hypocrisy. He would treat the hypocrite and the best in the same way, with a smile and equally. That is his strength and his weakness.
Three decades ago my superior, Mr. T. Sivathasan, called on his teacher and mentor Professor R. H. Paul, who had retired many years back and almost forgotten by majority of his students. He told me that the professor was very emotional and had told him, "Siva you are one of the few students who still address me, Sir." That's how I have been addressing Professor Lucas since I knew him (and all my teachers) though we would have been of same age had I been born five years earlier!
To you, Sir, your greatness comes from simplicity. "Nothing is more simple than greatness;" said, Ralph Waldo Emerson, "indeed, to be simple is to be great." Teachers of your caliber are rare and to you and your students I dedicate Alexander Pope's poem:
"A little learning is a dang'rous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fir'd at first sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts,
While from the bounded level of our mind
Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;
But more advanc'd, behold with strange surprise
New distant scenes of endless science rise!
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' eternal snows appear already past,
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last;
But, those attain'd, we tremble to survey
The growing labours of the lengthen'd way,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!"
Two centuries have gone since Alexander Pope and he is immortal. Sir, your influence and fragrant memories will last many generations permeated by your students and theirs.
F. K. Mohideen, Additional General ManagerDistribution Region 3, CEB, [UoM EE Graduate 1977]
From: "Eng B Sarath Samarasiri"
Date: Mon, September 29, 2014 1:19 pm
Recollection of an admirable academic Professor
Engineer Professor Rohan Lucas has retired after 44 years of active service to the University of Moratuwa (UOM). He continues to serve the mother land.
In the year 1973 that I entered the Faculty of Engineering of the then Katubedda campus (present UOM), hardly any Professors was there for us to learn from. It was the time, the then Dr. Lucas has returned from UK after completing his Ph.D. and began his long academic journey at the Dept. of Electrical Engineering.
Today at UOM our children who enter the Faculty has the privilege of learning from a variety of academics both junior, middle level and senior. Further they learn from and interact with a variety of Professors: Associate to Senior to Endowed. Our Faculty now has a relatively high density of Professors and their strengths and involvements are varied: academic, research, consulting, administration etc.
Professor Lucas is unique in this regard to my recollection. He was, and still is, a strong academic Professor who was/is admired by all students at the Faculty. This was evident to me when we at the Engineering Design Centre (EDC) introduced the subject "Engineering Design" for all engineering undergraduates at the Faculty of Engineering in the year 2000 under the semester system. It was a challenging and a learning experience for everyone involved. Many departments of the Faculty coordinated with the then newly established EDC. I can still remember the active academic contributions Professor Lucas made as the Dept. Coordinator.
Many of the students who enter the Faculty get to know mostly Prof. Lucas at UOM even before they enter UOM. Professor Lucas is a popular figure to them. This I got to know from my own children. This was not happening during our times as there were no Professors!!
Finally let me end with a lighter note:
"Academics never retire, they lose their faculties" ---- Internet
"Professor Lucas has retired, but has not lost the faculty"
Thank You Professor Lucas for your great academic contributions to UOM and the mother land.
Eng. B.Sarath Samarasiri, Director - EDC, UoM [UoM EnTc Graduate 1977],
From: "Prof Ranjit Perera "
Date: Fri, April 26, 2013 11:35 am
"JR from Ward Place", that is how Prof. JR Lucas introduced himself in the ice breaker speech in the Toastmasters Club session referring to his childhood at his home in Ward place, Colombo 07 next to the residence of His Excellency the President J R Jayawardene.
It was 1975, when I first came to know Dr. Lucas as our Lecturer in Theory of Electricity. I was a second year student. He was immediately after his PhD and confidently delivered a well organized lecture series associated with a comprehensive set of tutorials. He had even then grasped a basic principle in teaching and evaluation which is that a brilliant student should be able to score 100% in an examination. Thus two of my batch mates scored 100% in the Theory of Electricity paper. It would have been possible to do that even in High Voltage Engineering, another subject he taught us. However, nowadays under the GPA system nobody would strive to score 100% as 85% is equally good.
One day I was doing a laboratory experiment in the Electronics lab when Dr. Lucas rushed in and was in search of Dr. Sivaprakashpille. He asked a question in English from me to find out whether Dr. Sivaprakashpille has been there. Though I knew enough words in English and understood all relevant theories in English grammar I was weak in formulating even a simple sentence in English in a short and sweet manner. I managed to give a reply which passed the right information to Dr. Lucas, but the formulation must have been so terrible that he paused for a moment and responded "Ah, Dr. Sivaprakashpille did not come this way". I immediately got the message that is how I should have told it. That is the teacher in J R Lucas.
After my PhD I returned to the Department and worked as a Senior Lecturer. He was initially Associate Professor and later Full Professor. We worked together in a number of projects. One long-lasting lesson I learned from him is the importance in paying attention to the details. He would immediately pick the smallest mistake in a document. An error in upper/lower case writing is equally serious for him as a grave error in an equation.
Then he became the Head of the Department. I have never seen a person who applies lesser authority on his/her subordinates than Prof. Lucas. He had his own ways to get the work done without giving commands. I think we were all lucky to learn from him how to be "down to earth".
Then the Headship was transferred from Prof. Lucas to me. Once, Prof. Lucas hurriedly came for a meeting chaired by me and said that he had to leave another meeting halfway through to attend this meeting. Realizing that the other meeting would have been much more important for him, I asked him "Why didn't you tell us, we could have excused you or even rescheduled our meeting". He gave the surprising answer " When my Head calls me for a meeting I have to come". Obviously, nobody expected that much of loyalty from a Senior Professor but that displayed discipline and the commitment in JR Lucas.
Now both of us are Senior Professors in the Department and he is my highly respected colleague. I enjoy talking to him not just because of his occasional and appropriate humor but also because of the way he analyzes things. Things that are obvious to me are not so obvious to him. He puts the light from a completely different angle and let the listener discovers something that was not previously known. He never agrees for the sake of agreement. That is the Senior Professor in JR Lucas.
Prof H Y R Perera , Senior Professor in Electrical Engineering, former Director Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, [UoM EE Graduate 1978]
From: "Shavi Fernando "
Date: Sun, May 5, 2013 11:02 am
Prof. Rohan Lucas: Some Random Thoughts of Shavi/ndra/nath Fernando
You may wonder why I write my name the way it appears an explanation on that later, if time and length permit.
When I got Prof. Lucas's request to write something I was not in the country and waited till I got back to write to him :..." I wanted a bit of free time to read it so here I am at 11.17 pm according to my computer clock on 19th April almost two weeks plus after you wrote to me; I read it all. Now I am itching to write something but bit too tired and sleepy. I promise I would do it ... I wonder if you would rather regret for inviting me but I am sure you would not mind my boldness!!!
Yours sincerely (from the bottom of my heart)
Sir the number of parenthesis match! something I learnt from you!!! SO I leave it you to decipher why I changed parenthesis to oblique on His advice...
The bespectacled (thick horn rimmed glasses) shabbily (sorry) placed on the long and big nose not necessarily evenly on both sides, short sleeved shirt to cover the longish torso, not so matching trouser, huge shoes always black and laced! That's how I remember. My first impression of a young boyish looking tall bright (thus we were told) wearing a broad smile showing all his teeth and gums!! of Dr. Lucas, as I always used to call Him.
I will be sketchy and random and will not have any order just the way Prof. Lucas wanted me to write "Some Random Thoughts!!!"
I don't need to write about his friendship etc etc and many virtues as I know most others would write and if I too write it would be yet another boring piece. Let me now recall few of the many interesting incidents and personal traits of Him.
Myself and Dilakshan were out of the ordinary we at times did not ride with the tide and perhaps questioned the common view. Hey Pesto! we found Him to be of the same kind. So we stuck together spending many hours arguing disagreeing, agreeing to disagree on many issues on campus life, discipline, ragging, studies, facilities, laboratories, you name it the subjects were never ending. He loved to argue. We used to go to his room and very often he was so enthusiastic to carry on the discussion, He would forget where we are and would not even invite to His room but on the corridor, leaning on to the slender iron railing topped with rusting wood. After few hours at most he would get us a cup of plain tea and perhaps invite us to His room. I soon realized why He discouraged us to come to His room. Oh! it was a mess books strewn all over the table, not an inch to spare both horizontally and vertically, chairs not dusted for ages, well who can dust them when you have so many books and documents!!! So his extended room space was the corridor. Later he very considerately got a cement bench built. It stands even today I believe. I have a strong feeling it was His choice just next to the room he occupied with Prof. Sriyananda.
He had a room inside the High Voltage laboratory earlier. I thought his impulsive character had something to do with high voltage shocks he would have seen in His laboratory daily...
He always brought with Him a big box of Chalk having all conceivable colours and would use them sparingly and when the chalk became too small to hold, held them by the tip of His fingers and nails... such was His care for earth's resources which taught me something, I often get angry to see our younger generation showing such callousness these days. He would use all these colours to identify different phases, elements, blocks etc. He used to first draw two lines one horizontal, below which he never wrote anything worth, and the other vertically, divided the black board into two as he used to write on one side and allow us to copy while he went on to use the other side to carry on with the lecture. He used to use the bottom section only if he wanted to do some rough work. That was how thoughtful he was; knowing all of us couldn't copy what he wrote in the same speed.
Now the parenthesis story he was so meticulous to match the parenthesis, very rarely He used square or any other style He believed in the traditional crescent type but used to count all the parenthesis opened and closed!!! Just to make sure they match!!!. The superscripts, subscripts and dashes(multiple of them) he used them with glee, sometimes superscripts subscripts and dashes all in one!!!!!!!...Schaum series of worked examples of complex mathematical problems made easier, were His favourite I think His teaching style matched the method used in these books.
His diagrams? Sir, they could have been much better drawn and I know like me, He was never good at drawings, I believe, and handwriting unique but anyone could read and understand. "This is my insulator" and He drew a box biting hard His tongue I wander if His tongue is still in one piece? I am yet to see such insulators in my life. We used to ask Him tough questions and we soon realized when He knew the answer, promptly, His tone subdued and took time to explain all over again. When He did not know the answer, He used to gaze at the blackboard and soon found the answer and always went from the first principles to explain, which in present day, a very rare approach. If on any occasion someone pointed out a mistake He has made, He was so embarrassed and using His characteristic Impulsive behavior quickly erased just like a small child trying to cover up a mistake he has done.
Soon news spread that he was getting married, we asked him many leading questions but He kept it a closely Guarded Secret. Then He went on few days of leave and we heard the young couple moved to Moratuwa. We threatened to visit Him one day and He was excited to receive us. I still remember He went ahead and we followed to His new home at Uswatta Moratuwa. His young wife was quite small made, but fair and very pleasant, a bit shy then. She served us butter cake and passiona cordial. I still remember. He showed us some of the wedding gifts they received. I also remember a black wall hanging with a painting in Gold I wander if they still have it, then there were some wooden cranes a couple I believe.
I can go on and on... But time and space I have to keep watch.
In CEB I was made the Chairman of a committee to do a policy paper on introduction of CFL based on which I believe CEB initiated a CFL popularisation programme. Who was nominated from University of Moratuwa? Prof. Lucas. I immediately approached the person in the Ministry, who constituted the committee and got Prof Lucas to co-chair with me. Prof. Lucas in His characteristic style was meticulous in doing all the possible analysis and wrote most parts of the report. I must admit He was so particular about each and every word we used and every dot and every comma. I know He helped CEB in numerous ways and I am sure one of my colleagues will do justice to His contribution.
I had the good fortune to be with Him in many committees in the IESL. I remember specially our work in the Education and Training Committee. When I joined it several years ago, the IESL courses were in a disarray. Only a very few students completed the course, less than 10 at times, that too after lamenting for 8 long years! I started raking up this and He was quick to be my strongest supporter. He was in His style adamant we did the changes in a methodical manner and ensured the standards were not allowed to drop. He was one of the most qualified to assess foreign degrees and if He ever found any application not in His line of specialization, He was quick to return it requesting someone else to do the assessment. Rarely, He made any error. He, as most of us know, brings out an argument which none of us ever dream of and was always there to question a not so clear decision until the entire committee was convinced that we have done the right thing. He would never let go.
I need to wind up keeping Time and space constraint in mind I have written enough for the moment though I could go on and on... of this unique, Teacher, Friend, Philosopher and Guide... Genial, friendly Human.
Shavi Fernando , AGM,CEB [UoM EE graduate 1978]
1979 No Convocation
From: "Rane Ponrajah"
Date: Tue, March 12, 2013 7:20 pm
The most impressive characteristic I have of you is your humility - inspite of your many accomplishments, in academia and sports, and the genuine unbiased friendship you showed towards your students and colleagues alike.
Never have I heard from you a word of cynicism, or a derogatory remark towards a fellow human being. It is often said that "What is in One's Heart Comes Through One's Mouth"- and this reflects what a "Genuine" person you are.
It was amazing, how you always made yourself available to answer questions from inquisitive students like myself. I remember coming and sitting outside your office, on the masonry bench, under your well organised notice board, waiting for my turn to have my questions answered - and it was always well worth the wait because when I step into your office you greet me with that big smile before we get down to business.
Thank you Dr. Lucas for helping me out.
Dr Ranendra Ponrajah, Ontario, Canada [UoM EE graduate 1980]
From: "L.A. Samaliarachchi"
Date: Wed, March 13, 2013 9:11 am
Hats off and salute To My dearest SIR Prof. Rohan Lucas.
It was really touching and went deep in to my heart when I read the stuff send by you. You are one of a kind great teacher (and also a writer looks like) I have ever come across during my university life as a student 1976-1981.
You are honest and straight forward and set as an example for others. The electrical engineering community (your students) admire you and discuss about your good qualities whenever they gather for their get together celebrations. (Needless to say the difficulties that electrical engineering student's faced during 1978-1981 period. You were the only teacher approachable at that time so that we could communicate be it technical or personal matter. We learned lot from you, punctuality and honesty to name some of it.
LA Samaliarachchi, Senior Lecturer Gr I, Open University of Sri Lanka [UoM EE Graduate 1981]
From: "Udaya Annakkage"
Date: Sun, March 17, 2013 3:39 am
When I heard the news of the retirement of Professor Lucas, my memories went back to 1978 when I took Theory of Electricity course in the second year. What I found most unique about his teaching was his commitment outside the classroom. I was always the first student to solve his problem sheets and hand them in to him. He used to return them with comments within not more than three days. There were times that I asked a question when I met him at the end of the day when he was leaving his office.
Looking back, now I think we were taking his generosity to be granted. He never refused to stop or even to return back to his office with me to answer my question. In that same year, at our request, he taught us programming in FORTRAN 4. He always found time to check my program listing to help me find errors. We can never pay back to a great teacher like him, but we can "pay-forward" by propagating that dedication and commitment towards the next generation. Ten years later I did the same by teaching programming in PASCAL to a group of fourth year students at the University of Moratuwa. I have no doubt that his attitude towards teaching made a great influence on how I treat my students today.
Professor Lucas has a great ability to come down to our level, which makes it easy for us not only to ask technical questions, but also to get advise on personal matters. He had an excellent set of typed notes for High Voltage Engineering, which was one of the best "textbooks" I had during my undergraduate time. I joined the academic staff as an Assistant Lecturer in 1982. My first consultancy work was to help Professor Lucas design and make sag-templates for some CEB transmission lines.
Today, I am one of the five partners of Transgrid Solutions, a successful consulting company based in Winnipeg, Canada. I am thankful to Professor Lucas for advising me to go to UMIST for postgraduate studies, and filling out the application forms with me. I completed my MSc and PhD in three years and five months.
When I returned back to Sri Lanka, I had surprise visitors, Professor Lucas and my little friend Roshanthi Lucas, to pick me up from the airport. By the way, the largest birthday card (A4 size) that I have ever sent to anyone was the one I sent to Roshanthi on her sixth birthday. During the three years and six months that I spent in Sri Lanka after returning from Manchester, Professor Lucas was a mentor and a close friend. I am very proud that I was able to arrange sabbatical leave for him to spend 5 months at the University of Auckland in 1998, and to spend one year at the University of Manitoba in 2007. In 1998, he taught my Power Systems course at the University of Auckland during my absence. In 2007, he did an excellent piece of work jointly with my PhD student (his former student) Chandana Karawita. He showed how to extract necessary data from a PSCAD simulation case to perform a small signal stability analysis of power systems. Chandana later developed TGSSR, a tool to analyze sub synchronous resonance. Professor Lucas's work in 2007 gave me the confidence to develop a similar analysis tool for the RTDS simulator (this work is in progress). There is a current transformer model that power system protection engineers in the world refer to as the Lucas Model.
We are very proud that it was the work of Rohan.
Prof. Udaya Annakkage, University of Manitoba, Partner Transgrid Solutions [UoM EE Graduate 1982]
From: "Nalin Pahalawatta "
Date: Thu, September 21, 2017 5:19 AM
Our Memories of Prof Rohan Lucas
My memories of Professor Rohan Lucas go back a long time, prior to even meeting him in person. Upon starting at the University of Sri Lanka, Katubedda Campus in 1977, as a new student, we received a small booklet: the "Prospectus" of the Katubedda Campus. I showed the prospectus to my neighbour - my cousin who had just graduated from the university as a telecommunications engineer. He then described a number of contributions to the Engineering Faculty, made by a young lecturer named Dr Rohan Lucas who had recently returned to the university after completing his PhD; including the new "prospectus'.
From that time, my friends and I idolised Dr Lucas, whom we saw every day in the morning and in the afternoon driving his Toyota Corolla, in and out of the university. We cherished every small interaction with Dr Lucas, which usually was in the form of a brief instruction in the Electrical Measurements Lab.
We are very fortunate to have been taught by Dr Lucas, foundation courses in Electrical Engineering: Electricity Networks Analysis, in our third year (Part II) in the university. The thorough grounding and in-depth knowledge we received, helped all of us throughout our carriers. We had more contact with Dr Lucas in our final year, when he taught us High Voltage Engineering. Two of my colleagues and I, completed our final year electrical engineering project under the supervision of Dr Lucas, "Analysis of transmission over voltages using travelling waves". In those days, when we had a difficult engineering problem, we would first turn to Dr Lucas for help. His knowledge, humbleness, and approachability, not only impressed us, but provided a role model for us. Most of the time, he used the phrase "I always thought it is ...", literally with his tongue in cheek, to point out our misunderstanding of concepts, without saying "you are wrong" or "you don't know".
After graduating, I (together with some of my colleagues) worked at the university for a short period as assistant lecturers before departing Sri Lanka for postgraduate studies. Again, Dr Lucas was a tremendous resource for us to bounce ideas, and seek advice and clarification for many of our engineering problems and how to plan our careers. We also got to know Dr Lucas as a person, rather than as a revered lecturer during this time. For a short period, we learnt to play the card game "Bridge" during our lunch hour. Sometimes Dr Lucas joined us and gave us pointers for winning a game. I also remember visiting Dr Lucas's home, on his daughter's probably 2nd or 3rd birthday, and meeting his wife for the first time.
My memory of Dr Lucas then segues to the time when he spent his sabbatical leave period at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. In 1998, Dr Lucas spent some time of his sabbatical leave at the University of Auckland, where both my colleague Dr Udaya Annakkage and I were lecturers (His wife and daughter accompanied him for a short period), at the beginning of his sabbatical period in Auckland. One memory of that period was our visit to the middle of the North Island of New Zealand. In this trip, at the request of his wife, we were looking for a special type of volcanic stone called "pumice", but all of us were disappointed at the end because we could not find them at the locations we searched.
During his sabbatical leave period, Dr Lucas contributed significantly to the postgraduate and research programme at the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at the University of Auckland. I well remember that one of the technical problems a PhD research student had been grappling with for a long time, was solved by Prof Lucas in almost no time, using network analysis theory, to the delight of, and significant appreciation by, the student.
During part of his sabbatical leave, after his family had returned to Sri Lanka, Dr Lucas stayed in the accommodation reserved by the University for visiting scholars. However, his time in the university also coincided with the infamous event of multiple electric cable failures in Auckland, which led to loss of electricity supply to a significant part of the Auckland CBD and the surrounding areas. This made the businesses and institutions in the area to be closed for approximately a month. During this period, Dr Lucas was kind enough to accept our invitation to stay at our home, which I was renovating at the time. During his stay with us I was amazed to see the handyman in Dr. Lucas, who not only gave us (myself and my university colleagues who were helping me to paint the interior of the house) very valuable advice in various aspects of painting, but also lent a tremendous amount of physical help.
Impression on our whole family
Dr Lucas's presence made a significant impression on our whole family, in particular on my daughter who was only four years old at the time. After twenty years, she still remembers a number of events with Dr Lucas.
One event is our trip to Cape Reinga at the far north end of New Zealand. A memorable moment for all of us was as follows: During this trip we deliberately took a route where we have to cross a harbour (Hokianga Harbour) using a ferry. While waiting for the ferry, Dr Lucas and I leaned against a wall near the ferry crossing and had a relaxing chat. Without any prompting a local person came to us and asked loudly "Do you need any marijuana mate!!!!". Having looked at each other, although we replied "no", everyone else with us could not help but laugh. The ensuing discussion revolved around which of us appeared to be more like a drug addict, for this man to single us out.
Another event which is deeply carved into our memory was Dr Lucas decorating a birthday cake for our daughter's 4th birthday. Our daughter's request was to have a birthday cake made in the shape of a character of "Bananas in pyjamas" children's television series. Although my wife attempted to find a template to decorate the cake in the shape of one of the characters, she failed miserably and was getting stressed as the birthday party was nearing. At this time, for some reason, I mentioned the difficulty to Dr Lucas, and he volunteered to ice and decorate the cake in any shape we desire. The process followed was an engineering project that many engineers would have been proud of. A small picture of "Lulu" in a "Banana's in pyjamas" children's book, was divided into small grids, and each piece was scaled to the size required for a birthday cake, with engineering precision, before finally tracing onto a cardboard and cutting the required icing template. Then the master "pastry chef" Lucas took onto himself the task of icing the cake, to the satisfaction and praise of everyone who attended the birthday party.
After 1998, we mostly lost contact with each other, other than one or two short professional e-mails. We were again fortunate enough to meet Prof Lucas when he visited Sydney in 2017, to present the keynote speech to the Sydney-Moratuwa Alumni Gala Dinner. Prof Lucas, in spite of his very busy schedule, accepted our invitation to spend a day with our family. Upuli who was working as an intern at Gosford hospital in NSW made a special effort to be there. Although the rain on the day dampened some of our enjoyment, it was a good opportunity to catch up with him. The memory he left with us this time was how to wear a wind breaker jacket, zipped only in the middle but open from top and bottom.
A living treasure
The humbleness shown by Prof Lucas has been his trademark throughout our interactions with him, and has been amply demonstrated in everything he does, whether it is through his simple attire, small car he drives, the moped he used to ride to the university, or the gunny bag he used to carry his books when riding the moped.
If I have to name one person as a living treasure, it will be Professor Lucas. The mark he has made on us is so strong, I cannot imagine Katubedda Campus or University of Moratuwa, without him.
Dr Nalin Pahalawatta, Principal Consultant, TransGrid, NSW, Australia [UoM EE Graduate 1982] (with Ranmalie [UoM Electronics Diplomate 1982] and Dr Upuli Pahalawatta)
From: "Tilak Siyambalapitiya"
Date: Thu, April 25, 2013 4:59 pm
Prof Rohan Lucas
My first interaction with Rohan was when he was my lecturer in 1979 for the Part I subject "Theory of Electricity", in which he introduced three phase systems to us for the first time in our life. I remember when he took the lecture in the "L" block, a brand new building at that time, and the tutorial class on Tuesday afternoon, which he never missed. He went on to teach us High Voltage Engineering in the final year, this time in a new room reserved for final year power engineering students for the first time, taking the practical sessions himself in the much-feared high voltage lab. I later got so close to him, and I do now call him by his first name.
Rohan's Corolla KE30 blue-coloured car was the public passenger car for all students and staff he meets on the road, in that era of tough times with public transport. Although I did not know much about cars at that time, mechanical engineering colleagues of mine who had the privilege of having a ride in his car, have told me that Rohan drives in the third gear at speeds he should really change to the second, and that the car vibrates a bit. May be because he likes to be in three, owing to three-phase systems he teaches. There is single-phase and three-phase, and two-phase systems do not exist, and so is the 2nd gear, I presume. Automatic transmission would now have solved this problem.
There is one matter for which we never found an answer and my wife Namalie, who too knows Rohan so well, asks me frequently why: when Rohan gets into the thinking mode, it appears as if he is biting something, and we have equated it to a possible Rambutan seed in his mouth, and this imaginary Rambutan seed appears and disappears. I wonder whether anyone else has observed this. May be they did, but did not want to comment.
As often as I met Rohan in class, I met him at the events of the University Catholic Society, which I Presided for two years. In the Christmas carol show we organized along with Susantha Perera (Moratuwa, 1983) and the team in December each year, Rohan sat in a particular seat in the front row in James George Hall. That was in years 1980 and 1981, to listen to me and others singing. Now, more than 30 years later in 2012, I observed him sitting in the same seat, this time watching my daughter conducting the university carol show.
They were the difficult times; the department academic staff was down to 3 senior staff: Professor Karunaratne, Dr Lucas and Dr Dias, and they had to be supported with teaching. Thus late 1980s and 1990s saw me jointly teaching power systems to students of Part II, with me teaching the bulk of the course and Rohan teaching fault analysis. Many a time I have visited Rohan's house to exchange answer scripts and marks, well before the invention of the fax, PC, email or internet, which means everything had to be hand carried. Thirty years of visiting work enabled me to see Rohan at least once a week, and I would never miss to say hello to him if I see his room door open, and Rohan knows I come there for one more reason ! Each visit causes some issue to be taken up, and we analyse the issue and get into a deep discussion, which at times causes me to forget that my students were waiting for me in the class. I always have an excuse for them: I was in a discussion with your professor.
I feel that Rohan ended up in University of Manitoba for his sabbatical in the early 1990s, actually because of me. Peter McLaren was my professor in Cambridge, and in 1988, he himself migrated from the UK to Canada (you think only Sri Lankan engineers migrate to Canada and Australia). I am not sure whether my introduction of Rohan to Peter, and by extension, introduction of Moratuwa Power Engineering Dept to Manitoba (a place, incidentally, I have never ever visited) have done good or bad for Moratuwa University or Sri Lanka. The relationship between the two Universities went totally out of my control, and I should neither be blamed nor praised for the fact that Manitoba produced dozens of PhDs (and continues to produce) out of Moratuwa graduates. The relationship went to the extent that my British Professor, upon retirement, was effectively replaced by a Moratuwa graduate: Udaya Anankkage (Moratuwa, 1982) is now a senior professor of power engineering there. Our PhDs are manning the HVDC centre in Manitoba, probably Canada's best, whom I tap occasionally for a little bit of tuition, whenever I have a HVDC problem.
Good professors never retire. Therefore, I am not wishing you a happy retirement, but wishing that the relief you now have (from sitting in numerous faculty committees, and that dreaded faculty board meeting on Thursdays) would enable you to contribute more to our students, by way of advice and some teaching too. Recall your former students to class, and ask them how much they remember about fault analysis and travelling waves. Symmetrical components ? Zero sequence ?
Namalie, my wife, Nipuni, our daughter, and Tharaka our son, and I together wish you more years of contribution to Sri Lanka's power engineering.
Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya, Energy Consultant, Director Resource Management Associates; Energy Coordinating Officer, Ministry of Power and Energy (1982-84); Chief Engineer, Generation Planning, CEB (1988-1994); Principal Engineer, Generation Planning, SCECO Saudi Arabia (1994-1998) [UoM EE Graduate, 1983]
From: "Prof Nalin K Wikramarachchi"
Date: Mon, September 1, 2014 10:59 pm
Appreciation of a Teacher Par Excellence, a Colleague and a Role Model
I first met Dr. Lucas, as we then called him, in or around 1981during our second year at the University; not as the teacher of his usual subject of Theory of Electricity but instead teaching Electrical Measurements. I recall very well some of these lectures not because I could learn a lot from them but because I could not. His English was well above my grasp and I could not keep up with his pace of delivery. But his notes on the blackboard and the diagrams always provided in depth learning materials not only for the impending examination but also to be keptas reference notes for later use. So, instead of learning principles of Electrical Measurements during the class room, I simply settled down to learning English, particularly how to structure long English sentences of complex meanings. Perhaps he never knew, he had been teaching me two subjects at the same time.
Later, we were lucky to learn a few more subjects from Dr. Lucas including some sections of Power Systems and of course his subject of expertise High Voltage Engineering which he taught duringthe fourth year. MyEnglish was up to the mark by this time or he hadreduced the average length of his sentences;in any case, by that time, there was no difficultyin understanding. We enjoyed the clarity of delivery, precision of mathematics, and rational thinkingbased on hard engineering facts in addition to learning the intricacies, stresses, impulses, and breakdowns,not to mention lightning, in High Voltage Engineering.
I also fondly remember his FORTRANprogramming lessons. At a time personal computers were still too much of a luxury, the only computer facility available to us was the IBM 1130 minicomputer. Dr. Lucas volunteered to teach FORTRAN-IV after-hours so that we could test our programs - not written but punched line by FORTRAN line on a stack of cards, on the IBM machine.He was meticulous in impressing in our minds the idiosyncrasies of digital thinking. It was a pleasant surprise for me to learnthat computers handled mathematics in a peculiar way which has since then become one of my favourite subjects. I am indebted to him for teaching the principles of programming in a way I have never since forgotten.
Immediately after graduation, with not much thinking ahead and no planning of future whatsoever, I joined the Department to launch a career inacademia. Particularly for one who was not prepared, it was not easy to adjust to the demands of an academic life.If not for the presence of Prof. Lucas in the Department, this period of life could have been anenormoushardship. He was ever willing to help guide us the junior lecturers in his usual amicable nonforceful manner gently along the path of professionalism. Always by deed and never by command.
Immediately after my return home from Canada, I always got a ride home in his famous blue Toyota Corolla up to Wellawatta. I remember most of the times our discussions were centred around technical matters though not necessarily restricted to Electrical Engineering. He was never the man to waste time talking of politics or other gossip. One downsideof me buying my first car was that I was to miss those mind expandingdiscussions. It is during this period that I came to know Prof. Lucas much more closely and learned, or tried to learn, the great qualities of him that make him so revered in and around the academic circles.I can hardly enumerate all of them because his standards are far too high, but I will try to name a few that I came to know well..
Punctuality comes to my mind easily. He was always in time for lectures. He was also the first to arrive at office and last to leave. His time management skills wenthand in hand with punctuality. Prof. Lucas always hadtime for his students and fellow lecturers no matter how busy he waswith many other responsibilities. He waswithout fail always the first to finish marking of answer scripts after an examination irrespective of the number of scripts, be it fifty or eight hundred..
He took responsibility seriously. Never failing to deliver at his level best on whatever the responsibility bestowed upon him. .
Lest that be the Chairmanship of an academic committee or a committee of inquiry in a Government institution. I still have a copy of the University Prospectus that he almost single-handedly produced long time back when the typewriter was the only office desktop machinery known. It certainly had the hallmark of professionalism written all over it..
His attention to details is legendary too. I have never met a person who is so capable of seeing the not too obvious. He never misses out on details that are hidden but important, an essential quality without which one cannever be a great engineer in the first place. His determination and perseverance are well known among the officers of this University and many havementioned that already. His steadfastness in doing something despite difficultiesor obstaclesuntilhe achieves success isall too familiarto his peers..
Students know Prof. Lucas for his dedication to teaching and the rest of us know him for his dedication to the University. He has the rare quality of having a broad holistic outlook onall university matters, beyond the narrow view point ofone's own Department or field of engineering - a quality that is fast becoming extinct among academics. This perhaps explains his impartiality in crucial matters requiring far-reaching decisions..
Besides all this though, what is close to my heart is his ability to understand another person's perspective. He has an incomparable ability to understand someone else's point of view irrespective of the question at hand, be it technical, academic, managerial orsocial. No wonder that many people seek his advice whenever they are faced with an intractable problem. He will gradually unravel the complications andgently counterquestion the person until he himself understands the solution. And many a time the advice seeker leaves his room all the wiser..
On a few rare occasions that I have seen him loose his temper, at a Senate meeting or at a Faculty meeting, each time, it was invariably on matters of principle directed at the cause of injustice or unfairness and never due to personal reasons. He would cool down as fast as he got upset and the discussions usually ended with the matters being resolved amicably..
Then there are many other human virtuesin him which others have commented on. He is a devout Catholic. He does not, in fact never ever, preach others on the virtues, but instead expound the message by simply living an exemplary life. .
Sir, thank you very much for showing me that it is possible to be successful in life and be righteous too. May God Bless you and your family..
Prof Nalin Wickramarachchi, [Professor, Director Quality Assurance Faculty of Engineering, UoM EE Graduate 1984].
From: "Prof J P Karunadasa"
Date: Tue, September 2, 2014 2:57 pm
First time I met Prof. Lucas was in late 1980s, when he came to teach us the subject Electrical Measurements in the Second Year of the BSc Engineering Degree program at the University of Moratuwa. It was an amazing experience due to his unique style of teaching. Further, the way he rested his tong behind the cheek when writing on the board was also unique. .
Over the years we got closer and closer to Prof. Lucas, just to find how nice him a person he was as well as a teacher. We realized his true teaching potential when he taught us High Voltage Engineering in the Final Year of study. Even to date, High Voltage Engineering remains one of my favorite subjects even though it is not my current specialization..
Later, I was fortunate enough to be in the same academic staff and the advices and guidance I continued to receive from him have been immense. He is a true mentor of mine and one of the few individuals that I hold in high respect..
Prof. Lucas is a very fair person who always respects rules, regulations and customs. His presence in the Department is a blessing and a prestige to every one of us in the Department and the University as a whole. Even though he is now retired we cannot afford to lose his service for many long years to come..
I affectionately wish him good health and happiness and courage for a continued contribution to the Department of Electrical Engineering of the University of Moratuwa..
Prof J P Karunadasa [UoM Professor, UoM EE Graduate 1984].
From: "Aratchige, Methsiri"
Date: Fri, April 5, 2013 7:46 am
I came to know from Jahan Peiris that you will be retiring in couple of months time. Frankly I haven't thought you are that old. Then suddenly I realised that I am almost 51 now !!!
I still remember your High Voltage Engineering lessons - back in 1983 - Yes it was almost 30 years ago. Then you taught me the same subject (of course at advanced level) when I was doing M.Eng degree course between 1986-1989. I believe this was the very first batch of MEng. I recall we regularly met at that time. Dr P Dias was the course co-ordinator and in fact he was my project supervisor along with Dr Tilak Siyambalapitiya. There were number of CEB Engineers including LAS Fernado, BSP Mendis and JAS Perera studied with me. In fact graduation took place (in absentia) in November 1990 after I migrated to Australia. I think 8-10 students must have completed the course.
Fortunately I had couple of opportunities to meet you again in Sydney. When I was in Pacific Power (around 1994) you came to our office in Sydney Central Business District (CBD). Then we went for dinner with Sujeewa Rajapakse also joining us
The second occasion, I remember I picked you and your family up from late Asoka Nanayakkara's place in West Pennant Hills and then drove you up to Katoomba in Blue Mountains. We went to see "Three Sisters" and other attractions in Katoomba. We stopped at Jude's place at Warrimoo for lunch on our way back from Blue Mountains. . I recall I dropped you at Central Railway Station (just in time !!!) to pick a train to Wollongong to visit Dr Sarath Perera.
We also met again at Jude Perera's place at Castle Hill on the third occassion and a.number of your other past students joined us.
Nalin Pahalawatte is now working in TransGrid - next to my office building in Sydney.
You are a very good teacher. We were able to successfully complete our studies.
Thank you for all your efforts. I remember when I left Sri Lanka in 1990 one of the essential items I brought along was your High Voltage Engineering notes. It is a very good reference document - I recall I went through some sections especially when I was preparing for job interviews !!! At that time it was a cyclostyled set ofpapers - I am glad to know a revised pdf version is now available in Electrical Engineering Department website.
This short note is to appreciate your invaluable contribution.
Wish you a happy and healthy retirement life.
Methsiri Aratchige, Electrical Engineer, Sydney [UoM EE Graduate 1984], UoM EE MEng 1990
From: "Fernando LAS "
Date: Fri, May 3, 2013 10:24 am
The news of your impending retirement took me back to the days when I first met you. It was a belated joy, as I was a product of Peradeniya. This postponed my blissful encounters with you to a later date in my life, to be precise to the era where I undertook my postgraduate studies at Moratuwa. I call it blissful encounters, as the subjects taught by you included the very best of electrical engineering such as High voltage, Earthing design and Travelling waves to name a few.
In my professional life too, I was fortunate enough to witness the intelligence of two greats in the field of electrical engineering meticulously solving a complex problem. The other great in this chapter was Mr. H.S. Subasinghe and the problem was the rehabilitation of the Old Laxapana Power Station. I vividly remember how the two great minds battled under the chairmanship of Mr. Ivan Samarwikrama in a presidential commission, just like a clock smith removing wheel after wheel to explore what went wrong. Few in the power industry know the humble beginnings of Lanka Transformers Group, and not that many know about how this modest startup company operating from a remotely located factory in Angulana ended up in Park Street, elegant in every sense and competent even in global scale. The year was 1994 and the cast in this episode set in your residence included you, me and Mr. U.D. Jayawardena of LTL, who was desperate for an office in Colombo. With the least effort, you managed to secure office space from a building belonging to your brother which is located in Park Street. Ever since that stroke of luck, LTL seems to enjoy good luck expanding their business operations based in their Park Street office.
The next most memorable episode in 2009 was in a darker setting, where I had the opportunity to work with you in a technical evaluation committee appointed to investigate the Island-wide system failure which lasted about sixteen hours. You managed to exercise the same command over the complex issue, uncovering the root causes of the system failure. When I was serving as the Deputy General Manager (Transmission Operation & Maintenance), Mr. Jayasiri Karunanayake (former System Development Manager Lanka Electricity Company) initiated developing a prototype power system module using real 11kV vacuum circuit breaker panels. We had very interesting time then and work very closely as a team for the successful completion of prototype power system module. I can also remember the technical evaluation committee intended to initiate studies on "Back flash-over of transmission towers of the Kotmale-Biyagama 220kV line" which was widely suspected for the power system failures where I had the pleasure of associating you as a member.
During my long association with you, I have found you to be a very dedicated academic with profound knowledge in electrical engineering. However, this sincere appreciation of mine is not only about that academic, but also about the very kind hearted gentleman from the upper crust of the society who reached out to people of a lesser strata of this society like me. I take this opportunity to wish very good health, all the success in your future endeavors and a very busy retirement.
LAS Fernando , Additional General Manager, Ceylon Electricity Board [UoM EE MEng graduate -1991]
From: "Lalith Gamage "
Date: Mon, May 13, 2013 10:07 am
I met Prof. Lucas first as our Theory of Electricity lecturer when I was in the second year at the University of Moratuwa. He was very organized and methodical in his teaching but one cannot say the same about his office and his desk. His desk has (at least used to have) piles and piles of books, notes, magazines and all types of stationery on it. But he had this incredible ability to pick the necessary item from that complete chaotic mass of books, notes and papers on his desk.
He was a very good teacher and was well prepared for his lectures. One thing that I remember very well is that he had literally his 'tongue in cheek', like a lollypop popping out when he was teaching. The size of this was proportional to the difficulty of the problem he was solving on the board.
He always had a very cordial relationship with all his students and was very keen on their performance. He was a dedicated lecturer who comes on time and was always available at the university. He is one lecturer who marked student answer scripts promptly and released results on time. However like many senior academics he was also seen by us as a bit absent-minded. He himself has proved this to us with something that he usually does or forgets to do when he comes to the university from his house at Milagiriya Avenue, on the sea side. Since he is not able to turn right at Galle Road because of the road-dividing island, he has to make a left turn and a U turn to head towards Moratuwa. Sometimes he forgets to make the U turn and drives on towards Fort and only realizes that he is heading the wrong way when he reaches the Galle Face area.
I was able to work with him very closely during the 1987 to 1989 period when he acted as the Head of Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The University has secured a grant from the Japanese government to upgrade the university facilities and a large portion of that had been allocated to build the labs and other facilities of the newly established Computer Science and Engineering Department at the time. The period was a very difficult volatile period for the country and the university and most of the lecturers and the incumbent head of the department were overseas. I had just returned after my master's degree in UK and there was only one other senior staff member in the department. The university was closed for students and not many staff members came on a regular basis as travelling was also very difficult and sometimes life threatening. During this period a Japanese team was in Sri Lanka to install the equipment and to set up the new labs. This was a challenging task given the situation in the country and the university but Prof. Lucas took the leadership with two of us assisting him and the Japanese team, to complete the project on time. Since it was successfully completed, we were also rewarded by the Japanese by offering three of us a training program and a visit to their facilities in Japan.
I was able to get to know Prof. Lucas more closely during this trip. Although, he was much senior to us, he was quite happy doing the stuff that we wanted to do in our free time during the trip. He enjoyed the rides as much as we did during our Disneyland trip. Prof. Lucas once told us that when you shop either in Bangkok or Hong Kong you have to bargain heavily to get a good price. In fact he told us, probably with his 'tongue in cheek', that we have to keep on halving the offered price until you reach an agreement. On our way back from Japan we had a stopover in Hong Kong and I went around shopping for some electronic items. At a wayside shop I saw a camera that I liked and started the bargaining. When I bargained the second time the shop owner chased me out of the shop.
On my return after my PhD, I joined the Electrical Engineering Department where I had even more interactions with Prof. Lucas. We always had a good working relationship with minor disagreements if any. They were always resolved expeditiously as we were all committed to the common goal of developing the Department of Electrical Engineering.
We hold Prof. Lucas in high esteem for his contributions to the electrical engineering profession for over four decades. I am grateful to him for all the assistance and advice he has given to me during the formative period of my career, and I am privileged to be invited to make this contribution to his autobiography.
Prof. Lalith Gamage, Chief Executive Officer, Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, [UoM graduate 1985]
From: "Aruna Ranaweera"
Date: Mon, July 29, 2013 7:03 am
My Memories of Prof Rohan Lucas
Thank you for this opportunity to share my memories of you as you end a very distinguished academic career in Electrical Engineering.
I believe the first time I was in your class was when you taught a section of Electrical Properties of Materials (EPM) in Part II. We were not fortunate enough to have you teach us Theory of Electricity in Part I, since you were on sabbatical that year. In the final year, I really enjoyed your lectures on High Voltage Engineering. This became one of my favourite subjects that I value even today.
My most valued experiences with you, however, were in the seven years we spent together as fellow academic staff members of the department. One of the key events I remember is the formation of EESoc to bring past and present students together. You took a keen interest in organizing it and worked tirelessly towards the success of it. We introduced the EESoc Award for the Best Undergraduate Project which I believe is still being awarded annually. Another important achievement during this period was the setting up of the postgraduate program in Electrical Engineering. Above all, I vividly remember those long and interesting discussions we had at the staff lunch room on a wide range of topics.
What I most admire is your commitment to the academic career and excellence in teaching. You always enjoyed working with fellow staff and students alike. You had a superb analytical ability and sometimes I was amazed at your readiness to dive deep into complex problems even at the end of a long the day.
Congratulations Sir, on completion of a long and distinguished academic career. I wish you the very best during your well deserved retirement.
Dr Aruna Ranaweera, PE. Director, Transmission, OCI Solar Power, San Antonio, Texas, USA, Academic staff 1985-2001, UoM EE Graduate1985
From: "Kapila Perera "
Date: Mon, September 25, 2017 12:00 AM
I consider that it is an honour to be invited to pen a memory on your web-site.
Prof. Rohan Lucas, taught me Electrical Technology at the Final Part I of the B.Sc. Engineering Program that I followed as an Officer Cadet in 1983 at the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy/University of Moratuwa. I would like to rate his lectures very high. He was so engrossed in the subject matter. I felt that Prof. Lucas enjoyed the opportunity of students asking questions and he was eager to clarify the same. Besides such high quality delivery of the subject matter competently, he was punctual and meticulous in delivery.
I was privileged to be a member of the Faculty with Prof. Lucas since July 1995. Expression of the logical points of view, backed by rules and regulations, is the trade mark of Prof. Lucas; that is a rarity. Another rarity in Prof. Lucas Sir, is that he only respects the sound points of view irrespective of personalities. Such traits are unique and are indispensable.
Prof. K. K. C. K. Perera, Dean-Engineering, UoM,[KDA/UoM ME Graduate 1986]
From: "Priyantha Wijayatunga "
Date: Fri, May 10, 2013 6:45 am
Professor Rohan Lucas: As I knew him for over 30 years
As I grow older and becoming distant from the subjects I used to be so closely associated with for such a long time, my memories are fast fading away but not the most memorable ones though. This is particularly so with my pleasant memories of Professor Rohan Lucas with whom I happen to share the same Birthday.
I first saw Professor Lucas (then Dr Lucas) as my lecturer in Electrical Measurements in 1982 just after his return from sabbatical leave from UMIST. We were waiting for the lecturer to turn up at the L-Block outside the lecture room on the first floor. Suddenly our colleagues said the lecturer had come in and we were asked to go in. We were wondering how we missed seen him entering the lecture room. When we went inside only, we realized that most of us couldn't distinguish him from the students around.... He looked so young... and in fact he was actually young (35 years) though he just returned from his first sabbatical leave after completing 7 years of post PhD teaching. That was the start of a long journey in academic life with him, both as a student first and as a colleague later, which I never imagined at that time.
Professor Lucas has always been an excellent teacher who knew exactly what he taught and all the background information. You always think that after all the nice teaching and the depth he goes into, he would put you in trouble in the exams. However his question papers were always at the best standards while the marking schemes were to check the students' knowledge in the subject properly. Most students found his subjects fascinating to follow and comfortable to score in.
When it comes to rules and regulations in the academic life, Prof Lucas always stuck to them to the letter. Sometimes we managed to push him to the limit to deviate from certain guidelines though, under special circumstances. One such rare instance was the release of our final year results. Knowing him well, while I was not keen to push Prof Lucas so much, one of my colleagues really wanted to know the outcome just after the examination board meeting. Failing to persuade Prof Lucas to disclose, my colleague compelled me to visit Prof Lucas's house along with him in the evening. Prof Lucas stuck to his principle even up to the last minute. Finally without being able to be rude to us at his own place, he asked us what we expected as the outcome of the examination. After listening to us, he responded that one's outcome was positive and the other was negative, against the expectation. That was the furthest he has gone ever. We were expected to sort out who got what.
Prof Lucas was always on time (rather, in time) for any event he attended to. He used to be quite uncomfortable with us when we used to take too much of time to get ready in the morning even when we continue on field visits and too late to get back to the bus after a short stop in between. He never endorsed us taking liquor, whether it was during field visits or EESoc parties, but he never preached on the negative aspects of it as most do and provided company with a soft drink. The most remarkable thing is that he always used to forgive and forget these lapses on our part.
Since we joined the staff as Assistant Lecturers (equivalent to now Probationary Lecturers) at that time, we hardly missed getting a lift in his car from the university to Bambalapitiya. Around 5pm he never forgot to look around for us to see whether we would like a lift. But we never knew where we had to spend time in between though... accompanying him for everything he had to do on the way including finally picking up a crate of bottles of milk from Bambalapitiya supermarket and loading it to the boot. Most of the time our journey ended up at his house in Milagiriya Avenue and we used to leave only after a cup of tea.
We all know the very long period of time spanning into several months (and even more than a year) we need to wait for the promotion interview and the adjustment of the salary after our return from postgraduate studies. Completing this process within a short period of time was the minimum we expected from the university as a reward while many others stay back and never return. I can still remember the effort Prof Lucas put in personally talking to relevant officials and visiting them in person to ensure that this process was completed fast, at certain times taking those officials who were complacent, to task for our benefit. If I can recall correctly, my promotion and the salary adjustment and its arrears came not later than two months after my return to the university, a magnificent achievement even at that time. All the credit goes to Prof Lucas.
I was lucky to witness and be part of Prof Lucas's rise in the academic life from a Senior Lecturer to a Senior Professor at relatively younger age along with his recognition in the profession such as Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka and the JAYCEES Award for Outstanding Academic Achievements. Prof Lucas's contribution to maintain the quality of the academic programs and the bylaws, regulations and the guidelines in the university will be greatly missed by the Faculty of Engineering, the Senate and the Council. I doubt the generation of academics which he belonged to and immensely contributed to the improvement in the quality of university education and discipline at the university can ever be replaced.
These few of my memories of Prof Lucas form only a drop in the ocean but they will be ever remembered and passed onto generations, I have no my own younger generation to pass them on to though. I miss him in my day-to-day professional life but these memories make me feel that I'm still part of the wonderful life I had at the University of Moratuwa.
Dr. Priyantha D C Wijayatunga, Unit Head, Portfolio Management Unit, Nepal Resident Mission, Asian Development Bank, Kathmandu, Nepal, former Professor in Electrical Engineering UoM, [UoM EE graduate 1986]
From: "Udaya Madawala"
Date: Tue, March 26, 2013 4:05 am
Thank you for sharing the moments of your personal life with me which, as your former student, I consider a privilege. I still strongly believe in maintaining respect for ones teacher - a value which is rapidly disappearing in current society.
I read your email word for word with much interest as I reflected and tried to learn from your experiences. It took me back almost 30 years in my life, bringing memories of university life at Moratuwa. I still remember your lectures, notes in HV Engineering and Corona effect, your remarks when you saw me attending lectures (as my friends were 'kind' enough to sign in and make a carbon copy of notes for me while I was out in the field, engaged in Sports- perhaps you may remember that I was heavily involved in sports) and, without fail, the way you rolled and pushed your tongue inside the mouth, making a small protrusion in your cheek! Then, as a member of a small group, attending lectures while others were on continuous strike 'day after day' either voluntarily or involuntarily, being ostracized as traitors and escorted out of the campus by police with the subsequent closure of the university. What about the batch trips and colours nights "!"-the list goes on and on, as there are many more exciting and unforgettable incidents, events and experiences to share.
I am now in a similar capacity to you in my academic career and lead a large research group, but in a western environment. However, I still strongly advocate the importance of respect and gratitude amongst all my undergraduate and postgraduate students alike, believing that these virtues are more important to one's success in life, as well as to society, than mere learning.
It is time for you now to sit back, relax and be proud of your teaching career during which you taught one generation after another - the success of which you can clearly see from the international standing of your former students. When I retire, I hope that I will have the same feeling and sentiments!
My very best wishes for you and family and your new endeavors in life!
Dr. Udaya Madawala, Associate Professor/Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Auckland, New Zealand [UoM EE Graduate, 1986]
From: "Amal Punchihewa "
Date: Tue, October 3, 2017 10:47 am
I wish you very happy birthday on your special milestone of 70.
I entered the University of Moratuwa in 1981/82 from Kegalle district and graduated with a second lower in 1984/85. In my journey so many senior professors helped me on my way which I would like to pay my gratitude before I talk specifically about you. Among them are Profs GTF, Sam, KKYW, Indra, Dayantha, Lakshman, Ananda and Malik.
Among eight of you I even see something unique of you. I still remember your lectures in L block and even studying high voltage paper as a supplement to learn.
It is a remarkable transformation I noticed in you who connected to students and staff via social media. I still enjoy reading your posts of services to industry as professional but more as a grandpa. Beyond Facebook, face-to-face meeting via IET events enabled me to meet you. I noted you earlier evolution from academically oriented to industry and now to social.
Before I conclude, I pay my gratitude to you as one of my teachers, then as a faculty member with whom I worked together. Achieving my global recognition has been sharpened by you and all other teachers and my parents. Now I have one paid job as a Director at ABU with ten other honorary positions.
Prof (Adj) Dr Amal Punchihewa, Director Technology and Innovation of International professional broadcasting organisation (ABU) [UoM EnTc Graduate 1986]
From: "Priyantha Karunadasa"
Date: Tue, May 28, 2013 7:33 am
I was very fascinated by your autobiography. When I heard the news that you were planning to retire from Moratuwa some months back from one of your close friends, my neighbour, Ajith and Shanika, I was thinking of writing to you. It was overlooked until today, when I read through your column and realised that our 1987 power engineering batch has not been represented in any way. Though I was bit sad, nevertheless I thought of congratulating to one of the greatest teachers in our time at the University of Moratuwa.
For many of us in the power room, next to Prof Sam's office, the High Voltage Engineering was one of our favourite subjects. Unlike many other teachers at the time, you have had that easy-going attitude, which made you very special among us.
Once we clearly failed to name the previous week's lab demonstration, instead of pointing to the table where the demonstration was held, you were not terribly disappointed with us. I still remember many valuable discussions we had with you during our final year project. A tiny portion of many meters long Fortran programming sheets from your PhD dissertation was presented to us to study the impact on lightning surges on the transmission lines, which we have undertaken with immense pride to you.
After many years later, when I learned from Prof. Udaya Annakkage (one of my dearest teachers and a close friend) that you were visiting Auckland, I was reading towards my PhD and was very happy to see you for the first time after I graduated from Moratuwa in 1987. I was so glad and very humble to receive your family at my home and quickly learned that how charming was your wife and small daughter. My wife, Rajika had a special gratitude towards Ramala and you all left inviting us back to your home in Colombo. Even though we couldn't make it so far, we will now be more determined to come and see you.
I think that your carrier has been a model to many of the great teachers to follow. May you retire knowing that you have made a remarkable contribution to power engineers around the world. Best wishes to you and your family and please drop in to visit us, if you are in Melbourne. Australia.
Dr. Priyantha Karunadasa, Senior Engineering Consultant, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Victoria, Australia [UoM EE Graduate 1987]
From: "Rohitha Jayasinghe"
Date: Tue, May 28, 2013 8:18 am
Few random memorable moments
You taught us many subjects in the university. In some of the subjects, you came to fill in when the regular lecturer of the subject was away. Because of that, students used to say if Dr. Lucas has the file for any subject, he can teach that subject no matter what it is.
This is something that happened to one of the final year project groups. As in all groups, there are some students who do not do their fair share in the project. In this group, a student who did the least amount of work was the last one having the interview. Before the interview, he knew what questions were asked from other members of his group. Since his contribution to the project was very minimal, he decided to present some of the work the other members did (which did not come up in the interview with them) as his contributions to the project. Some of the work he claimed as his contributions required some good programming skills. In this case, Fortran language. After presenting all that in the interview, one final question from Dr. Lucas was 'Do you know Fortran?' We could not stop laughing hearing about this after.
Almost every day in the morning, you were kind to stop at the Katubedda junction bus stop and pick few students who were waiting for the bus.
There are not that many moments I remember where Dr. Lucas getting angry. One such situation was when you walked into instructor room while we were playing some games.
Although I wrote things happened in my undergraduate life, I got to know more of him only after I came to Manitoba to do graduate studies. A Month or so after I came to Manitoba, Dr. Lucas also came to Manitoba on his sabbatical. We had lot of discussions involving academic and social matters during that time. I also remember struggling to write my very first conference paper as a graduate student. Fortunately you were there to guide me.
I remember the farewell party we had in Univillage grounds for you after your second stint of sabbatical in Manitoba. At that time there were about 30 or 40 students of you there to bid farewell to you.
I wish you a happy and healthy retired life. You were an inspiration to many of us who crossed paths with you.
Dr. Rohitha Jayasinghe, Senior Simulation Development & Research Engineer, Manitoba HVDC Research Centre, [UoM EE Graduate 1987]
1988 No Convocation
1989 No Convocation
From: "Fernando, Ioni"
Date: Fri, October 6, 2017 10:01 pm
OMG, I had no idea you had turned my innocent cousin a gangster Ha... Ha ...
Dear Prof L, You use to only turn innocent students to competent professionals... At nearly 70 years old ... it is certainly scary the way you have started steering your guidance... LOL!!!!
That is soooo funny, it is so sweet of Omali
to have written that. I would totally agree with every word she had written about you.
Hey believe it or not, you were very fondly and dearly remembered at a Winnipeg gathering only 2 days ago. CIGRE 2017 was held here in Winnipeg and Nalin Pahalawatta
was visiting. He was staying with Udaya
and we had a little get-together just this last Wednesday.
We were making fun of all professors in general, and of course our favourite Prof L is invariably discussed. Nalin and his wife showed a photo of the cake you had made for their daughter long time ago ... then Rohitha
's wife Geethanjalee was telling the story of how you were very carefully cleaning the 'batu' while your wife Ramala had her arm broken here in Winnipeg etc. ... Essentially discussing your multitude of "other skills/expertise" that is somewhat unique and especially the detail and effort you place in doing such work. LOL!!!! We had a good laugh remembering how most of those would have been executed with the 'lovi gediya' appropriately placed against the cheek - without which the job would not be done to the perfection that you strive for. LOL!!!!!
Nalin also remembered some painting you had done for him while he was renovating his house.
Honestly I don't know if you knew, or if I had told you this before... your humbleness and friendliness was confusing to us when we were young. We had no idea how to even respond to that. So I can very well relate to Omali's words "I've never seen a senior professor who is so humble to do stuff like that".
Thanks for sharing this note from Omali with me. It is great that you still are the same as always. Keep it up Prof L!!!! Give my love to Ramala.
With warmest wishes to your upcoming 70th Birthday.
Congratulations on the opening of the "Rohan Lucas High Voltage Laboratory" on 17th October - You certainly deserve the honour!!!!!
Earlier Post: Wed, March 13, 2013 12:29 am
To date I remember when you asked me if I'd mind going to a freezer for post graduate work, sitting at the dinner table on the day we treated the staff after graduation.
Thanks to you I am currently enjoying a very satisfying and rewarding carrier in Engineering. I am the Lead Studies Engineer to the next HVdc project that is happening in Manitoba. I am forever grateful to you for the many rides you gave me (and others) going home after classes. Pardon me, but I got to ask if you still maintain the organized mess you use to maintain in your office back when we were students/junior staff in the Faculty.
I cherish the memories of the close friendship you had with us, it was unusual for a senior staff member to be that way. I am not sure if I've told you this before, but I must say that looking back we must have been somewhat confused by your friendly gestures. My mother was always amazed by your down to earth attitude when you visited our place, which you continued well after I had left home.
Dr Ioni Fernando, Principal AC/DC System Studies Engineer, Manitoba Hydro and Adjunct Professor, Department of Electrical Enginering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada [FYP student, UoM EE Graduate 1990]
From: "Shanika Karunasekera"
Date: Thu, April 4, 2013 2:02 am
We are pleased to have the opportunity to write about some of our many interactions with Dr. Lucas (now Professor Lucas) during our time at the University of Moratuwa, first as students and then as junior staff, and beyond.
It has been over twenty five years since we first met Dr. Lucas, but even now, as we stop for a moment and try to recall our interactions with him, it brings feelings of great joy and respect. We think that memories of those interactions are so joyful because without fail he made us feel important and cared for; whether it was getting a doubt in the electrical measurements subject clarified, or requesting for yet another letter of reference for a postgraduate application, we knew that as soon as we got our turn to see Dr. Lucas, he would put one hundred and one other tasks away for the moment and pay us his full attention. One of the unique characteristics of Dr Lucas was his ability to interact with students at a level which most senior academics were not able to, but at the same time being able to gain the due respect as a senior academic. Below we attempt to highlight a few of the many interactions that come to mind, which demonstrate his unique qualities as an academic as well as an admirable human being.
A car ride to campus was a rare luxury for students during our time at University of Moratuwa; Dr. Lucas was one of the very few academics at the university who would care to stop the car and offer a ride to students who were waiting to catch the bus from Katubedda to campus or back. Like many other Moratuwa students before our time and after have experienced, we also had the pleasant surprise of being called by Dr. Lucas to get in his car to make this trip. A few years later, after several of us became junior staff at Moratuwa, Dr. Lucas joined us after work for a game of carrom or table tennis (he always managed to beat us convincingly, sometimes even playing with his non-dominant hand), and then drove us back in his car; sometimes he would even make a de-route to drop us at home!
We found Dr. Lucas to be an extremely helpful person who would go out of his way to help others if needed. One example is our final year project in which we designed a traffic light control system. An inductive sensor for traffic counting was a major component of the system which could only be tested by driving a car over it. Without a car, or for that matter even a driving license, for any of the team members, testing the sensor was a challenge we faced. It was Dr Lucas and his blue Toyota that came to our rescue on this occasion. Dr. Lucas drove the car back and forth as many times as needed on a prototype sensor placed outside the Sumanadasa building, till we got the sensor working. Thank you sir, for your help and patience!
Dr Lucas was respected by everybody even people who were not always that respectful to others. One encounter that comes to our mind is the time a group of us worked at Sampath bank while we were still students, when the universities were closed for an extended period of time. One day, a group of us, along with another engineer (Mr A.) from IBM, were working together trying to solve a problem when the door opened and in walked Dr Lucas. All of us stood up and took time off from what we were doing to talk to Dr Lucas. No sooner Dr Lucas left, our Sampth Bank boss (who was not a Katubedda engineer) inquired, "Who was that?" His next remark was, " He must be someone special because I have never seen Mr A being so respectful to anybody before."
More recently in 2011, we had the pleasure of hosting Professor Lucas at our residence in Melbourne for a couple of nights while he was on a University accreditation tour. On the second morning as we sat down for breakfast, Dr Lucas made his trademark jerky exclamation saying that his USB memory stick with all his important stuff was missing. Remembering that he had done his laundry the previous night, we went and checked the washing machine and noticed the memory stick sitting at the bottom of the drum. Calm as always, he picked the USB memory stick and put it on his laptop, and with a smile on his face said "Good, all the viruses are now gone and it is working."
Sir, just like you have achieved many noteworthy things in your career, we think you have nicely lined yourself up for a Guinness record for the so-called "autobiography" co-authored by the largest number of authors. Sir, we congratulate you on a brilliant career and thank you for all what you have done for us to get to where we are now. Enjoy a well earned retirement.
Dr Ajith Gunathilaka and Dr Shanika Karunasekera, Melbourne, Australia, [UoM, En&Tc Graduates 1990]
From: "Dr Chandana Samarasinghe"
Date: Mon, April 15, 2013 12:16 pm
I heard that you are planning to retire from the university in September. I am extremely saddened to hear that future students will not have the opportunity to experience your remarkable scholarly breadth and erudition. However, after doing a great patriotic service for so long, I agree that you deserve a well-earned break.
The word that most comes to mind for me when I think about "Professor Rohan Lucas" is integrity. You are a profoundly ethical man, whose values, work, and family life are seamlessly aligned. You are a bright, principled, and caring person with a fine analytical mind and sound judgement, whose interests go well beyond the classroom. You accept people for what they are.
During my undergraduate years, the first thing that I noticed about you was the quality of your intellect. You articulate issues, no matter how complex, in a clear and concise fashion so that others could understand. You were also able quickly to grasp the direction of the thinking of us and with insight point out other interpretations or conclusions that we had not thought to draw.
I have admired you as a student initially and then as a lecturer in your department and during those years have had the privilege of watching you make special and unique contributions to Moratuwa University. You have been active in departmental governance and committed to its effective functioning. You have been a consistent and effective advocate of development of electrical engineering education in Sri Lanka, with a broad interest in the overall academic process and a strong institutional loyalty to Moratuwa University as a whole as well as to the electrical engineering department.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to you for being such a wonderful teacher and mentor throughout my academic life at Moratuwa. Needless to say, it has been a great privilege studying under such an extraordinary scholar and teacher.
Along with other lecturers whom I have come to admire at Moratuwa University, you have always pushed me to strive for excellence, or what the ancient Greeks commonly referred to as "arête." For this, I will always be grateful. I conclude by wishing you the very best for your retirement. May this new phase see good health, happiness and intellectual fulfillment. Thank you for your service as an educator and inspiration to me as a student, best captured in Alexander the Great's famous reflection: "To my parents I owe my life, but to my teachers I owe the 'good life.'"
Finally, few lighter moments as I recollect:
- Not only you have imparted a great amount of knowledge onto us, but you have also been a true friend to all of us. You have always taken the time to establish rapport with fellow staff by getting to know them personally. When I was a staff member, I still remember we often had our lunch with you in your offices chatting on various subjects. I learned from you how to eat drumsticks (Murunga) with fork and knife.
- I still remember travelling to Iranawila (Chilaw) with you for a consultancy work undertaken for the Voice of America radio station. The persistent rain on that day did not stop you joining us for field measurements - earth resistivity testing. This is a very good example of your humbleness. By the time we returned to Colombo, you had already completed the report with all graphs and analysis.
- You always fought for justice and fair treatment to all individuals. I can still remember you supporting me in some odd occasions where justice did notprevail. For example, the university non-academic governance penalised me for not completing the doctorate within three years by sending a "vacation of post" letter while I was in the middle of my dissertation. Later, you interfered to rectify their oversight by offering me to return once I completed the doctorate.
- We (fellow staff) could not beat you in any of the "friendly" table tennis games.
- "I still remember you assisting us with replying to visa officers (when they initially gave us a hard time in processing student visas for our higher studies). I am sure you would not do differently, if you knew exactly, at that time, that some of us would not return to the faculty.
- "When you were in Auckland University in New Zealand on sabbatical, you showed us your capabilities in house painting too at Nalin's place. (Did Nalin award you the post-doctoral diploma in house decoration?)
- "When you were planning to buy a government sponsored duty free vehicle, I admired the mammoth background work (tables, graphs, analysis) you conducted prior to ordering the vehicle.
- "Had my wife's family enquired you about me (before my marriage), I would have been in big trouble as you would have said to them "Chandana Samarasinghe is married to Yamuna with two children" referring to Chandana Samarasinghe of CEB.
Dr. Chandana Samarasinghe,National Planning, AEMO, Australia, [UoM EE graduate 1990]
From: "Athula Rajapakse"
Date: Tue, August 13, 2013 12:47 pm
In my personal experience, you are the most accomplished and dedicated teacher at the University of Moratuwa. I need no effort to mentally go back over 25 years to High Voltage Engineering classes you taught us ...insulation breakdown mechanisms, mechanism of lightning, corona effect, etc. I still remember how you surprised us with your mental math abilities - you performed very odd divisions up to endless number of decimal points in front the class without the help of a calculator - you only need to look at the black board for few seconds. One of the greatest qualities I admire is your fairness in dealing with both academic and non-academic maters. Also, you never answered a question or expressed an opinion without thinking - of course very fast thinking. You took constant effort to improve the teaching material even after many years of teaching. Also you were a very approachable teacher. Now I too follow an academic carrier as you and I often look upon to you as a role model.
I could more closely associate with you and your wife Ramala during your sabbatical spent at the University of Manitoba. It was clearly evident, the respect you commanded from your former students, just from the large contingent of students gathered at the Winnipeg airport to welcome you. During your stay in Winnipeg, I saw more closely the simple person within your complex character. I still remember the great discussions we had during coffee breaks, in the company of another great teacher Dr. Ani Gole. I cannot refrain from mentioning a story Dr. Gole often fondly recite. According to him, having noticed you using three-four sugar packets for a cup of coffee (as most Sri Lankans do), one day he offered to add sugar to your cup of coffee. As per the story, you never noticed the sugar level even when he added as many sugar packets as needed to saturate the coffee with sugar. Although Dr. Gole thinks you are insensitive to sugar, I believe you never complained out of respect to him.
I wish to congratulate on your well-deserved retirement after a distinguished carrier which rendered an invaluable service to Sri Lanka and the field of electrical engineering. I wish you all the best.
Prof Athula Rajapakse, Associate Professor, Engineering and Information Technology Complex, University of Manitoba, Canada [UoM EE Graduate 1990]
From: "Patali Champika Ranawaka"
Date: Wed, March 27, 2013 1:59 pm
The meaning of fighting for freedom, justice and fair play was never alien to me. This I have maintained since my childhood. It is also no secret that I have maintained a keen interest in student struggles and always stood and fought for our democratic rights and equity.
When I recalled my childhood, I am proud to say that I came from a very humble background and can still remember my younger days without electricity or any other present day amenities. These are now considered as basic essentials but were quite alien to us as children. But those were the days of simple village life without any sophistications of a child from an elite family. But we were happy as simple rural children. Being a folk from a village background has without doubt added to my passion for student activities.
Having described briefly about myself as a prolog, I want to write few words about a person who is elite by birth but simple and humble in heart. This is non-other than our dear Prof. J. Rohan Lucas.
I first came to know Prof. Lucas in 1985 when I entered the University of Moratuwa as a first year engineering undergraduate. Those were the days of absolute chaos and separatist terrorism is beginning to sow seeds in our society. Especially after the July Riots in 1983 and mass massacre done by LTTE terrorist at Anuradhapura in 1985, our country was slowly and steadily but surely heading towards self-destruction.
This time period, still I can remember as yesterday. Our freedom for activities and speech as young students were greatly constrained, there were various restrictions, threats and intimidation imposed on student unions and its leaders. This was an era of constant pandemonium and disorder and it was obvious to us that the country was moving in the direction of an undemocratic atmosphere.
We also felt the heat of the student unrest, and can remember the manner in which the leading student meetings were disrupted by the authorities. These undemocratic activities and disruptions gradually paved the way for a radical insurgency led by students.
After my first year studies in the campus, I have selected Electrical Power Engineering as my chosen field of specialization. My resolve was further solidified by the inspiring teaching of individuals like Prof. Lucas. His teaching ability enthralled me like those of no other Sri Lankan professor. The manner in which he manipulates his lessons to get the optimum output from us, without destroying our self-respect and the special attention he pays to backward students is simply astounding!
To put things in the correct perspective, as a born freedom fighter I was engaged in numerous student struggles and had no intention to go for lectures. However, during our third year or Part II studies, I can remember going to the High Voltage Engineering lessons conducted by Dr. Lucas. This may be due to the great respect I had for this person.
This is somewhat strange; as a habit I normally will not go for any lectures and used to study on my own by means of the lecture notes of other students or getting help or Kuppiya ( in student language) from my friends whenever I want to learn something difficult. This was during 1987 and I was moved to go for the High Voltage (HV) Engineering lesson from the 1st day itself. Here, I found a very humble, down to earth and simple human being in Prof. J. Rohan Lucas.
In him I saw a true teacher who has taught us from A to Z about H.V. Engineering supported by a well written set of notes. I can still remember his first lesson about the lightning phenomena. We as students thought until then that lightning stroke means flow of a massive electrical charge from a rainy cloud to mother earth. But we learnt in a convincing way that this is not the case always. Subsequently due to his excellent manner of teaching I have decided to go for all of his lectures without any breaks. This I consider an exception from my normal behavior in the campus.
I want to complement some more of his characteristics. He was punctual and never discriminated a student because he or she is from a rural family or is a union activist or for any other reason. To him all the students were equal. This is especially true when it comes for the evaluation of course works or examinations. Consequently, not like some of the other lecturers, we never had any fear of reprisal as union leaders.
That is why I am proud to say that I did obtain an A grade for H.V. Engineering in the Part II examination. Thus, I can vouch Prof Lucas's unbiased and impartial attitude towards students.
His ability to explain complex theories of H.V. engineering without any complications is awe-inspiring. We all can remember his lessons and explanation of phenomena such as stray capacitance related to transmission lines. This will not be forgotten by many of us. His numerous teachings were extremely useful right through in our professional life.
Another remarkable practice we have experienced is his ability to solve sums without any calculators and certainly he was quicker than many students who were using calculators.
Most recently, soon after I became the Minister of Power and Energy, I visited the Head office of the LTL Holdings (Pvt) Ltd at Park Street, which is a subsidiary of the CEB. I was told that the premises belong to Dr. Lucas's family and was little surprised. I can state without any hesitation, that he is from an elite family, went to an elite school and had excellent educational qualifications. But, he did not leave his motherland for greener pastures abroad unlike like many others. This is the beauty of his simple and patriotic life.
I also wanted to recall invaluable services he rendered to me by helping me to sort out the 15% ceiling imposed on dispatching of the Puttlam Lak Vijaya Coal Power Plant. He as a learned professor has helped the decision makers to increase this ceiling up to 25 % by giving an expert opinion, thereby saving billions of rupees to our country.
Without any hesitation, I am proud to say that Prof. Lucas has served his motherland with flying colors and has paid back many times the benefits he gained from the free education.
I wish he will continue to serve our country in the future with equal vigor and strength. As a Cabinet Minister, I will not hesitate to seek his unbiased and impartial expert opinion whenever there is a professional doubt.
Patali Champika Ranawaka; M.P, Minister of Technology, Research and Atomic Energy (2013) Minister of Power and Energy (2011-2013), [UoM EE Graduate 1991]
From: "Anura Wijayapala"
Date: Tue, March 19, 2013 3:31 pm
First I thought I do not need to write because we have been understanding each other so closely that what I mean and what you mean usually match very well. However looking at the great many written responses you get from friends of all levels, I though of typing a few of my thoughts as well.
Humans have a relatively medium lives. If (or rather when) you live 90 years ( as you often estimate based on your ancestry), 43 year service needs to be extended by good 30%. So I am not happy at all your getting ready to call it a day on completion of 65 years or even with a few more years on contract. People of your caliber must associate with the university as long as you can afford to and I am sure financial terms for you have been always secondary. Department would have immensely benefitted if we had Prof. Sam dropping in here at least weekly and influencing the young lecturers' in shaping up their academic lives. We missed it. Now we want it from you.
I do not want to flatter on appreciating your work. Only thing I would say is the department will have a big empty space when it is minus of Prof. Lucas because we are yet to see a Department of Electrical Engineering at uom without you!
I have learnt from a lot of high caliber people; Prof. Sam Karunaratne, Mr. UD Jayawardena, Mr. Eelian de Silva, Mr. Joe Warnakulasinghe to name a few. But in this list you stand very very TALL.
Thank you for all what you have done to help me in finding my first job and the second job as well.
I will not forget to thank your wife for her understanding and help which must have made your work easier in this long journey of academic life. Wish you two a healthy and happy life in the coming several decades!
Anura Wijayapala, Senior Lecturer I, UoM, Former Vice-Chairman, CEB, Former Factory Manager Lanka Transformers, [UoM EE Graduate 1991]
From: "W F Malraj Fernando"
Date: Fri, September 19, 2014 10:11 pm
Professor J. Rohan Lucas
It is a great privilege, and an honor with pleasure, to write a few words in appreciation of you, great Professor J.R. Lucas. Very little has changed from the day I met you in 1985 till now, and you look the same smiling pleasant person.
I first came to know you as a teacher in our second year teaching Electrical Measurement, notes of which I keep with me even today for teaching and for reference. We were little scared at the start when you came close to us asking questions on the subject but after sometime we were all at ease with your little humor. Although, those questions looked very simple, they always carried a profound meaning and practical knowledge behind them. One thing I cherish and value about your teaching is your ability to explain very difficult complex scientific concepts with day-to-day simple examples. Your ability to explain very complicated phenomena starting from first principles amazes me even today.
I always admire your great commitment for teaching and making sure the students have grasped what you have taught. I, as a student, always felt that you take great interest in teaching. Those days, we used to say that Dr. Lucas has the sets of notes and willingness to teach any class starting from first year NDT students to final year BSc Engineering Students and even the post graduate students now. We always felt that we were at home in your classroom with your cordial friendship and the smile on your face. You are an example to many of us in the manner you stand by your policies always. One very rare quality among academics, I see in you is that your humility in willingness to say 'I do not know' when you are not sure.
Outside the classroom, you were a friend helping us and advising us in our difficult circumstances. I still remember how you assisted us and encouraged us when we went through the turbulent and terror days in 1988-1990. When some of us came and requested letters of recommendation for applying for temporary jobs outside or getting exemption to follow other external courses, you never hesitated but assisted us. At the same time you encouraged and advised us not to lose hope of the future.
After a long delay due to insurgencies in the country, many of us had to wait in the Department after passing out as graduates without jobs. I remember how you assisted us in finding jobs in the private sector and opportunities to pursue higher studies during that time. I too was given the opportunity to work as an temporary assistant lecturer and invited me to join the staff while following an MPhil under your supervision. Although I declined that opportunity when CEB opened the doors, I will never forget the mercy shown to me in my time of need. I also remember with gratitude all the advice and guidance given at various stages of my life.
It is a real blessing to be a student of yours and consider it a great privilege to meet a wonderful person like you in my life's journey. May your achievements and great qualities in life be a blessing to many others even after your retirement!
May God Bless you and your Family!
W.F. Malraj Fernando, Project Manager [Clean Energy & Network Improvement Project -Pk1, CEB, UoM EE Graduate 1991]
From: "Ramya Wanniarachchi"
Date: Thu, June 27, 2013 4:45 pm
Prof. Lucas is leaving UOM after an illustrious carrier spanning for 43 years. The Electrical Department at UOM will never be the same without Prof. Lucas. He is the cornerstone upon which the department, which we all have fond memories of, was built. We are privileged to be his students and It's both a pleasure as well as an honor that I am writing down my memories of him during the last 26 years.
We entered to the UOM in 1986. During the period from 1987 to 1990, more than two and half years, we were at home as universities were kept closed due to prevailing security situation in the country. When the university was re-opened in February, 1990 most of the Lecturers had left for higher studies or were on sabbatical leave. Only Prof.Lucas (Dr Lucas then) was there in the Department to teach most of the electrical subjects until a Senior Batch passed out. He worked tirelessly to fill the vacuum.
After selecting to follow the Electrical Stream, we had two options to decide between, either Electrical Power or Electronic & Telecommunication. Even before entering to the UOM, I had a dream to follow Electrical Power. But most of my senior school mates discouraged me on selecting Electrical Power. When I discussed the matter with Prof, he encouraged me to follow Electrical Power. Today I am really happy about my career. It is with a big 'Thank you' that I put down today on record your valuable advice. We were fortunate to obtain his service during the whole period we were in the Electrical Department. He was always available and ready to help students.
My friends who joined the temporary staff as Instructors or Assistant Lecturers told me that he treated them as close friends. In general we never expect such a close friendship with a very Senior Staff Member. Unfortunately I missed that period as I left the Department only after two and half months being an Instructor.
I am very proud to say that I am one among thousands of his students. There are no words to express the service you offered to the students at UOM. Athula and I wish him many more years of contribution to Sri Lanka's Electrical Power Industry and wish him good health, happiness and success at all times.
Ramya Wanniarachchi, Chief Engineer (Planning & Development) - Colombo City, Ceylon Electricity Board [UoM EE Graduate 1992]
From: "Deepthi Hewageegana"
Date: Fri, June 28, 2013 12:27 pm
It is nearing 30 years or 28 years to be exact since the first time I set my eyes on Prof. Lucas (Those days it was Dr. Lucas). It took another year before we started associating with him closely, that is when he started lecturing us on Part I Theory of electricity. He was different from most of the other lecturers, Very serious but friendly, and most importantly, it was very clear that he enjoyed the task.
Though, in our eyes he was a very senior and respected figure, he had this ability where he broke the Master-student barrier, so he became not only a Teacher but also a counselor. We felt very comfortable and relaxed to interact with him and naturally he became a wonderful role model for the budding engineering students.
The next time we had the fortune of associating Professor Lucas, was when we were in the final year, lecturing his pet subject "High Voltage" - Monday Morning, Most difficult day to come on time. Still 90% of the students will be there on time, with a few exceptions because we all knew Prof. will be on time. It was an excellent set of lectures, just like a mini skirt. Covering all the important aspects but keeping it simple and interesting enough for students like me.
The most valued aspect of his teaching was his commitment outside the class room. He will give assignments and submissions was marked and returned within couple of days with his comments and corrections well drafted. He was accessible any time during the working hours or after hours, and was more than willing assist us.
In the face of Rules and Regulations he was a different person. He stuck to them to the letter which sometimes found impracticable.
I still remember one incident. One or two days after the final year High Voltage paper, he was asking each of the batch mates, how we have fared at High Voltage paper. He did this with a funny look in his eyes. We were sure that he has already marked the papers and enjoying our comments. We tried our best get a feed back on individual or general performance, but no avail. But I am sure, already knowing how we have performed, on his own; he would have enjoyed our comments greatly.
We were blessed have a teacher in caliber of Professor Lucas who is a simple, uncomplicated mentor who not only showed us the way forward in Electrical Engineering, but showed us simplicity, commitment and principles by practice.
Sir, wish you health, peace and long life.
Deepthi Hewageegana, Director Hayleys Industrial Solutions Ltd, [EE UoM graduate 1992]
From: "Anula Abeygunawardana"
Date: Wed, July 10, 2013 7:24 pm
It is a great pleasure for me to write down my memories with you as a student and then as a member of the staff and beyond. I will always remember you as a simple man who wore a smile at all times and was always ready to help students and the junior staff.
As a student, I saw you as a teacher who interacted with students in a friendly and caring manner and enjoyed association with students. Your door was open for students and you always had time to chat with them. You were a compassionate teacher, who enjoyed teaching to an unimaginable degree that never failed to impress me; who was constantly dedicated to the student. I remember how you always endeavoured to mark every student's assignment and exam papers as soon as submitted.
When I was working as a junior staff member, just after graduation, I remember how much you cared about us and how you enjoyed interacting with us. Every morning, you would come to the staff room with a knowing smile and always ready to crack a joke. I remember how you always had a joke and how you never failed to make every aspect of our day seem light-hearted. I believe it made us all the more comfortable to interact with you closely. You were always there for the junior staff when they needed you the most. One of your most impressive qualities is how you never feared to fight with anybody for unfair treatment without reason. I remember a time when you heard Nalika's appointment letter got delayed for weeks and you directly went to the establishment branch, talked to them, and convinced them to get it done by the next day. This event is embedded in my mind as a quality of yours that I would always admire from then on.
After I joined the department as a Senior Lecturer in 1997, I was able to work with you much more closely. It was a great honour and pleasure to share my work with you. I especially enjoyed the shared lectures that Jahan, you and Idid for the first semester batch. I will never forget how you were always there to give me a lift from the university to Mt. Lavinia. It became a habit for you to check my office to see if I was there at the end of the workday, and whether I required a lift.
After I resigned from the department in 2002, I had the very fortunate opportunity to meet you, Ramala and Rosanthi in 2009 in Milan. We had a wonderful time during your stay at my place in Milan.I'm sure you recall the rushed trip in which you visited Venice, Padua and Verona in a single day, with Ajith and Vinuri. As I heard from Ajith, the most memorable part of your Milan trip is visiting the old Monza car track and, not believing that therewas a 45 degree slope awaiting you, had to climb the steep side on all fours.
Thank you Sir for all you did for us. You have an exceptional gift of humour; this made each and every one of us laugh and enjoy the environment we worked and studied in. Your commendable willingness to fight for fairness was one of your most admirable qualies. I will always remember you as a very simple man, who wasn't one to crave things that most other people desired and as a man who enjoyed the simple pleasures of life.
Ajith, Vinuri and I wish you a healthy retirement life, filled with happiness and full of laughter, which I'm sure you won't fail to add in.
Dr Anula Kumarihamy Abeygunawardena, Senior Research Fellow, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia [UoM EE Graduate 1992]
From: "Peiris Jahan"
Date: Sun, May 12, 2013 2:37 pm
A very interesting article about a very distinguished carrier. There are so many things that we all can learn.
I was fortunate to have you as a lecturer when I studied at the Electrical Engineering Department. Unfortunately, you were on sabbatical leave for most of our Part I, so we missed you for most of Theory of Electricity lectures. However, we were lucky to have you for our Part II Power Systems and Part III High Voltage Engineering lectures. I still refer to your notes. In particular, I often refer to your notes on short circuit analysis when I want to refresh myself on sequence impedance calculations and zero sequence diagrams. We liked some lectures than others for different reasons. For example, we all really enjoyed Prof PAD's lectures because of various interesting stories he told and his wide ranging opinions.
Although you always talked about subject matter, we all liked and enjoyed your lectures a lot, because of the way you presented them.
After my undergraduate days, I had the privilege of working with you very closely at the Department of Electrical Engineering. It was a great honour to work with you and even to share lectures with you (such as in the instance where you, Anula and I shared the first year Electrical Engineering Course for the first group of students who entered the University under the semester system). During the time at the Department, I occupied the room next to your's. I still remember how much effort you put in to build up and maintain the department news page. I remember the time you found out a way to have a "Visitor No." counter on the news page. It was in late 1999 and everybody was talking about the MILLENNIUM. I remember one afternoon you shouted from your room "Jahan, we reached the millennium" when that Visitor No. counter reached 1000! I visited the Department news page a little while ago and can see how far we have come since then. Another afternoon, you were getting ready to leave for a meeting in Colombo. At the last moment, you realised that a button from one of the long sleeves of your shirt was missing. I remember how you used a paper clip like a cufflink when our search for a pin failed!
Most will not know that you are a very good cook. I still remember the very nice surprise dinner that you prepared for Shantha, Badra and me when we were in Auckland. That was the first time I had "marble rice"! I remember how you had set up the table with the cutlery in place to make it a very formal dinner. I also remember how you guided us when we got together to paint Nalin's house. You were very good at giving us all the hints in doing a good painting job.
When I showed your autobiography to Badra, she mentioned that you were her mentor when she was in her first year at the University. She mentioned how you took them around the department including the laboratories, in particular the high voltage laboratory. Another thing she mentioned is how humble you are, which I completely agree with her.
Dear Lucas Sir, finally, I would like to tell you that, you were like a father figure to me when I was studying at the University, and a very close friend to me since then. I learnt a lot from you and thoroughly enjoyed every minute that I have associated with you. The University will never be the same after your retirement.
Badra and I wish you a very happy and healthy retirement. Have a well deserved break!
With love and all good wishes,
Dr Jahan Peiris, Manager/Operations Technical Support TransGrid System Operations, Australia [UoM EE Graduate 1993]
From: "Dharshana Muthumuni "
Date: Mon, April 29, 2013 7:41 pm
Dr. Lucas - A man of great stature
Dr. Rohan Lucas is a teacher and a gentleman. He has touched the lives of thousands of students who graduated from the University of Moratuwa and certainly mine. He was the epitome of what a teacher should be. I learnt at firsthand how seriously he took his obligations as a teacher. If I were to pick a single quality that stood out about Dr Lucas, that would be it.
Dr. Lucas opened up the opportunity for me to go to the University of Manitoba. He had worked as a Research Scholar with Dr. Peter McLaren, an individual that both Dr. Lucas and I hold in the highest esteem, and through his brilliance and hard work had established a very high repute. Thus, Dr McLaren had no hesitation to recruit me when I was recommended by Dr Lucas. This was in 1995 and since then, over 50 Engineering students have come to Manitoba for graduate studies on scholarships. While I like to think that I played a minor role, obviously, it is Dr. Lucas who is to blame for this 'brain drain' to Manitoba!
I was fortunate to have gone through the undergraduate program at Moratuwa. I firmly believe that the Academic standards of the Electrical Engineering Department is world class. Maintaining this takes a highly qualified and dedicated staff and this has always been a challenge at Moratuwa. It is no secret that Dr. Lucas took it upon himself to ensure that nothing comes in the way of providing the students with the highest standards of instruction. There were times when I was a student where he would come to class to teach subjects outside of his normal schedule to cover up for the staff member who had gone on study leave or sabbatical.
It was our good fortune that Dr. Lucas agreed to come back to Manitoba in 2006 for his final Sabbatical. His research this time was funded by the Manitoba HVDC Research Centre, the makers of PSCAD software. I was the lead collaborator from the company side and was amazed that he was the faster FORTRAN programmer despite that being my day job for over 10 years. With his math skills still sharp as a tack, he developed for us an analytical tool to evaluate the 'stability' of electrical systems. The 'Lucas CT model' that he developed in 1991 is now an established module available in the industry standard PSCAD software. Students he tutored are contributing to the progress of the electrical engineering filed across the world.
All these and Dr Lucas' legacy in the engineering community is firmly set.
During his visit to Manitoba in 2006, me and my family got to know Dr. Lucas and his most wonderful wife in a more informal setting. These are some facts I found out...
I learnt that any time of the day is a good time for him to have a cup of tea. He can enjoy a cup of tea without sugar or with 10 spoonful's of sugar. Surprisingly (for me at least, as I never knew him outside of his pedagogues façade before) he was very good with little children and my little daughter loved his company. 'Sarama' is his favorite outfit when relaxing at home. He is always up for a weekend trip or any fun activity.
When irked, Dr, Lucas can be sharp and tell without mixing words that you did not meet the highest standards that he expected from his former students !
A not so well known fact about Dr. Lucas is his love for sports and his talent for any game that involves a bat and a ball. He plays a mean game of Table Tennis, a game that runs in his family. I recall that we played Table Tennis at our workplace in Manitoba pretty much every single day during that stay in 2010. Dr. Lucas was a 'player in demand' for our lunch time sessions and my colleagues at the HVDC Research Centre still recall the great times we had. He beat them all but one!
Dr Rohan Lucas is a man of great stature. That he is a Josephian is no coincidence!
Dr. Dharshana Muthumuni , Manager, Engineering Studies and Simulations, Manitoba HVDC Research Centre, Winnipeg, Canada [UoM EE graduate 1993]
From: "Sisira Kankanam Gamage "
Date: Sun, April 28, 2013 4:11 am
Prof. J Rohan Lucas
I consider it an honor to add my appreciation here on the eve of Prof. Rohan Lucas's retirement after 43 long years of service to the nation. Prof. Lucas undoubtedly a towering figure of University of Moratuwa for past many years and also shares the credit of making University of Moratuwa as it stands today, a word class University. Highly revered as a supreme expert in High Voltage Engineering, nation will greatly benefit if his expertise is continued to be sought in projects of national importance.
My interaction with Prof. Lucas started back in 1987 when I was a second year undergrad at the University of Moratuwa. This was the course on Theory of Electricity which he taught for many long years. For the past many years this was the first course that laid the foundation for budding electrical engineers. In my view it is this great foundation that helped us become better electrical engineers that employers competed to hire.
As I've chosen the electrical engineering degree program, I met him again in the third year and in the final year. His famous final year high voltage engineering course is one of the courses I was thoroughly drawn into and taking my focus away for other courses was quite difficult task at that time, I recollect.
Prof. Lucas I see as a professor who didn't preach but who set a solid example for others to follow. He was never late to the lectures. His lectures were started and ended on time. Punctual in every possible way, he never missed a single lecture during my time as an undergrad.
When I became the privileged few who could join the staff of the department of electrical engineering, I had the greatest pleasure of interacting with Prof. Lucas at a different level. To this date I consider this a very high privilege, to receive mentoring from a highly revered Professor like him. During my time as an assistant lecturer, he very willingly reviewed the tutorials I made for the course I taught on electrical measurements. After these review sessions I remember leaving his office highly motivated.
Prof. Lucas's door was always open to the students. He needed no prior appointments. I vividly remember one incident where he gave priority to students over us, assistant lecturers. This was the examination period at the university and Prof. Lucas told me and another assistant lecturer that he had a senate meeting to attend to and he could talk to us later. As we walked out of his room, in came a student to see him to clarify some subject matter. We saw Prof. Lucas let the student in and took time to explain the material for few long minutes and taking off for the senate meeting. This incident taught me a lesson on how to set priorities in the role of a lecturer.
I am sure to this date, Prof. Lucas is the first professor to pass the student grades to the examinations division, following the exams. During our time at the department, I was served a notice by him, reminding me of the department's practice to grade the answer scripts and to pass the grades to the examination division. This was a day before the new year holidays and I had to take the answer scripts home and greet the answer scripts than greeting and meeting the relatives during new year holidays. I later learnt that department of electrical engineering set self-imposed deadlines to release grades to set an example. This taught us an excellent lesson on deadlines and the need to honor them and on adapting to sub cultures that set better examples.
Our time at the department was fairly a dry period in securing student's grants for higher education and I remember Prof. Lucas providing me many recommendation letters taking no time what so ever. He at times discouraged me to apply to certain universities, telling me you can get to a better university than this. If I remember right he out right refused to provide me letters to some universities as well. This is a clear example of how he certainly wanted his students to aim high. This is an extraordinary act of Prof. Lucas that I myself and all of his students should be more than grateful to.
His famous line was "I am not a man of talk but a man of work". When we celebrated the 25 years of Prof. S Karunaratne' service (then Prof. of Electrical Engineering and head of the department), we made a prior request to Prof. Lucas to make a speech. Prof. Lucas was the most senior student of Prof. Karunaratne in the department at that time and we thought it was quite fitting for him to make a speech at that occasion. Though he used the "man of the work" line he agreed to speak and also asked us assistant lecturers to pass some pointers. We were quite surprised and thrilled to see he gave the speech along lines we passed on to him. This is clearly an occasion where he exhibited the lighter side of him.
During our time at the department, Prof. Lucas always encouraged us to go see the world outside the walls of University of Moratuwa. Whenever he attended the relevant events outside, he made sure to give us rides as well. I remember an occasion where Prof. Lucas asked us whether we would be attending Prof. R. H Paul memorial lecture, the father of electrical engineering education in Sri Lanka. When I told him that I thought he, Prof. Lucas was the father of electrical engineering education in Sri Lanka, he smilingly said he would be delivering the R H Paul memorial lecture that year.
Prof. Lucas in no uncertain terms stood as a giant pillar of the electrical engineering education in Sri Lanka for the past 43 years and no doubt in my mind that the history will place him along the lines of Prof. R. H Paul. On the day of his retirement, student community, electrical engineering community and the whole nation salute you Sir, for your greatest service to the nation!
Dr. Sisira Kankanam Gamage , Senior Design Engineer ( General Electric Sensing and Inspection, Fremont, CA, USA ), [UoM EE graduate 1993]
From: "Saman Gunasekara "
Date: Fri, May 3, 2013 8:07 pm
I was a student of Prof. Lucas in 1993. My field was Electronics and Telecommunication. I learnt Theory of Electricity from him. I found him to be a genius but very simple professor. I admired him as a role model or Guru in the subject. I liked his teaching very much as he could explain most complex subject maters in a very simple way. The teaching of Prof. Lucas was very clear and consistent. His lectures are crystal clear and he reiterates everything to make sure the class understands the material. He always made sure students have a clear understanding of the material and doesn't rely on the book to teach the class. He knew his subject thoroughly. He can actually TEACH. He was very well organized and fair enough in grading as well. He made me really love the subject.
Even now I am using Prof. Lucas's notes to teach my Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering students as I found them clear and accurate, which cannot be achieved even after reading many famous texts. He was very generous in giving me the go ahead when I asked the permission to use those notes as my class notes. His only humble request was to show his name at the bottom of each page. He has even published those notes on the web enabling anybody to use them free. That's why I love him as a rare kind of professor.
Not only that he was a very patient, humble and simple professor . I still remember his humble smile whenever I come across him in a corridor or cross path.
I think Mr. J. R Lucas is overall a great professor.
Saman Gunasekara , Technical Manager for EricssonTelecommunications Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd. [UoM En&Tc graduate, 1993]
From: "Mohamed Firdhous"
Date: Fri, March 15, 2013 6:34 pm
It is nice to know all the details of yours from your birth to date. Let me put briefly details of contacts I had with you.
Initially I knew you as a lecturer during my undergraduate days at UoM from 1990 to 1994. I am glad to say that you were one of my best lecturers and I managed to get A (Maximum Grade - No A+ were given those days) for all your subjects. You even instructed some practicals in the electrical measurements lab. I even remember the practical where we had to measure the resistance of a short aluminum rod.
Then I was a temporary lecturer in the electronics depertment during 1996-1997 period. This time I spent more time in the electrical engineering department than in the electronic department. I still remember how you used to treat me. We even used to go to canteen together along with other senior lecturers like Prof. Ranjith, Prof. Wijayathunga etc and my immediate seniors like Dharshana Mutumuni, Jehan Peiris and Sisira Kankanamgamage etc., in a single group.
Then for the third time as a permanent lecturer in the IT Faculty after 2003. I always used to come to electrical engineering dept. to meet my lecturers. There in the staff lunch room we used to talk on everything under the sun and enjoy ourselves. You recommend me for the corporate membership of IESL and membership of IET (IEE those days). I am really grateful to you for that.
I traveled in your car several times when I was living at Mount Lavinia. I once even came to your house in Mount Lavinia with you when it was under construction.
Though I am on leave from UoM from 2010, I always make it a habit to visit EE department just to meet you and other staff members to say hi, because I really feel that EE dept is a part of my life. It is people like you who really made me feel like that.
I am really glad and honored I had a lecturer like you. I learnt a lot from you both on academic matters as well as others.
I hope you will be in touch with the UoM in the future too. I wish you long and happy retired life.
Mohamed Firdhous, Postgrad Malasia, [UoM Graduate 1994]
From: "Sanath Jayasena"
Date: Fri, April 19, 2013 1:49 pm
I first I came to know Prof. Lucas by name only, when I read the Student Handbook which listed the academics of all the Departments. The student handbook was given to me when I was admitted to the Faculty of Engineering at University of Moratuwa in 1986, having sat the A/L's in 1985.
I was fortunate to be selected to the very first batch of 16 students to follow the degree program offered by the newly established Department of Computer Science & Engineering headed by Dr. Abhaya Induruwa. We got to know that new equipment and labs were to be setup in our Department with support from the Japanese government. Due to unrests and political violence that prevailed during 1987-1989, Universities were closed most of the time. During this period, Prof. Lucas had served as the Head of our Department for about an year while Dr. Induruwa was away on his sabbatical; but we did not have any interaction with Prof. Lucas during this time as the University was closed.
When we returned to the University, in early 1990 as I remember, Dr. Induruwa was back as the Head of the Department and we noted that the Department had a significant improvement in resources and learning environment. Due to the unavailability of an elevator, the iron railing on the 2nd floor of the Sumanadasa Building (where the Department is located) had been cut in a few places to lift and move-in heavy and large items. We were delighted to see the new labs, computers and equipment other resources. Prof. Lucas has thus made a significant contribution to develop our Department since our beginnings, along with many others.
I got to know Prof. Lucas when he taught 'Theory of Electricity' in the 2nd year. Just like to many others, it was one of the favourite subjects that I followed in our 4-year degree program. His lectures are so rich and his ways of presentation make even complex subject matter easy to understand. It was a privilege to learn from him. Yet, I did not interact with Prof. Lucas outside the class; there was no need for me, probably because he made everything clear in the lecture itself. So I did not think he would even remember me later. Yet, after I graduated in 1993 and joined the University, he helped me with recommendation letters when I applied for graduate studies.
Perhaps the most memorable event for me with Prof. Lucas is not of academic nature. When we were in the final year (1993), there was a day for staff-student sports and recreational activities. As a part of that, I volunteered to play table-tennis and my opponent from the staff side was Prof. Lucas! I had played table-tennis before and I did not know how good or bad Prof. Lucas was; I had the feeling I would win. But to my amazement, I found him to be an excellent player, way ahead of me, and there was no way I could win, despite the cheering from my friends.
Dr. Sanath Jayasena, Associate Professor, Dept of Computer Science & Engineering, [UoM CSE graduate 1994]
From: "Lakshitha Weerasinghe"
Date: Fri, June 28, 2013 9:15 am
Memoires of a student
My first encounter with Prof Lucas (Dr Lucas then) was on the very same day I set foot on the revered soil of University of Moratuwa as a meek freshman, fearing for the presence of raggers. When all of us of the new Engineering batch were called in for the inaugural welcome to UOM, Dr Lucas too was one of the speakers. To this very day, I can remember how I first saw him, a rare thing for a person like me. To us, his name was somewhat amusing as the only name "Lucas" that we have come across till then was that of "Lucas batteries" and his name we thought was a good choice for a Professor of Electrical Engineering.
What happened a week after our first day at UOM is history! My second stint at the Uni began in 1990 and my second encounter with the great man was in 1991 when he taught us Theory of Electricity. Prof Lucas was one of my most admired academics, first for the strong foundation he laid on us on the fundamentals of the subject and secondly due to the man within him. It is not an over statement if I say that the caliber (and personal character) of lecturers like him at the Electrical Department then was one of the strongest reasons why the choice of many of us was tilted towards opting for Electrical Power and not the "trendy" Electronics.
My closest Encounter with Professor Lucas began when I was a final year Electrical Power student. It was really touching for us to see him giving a break in between his lectures, follow us to the canteen, sit on the same table with us and sip a "Plain Tea" before returning back to continue the lecture. He was a character with such modesty.
He has a very strange (and complicated) sense of humor too. Few years after leaving the university, I visited the university one day for some matter, which I cannot remember exactly what. I met him at his office and, to my utmost surprise; he looked at me like a total stranger and inquired "You look familiar to me! Are you a student of this university or are you a student of me or am I known to you due to some other association?" Knowing that professors can be really absent minded at times, I was totally unaware how to respond.
When I started slowly trying to gather one or two words to explain to him that I was once a (good) student of him , he immediately responded back and said "Lakshitha, what can I do for you?". (Thank God, his lectures were far less complicated to understand than his humor!!!.)
His connection with us continued long after we left the university. When I was holding the post of Editor of the IESL Newsletter (SLEN), I invited him to write an article to a special "Technical Trade Supplement" (the only one of its kind released with the SLEN), he readily obliged and gave me an excellent write-up on lightning.
I continued to meet him during my professional carrier too as his services was regularly sought after by the CEB, the Ministry of Power & Energy and PUCSL for many assignments. Hence, I continued to learn from him during such involvements and hence to me he continued to be one of my teachers, years after leaving the University.
Dear Sir, On the eve of your retirement, only thing I have to say is,...
"Great teachers never retire; they always remain in the minds of their students and continue to remind them what they were taught, year after year"
Lakshitha Weerasinghe, Chief Engineer, Ceylon Electricity Board, UoM EE graduate 1994
From: "Ms Vishaka Nanayakkara"
Date: July 13, 2011
A short Note to tell you that your kindness will be remembered always
You were my teacher, my mentor and my guide
But more than anything the friend I could go to with any problem
Thank you ever so much Sir for everything
For being there whenever I needed advice !
I truly appreciate everything !
Ms Vishaka Nanayakkara [UoM CSE graduate 1994, UoM Faculty; former Head CSE]
From: "Dammika Nanayakkara"
Date: Tue, March 12, 2013 7:26 pm
Our dearest Lucas sir, First of all, we are very much privileged and lucky to be your students. You are true professor by example. You made electrical engineering really interesting to us. You are not only a teacher but also a good guider. We are really indebted to you. Your words resembles how real teachers are committed and dedicated for the profession and well being of the students. You are a nice blend of everything. The interesting history you have mentioned is unmatchable and unique and therefore it needs to be made an autobiography.
People will have history, but your one will be unique. It will definitely be very useful and a real example for all fellow engineers. In your biography hope you will remember to mention about EESoc as well. EESoc is a brain child of yours. I can remember how you were leading from the front to launch EESoc. I was privileged to be one of the vice presidents under your presidency. I can remember, you joined us for full 3 day field trip amid your busy schedules; usually 3 day field trips are not very common.
You used to enjoy jokes humors etc. When we printed cartoon book of all teaching staff and final year students of electrical department, even though you were the head of department, you were very happy and gave so much of encouraging suggestions. Nowadays, most of the lecturers will some time misunderstand such acts of students. I believe energy audit you conducted in Oruwala Wane could be the first energy audit in Sri Lanka. That would have been the time when electricity was almost free.
Dammika Nanayakkara, Chief Technical Officer, LTL Holdings [UoM EE Graduate 1995]
From: "Vajira Wijekoon"
Date: Tue, April 2, 2013 10:11 pm
Somewhere in 1992, when we were on a batch trip to 'Atampitiya' mini hydro plant and having a bit of fun, cracking jokes and gossiping after our lunch, I remember seeing a person crossing a 'welpaalama' (suspension bridge) with great difficulty. This person looked very cautious. It looked like he was counting the swing amplitude and frequency of the waves he generated on the bridge while walking. Shaking of the bridge which is inherent to its design created resonance with the trembling of the person. He resembled a transformer's zig-zag winding posture as he walked cautiously. After a while, we could see him seated in the bus that we came in, reading a newspaper holding it upside down! He was challenging the lecturer seated beside him to read it holding upside down. This was Professor Lucas. We were attracted to his simple, humble and humorous ways with a great sense of affection.
During the lectures next day, I drew a cartoon of the Professor crossing the rope bridge and passed it among my colleagues. Someone had finally put it in the notice board. When the Professor came for lectures, he saw this. To our surprise he was not cross seeing him cartoonized, but recalled the past day's adventures with the students in a very cheerful manner. Most amazing thing is that he recollects this incident correctly even after 20 years!
My daughter never keeps her study table tidy. Whenever I blame her for not maintaining it nicely, my conscience asks me "would she become a Professor one day..?" It is because the ever messy office table I had seen in my life is that of Professor Lucas's.
The phrase 'tongue-in-cheek' implies that a statement is not seriously intended. I have seen Professor Lucas using this phrase very often in his casual writing. Not only that, he really used to put his tongue-in-cheek while deeply engrossed in some thought. This behavior was humorously referred to as he is having a 'weralu' seed in his mouth. This is very common when he is drowned in solving a mathematical equation.
I was blessed to be a student of Professor Lucas from my second year to the final year. During our stay in the university in the early 90s we were in our twenties and now I count to realize that Professor would have been in his late forties. We had very close relationships with our teachers. When I was a temporary instructor, I used to obtain lifts in his brand new Toyota car that was bought on a long awaited Government permit. Professor really enjoyed offering lifts. When I mentioned it to him recently I was surprised to hear that now such solicitation is very rare among the students. Travelling with him was very enjoyable. He was seeing the world in his own way. Once a tiny spider hanging on the rear view mirror of his car was called a 'scaled down crab', I remember.
I still remember how the Professor voluntarily interfered in our final year project, insisting us to do the load flow programme in Pascal (our project supervisor was Professor Priyantha Wijayathunga). We had to stop all work and learn Pascal programming to write our load flow programme. At that time we were very critical of the Professor, with the belief that Pascal is a dead language, but later in my carrier I learnt that still Pascal is being used as a front end language in modern compilers.
Soon after obtaining our final year results, along with a few of my colleagues, I got appointed as a temporary instructor at the Electrical Department. During this period, I had the privilege to work under Professor Lucas as a research assistant in a research project implemented by the Ministry of Power and Energy. It was a study to encourage energy efficient lighting equipment in Sri Lanka by providing Government concessions for imports. Although Professor was searching for a first class degree holder to work under him, he could not find any, as there were none in my batch. His choice was me, who had only a general degree! As we knew very well that Professor generally prefers honors degree holders, I wondered why I was chosen. I was offered a 'five figure' salary (Rs. 10,000) per month during the four month period I worked, which was a superior salary when compared to the 'four figure' salary of newly passed out engineers received during that time.
One fine day I found a letter hidden under a bunch of letters on the Professor's ever messy table. It was a letter from the Ministry of Power & Energy to the Professor, saying that Rs. 15,000 per month would be paid to the research assistant who should be a first class honors degree holder. This disturbed me very much. I made up my mind that because I was not a first class degree holder I was paid less. Though I was disturbed, I determined to carry out my task beyond his expectation. Keeping the turbulence in mind to myself, I never indicated any dissatisfaction. I think I performed my task very well, that the Professor selected me to co-author with him in many technical papers, later. I wonder whether I am the only general degree holder who had co-authored with Professor Lucas. Many years later I was thrilled to see our papers listed under bibliographies of many other technical papers and even in a book published in U.S.A.! Once Mr. Nihal Kularatna (Former Director, Arthur C. Clarke Centre) told that one of our technical papers was the world's only available publication that had truly disclosed the current waveform of compact florescent lamp! I still remember how I worked hard in the Power Systems laboratory to save the waveforms in a storage oscilloscope and to get the plots by connecting it to the large plotter that was in the Machines lab. Professor was well conversant with the equipment in the laboratories and was always behind me, providing valuable guidance. This would have been an easy task if we had waited for another three to four years that saw rapid advancement in electronic instrumentation.
Though I was a general degree holder for the mere reason of not having scored well in my final exams (I have my own excuses and explanations for it.), I managed to add shine to my carrier by working with Professor Lucas, which finally paved the way to enter Ceylon Electricity Board as an engineer.
Thirteen years after leaving the university I got registered for a M.Sc. Programme offered by the University of Moratuwa. Again I had the opportunity to learn under Professor Lucas as a M.Sc. student. At my final defending, when I saw the Professor in the panel, I was happy thinking that I wouldn't get much troubled… which shortly I found was only an innocent hope! During the presentation, Professor was unbelievably disturbing with so many questions. He was arguing and even challenging my PSCAD simulations. It was almost an interrogation rather than a Thesis defense! I could see the sympathetic looks of other members in the panel, but I was helpless. Finally I was asked to alter so many simulations using certain tools that the Professor suggested and to handover it within three days; I was told otherwise I wouldn't qualify for that year's convocation. I strived hard working day and night and completed it in time.
Later, I came across rumours that Professor Lucas is one of the members of the PSCAD team and he flies to Manitoba University very often for attending PSCAD software revival sessions! [Only very recently I found out that this was not true, but that he had many students who were members of the PSCAD team]
I met the Professor recently at the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL), where I am a Council Member and we both work together in a committee, and I was surprised when he suggested writing my thoughts about him! Dear Professor, I thank you for giving me this privilege, but don't you think that I am a mere novice compared to the giant professionals that you have already asked to write about you and who have already written about you?
Having reached the zenith of your professional life and being the main Electrical Consultant for the Colombo Lotus Tower Project, I wish that you would one day climb its maiden steps to reach the highest elev ati on in South Asia and spread the fragrance of your knowledge not only to your motherland, but to the whole South Asian region! May you live long!
Vajira. B. Wijekoon, Chief Enginer, Ceylon Electricity Board [UoM EE Graduate 1995]
From: "Manjula Perera"
Date: Tue, March 12, 2013 12:58 pm
There are no words to express the service you offered to the students at Moratuwa. It is you who found me the job at LTL, even 3 months before my final exam at Moratuwa. It is you who found me University of Manitoba for my higher studies by writing to Prof. Raghuveer personally. It is you who brought me into IET as a committee member. You have done too much for me to achieve what I have achieved today.
So saying thank you will not be good enough at all.
Manjula Perera, Director/CEO, Wind Force (Pvt) Ltd [UoM EE Graduate 1995]
From: "Narendra de Silva"
Date: Wed, March 13, 2013 7:57 am
You are the greatest teacher I have met and probably the greatest man.
Prof. Lucas learned web page development in two weeks. I do not know anybody who can do that? If not then are we to say that those two weeks is equivalent to two weeks of intellectual time of another person. I finished my high voltage paper on a Wednesday. Thursday was a study leave and again we had the next subject on Friday. On my way to the canteen I met Prof. Lucas and found that he has finished paper marking. Do we know anybody who can do that? So are we going to say those two days of paper marking is equal to two days of any other persons intellectual performance.
Prof. Lucas learned power system stability within two weeks by Prabah Kundur. I am lecturing power system stability for last seven years and still have not come to the knowledge level of Prof. Lucas. Therefore it looks like my seven years is not equivalent to his fourteen days. When it comes to your academic service again the same question emerges. I have five or six books in electrical machines in my library. Ten or fifteen in power systems. Same with other subjects. But one and only one book for high voltage engineering. It is the most torn and worn book since I have referred to it over seventeen years now. This is Prof Lucas's high voltage book. When I come to think of it not only I do not own any books but I have never read any other book than this book. Therefore anything and everything I know of high voltage is from this book. I asked from couple of my friends and they confirmed that it is the same with them. I with certain confidence declare that all over the country all electrical engineers from Moratuwa know only what is in that book for High Voltage Engineering. I know Prof. Lucas spent around two or three years in writing this book. Is this two or three years equivalent to two or three any other years of academic. Therefore this time measurement is wrong somewhere.
Either we have to say that within one year Prof. Lucas does more than one year's job or as Einstein said for Prof. Lucas time goes slow.
Dr Narendra de Silva, Head of Engineering, LECO [UoM EE graduate 1995]
From: "Sisil Kumarawadu"
Date: Wed, March 13, 2013 10:27 am
You have been the iconic figure of Dept EE all throughout and all your past/present students deserve a complete autobiography in printed form.
Your service stands out among the best not only in the Departmental point of view but also University level.
Prof Sisil Kumarawadu, UoM Academic Staff [UoM EE Graduate 1996]
Date: Mon, July 22, 2013 9:33 pm
Simply Explained and Simply Understood
Giving a toast meaning to the above characterisation, it is my pleasure and honour to take on a true professor who served the University of Moratuwa for more than a quarter of a century. Important concepts, complex theories or extended equations in electrical engineering, he explained in simple ways, giving a remarkable meaning to the phrase "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough".
This gentleman is non-other than Professor J. Rohan Lucas from the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa. As a student, I had the opportunity to learn from him, listen to his lectures, observe how he solves the problems and appreciate how he thinks as an intellectual. To me, it was simply amazing. All electrical engineering undergraduates who graduated from this university enjoyed his lectures and his theoretical explanations will live in their memories for years to come. During his academic life, he blended his different phases of experience with lesson planning and used in his classroom teaching in an effective fashion. Among his teaching, we enjoyed the Theory of Electricity and High Voltage Engineering beyond doubt. Towards the later part of his career, he contributed to many post graduate courses, expanding his service further; maintaining the simplistic lecturing style which was very effective indeed.
As a fellow staff member, I was lucky enough to observe him further - associate and share in his experience. Professor Lucas was one of the very few staff members who came in the early morning and stayed till the end of the day with a brimming smile on his face, setting a good example to the people who are starting their early careers. To young staff members, he was a role model and many have learned from him. He knew all the procedures and protocols of the university system and people used to consult him. His service to the University Senate, Engineering Faculty and to the Department of Electrical engineering was more than substantial. He never refused to serve in the above committees - this was undeniably an admirable amenity. In a nutshell, Professor Rohan Lucas transferred a remarkable service to the university as true professor of Electrical Engineering. We wish him all the best!
Dr Lanka Udawatta, Faculty of Mechatronics, Higher Colleges of Technology, United Arab Emirates, former Professor in Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa [UoM EE graduate 1996]
From: "Champika Periyapperuma"
Date: Tue, August 20, 2013 9:13 am
Prof. Rohan Lucas - Inspirational teacher and a gentle human being ...
I got the news of Prof. Rohan Lucas retirment from the university from our colleague Manjula Perera, and was saddened by the thought. My wife Chandrika and I first met Prof. Lucas at the sports council room as freshers in 1991, where we spent most of our 'free time' where he was a frequent visitor. Whenever we met him, he was always smiling, which kept us at ease as freshers and an instant bond developed that was to last for years forward. Upon getting the first year results, our obvious choice was Electrical due to three figures who made such a big impact in our early university lives - Dr. Lucas, Dr. Priyantha Wijayatunge and Dharshana ayya (Muthumuni). Time flew while in the university, adding fond memories that we treasure now. In particular, two incidents stand out in my mind involving Prof. Lucas.
The sports council organizes an annual Teacher - Student event, where cricket and TT were the main events and Prof. Lucas was always a keen participant. In one year, guys came with an idea of a cartoon contest where students displayed cartoons of teachers and popular figures in the university. Needless to say that most cartoonists sought to sketch Prof. Lucas with his pencil slim figure, curly hair and of course the 'Topiya' in the mouth. As one of the judges of the competition, he had such wonderful sense of humour that to some of the cartoonists (who had to be beside their exhibits) he remarked - 'Topiya thiyenne waredi patthe' (you've drawn the toffee on the wrong side of the face). Dasse won the competition with a portrait of 'Kanapathi', but I bet Prof. Lucas would have voted to one of the cartoonists who decided to sketch him. Such was his compassion towards students and for sure the cartoonists were never at the risk of failing in HV Engineering in years to follow !!!
Second incident was when the conflict between B.Sc. and NDT students exploded during our third year. There was a certain head to head clash developing in front of the Mechanical Department and suddenly our teachers came from no-where led by Dr. Lucas and Dr. Wijayatunge, Dr. Attalage and others followed. Immediately they were able to calm the situation and disperse the mob, as students from both fractions had such high respect for these lecturers and could not face them with anger. In present times, where teachers kneel in face of pressure, such was the respect commanded by this gentle but firm personality...
It is also with deep sense of gratitude that we acknowledge, it was with your personal reference that Chandrika got her first job at Lanka Tranformers where she served for 15 years before an early retirement last year. We learned a lot from you sir, not just HV Engineering and subject matter; but how to lead a balanced life, mutual respect for others and above all to be humble as one reaches new heights in life. I'm sure there are thousands of fellow students who share similar sentiments, and we are forever grateful to you for these lessons in life. Let us wish you a future blessed with happiness, health and quality time with your loved ones, and let our paths cross every now and then ..
Champika Periyapperuma, [Director / CEO, Avena (Pvt.) Limited] and Chandrika Jayawardena Periyapperuma [formerly Manager - Exports, LTL Holdings][UoM EE Graduates - 1996]
From: "Dr Vajira S. Pathirana"
Date: Wed, September 25, 2013 8:56 pm
Engineering Excellence Award Vs Teaching Excellence Award
Congratulations on receiving these two prestigious awards!! I firmly believe that you deserve both these awards being a great teacher and a wonderful engineer. I don't think you have to be working as an engineer in an institution all your life to be recognized for your engineering excellence. You have shown your capabilities many times during your sabbatical appointments and your involvement with the industry as well as undergraduate projects.
These are great achievements that would further shine your illustrious career. We, as former students of you, are glad to see these accomplishments which you thoroughly deserve!!
Dr Vajira S Pathirana, [UoM E&T Graduate 1996, P.Eng. Chief Engineer, Teshmont Consultants,Canada, Past Chair of IEEE Power and Energy Society Winnipeg Chapter]
From: "Rukmal Jayasinghe"
Date: Fri, March 29, 2013 2:23 pm
It's a pleasure, indeed an honour, for me to write down my memories with you during the last 10 years. Still I remember the day I met you for the first time to get my passport application signed by you in year 1996 to participate in a series of Hockey matches in Singapore when I was at the second year. But we were pretty unfortunate during the final year to learn from you , because you were on sabbatical leave.
The real interaction with me occured during my LTL days, where you were heavily involved in HV and Temp. rise testing for the transformers which were our first export. I still remember one incident, that due to some mis-communication with one of our engineers, you got annoyed with us and gave me a call told me "Rukmal I'll never visit the transformer plant for any testing, if your people are acting like this!!!". All were all were really upset including the factory manager. Then I was given the task to be a mediator and somehow get you back for testing. I did it. But that was one of the most difficult moments in my life.
After that our relationship went a long way. You are the one who proposed me the thesis topic for my masters degree and guided me to present it up to IET. Also still I'm interacting with the university because of the opportunities given to me by your initiatives.
Sill you are the inspiration for us and wish you all the best and long life.
Rukmal Jayasinghe, Secretary IET Sri Lanka Network, CEO Kevilton, LTL Factory Manager …., UM EE Graduate 1998, Postgrad …
From: "Rasika Amarasiri "
Date: Tue, April 30, 2013 7:40 am
Congratulations on your milestone in service at UoM. Happy to drop some random thoughts about the wonderful encounters that I had with you during my short stay at UoM.
One of the best memories that I have of you is your humbleness and eager to learn new things. I can still remember the morning you dropped in to see me to find out how to fix some HTML issues in your EENews page. I was just a fresh graduate and you were a professor in the university. Still you didn't have any hesitation to ask for help and learn from a student of yours what you wanted to learn. I am happy to see the EE news page still running more than a decade after its inception by you.
I also cherish some of the long chats that the EE staff and CSE staff had over afternoon tea at the canteen on various topics in technology. You were one of the anchors in these discussions directing the chats along paths that you wanted to learn more on helping juniors like us to learn a lot from our senior staff.
Getting on to your teaching, I had only one subject with you, but can still remember the wonderful teaching you did with all your experience flowing through examples making it easy to digest a very theoretical subject. When it came to hard points, you never hesitated to help us with our queries amid your busy schedule. You were always one of the early starters at the Uni and one who left late in the evening.
Hope you would be able to continue your valuable services to the university for many years to come.
Rasika Amarasiri , Manager Research IT Services, Department of Accounting and Finance, Monash University, Victoria, Australia [CSE Uom graduate 19..]
From: "Chandrasena, Waruna"
Date: Thu, January 16, 2014 3:07 am
A trip down the memory lane....
I met Prof. Rohan Lucas almost 20 years ago when he taught us Theory of Electricity. I consider him as one of the greatest educators that I have ever met and it is a great honor and privilege to share some of my memories with him during a time when he is celebrating his distinguished academic career.
I am sure anyone who had crossed paths with him can relate to many many occasions where Prof Lucas would go above and beyond his teaching duties to offer help and advice to his students, peers and colleagues. If my memory serves me correctly, one of the first interactions I had with him as a Part I student relates to an interesting idea that my best friend Kaushal and I had on measuring the magnetic fields due to electricity. I think this was around two or three months into the Part I course and we had just started learning the basics. Prof Lucas was kind enough to listen to our great ideas and graciously offered his time to test some flux meters in the Measurement Lab. As one could imagine, we didn't go far with that project. However, one thing that struck me was even an absolute rookie like me could go to Prof Lucas and discuss any grandiose plans we had. I also remember inquiring whether I should consider installing lightning protection on our roof. This related to an incident that had happened in 1980s when a lightning strike on a nearby coconut tree had taken down the electrical switchgear in my house. Prof Lucas, as usual, took lot of time to explain to me that it was not a smart idea.... instead of simply putting what a dumb idea it was!
During the Part I exams, we all fared well in the Theory of Electricity paper thanks to his teaching style and his patience to answer numerous questions we had. However, most of us had failed miserably to maintain a good overall average. The second highest average was in low sixties and the median was in low fifties. Although Part I marks accounted for just 20% of the final grade, for many of us, passing with first class honors appeared as a distant dream that was slipping away. One day Prof Lucas offered us an excellent tip to cheer us up! He went on to say that 'if you want to get an A, you should aim for 100, if you aim for 70, you will never get there'. I am sure this must have been quite obvious to him and when he was a student he must have got 100 out of 100 all the time! Anyway... many of us in that gathering took his advice seriously and managed to turn fortunes around in the Part II and Part III exams, with Namal winning the Patuwathavithana Award (awarded for the highest grade point average in the finals out of all disciplines).
In the final year Prof Lucas taught us the High Voltage Engineering course. As any former student would attest, I would rate this as one of the best engineering courses offered anywhere in the world. I must admit though that I did not understand everything he taught us as an under graduate student. However over the years after going through couple of graduate courses and professional work as a studies engineer, I have come to realize and appreciate the depth of knowledge he had presented in this course. I am still referring to his notes from time to time...
The Electrical Engineering Society (EESoc) was formed in 1994 and Prof Lucas was voted in as the founding President. Prof. Lucas and Prof. Ranjit Perera were responsible for coordinating the inaugural EESoc get together organizing committee. I think, leading into the event, an over enthusiastic group of students must have given lot of headaches to Prof Lucas. However the get-together was a great success and this became an annual event. Through EEsoc we all had an opportunity to get know Prof Lucas outside the class room.
In 1998, after returning from his sabbatical in New Zealand, Prof Lucas started reorganizing the Department website. Around the same time he started updating the News page, which became the most frequently updated webpage in the University. During this period we had many interesting conversation with Prof Lucas on programming, html code and all kinds of interesting facts about to the web. I understand that this News page is still getting updated periodically. However, when Prof Lucas was maintaining this page we could expect a news item to be posted within a couple of hours of the event (if not the very next day!!).
Soon after graduation Prof Lucas opened up an opportunity for me to pursue graduate studies in the University of Manitoba with Prof Peter McLaren. Prof McLaren had no hesitation to offer me a fellowship when I was recommended by Prof Lucas. Soon after arriving in Winnipeg, I realized that the bar was set so high for Sri Lankans by .... you guessed it .... by Prof Lucas when he was on sabbatical leave, followed by Rohitha, Ioni and Dharshana. It was tough act to follow. As a graduate student, the minimum expectation was to get an A+, and getting an A was considered a 'failure' in a graduate course for a graduate from Moratuwa. Well, according to these standards, I have to report that I failed in one course.
In 2006-07 Prof Lucas visited University of Manitoba for his final sabbatical leave. By this time, things had changed quite a bit from his last visit to Winnipeg. The total number of students had grown (over 40). Some are serving as faculty staff members, as professional engineers in a utility, or as consultants. Almost all of them had come through his recommendation! I am sure he must have been really proud to see that his original contributions to electromagnetic transient simulations, which we affectionately call as 'Lucas models', are being widely used in system studies.
In 2007 summer Prof Lucas, his wife and my family went on a trip to visit the Canadian Rockies. As one could imagine, Prof Lucas was an excellent navigator (co-pilot). I did not have a GPS in the car but I never missed a turn! During these six days of travel I was able to 'download' so much information from him on so many topics including parenting tips for dealing with my three year old son. Since then we have travelled on a number of long road trips, however this was special.
I realize that these memories represent just the tip of an iceberg.... If I may paraphrase a poem written by Prof Lucas to sum up:
'You have shaped our minds by giving the gift of learning, enabled us to reach new frontiers and become great achievers by bringing out our best'....
My wife Manjula joins me in wishing you and your wife all the very best and wish you a happy, healthy retired life.
Dr. Warurna Chandrasena,Senior System Studies Engineer, Manitoba Hydro, Winnipeg, Canada, [UoM EE Graduate, 1998]
From: "Sudharma Wijegunawardana"
Date: Mon, September 8, 2014 4:09 pm
I am honored to be contacted by you, and if it is not too late, here is my little message. I have been in US for the last 15 years (from 1999) and had lots of spare time in the past. I was keeping up with the department thru your EE news for years and also wrote in your EE Guest Book.
16/12/1999 "Though you are ready to accept both Bouquets and Brickbats, I'm sure that you'll never receive the second as this Announcements and News page is popular among not only Electrical Graduates but also most web surfers who love the UOM as a whole. Hope you'll keep it up providing us more hot news !!!"
19/07/2000 "News Item on Vol 3 No 11 July 2000 issue of Pariganaka is a real tribute to your time and effort on updating the web page (though it has been written by one other beloved student of yours, Sandagomi)
May you have all the blessings to keep up your good work as we all (frequent visitors) really love it and feel we are at home."
17/09/2006 "Just wanted to let you know that I have been up-to-date on things happening around the dept for the last 4-5 years because of the continuous efforts on the news page along with Prof. Lucas's humor.
I know that readers are allowed to send both bouquets and brickbats but being a past EE Student and being away from Sri Lanka and Moratuwa, I would like to remind the readers who are so concerned about nature of news items that this page has a disclaimer "News, Views and Announcements [This is not an official release]".
This web page is what makes EE Dept unique and we all should be proud of having our unique Professor Lucas to spare his time, reminding us of our good old days @ EE Dept with his own way of picking the news items."
Prof. Wish you a good time in cold Manitoba.If you would like to visit sunny Florida, just drop an email.
However, due to recent changes in my personal life I had no time to spare. Gomica my husband, and I became parents little late in our lives so we have only 3-year old twins. Our lives all of a sudden became very busy and I hardly visited EE news. So, I had no idea about your retirement and now I am kind of ashamed of not knowing.
There are not enough words to explain your dedication to students at UOM and your humble nature to be friends with the same students. I came to know you thru Theory of Electricity about 20 years ago and got really close outside the class during the formation of EESoc. However, I was an average student and never had any reason for you to remember me among all these students you have taught over the years, but you still remembering my maiden name is how extraordinary you are as a human being. You never treated your students as students unless you are lecturing. You considered them as friends which I had never seen as a quality of a senior lecturer like you, especially at UOM.
Last but not least one of the greatest memories of you that makes me a smile is your great sense of humor.
I wish you long and healthy life and good luck in whatever you plan to do with your spare time now that no Theory of Electricity and High Voltage Lectures in your daily schedule !
Sudharma Wijegunawardana (Nee Weniwelkola), [UoM EE Graduate 1998, Senior Electrical Engineer, OCI Associates, Inc. Florida, USA.]
From: "Priyantha Sirisooriya "
Date: Wed, October 2, 2013 9:08 am
Two back-to-back Excellence Awards
Congratulations on your great achievement! We were lucky to have you as a teacher. I actually practice hardcore power engineering (with little bit of management) here is the US but still have my "Theory of Electricity" notes handy.
I had also heard that Roshanthi [who was a trainee at the Lanka Transformers Factory soon after her A/Ls when I was the design engineer there] did very well at UOM. Please give my regards to her.
Priyantha Sirisooriya, [UoM EE Graduate 1998, Electrical Engineer, US]
From: "Champika Palayangoda "
Date: Mon, April 29, 2013 1:30 pm
I graduated in 1999 as an electrical engineer from the University of Moratuwa. I was an average student in the class and there was no reason why a department head would remember me for a long period of time even after my graduation and also never met since final part 3 high voltage class until the date this particular incident happened. My only presence in a committee at University was as the social sectary for EESOC in 1997 and that is when I was doing my final part 2.
This was happened in 2009 at 14th EESOC AGM, the place was the "Fingara Town & country club". Just after it was announced that the AGM proceedings were over and the time was for the fellowship, all senior members were rushed to the bar and at far I saw the tall gentlemen talking to another well-known gentlemen standing next to him. Professor Lucas and Professor Ranjith Perera were the gentlemen. Without any hesitation I decided to reach them and introduce myself. "Sir, Good evening. Can you remember me?" The reply of Professor Lucas was "Yes Palayangoda"
Thank you Sir for what you did for all of us, our nation and the whole world.
Champika Palayangoda , [UoM EE graduate 1999]
From: "Sandagomi Jeewapadma "
Date: Wed, May 22, 2013 10:14 am
විදු හුරු මහැදුරු - මතක වරුණ
ඉන්ටර්නෙට් හය හතර දන්නා ඕනෑම අයෙකුට අද දවසේ බ්ලොග් වෙබ් අඩව්යක් පවත්වාගෙන යාම, අමාරු කාරියක් නොවේ. එහෙත්, ලංකාවේ ඊට ආරම්භක ප්රවේශයක් ලබා දුන් අයෙකු ගැන වසර 2000 දී පමණ ලියූ ලිපියක් මා සතුව ඇත.
එවකට සරසවියෙන් පිට වී ඉංජිනේරු රස්සාවත්, පත්තර රස්සාවත් දෙකම සමසේ කරගෙන යාමට උත්සාහ දරමින් සිටි මම, විජය පරිගණක සඟරාවට එකී ලිපිය ලියුවෙමි.
ලස්සෙට කොඩි දමා, රටටම අඩබෙර ගසා, ආරම්භ වන ඇතැම් වෙබ් අඩවි, සති මාස ගණන් අලුත් නොවී පිළුණු වෙන අතරේ, දිනපතාම අලුත් වෙන වෙබ් පිටුවක් ලෙස හදුන්වමින්, මා ඒ ලිපිය ලියුවේ මොරටුව සරසවියේ ඉංජිනේරු පීඨයේ විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු වෙබ් පිටුව සම්බන්ධයෙනි.
බ්ලොග් අඩවි කරණයේ තාක්ෂණ ක්රම වේද කිසිත් නැති 2000 වසරේ දී පමණ, මූලික HTML සමග හරඹ කරමින් මේ සරසව් වෙබ් පිටුව අඛන්ඩව කර ගෙන ආවේ, මහාචාර්ය රොහාන් ලූකස් ව්සිනි.
මොරටුව සරසවියෙන් පිට මං වූ පසු, විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු අංශයේ තොරතුරු, වගතුග දැන ගන්නට අපට උදව් වූයේ මහැදුරු ලූකස් දිනපතා අලුත්කළ මේ වෙබ් පිටුවයි.
මොරටුව සරසවියෙන් අප පියමංකොට දොළොස් වසරකට වඩා ඉක්ම ගොස් ඇතත්, මහාචාර්ය ලූකස් ගුණ-රුව-සොබා මතකය තවමත් අළුත්ය. ඒ, අපට ඔහු වචනයේ සැබෑ අරුතින්ම සරසවි මහැදුරකු වූ නිසාය.
විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු ක්ෂේත්රයේ ඔහු අප්රමාණික උගතකු වූවා පමණක් නොව, එකී දැනුම සරලව සුගමව සරසවි සිසුනට උගැන්වීමටද සමතකු විය.
අත්ල උඩ තිරස්ව තබා ගත් ෆයිල් කවරය මත, හුණු කූරු පෙට්ටිය සමබර කරගනිමින් ඉක්මන් ගමනින් දේශන ශාලාවට පිවිසෙන ප්රොෆසර් ලූකස් ගේ දේශන වාර කට් කිරීමට අපි කිසි විටකත් උත්සාහ නොකෙළමු. වසර හතර පුරාවටම සෙරෙප්පු කූට්ටමක් පයලා සරසවි ගියද මහාචාර්ය ලූකස් ගේ දේශනය දා පමණක් කෙසේ හෝ සපත්තු පැළඳ ගියේ ඔහු කෙරේ පැවති ගරුත්වය නිසා විය යුතුය.
ප්රොෆසර් වසරේ වඩාත්ම සතුටු වන දවස EESoc AGM , එකදාය යන්වෙන් ප්රවාදයක් එකල අප අතර තිබුණි. විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු සිසුන් සහ ආදි සිසුන් එකට එකතු කරන EESoc හෙවත් විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු සංගමයේ මහා සභා රැස්වීම සාර්ථක කර ගන්නට ඔහුට තිබුණේ අධික උනන්දුවකි. විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු අංශයේ ආචාර්ය මණ්ඩලය මෙන්ම වසර තුනේම විදුලි ඉංජිනේරු සිසුන්ද එකට එක් කොට ඇද බැඳ දැමූ මේ වාර්ෂික මෙහෙයුමේ සමාරම්භකයාද මහාචාර්ය ලූකස් මය.
අවසාන වසරේදී EESoc සමරු කලාපයට දෙන්නට සිතා මා ලියන්නට මුල පිරූ කව් පෙළක් අවසන් කළ හැකි වූයේ සරසවියෙන් පිට වී වසරකින් හෝ දෙකකිනි. එකී කවි පෙළ, මහාචාර්ය ලූකස්ට පුද දෙමින් මේ "නොස්ටැලීජියානු" සටහන හමාර කරන්නට රිසියෙමි.
සිප් සැරිය වැරෙන් පදවා
බොල්ගොඩ තොටට ගොඩ බට
දුක වළඳා Power කෙරුව
කෙළෙඹි පුත්ර නුඹ සහ මම....
සිව් වසක් පුරා පේවී
සිප් හිමේ නිරා දුක් විඳ
විදුලි සිප්ලකුව උගනින
සොඳුරු දසුනක්ය මතකය.
Avalanche වලින් පැහැදුව
කිකලක අමතක කරම්ද
පැණසර මහැදුරු විලාස.
Bus Bar වලින් මගතොට
අසා ගෙන ගම් බලා දිව යන
Transmission line සකි සඳ,
නුඹට කිසි ලෙසක වැටහෙද
Tanθ දුන් හිරිහැර...
විදුලි සරින් අකුරු කෙරුව
Comp. පද්ධති මිතුරු කළණ.
අගක් මුලක් නොම තේරුණු
මල් හසරුළි කෝළ සිනා
අපට නොදී බිමට දාන,
සිව් මහළින් පායන සඳ
පාට පාට Archi ප්රාණ
දහසක් mmf වලට අසුව
කැරකෙන අත සිතණු නොහී
රොටරයක්ම බඳු විය සිත....
දුක් දොම්නස් සතුටු සිනා
එක පතේ එකට වැළඳුව
නොව පැරණිය වන රමණිය
සිව් වසක මොරටු ගීතය...
සාමාන්යාධිකාරි- අවදානම් කළමනාකරණ, මොබිටෙල් පුද්ගලික සමාගම
Jeewapadma Sandagomi, General Manager, Enterprise Risk Management, Mobitel Pvt Ltd [UoM, EE Graduate 1999]
From: "Chaminda Amarasinghe "
Date: Mon, June 10, 2013 7:01 pm
Thank you very much for the opportunity to write something about you, as you are planning to retire from the university in September. Initially, I was a bit sad to hear about your departure from the University, and then realized that you deserve a well-earned leave after serving the University in different capacities for more than four decades.
I am thankful that I had a wonderful opportunity to learn from you during my undergraduate years and then work with you as a lecturer. I was really lucky to have you in teaching two Electrical Engineering core courses -"Theory of Electricity" and "High Voltage Engineering", which provided the solid theoretical foundation.
After my graduation, I did not have any interest in pursuing higher studies. In fact, it's you that motivated me for higher studies while I was working in the industry and brought me back to the University as a lecturer. Your encouragements and advice really helped me in completing my post graduate studies successfully at the University of Manitoba, Canada.
Wish you all the best and have a happy retirement days ahead!
Dr. Chaminda Amarasinghe, Electranix Corporation, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada [UoM EE graduate 2001]
From: "Ranga Rodrigo"
Date: Thu, April 25, 2013 12:10 pm
Prof. J R Lucas
Prof. J R Lucas stands tall as a just, truthful, innocent, and honorable man, providing a sure counter example of what popular culture portrays as a successful man.
To be inspired by a teacher, in the modern day, one must attend a class taught by the teacher. I never got the chance to be in Prof. Lucas' class---the class he taught on the Theory of Electricity: When we were at the University of Moratuwa as second-year students, Prof. Lucas was on sabbatical leave. Some sympathized with me: "Oh, you are so unfortunate not to be taught by Prof. Lucas." Well, I was not in his class, but Prof. Lucas' ability to inspire students was not bound by the walls of a classroom. I am better informed of the Theory of Electricity and the right way to teach because I heard of what Prof. Lucas taught and all the praises Prof. Lucas' students had for him. Popular teachers of the day, advertise on television, and talk at length; I am an inspired student of Prof. Lucas, who never got the chance to take a Lucas class!
When a student becomes a lecturer, he gets to sit in the same Faculty Board as his teachers sit. It was truly overwhelming when I got to sit in the same Faculty Board as Prof. Lucas. The Faculty makes many decisions, which affect the University and the lives of our students. When Prof. Lucas sits there, I feel confident that the Faculty would do the right thing. For me, Prof. Lucas is the very conscience of the Faculty, and the University at large. How can this be so? Prof. Lucas knows all the by-laws, the precedence, and the implications: well, he himself has written most of the by-laws. He fearlessly talks in any forum until the right decision is made. While sitting in the Faculty Board room along with Prof. Lucas, we learned who a true and just academic is.
Prof. Lucas is a fellow of the Institution of Engineering Technology (The IET-UK)---and several other professional and academic forums. I was fortunate to be a committee member of the IET Sri Lanka Network and sit in the same board room with Prof. Lucas, and following the meeting to be given an "educational" ride to the Galle-Road bus stop. He would attend all the committee meetings, and enthusiastically contribute to the betterment of the profession. The radio program that was done with his colleagues at the IET Sri Lanka network won the IET award, which earned them the commendation of the his Excellency the President of Sri Lanka.
Prof. Lucas willingly attends the events organized by the Catholic Students' Society of the University, and encourages students. I think he ensured that he attended any event of that nature, if his schedule permitted. Once I heard someone asking him whether he would be there for such an event. Prof. Lucas said, "If it is there in my diary, I will be there." I realized that one can "count on" him. I think the secret of this rare trait is keeping a conventional diary well, not using a cellular phone to be interrupted often, and being respectful of even the simplest person. He keeps his promises---all his appointments are in a little diary which he carried in his shirt pocket.
Prof. Lucas respects the morals of the law and follows them faithfully. Men of the world follow the law in fear of getting caught, and make a mockery of the law after assuming power. Perhaps, in the eyes of such, Prof. Lucas' innocent obedience is foolishness.
Prof. Lucas is a simple man. Prof. Lucas comes to the University early in the morning. He values the relationship with even the least of his students. He wears simple clothes. He considers worldly riches as mere means of discharging his duties well. His humble greatness surpasses the pomp and glamour the society seeks and upholds.
I am not too sure how Prof. Lucas survived this wicked world, as a just, truthful, innocent, and honorable man: I think he owes the readers an explanation in his book. He is my role-model of the true academic. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (NAB, Phil. 4:8).
Dr. Ranga Rodrigo, Senior Lecturer in Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Catholic Students' Society of UoM (2000), Director, Zone24x7-UoM Advanced Electronic Systems Laboratory (2008 to 2011), Chairman, Center for Open and Distance Learning, UoM (2011 to date) [UoM ENTC Graduate 2001]
From: "Rukshika Pathberiya "
Date: Sun, October 1, 2017 3:20 PM
My Memories of Prof Lucas go back a more than 25 years
It was 1991 when I was in grade 11. There was an Electrical Engineer in our neighboring village who has just passed out from the UOM. I used to go his home as his younger brother is one of my friends. I used to ask various questions from him about electricity and my curiosity on electrical related things was increased due to the association with him. Just after the university, he planned his wedding and he told me that he is going to invite his lecturers in the University for the Homecoming party that he was going to organize in the home. I can still remember he was talking about Prof. Lucas with great honor and gratitude. He told me that Prof Lucas is the one of his favorite lecturers and he is also coming for the party. As homecoming was organized in his home, I could also attend it and that was the day I saw Prof Lucas for the first time. I can still remember his visit and I wish I will be able to study from this lecturer, if I can enter the engineering faculty. During my A/L time I had a dream of being not just an Engineer, but specifically an Electrical Engineer.
Actually I was lucky to enter the UOM in 1995 and being selected to Electrical Engineering. Even though I could go to any field according to my 1st year marks I just put only one choice, it was Electrical Engineering. In Part 1, we had Theory of Electricity as a subject and it was taught by Prof Lucas, and it was my one of the favorite subjects in that year. It was the base on which all other electrical engineering theories and concepts are built. I can actually say that the Electrical students were lucky to be taught by Prof Lucas that subject in Part 1. Professor's way of teaching made all the students who just started their specialized field, Electrical Engineering feel good and relaxed.
High Voltage Engineering subject is the most important subject in the Final Part 3. Normally Part 3 students are very concerned on the availability of Prof Lucas during their Part 3. We were lucky to have Professor at the university just after the Sabbatical leave and he did High Voltage subject for our batch. In Part 3, my favorite module in the High Voltage Engineering was Transient analysis of High Voltage. I can still remember the Bewley Lattice Diagram, which is used to understand the way of reflection of transient voltage wave at a Junction in the Tx line. ... Professor's way of teaching makes it very easy for the student to understand any complex subject matter. During our finals, the NDT - BSc clashes were at the peak, and I can remember Prof Lucas played a big mentoring role to settle the issue and restore the academic activities in the university soon.
After the University, I joined Lanka Transformers Limited (LTL) where I have been in interaction with Prof Lucas very much, than any other time. During the last 17 years I have been with LTL, and during that period we got tremendous support for the transformer plant from Prof Lucas in various situations. Actually, he plays a praiseworthy role in the university to make a very healthy and fruitful relationship with local industry: No argument, it is very valuable and it helps both the university and the Industries to get benefited.
In our case, to get our test lab equipment calibrated in the last minute, it is a matter of one call and Prof comes in the evening after lectures and stands in front of me and then only I can realize that I informed about the calibration work. He is so humble and any time we can call him and he is available for us for any technical support in our plant. Sometimes he helps us by organizing type testing of our transformers in the HV lab in the University even on holidays, with foreign customers. I can remember in some occasions, he came to the factory in the early morning to witness a temperature rise test before attending the Lectures and again in the evening come to finalize the Report of the test. He never told "no" for any request we made to get his service or services from the university, which are under his purview. I remember sometime back our engineers faced some issue in the test lab, frequent failures in Power analyzer while testing of transformers for power frequency high voltage test. Our engineers had been coping with it for a long time, finally it was helped by Prof Lucas giving correct guidance to find the root cause and the solution.
Normally Professor arranges 3-4 factory visits to transformer plant in every year with various student groups, normal field visit by student of UOM or KDU or IET young member team. By doing it, he gives young undergraduates a valuable opportunity to get a better idea on the real industry environment.
One thing I should mention here is that his love and affection for his past students, even after several years of passing out. Whenever he visits the transformer factory, he does not forgot to go to each and every room of engineers - Almost all the engineers in the transformer factory are his students - and inquire about ongoing work and make us to laugh by a small joke ...
Last few months I have been in touch with Professor while refurbishing of the HV laboratory. Actually it was done under Prof Lucas's far-sighted guidance and leadership and I am really happy to see it now in operation, pending formal opening; and from the Prof Lucas's words, it is the rebirth of the High Voltage Laboratory of UOM. This renovation project was done by LTL, with the equipment bought by the University of Moratuwa, and it is another one of valuable fitting tribute to the UOM and especially for the Prof Lucas for making hundreds of Engineers with top talents and capabilities, rich with professional ethics who are tirelessly working, and who worked, for the success of LTL. Few weeks back Mr. U.D. Jayawardana, CEO of LTL Holdings wanted me to hand over two letters - to Prof Ananda Jayawardana, Vice Chancellor of UOM and to Prof Nalin Wickramarachchi, Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering. Later I came to know that it was a request from Mr. U.D. Jayawardana to name the renovated new HV laboratory as "Rohan Lucas High Voltage Laboratory" and I think that request completes the project 100% . Sir, you deserve the honour ...hundreds of students will be benefited from that in the years to come....
Thank you Sir for inviting me to recall my memories, and I wish you a long healthy life and all the very best for all your future endeavors.
Rukshika Pathberiya, Factory Manager, LTL Transformers, Angulana [UoM EE Graduate 2001]
From: "Gayan Wijeweera"
Date: Thu, July 18, 2013 11:22 am
I remember asking one of my friends at first year, which field he wanted to go to. His answer was that he wanted to go to Electrical Engineering. Then I asked why he wanted to do Electrical Engineering. I thought he will give me a typical answer like he likes Electrical Engineering etc. However, his reason for doing electrical engineering was that he likes staff in the electrical engineering department. I really didn't understand this until I joined the department of Electrical Engineering in my second year.
Power system fault is the first lessons you taught us in the department. Even today I can remember how you explained the sequence components.
I selected Ceylon Electricity Board as my industrial training location. During that time, some of us really wanted to go to a power station. When we request power station training from CEB, CEB training DGM refused our request due to security reasons. However, we also learned that University of Peradeniya engineering graduates are getting power station training. When I mention this to Prof. Lucas, who was the head of the department at that time, he wrote a letter to CEB General Manager requesting training for Moratuwa engineering undergraduates at power stations. I took that letter to the GM with one of my friends. He granted two power station visits (one to Mahaweli complex and one to thermal complex) to all the electrical engineering undergraduates in our batch.
I still remember that, you issued me a reference letter, within 15-30 minutes, for me to apply to University of Manitoba for my post graduates studies. This reference letter helped me to get into the University of Manitoba, which opened up a new chapter in my life.
These are just two of my personal experience, which shows how you stay behind your students and helped them when they needed it.
I would also like to mention that, I was also one of the many fans of your EE news updates. I read EE news many years after I left the department. Not only it provided updates on what is happening in university it also had an explanations for why computer people celebrate Halloween on December 25th (Posted on: 24/12/2002) and reason for not raining on day of EESOC annual get together (posted on : 07/10/2000).
Many graduates from University of Moratuwa will remember you as great teacher and great human being.
Wish you all the best and happy retirement.
Gayan Wijeweera, Transmission Capability Engineer, Transmission System Operation, Manitoba Hydro, Canada [UoM EE graduate 2002]
From: "Amali Kumarage"
Date: Fri, July 19, 2013 5:10 am
It's a great pleasure and an honour to write down the memories of you
I still remember you as an iconic intellectual, a great teacher, unique personality and a simple man.
I had the true privilege of learning "High Voltage Engineering" from you. You almost utilised the two hours for the subject matters, in your unique way. You have always been an excellent teacher who knows what you taught.
It's about a decade I left the university and moved to the Industry. I worked for CEB and now working in a utility in Australia as a High Voltage design Engineer. I still have your lecture notes sitting aside me assisting in my everyday life.
I enjoyed your teaching, your simple approach of handling students and your great sense of humour. I recall one incident, our batch just returned from Industrial training and few guys were at Lanka Transformers for their training. During a practical session, you casually asked them "what size of transformers you dealt with during your training at LTL?" You wanted them to share their knowledge with the class. Being known as a very notorious batch, I remember one guy straight away answered "Sir, It is this size" showing a 1m x 1m box with his hands. The whole group could not stop laughing and we were expecting you to get cross at any time and send him out. But I still remember you were not cross seeing he was joking! You looked at him smiled and said, "No, I meant the capacity of the transformer, not the physical size" you were indeed a humble teacher.
I haven't met you many times since I left the university in 2001, but still every time we met, you called me Amali! I am inspired of your memory of remembering names of your students which is a difficult task with the increasing number in 43 years. I still remember you humbly accepted my invitation and were present at that very special day of my life, a special appreciation from my husband Thusi too.
I wish you an excited retirement! You well deserved it. I am sure all my colleagues of 2001 batch join hands with me to wish you a happy and healthy life for many years.
Amali Wickramasinghe Kumarage, Transmission Design Engineer- Endeavour Energy, Sydney, Australia, [UoM EE graduate 2002]
From: "Prasad Thibbotuwawa"
Date: Sun, September 22, 2013 9:13 pm
It is indeed a great honor for me to recall my memories of you during my university life.
Thank you very much for your help given to us during our final year project. I especially loved how you always related the lessons to real-life examples that would allow the material to make more logical sense to us and always give us something relate the lessons to. During some stages in our final year project, our members were over concerned about some parts of the project. You simply explained to us that a car is not designed to withstand in an airplane crash on to it since the occurrence of such an incident is very rare.
It is almost 12 years I left the university. I will never forget all the simple explanations you included in your lectures to enhance learning.
I hope that you will have a great retirement and wish you a very cheerful and healthy life.
Prasad Thibbotuwawa, Project Engineer - Perth, Australia [UoM EE graduate 2002]
From: "Dr. D. P. Chandima"
Date: Sun, September 14, 2014 10:14 pm
I entered to the University of Moratuwa in July 1996 as a student and got selected to the Electrical Engineering field one year after the admission to the University. Before we came to the Department of Electrical Engineering, we got to know about the lecturers in the Department and the subjects they teach us, from our seniors. It was known that the module, "Theory of Electricity" will be taught by "Prof. Lucas". When we heard the name "Lucas", we all thought that he is the person who invented the "Lucas Battery" and that thought was there for years. He was such a big person to us during that time. However we didn't get the chance to see him in the second year as the lecturer of the "Theory of Electricity" module. I think Prof. Lucas was on Sabbatical leave during that time.
I saw Prof. Lucas first time as my lecturer in High Voltage Engineering module. We were really motivated to study, not only his subject but other subjects as well. His punctually in attending lectures is extremely admirable. Since that time, Prof. Lucas is known as the best teacher in the university. When I joined the Department as a probationary lecturer in 2002, Prof. Lucas was the Head of the Department. A recommendation letter from the Head of the Department was very important to get a scholarship for higher studies. I can still remember, whenever a recommendation letter is requested from him, he issues it without any hesitation. I remember, when I was awarded the Monbukagakushou Scholarship to study in Japan, it was Prof. Lucas and Prof. Wijayathunga who recommended me for the scholarship. Prof. Lucas is always a helpful person whenever we need him.
I could closely associate with Prof. Lucas in the recent years as the Secretary to the University of Moratuwa Teachers' Association (UMTA). Unlike in the past, University teachers have been very active in Union activities. I cannot remember a single Union meeting which Prof. Lucas didn't attend. He was a UMTA member who regularly attended union meetings and contributed in a positive way to come up with a solution for the problems we faced then, especially in 2011 and 2012 when we had two major Trade Union actions to win the legitimate demands which have been deprived from the University lecturers. We specially keep a wooden chair for Prof. Lucas to sit in the meetings (as he does not like the plastic chairs which sometimes collapse) waiting for his presence for the meeting. As expected he is there on time and we are happy because his presence makes a big impact on making the Union decisions. He always helps make decisions for the majority and he could be convinced (sometimes with some difficulties) the decisions as we stood for a genuine cause. Whenever we wanted a workable advice, it was Prof. Lucas whom we reached first. That is because he always stood for us. His service to the UMTA will be remembered for many more years to come because he is a pillar of strength for all our activities throughout.
Dear Sir, We expect you would be available to advice us whenever we need you, even though you are retired from the University service. We will keep in touch with you.
I am glad that you still give your valuable service to the University though you were given better offers outside. This reminds us how loyal you are to the State University service. I wish that you service would be available for the University for years and wish you a long, healthy and happy life ahead.
Dr Deduwa Pathiranage Chandima, [Secretary UMTA, UoM EE Senior Lecturer, UoM EE graduate 2002]
Date: Fri, May 3, 2013 11:44 am
I am honored...
I am blessed...
To be taught by you...
To be guided by you...
To be honest...
You are a father to me...
I'm observing you...
I'm learning from you...
Dear Sir, please be with us in the department...
You are the potential...
Even with a little voltage you give..
It illuminates the whole Department...
I think the whole university....
Hope you will continue to stay with us in the Department...
My hearty wishes for all your achievements and wish you good health and happiness throughout.
With my highest gratitude...
A loving daughter to you
I wrote the above words and sent it to you on the day I heard of your 43 years of teaching in the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. Sir, although it is very difficult to put into words, I want to write a little more to express why I said you are a father to me.
I lost my father when I was four years old and I don't remember him living. I don't have a brother too. I use to observe great people who lighten up my mind. I found a wonderful brother (my best friend) and a father-like person too. That father-like person is no-one else sir, it is you.
You taught me Theory of Electricity, High Voltage Engineering and most of all how to learn what you are teaching. The most interesting thing in your teaching was, sometimes you suddenly pause the lecture with getting all our attention to think of something practical. One example, is the day you started to teaching us on lightning. Suddenly, you paused with that sound and your unique expression "Ah!" looking outside the class room window, asked us did we just see lightning or hear thunder! You got our entire attention sir, and still there are my friends who imitate that incident reminding me how interesting your teaching was. You never scolded us, but we were scared and had a great respect for you. Even the lab assistants scared us using your name. We had the greatest respect to you, which I may have had for my father.
You were straight in taking decisions. I admire it, and hope I could be like that too. I know some incidents where you took bold decisions looking at our future, at times where all other senior people kept silent. Our friends who were directly involved now admire you for speaking up straightly taking the right decision. I am from the 2002 graduated batch, which was involved in the clashes between NDT and BSc. I think you may recall the incident.
You were greatly recognised by all the Universities I attended to complete my higher degree studies. I went for all my higher degree studies with your kind recommendation. My supervisors during M.Eng. (Dr. N. Mithulananthan) and Ph.D. (Dr. Athula D. Rajapakse) personally told me that your recommendation of me was a major reason for awarding me the scholarships. You were always ready to give me a recommendation whenever I asked, even if I made the request through an email. Thank you very much for being such a great teacher. So, I am honoured and blessed to be a student of you.
After starting to work in the Department, I started to realize how correct I am to think of you as a role model. You lightened me more with your humbleness and kind heart. Do you remember sir, one day when my PhD supervisor, Prof. Rajapakse visited our University I planned to arrange lunch for him at our small house. I could not invite you before, but when I invited you just 15 minutes before lunch time, you said, OK and came to our small house. Not only me and my mother, but also Prof. Rajapakse admired you saying what a great person you are. Not only that, I told this to all my close friends as I was honoured to have you at my place and they all respected you. Listening to me one of my friends (UOM batch-mate), Sarani Wijerathne, who is the Business Development Manager at DIMO, Sri Lanka said "Prof. Lucas is down-to-earth isn't he?" Also, my friend (UOM batch-mate), Niroshinie Dayarathne, who is a Software Engineer at IFS said "how humble he is." I said indeed he is and told them how you are willing to help the needy people too.
With all these, you are helping me now in starting up my carrier as a lecturer. You are always ready to guide me with your immense knowledge and experience as a lecturer. I would need your support very much sir. I would also like to support you at any time in my capacity too.
To complete my statement, saying you are a father to me, last but not the least I want to add, you always try to tease us and it is full of life when you are around sir. Yes I'm a victim in your jokes most of the time but, I would love them and am happy if I could fight back like a little daughter. You always stopped in the corridor to crack a joke, and I remember the news items you posted about me in the department website. I enjoyed them all :)
There are many more memories of you sir, to recall with great honour. Ah! One thing I should not miss. You always try to say yes when it comes to University work! Sir, I am wondering, how you are managing your time. I want to learn that from you. There are many more things to learn from you, so please stay with us in the University of Moratuwa sir.
When I talk about you with my brother (my best friend, UOM batch-mate) Vajira Dhanapala, who was the Union President of University of Moratuwa then and now the Principal Solicitor of his own firm in the UK, said "Prof. Lucas must have definitely got many opportunities to migrate/ work in western countries or to work in the Industry for much higher salaries. But, it was our (students) luck that he made a conscious decision to be a teacher and a great teacher." Also, Vajira said you may have many colleagues who look like they are more successful in their life materially, but they would not have and they will never earn the respect or the happiness you have earned in your life. I totally agree with Vajira, and yes indeed it is our greatest luck that you made the decision to stay in Sri Lanka as a great teacher and I wish you will continue to stay in the University of Moratuwa.
On behalf of all my batch-mates of '96 batch I wish you happiness, good health and love every moment.
With loving regards from Lidula...
Dr. Lidula Widanagama Arachchige, Academic Staff 2012, [UoM EE Graduate 2003]
From: "Chandana Karawita"
Date: Wed, June 5, 2013 7:53 pm
Thank you very much for sharing one of very rare auto-biographies with us. It's amazing how you reached the role model status that you show us today. This would be a great reference for any student/professional planning for the success.
Please let me share some unforgettable memories that I have. It was a bright sunny day and you were teaching us about lightening and thundering in the final year at Moratuwa. You simply asked "can you hear thunders now?" from one of our colleagues. He accidently said "Yes" and I still remembered the wonders you showed by running to the windows and looking at the shiny sky.
We really enjoyed both of the subjects: theory of electricity and high voltage engineering that you taught us and they were the "BEST" in my bachelor degree. When I selected the field choices at the end of my first year, I chose computer engineering as the first choice. Luckily I was 1.5 marks short and automatically selected for Electrical Engineering. The "Theory of Electricity taught by Prof. Lucas" was the reason to like the electrical engineering and to achieve whatever the achievements that I have achieved today. If someone argues that a great teacher should be a good speaker, I won't agree with him. We invited Prof. Lucas to make a speech at our farewell party. You came to the podium with a little "cheat sheet". You started as "I am not a good public speaker, so I am going to read this" and made a big surprise. I never felt that in your lectures. You made everything simple and easy to understand. So a great teacher wouldn't necessarily be a good speaker (usually politicians are good in speaking). In the final year,
We painted the final year room ourselves. In the next morning you came to the lecture with a big scissor in hand and cut the "imaginary ribbon" to enter into the newly painted room. This is the way you showed us the sense of humor. When I was in the university, you were the head of the department and you were known as a tough person among the students. Dr. Jahan Peiris (Jahan sir) was our "duk ganna rala" and we used to access you through him.
When I joined the university as a probationary lecturer, I realized how easy to deal with you and your fairness towards the students (especially in marking) and the staff. I was glad that you were our head and I learnt a lot from you. I really understood your true analytical capabilities when we worked together on the PSCAD-small signal stability project in the University of Manitoba in 2007-2008. Again, it was a good learning period for me. You also shared the unique jokes among the grad students and used to come to the lunch table (where we shared all the jokes and gossips) as a close friend. We were lucky to have you there.
Finally, I would like to add a personal thanking note and I know that thousands of your students who had the same opportunity (especially Mora-Winnipeggers) would join with me. I do not hesitate to say that "I am here because of you". You were the one who introduced me to two more great teachers and great persons: Dr. Raghuveer and Dr. Annakkage at the University of Manitoba. I cannot ever forget these three great heroes in my life. Thank you very much SIR.
We wish you all the best and good luck.
Dr Chandana Karawita, Power Systems Studies Engineer, TransGrid Solutions, Manitoba, Canada [UoM EE graduate 2003]
From: "Indunil Kaluarachchige"
Date: Wed, June 26, 2013 10:43 am
I am very very lucky to be a student of you. I respect you with all my heart. All your teaching has lightened our lives, our careers, from the beginning of our University life till the end of our life. I cannot express in words how much thankful I am to you.
In this moment I would like to bring back memories of the "We are with you" programme. I still remember you call me the "live wire" of that programme. It is true that I started the whole concept with my friends. But with your advice and guidance the Electrical Engineering Society is still continuing that programme.
To give the students, who are in the verge of taking responsibility in the world, an understanding of another part of the world, who are deprived of essential needs... this concept of being sensitive to such people as part of our world..... I am very proud that you have adapted that within the Electrical Department as an annual event.
I am in Melbourne, Australia now. I am working as an Electrical Design Engineer in a company called Balpara (Pvt.) Ltd. I am changing jobs in 3 weeks time and starting as Electrical Line Design Engineer in Tenix (Pvt.) Ltd.
Indunil Weeraratne Kaluarachchige, Electrical Design Engineer, Balpara (Pvt) Ltd, Melbourne, Australia [UoM EE graduate 2003]
I wish you good health, happiness and success at all times!!!
From: "Dharshana Abeysundara"
Date: Fri, September 27, 2013 6:51 pm
People Work for People
In a school, university, work place or in the community there are people really dedicated and focused on service to the others makes these places pleasant and meaningful. We may be attending to the best school, best university in the country or employed by the best company in the world, but only the people you are working with can make your interaction meaningful and get the best output from you.
In my university life you became the most influential person to get the best out of me, showed me my true potential and made me seriously think about planning my carrier.
At this important juncture in your life you can look back how you helped me and I know I am just one of the thousands of your students you helped to get to where we are today.
In the early years of my University life I attended to your lectures and I found your lectures were very interesting, I never missed any of them. However I thought you are not approachable, besides you were the Head of Electrical Engineering Department at that time so I felt a certain distance.
The first considerable conversation between us started during my Industrial Training Period when I was assigned to do a project on behalf of Lanka Transformers Limited. I was really nervous and did not feel comfortable with the initial findings of the research project and our testing plan. You started with cracking a joke "how is your transformer deep frying project" and then me and my colleague realized how different you are from what we thought...
You steered the project which was then become quite famous as "Coconut oil Transformer" project where we successfully proved that purified version of edible coconut oil could be used as an alternative to traditional mineral transformer insulation oils. It was a trendy and environmental friendly concept at that time and I was told that the coconut oil filled transformer we manufactured is still serving in the national grid without any breakdown.
During this project I learnt many valuable lessons from you. I learned that before trying to find the solution I need to find the correct methodology to find the solution, asses all possibilities and most importantly not afraid to critically analyse the solution I found. I became my best critic. During this project you gave me the skill of technical report writing and confidence in technical presentations.
I really treasure the memory of being a student of you. You were an excellent teacher and a very good mentor to me. I will not forget your sense of humour and the simplicity.
I wish you a happy retirement and also wish best of luck for your future plans.
Dharshana Abeysundara, Engineering Manager, CBI-Electric Australia [UoM EE Graduate 2003]
From: "Dr A M Harsha Abeykoon"
Date: Thu, September 11, 2014 11:21 am
It was the year of 1998 and we had just entered the EE department. "Mr. Police of the computer lab" Dayaratne, threatened most of us saying "Prof. ලුකස් ලඟට ගෙනියනවා". But it never happened ... we were afraid of this "Head Prof. Lucas".
When you taught, for the first time in my life you explained how a paper is marked, how marks are awarded and that there is a logical way of writing answers. I still remember that lesson and your explanations, more than even the "High Voltage" you taught.
High Voltage was the easiest subject for me, as it was taught in a very methodical manner and there was a free text book written by Prof. Lucas. If you understand it you are done!
During undergraduate project progress reviews, you come and sleep. However, at the end of each of the presentations, you woke up and asked endless relevant questions. We discussed a lot on "whether you really sleep".
Finally, we managed to get a final year project supervised by you! It was a real victory to get a project supervised by the Head - Prof. Lucas. The first intension was to put you as the referee in our CVs, then to get a good reference letter and last but not the least, to get a good grade! I achieved all of them. I got an "A"(there were no A+s at that time) though Bala (Dr. Balamurali now) did most of the hardwork!
Once I joined the EE department as a lecturer, I think I learnt from you, how to help students who are in need of academic assistance. But could not learn when to stand up and leave a meeting when you get angry... It needs correct timing and a big cooling fan to meet the person next day and to react with him as if nothing has happened the previous day.
In conclusion, I think you as the core of the EE transformer. Without the core, magnetic flux would not be directive and there will be high stray losses! So EE needs the Lucas core in time to come as well!
Your obedient student
Dr A M Harsha Abeykoon , [UoM EE Graduate 2003, UoM EE Senior Lecturer]
From: "Dr W D Asanka Rodrigo"
Date: Sun, September 14, 2014 10:34 am
I have never seen a person like Prof. JRL who has devoted his entire life on university students and committed to the University. I first got to know Prof. JRL way back in 1989, when I was a second year UG student.
He had a very unique teaching style. He was never late for lectures, never missed or cancelled any lecture and never stopped a lecture early. He provided all the lecture notes and past question papers with answers. I am very happy and proud that I have been one of his students. At that time, we thought he was a very tough foreigner, who cannot speak Sinhala (so, we were scared to talk to him, since we have to talk in English). After joining the EE department as a temporary lecturer in 2004, I realized that how easy it was to work with him, and that he is such a generous person who cares much about students.
He is a very simple person who never had a mind that he is one of the most senior persons in the university. One simple example is that, when he wants to contact us (even a very junior instructor), he rarely asked us to come and meet him, but he comes to us. He loves to hang around with his students as a friend, not only as a teacher. I can remember that, when I once sent him an email, greeting him as "Dear Sir", he replied back saying that don't call him "Sir", but either "Dear Rohan Sir" or "Dear Prof. Lucas". He is such a genuine person.
I must thank Prof JRL, that I am in the university system because of him. He is the one who asked me to join the EE department. He is my Godfather of Electrical Engineering and my mentor in the university life. Whenever there is a problem or doubt, I (and many others) always consult him. He always gives unbiased advice by thoroughly analyzing the problem. I don't think there is anybody, and will not be anybody like him, in the university who thorough on university rules and regulations.
There is no doubt that Prof JRL made a remarkable contribution to the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa and to electrical engineering around the world. He is a figure who played his role perfectly. These words are not enough to explain his qualities. I would like to conclude by extending my deepest gratitude, admiration, and commendation to him for his exemplary contribution to the society and wishing him good health and long life.
Dr W D Asanka Rodrigo , [UoM EE Graduate 2003, UoM EE Senior Lecturer]
From: "Rangika Halwatura"
Date: Thu, April 4, 2013 9:33 am
This is excellent sir. I want to share this with all the other universities to show the strength we have at UoM.
Being a young and a junior staff member in the faculty, I struggled to start writing this note about you. I was wondering whether I am suitable to write a note on a very eminent faculty member like you. However, I soon realized that there cannot be better people than who were groomed by you to write about you. You were the 'star' that I looked up to and the unforeseen strength of me to stand for justice. Therefore, I believe that I have the right and the duty to express my thoughts about you. I consider this opportunity to write about you an honour and a privilege and I thank you for giving this honour to me.
Thirteen years ago, in the year 2000, I came to the University of Moratuwa as a student. It was then that I started seeing you as an incomparable and an unmatchable figure. I was even scared to greet you in the morning due to the respect that you received from everybody in the faculty. Only a very few scholars such as Prof. Dayantha and Prof. Chandrakeerthi were in the same calibre as you. As a student, I chose the Civil Engineering field but I have a twinge of regret of that decision because I lost the opportunity to attend your lectures. Fortunately, however, I had the opportunity of learning a lot from you later on in my career.
Only after joining the university as a permanent staff member in 2009 I realized how commanding you were in the university set up. As a lecturer I have had a few role models in my life and you are one of them. I was impressed by your personality and confidence which you may have developed through your experience and maturity. Whenever there was a critical discussion in the faculty, I was looking at you waiting to hear your opinion. I am sure you became a role model to many academics due to such abilities in you and your expertise in your field.
Your character influenced me especially after I got selected as the president of UMTA. I naturally looked at you to start any meeting that I chaired because of the respect that you gained from all of us. I am very sure you would accept the fact that I had tough times. We had many SGMs and EGMs and heated arguments over and over in these meetings. Whenever there was a critical argument, I looked at the senior staff members and you were one of the key figures that I could rely on for very productive thoughts. I may not have accepted your opinions always; however, your opinions opened my eyes to see wider and from different perspectives. I have attended many meetings including faculty boards and union meetings and I hardly saw you getting absent and also you never got absent without a valid reason and an apology. This proves your immense character as a true leader and an exemplar academic to both your colleagues and juniors. You have been truly a giant of both words and deeds.
There will be no ending to this writing if I mention everything that I want to say about you. However, I would like to state five main qualities that I have observed in you which I always admire. The first is that you were very keen on punctuality, you were always on time whether the occasion was formal or informal and there was a notice if you were not able to make it.
The next quality that I admire in you is your readiness to respect and listen to others. I remember two occasions in my career that I was criticized by you: one was on a PhD application and the other was at the SGM held to suspend the 100 day TU action. On both occasions you supported your arguments with facts and more importantly once your explanation was over you had the patience to listen to the other side of the story. I have seen on many occasions that you stood for what you believed and had the courage to keep on backing your opinion logically no matter what others thought or said. Despite the fact that your opinion was not compatible with that of others, you always respected the majority's decision. Similarly, if you found you were wrong, you were never hesitant to apologize to anyone. I observed this quality in you on both occasions that I have mentioned and I liked being criticized by you because I knew they were constructive criticisms. There was no hatred in you.
The third quality that I would like to highlight is your ability to talk with facts and prepare for any argument. I can recall an incident in which I made a typing error in a group email. Instead of the word 'temporary' I had typed 'peremptory' and I did not know that I had made a mistake or even the meaning of that word until you explained that to me. I can remember you came with a paper that had the meaning of this word written on it. I realized that you came there after searching the meaning of that word in many dictionaries and many other places. This incident taught me a very important lesson for my life and I really admired your preparedness even to handle such a situation.
The next quality of you that I want to state here is your openness to criticisms. You never believed in revenge. You have been always kind to others and a positive thinker who has lived up to those values. Last, but not least, you have been a devoted lecturer. Your contribution to the UOM is immense and you were one of the pillars of success of the university. As far as I know, you did not teach in any other private university or tuition class to earn money. You only dedicated your service to UOM and apart from that to Kotelawala Defence Academy as a service to the country.
The five qualities that I have mentioned have made you a prominent scholar, a gentleman and a true human being. When I was a small kid my grandfather used to tell me.
ගොයම් ගහෙන් ඉගෙන ගන්න ගොඩාක් දේවල් තියෙනවා.
අපි ඉගෙනගෙන වයසට යන්න යන්න කිරෙන් බර උන ගොයමක් වගේ වෙන්න ඕනේ.
බොල් වී කරල් අහස උසට නැගෙන කොට කිරෙන් බර උන වී කරල් මෝරන්න මෝරන්න බිමට නැවෙනවා.
You are a god given example for this. I consider that I am really fortunate to be in the same staff with such a distinguished personality like you and to receive your guidance which has been and will be very important for both my career and personal life.
You have worked in this university for many years under many VCs and Deans and you have witnessed both ups and downs of it. The experience and knowledge that you possess is invaluable to this university and also to this field in general. I am sure there is much more for us to learn from you. So, finally, let me make a kind request of you even though I do not have any right to demand things from you. I am sure you have written many interesting and important things in your life, but please leave a note on your experience of this great place as well. I wish you would fulfil my request sir.
Wish you all the very best and I am really proud to keep this small note about you sir.
Dr Rangika Halwatura, President Academic Staff Union UMTA, (2011-2013), Vice President FUTA(2013) [UoM Civil Graduate 2005]
From: "Amila Wickramasinghe "
Date: Sat, May11, 2013 11:04 am
Professor Lucas I know;
Before entering the university, my picture of a professor was from a funny story of three professors who were at a railway station (at least the version I heard had three professors in it). They were entrenched in some serious discussion, loosing track of time. Just as the train was pulling off from the station, the three professors noticed, panicked and started running behind it. Two of them managed to catch the train, but one could not. Unfortunately the professor who missed the train was the one who was supposed to travel in that and the other two had only come to see him off... Upon coming to the university, I could not find a match for my picture, instead, had to contend with Prof. Lucas, though not at all disappointing. From there onwards, he became my model of a professor, maybe because he was the first one I got to know, or maybe because he is what I want every professor to be like.
As a teacher with so many years of experience, there was nothing surprising about the expertise he showed in explaining the subject matter. Of cause it is always refreshing to see someone being comfortable with maths as Prof. Lucas was when he was teaching Theory of Electricity during our second year. But what strikes me even now is how effortlessly he was able to relate the physical meaning and practical implications of the theory he taught. This helped us not only in understanding, but also in developing a liking to the final year 'High Voltage Engineering' subject taught exclusively by him. Perhaps it is the reason for 'High Voltage' and 'Prof. Lucas' to be stored in the same memory location of mine and most of my contemporaries.
One instance I can relate to on how genuinely Prof. Lucas wanted his students todevelop as all-round engineers is when he encouraged and supported us to organize a program to improve our communication skills. As undergraduates, we were quite aware and worried about our weakness in communicating, especially in English. To deal with this, we got-together and organized a program for the electrical engineering students to have a weekly assemblyto practice different skills including public speaking, making presentations and even debating on selected topics. Despite this being an entirely informal, non-engineering and elementary level activity, Prof. Lucas was considerate enough to attend every sessions of the assembly and guide us by pointing out the mistakes we made and clarifying the intricacies of the language. It was amazing to see how the department's Senior Professor found time every week to spend with the students to sharpen their social skills, amidst responsibilities of much more serious nature.
Another service of him I relied upon heavily, even after leaving the university, was the 'News' section of the Electrical Engineering Department's website, managed by him. Though the website may not have been as glamorous as some others, it was an accurate reflection of its overseer. Simple, timely, up-to-date, useful, reliable, informative and at times funny. There was no better way of getting updated on our good old electrical department than reading the news section of the website.
My admiration of Prof. Lucas grew many folds with the time I spent in the industry. It is rare to come across a person with such knowledge, integrity and professionalism. Yet he was friendly and down to earth, giving us the courage to walk to his room and discuss any issues we had. To have such an eminent person so easily accessible was indeed a privilege the students of University of Moratuwa had for years and would miss a lot in the future. I sincerely hope that Prof. Lucas would miss the university as much as the university misses him, enticing him to be engaged with the future generation of engineers produced by Moratuwa as he did with us and our predecessors.
Amila Wickramasinghe, PhD Student, University of Wollongong, Australia [UoM EE Graduate 2004]
From: "Nuwan Perera"
Date: Tue, January 21, 2014 2:05 pm
If someone says "Prof. Lucas", it always reminds me the "Theory of Electricity" class, where I saw you first. I was surprised with your simple and well organized teaching approach. It was so easy for everyone to follow. I was so lucky to have someone like you, doing fundamental subjects in Electrical Engineering.
I never forget the way you were doing the numerical calculations on the black board with no calculators, especially the complex number divisions.
When you were working as the Head of the Department, I had an opportunity to work as a junior lecturer under your guidance. It was my first job and was a very pleasant experience for me. I have learnt a lot from you. But, I never understood your jokes!!
After I came to Winnipeg for my higher studies, I was so glad to meet with you and your wife here in Winnipeg, during your sabbatical leave. We had some great timetogether.
Finally, I would like to thank you for your kind and generous help in my academic and professional achievements. You are one who helped and guided me to get the higher studies opportunity at University of Manitoba.
I wish you and your wife a happy and healthy life!
Dr. Nuwan Perera,R&D Engineer, ERLPhase Power Technologies, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada [UoM EE Graduate, 2004]
From: "Heminda Jayaweera"
Date: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 2:08 PM
So glad to see your personal website and good to see you continue to be in action in web and blogosphere.
We had so much respect to you not only because you were a great teacher but you were such a nice human being.
You taught me Theory of Electricity during my second year (Part 1). I am honored to say that I am a 'student' of the great Prof Lucas. But you may not remember me as a student, cos I was not a very bright engineering student. :)
I got to know more about you through English Literary Association (ELA) of UoM and you were a staunch supporter of the club. We did many dramas during our undergrad years and one of the best was "It Runs in the Family" (adopted from Ray Cooney's Play) which we performed at the Lionel Wendt. Roshanthi (your daughter) also played a main role. You used to come to all our plays and also you came for one of our campfires we did in university premises.
I still remember we came for Roshanthi's 21st B'day at your place and we had a massive party. You were so generous to accommodate almost the entire ELA members.
Your academic achievements are unparalleled in Sri Lanka and 45 years of your career as a university don is again a feat that is difficult to surpass in today's context. I am sure the university will find extremely difficult to fill the void with your retirement.
Wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
Heminda Jayaweera, Entreuneship Fellow, University of Moratuwa, Electronics, [UoM Graduate 2004]
From: "Bandula Subasinghe"
Date: Mon, October 16, 2017 6:17AM
Dear Professor Lucas, the moment your name comes to my mind, my mind always goes down the memory lane of our good old days at the University, the High Voltage Laboratory and your "Theory of Electricity" lecture which was one of my favourite lectures at UOM. I still remember the way you discussed about "lightning phenomena" with a black board full of stick figures, spheres, clouds with '+' and '-' signs etc... During those days, I did not even think that I would use those theories in real life in designing lightning protection systems for high-rise buildings in a country far away from our mother land.
Earlier this year, when I was given the task to find a key note speaker for our IESL NSW Chapter Annual Gala night, to address 300+ audience comprising more than 200 engineers who are living in Sydney, I wanted that special person to be our key-note speaker who has done an enormous service to Electrical Engineering all over the world through his exceptional skills and knowledge. I have proposed your name, without even knowing whether you would agree to come over to deliver the key-note speech of our biggest annual event of IESL NSW Engineering Convention.
Everyone was delighted when you kindly accepted our invitation. I was asked to look after your visit, visa requirements and discuss with you about the event and timings of the key-note speech. Even though I have known you for many years since undergrad days, it made me nervous to work with our idol in Electrical Engineering with 50+ years of experience. However, your kindness and sense of humour made me forget that I was working with a veteran in Electrical Engineering.
I wanted to mention here the most exciting experience I have gained while working with you on the key note speech. Once I said that we need to change the presentation to include some items to make it a bit more applicable to the audience. You've sent me the following "am getting discouraged. The presentation I give must be mine, in my own unique style". Then I realised that, that is what made you so special to every one of us who have learnt from you. I remember I typed a message half a page long to make you happy and to apologise for the mistake I've done.
The speech you delivered at the IESL NSW Convention was acknowledged very well by everyone present. We were so lucky to have you there at the convention and to meet you in-person in Sydney. It was a wonderful day for all your past students and friends living in Sydney. I am sharing some photos from the convention and Gala night for your memory book.
Also, I really appreciate and value the way you use the new technologies to save and protect the memories of all of us. Instant updates in Facebook and maintaining all the batch photos with all the names etc. Even though we have made fun out of it during your visit, we really appreciate your energy and enthusiasm.
Dear Sir, I wish you good health and happiness in your life. May you live longer to serve our country with your knowledge and experience. May the blessings of god be always with you!
Thank you very much for being a great friend and a great teacher to me and thousands of other people around the world...
Bandula Subasinghe, Vice Chair - IESL NSW Chapter [Batch 98/99, UoM EE Graduate 2004]
From: "Dr. Udayanga Hemapala"
Date: Tue, September 9, 2014 11:39 am
My Gratitude to Professor Rohan Lucas
I cannot express my gratitude to you in words.
I want to follow your good professional and personal qualities to make you as the most influential person in my university life. I am grateful for everything you gave me. You didn't just teach, you mentored me during my life as a lecturer.
Dr. Udayanga Hemapala, [UoM EE Graduate 2005, UoM EE Senior Lecturer]
From: "Buddhika Jayasekera"
Date: Tue, September 9, 2014 10:57 pm
Memories of Lucas Sir
First I came to know Prof. Rohan Lucas sir in 2001 in second year of my studies. He taught us Theory of Electricity in the second year and it was the first experience of his unique teaching style. Lecture notes were provided in printed form and the soft copies of the notes, even the question papers and answers were available online. This was a unique experience in our undergraduate studies. Further, in the final year, he continued his unique way of teaching in the high voltage subject. I can remember he gave permission to obtain copies of his book on high voltage printed by the Open University of Sri Lanka. As the final year field representative, I met him during his tenure as the Head of the Department to obtain the permission for using the photo copier available in the electrical machines lab, in addition to the lectures.
He was the supervisor of our final year design project titled "Impedance permeability tester". It is like preparing for an exam when we were planning to meet him for a discussion about our project. However we improved a lot from those discussions. I can still remember he explained us how to present the outcomes of a project by comparing the relevant quantities. For examples, in our project, he explained us how to compare the output, without our development and with the new impedance permeability tester.
Thereafter I am reminded of the recent memories as a junior lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering. I learned a lot on academic matters, managing, coordinating related to other activities from him, especially from recent engagements. These included the Engineering Design module soon after students join the department, preparation of the proposal for the Quality and Innovation Grant (QIG) and other involvement such as the preparation of the Vocational and Educational Plan for Electrical and Electronics sector as a consultancy.
You encouraged me on these activities, especially in preparing the proposal for QIG grant, which we subsequently won, and your phrases like "Yes I can, and so can you" encourage me in continuing the same. You guided us in many ways in university activities by first proving those by yourself. It is a great honour to be one of your students. I wish you will continue to stay in the University of Moratuwa as an Emeritus Professor.
I wish you good health, happiness and success at all times.
Buddhika Jayasekara, [UoM EE Graduate 2005, Faculty Member, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa]
From: "Dimuthu Leelarathne"
Date: Sat, March 30, 2013 10:21 pm
You have inspired me as a teacher and as a person.
You are a great teacher and a greater person. To me, thundering is associated to you! Let me tell you why. It was our first lecture on "Theory of Electricity" and we were all seated waiting for the lecture series to begin. You walked in, introduced yourself and played a sound of a thunder over the speakers. Then you said thunder carries so much power and went on to give numbers. That is how we started to learn Theory of Electricity. Ever since then, whenever there is thunder, I think of you.
You have nurtured thousands of students over the past 43 years. You have inspired many and it feels you are like a thunder indeed, larger than life!
Dimuthu Leelarathne, Software Architect, WSO2 Lanka (Pvt) Ltd [UoM CSE Graduate 2005, Postgrad ...]
From: "sidantha tantirimudalige"
Date: Sat, April 13, 2013 6:34 pm
Firstly, I was saddened to hear that Prof Lucas was retiring as he was a key figure in not only our Electrical engineering department, but also of the University as a whole. I had the privilege of learning under him during 2000-2004, while he is also personally known to me, as Roshanthi his daughter is a good friend of mine from school days.
Prof Lucas always reminded us of the quintessential professor and he somehow made 'High voltage electricity' an interesting class to attend! His classes were also never without the tough moments where he used to check attendance keenly (since we were cutting classes sometimes), asking probing questions & at exams checking even the back of our calculators to see if we had written down 'fomulae' in pencil to help ourselves! ? Though we found it annoying at that time, we now greatly appreciate his commitment to groom us in discipline and attention, as a true academic master. I still remember how he 'grilled' me a few times on his subject matter in class & at vivas, so I actually did quite well in them, due to this 'pressure'?. I can surely speak for my batch mates as well, when I say that he was a tough but fair person who had a key impact in molding us to be who we are right now. His support for the changeover into the global modular semester system, his support for the EESoc & continuous support to help us mature as leaders is exemplified by the current standing of majority of students who have been groomed under him. Many of us are unfortunately not in the country, but we are who we are and where we are, thanks to dedicated and committed teachers such as Prof Lucas.
I wish him all the very best in his retirement and hope he does continue to teach perhaps as a visiting lecturer and still go on to support & encourage the University. I also hope he now finds the time to explore many other aspects in life, which I am sure he has been looking forward to.
Thank you sir for giving me a chance to write this and I hope I get to meet you sometime when I come to Sri Lanka for a visit, when I meet Roshanthi & Lakshitha. All the best and God Bless!
SidanthaTantirimudalige, Managing Director, Franke Foodservice Systems ASEAN (Part of the Swiss based Franke Artemis Industrial group), [UoM EE Graduate 2005]
From: "thilini gunawardhana"
Date: Sat, May 11, 2013 3:15 am
First of all thank you immensely Sir, for the inspirational character that you have been throughout my academic carrier. We are very much fortunate and blessed to be your students at the University of Moratuwa. When we first entered the electrical engineering field you were the Head of the Department.
Since we were the second batch under semester system we had to approach you for many issues which we came across when adopting to the system. You were involved in these issues with patience, and understood the things from the students' point of view which was a big relief for the students. I am personally thankful to you for your support given to me when I came across a situation under the semester system where I have added two electronic subjects to my elective subject list and instead of dropping the two subjects during the add-drop period (since I later decided not to do both subjects) had dropped the same subject twice. Your involvement and understanding in that situation was a great relief for me.
In undergraduate level, you taught us not only *Theory of Electricity* and *High Voltage Engineering* but also the subject, *Presentation Skills* while repeatedly emphasizing that you are lacking the same. Sir, whatever subject you lectured us, you did it with a great passion. Your teaching method, throughout my academic carrier, built my confidence and interest on the field of electrical engineering in general and high voltage engineering in particular.
After completing the degree I joined LTL and I again had the opportunity to approach you in numerous occasions to get your assistance on various tasks. You were always so kind to assist us whatever the situation was and gave your opinions and suggestions whenever requested. The general comments you were giving at your visits to LTL directed the young engineers to think differently to analyse problems.
Dear Sir, I, with my family, wish you all the best for your future endeavours and appreciate all the support given to us in numerous occasions. We are very much privileged to have the opportunity to associate such a great personality and an esteemed professor as you in our life time. Although you are retiring after 43 years of service at University of Moratuwa, I hope your guidance and support will always be there for us.
Thank you Sir.
Thilini Chamika Gunawardhana, Design Engineer, LTL Transformers, [EE UoM graduate 2006]
From: "Anuradha Mudannayake "
Date: Wed, May 8, 2013 9:43 am
I would like to write about three ideas that came to my mind when I got your email regarding your retirement from the regular service
Firstly, what would be the impact of your retirement? As everybody knows Prof. Lucas is the unique figure behind the EE department of UOM and high voltage engineering. It would definitely be a big blow to these two and may take some time to recover the vacuum. There's a considerable scarcity in power electrical experts in universities as most of them are migrating. Undoubtedly, it is extremely difficult to retain a person of your caliber and capacity. You served that great job for your motherland for more than 40 years. We respect you for that forever, Sir.
Secondly, I'm one of your MSc student at UOM but not fortunate enough to have a lecture from you! I met you several times and if I sum up all these occasions, it would definitely less than 12 hours! But in each time we only discussed the spirit of engineering and it valued more than a decade long discussion. You were one of my supervisors for the final year MSc project. I did hard work and you appreciated it always with constructive criticism. You were so humble to drop me an e-mail by requesting to recall my memory of you and it was an unexpected respect I received from an eminent person like you. It is one of your born talents on how to address a wide range of personnel from 'men of letters' to grass root people.
Thirdly, your email was an assignment for me as I was instructed to reply within a week. How can I compose all my feelings? Yes, I don't want to lose a few marks for late submission which I never tried to exercise during my career. I just outlined few things pop up in my mind.
If I'm not kidding, during my bachelors I remembered your name very well as there's a reputed battery brand having your surname. I still remember how you reacted with a gentle smile during one of my MSc presentations, when I was caught by Prof. Ranjith Perera's eagle eye. There I have wrongly typed Prof. Locus instead of Prof. Lucas. Prof. Perera then asked me "We know Prof. Lucas. Who is this Prof. Locus? Where's he working?"
As Dr. Narendra de Silva correctly said the most worn book in my book shelf is also the 'High Voltage Engineering" authored by you. Also I have many other text books I frequently refer even these days, contributed by you as an author.
I remember you came to review my final year project in bachelors and we had an hour long interview. Still I feel how you were drowsy during my presentation time and suddenly continued with a chain of questions thundered on me after the presentation. If I was not genuine to my work I will definitely be hammered by you. At last you approved me A+.
During my Masters you guided me as one of the two supervisors for the final dissertation. The other person was Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya, one of the most outstanding performers in the subject. We developed two probabilistic models for mini-hydro and wind plants which can directly be used in generation planning studies. We were not confined to a theoretical basis but we used these models in WASP optimization, and proved their practicability. These models will be used by national planners. It was your proposal to publish two technical papers and we did that for the betterment of the society as a whole. This endeavour would never have been a reality except for the support I received by both my supervisors.
Dear Sir, you are one of the most smart teachers I have ever seen. It was a blend of sound academic foundation cum humanity. You were very punctual and genuine at work. You are blessed with fantastic teaching ability. You gave birth to thousands of engineers to the nation and some are world-class performers. Retirement is merely a milestone and it's time to start a new chapter. You are a good father to all of us and we respect you all the time. May God bless you with best of health and happiness.
N. Anuradha Mudannayake , Project Engineer (Electrical-2), Broadlands Hydropower Project, CEB,[OUSL, EE graduate 2006, UoM MSc graduate 2011]
From: "Chinthaka Mallikarachchi"
Date: Mon, April 8, 2013 1:57 am
It's an honour to start my undergraduate studies as one of your students and write this as a junior colleague at the time you are getting ready to retire from the University. I have six distinct memories of you but each with a different relationship status.
First, I met you as a friend of my father (in fact, you and my father had been very close friends from the time both were exempted from the first year in Engineering in 1966) in the early morning of the very first day I step on the soil at University of Moratuwa. You were really nice and helpful. So you are the first lecturer I met at Moratuwa and first to advise me to come this far in my career.
Second, you were one of the three lecturers who thought us Electrical Engineering in our first year. I was very interested in electrical engineering and very grateful to learn it from one of the senior most lecturers at the university (very few departments do this).
Third, you were the chief invigilator/supervisor for our first year Electrical Engineering paper and clearly instructed that all students have to start and stop on your signals. There were couple of students who didn't stop on your signal and you took one student's pen and it went flying. Thus everyone stopped. Though most students were scared and upset, I really respected you being strict and fair by everyone.
Fourth, I met you as a member of the Toastmasters Club at the university and you were really encouraging. You gave me lifts several times on the way home which helped me to participate in almost every session.
Once I was selected to Cambridge you had included my name in the Electrical Engineering website. This never happened in my department and even today that news item pops up when search for my name in google.
Fifth meeting was at the University Cambridge as a father of one of my friends. We (all your family members, Dr. Viraj and myself) went on punting. I got the chance to operate the punt thanks to you, but I put all of us in a bush due to bad punting skills. To be honest I was bit scared remembering what happened during the exam. However you were quite sporty and smiling. That was the first and last time I punt in my life.
Sixth and most recent meeting was as a senior colleague of the university and a team member of Project Consultancy Unit (PCU) for the Lotus Tower Project. This is the first time I have been to China and got the chance to visit the Great Wall thanks to you (all the other senior members had been to Great Wall before and I was not in a position to even suggest a visit). We had a great time climbing in icy weather. You were the first to climb to the top at a time most people thought even a young person will not be able to reach the top under those weather conditions.
Thank you so much for all these valuable experience and wish there will be much more to come even after your retirement. Wish you great health and happiness!
Chinthaka Mallikarachchi [Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa, UoM Civil Graduate, 2006]
From: "Thuresha Kothalawala"
Date: Thu, March 14, 2013 9:33 am
I have read the great story of your achievements.
You was a great teacher to me from the starting of my university life and up to completing my post graduate studies. Still we are recalling the theory you teach to us and guidance you gave to us.
Very sad to hear that Professor Lucas is going to retire from UOM, but I wish that your guidance and support to the UOM as well as to the country will be continued as before for a long time.
At present I am working as a Transmission Planning Engineer in the Ceylon Electricity Board for more than 6 years. Basically we are using load flow, dynamic stability and transient stability analysis to plan the optimum future transmission network to deliver the required demand by accommodating the future generation additions.
Recently I got a posting letter to a transmission project in CEB but still working in the transmission planning branch for few months. I have applied to this post because I believe that the both theoretical and practical knowledge and experience is necessary to develop my carrier in CEB.
I have completed by M.Sc. in year 2010 and qualified as charted engineer in year 2011. Professor, your support and guidance given to me for these two achievements is also highly appreciated. I wish you a healthy and happy future!!! May all your dreams come true…
Thuresha Rangani Kothalawala, Transmission Planning CEB [UoM EE Graduate, 2006, UoM MSc 2010]
From: "Nissanga Mendis "
Date: Sun, May 5, 2013 11:31 am
I got to know about Prof. Lucas on the very first day I entered to the University of Moratuwa in 2001. He delivered a short introduction about the Electrical Engineering (EE) Department and the benefits of being an Electrical Engineer. In my first year, I had a chance to learn "Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering" which was taught by Prof. Lucas. He explained the theory with the help of some funny examples which made the entire class active all the time. In addition, he taught High Voltage Engineering in my fourth year which was one of my favourite subjects. It was always easy to reach him to clarify the unclear theories. I met him several times during the study leave periods (i.e. prior to semester main examinations) to get clarifications on the unknown past papers questions. Irrespective of his busy schedule, he was always happy to explain the theories/answers without any hesitation. I can still remember how he was strict during the inspection in the examination hall. For example, once the allocated time period given for answering the question papers was over, he announced loudly to stop writing. If someone was still answering, he quickly attended to that person similar to the velocity of a jet, in order to prevent him further writing. Such was his response because he felt that it was unfair on the other students.
One of the other interesting qualities that I observed of Prof. Lucas was his enthusiasm or passion towards university activities. Sometimes, I felt that he was much more active compared to his junior counterparts. He was truly dedicated to the student activities/matters whether it related to academic or external. As an example, most of the times he participated to the EESOC related activities, field visits, etc.
Personally, I had a great chance to interact with Prof. Lucas when I was doing my undergraduate project (i.e. Design and Construction of Constant Voltage Transformer). He performed as one of our main supervisors. He helped our project team in many ways by giving guidance and directions. Once he independently designed the behaviour of the constant voltage transformer using the Excel spread sheet and explained its behaviour. After his demonstration, one of our team members requested him to give a copy of that Excel sheet. Then he said "No. You have to learn. Do it by yourself" which gave us the courage to do the things by ourselves.
Soon after finishing my undergraduate studies, I was determined to do a PhD. I always got some good advice/overseas contacts from Prof. Lucas. Once of the most sincere memories that I want to emphasize here is the way how he helped me to obtain a scholarship. I applied to several universities (nearly 15) and all the time, I was required to attach a recommendation letter together with my main scholarship application. Prof. Lucas gave me nearly 15 recommendation letters without expressing any hesitation or reluctance. Sometimes, I contacted him through emails/telephone calls requesting to provide recommendation letters. Some of memorable incidents are as follows: One day he called to my office phone (at Noratel International (Pvt) Ltd in Katunayke) and told me that the scholarship letter was ready to be picked up. I was surprised to hear such a call from him and never expected such a response from a senior professor. Another special incident was Prof. Lucas gave me a recommendation when he was on sabbatical leave at the Manitoba University. I got his contact details in Canada and requested him to provide a recommendation letter. Within two days, he sent me a recommendation letter. That was the way he helped me to secure a scholarship and perhaps, without his support I would not be able to obtain a scholarship to pursue my PhD.
After I came to Australia to do my PhD at the University of Wollongong, I contacted him over emails several times. Most of his replies were consisting of jokes. I would like to quote one of such email as follows:
I had addressed him as "Halo Sir" and had commented "I prefer to have a natural brain rather a computer brain which I feel myself as a human ;D".
Don't give me a "halo", I am not a saint in heaven. [English correction]
How can you be sure that you are a human, although you "feel as a human" ? :-)
Having stated all above things, I would like to thank Prof. Lucas for the support given me to obtain a scholarship. Loss of his service to the EE Department at the University of Moratuwa cannot be replaced with any other. He has such a capacity, true dedication, expertise and enthusiasm to uplift the profile of the EE Department. I wish if he could have given the service to the department for another longer period. However, he had made a choice to retire which all of us need to do at some point in our lives. Sir, I wish you all the best and good luck. It was such a pleasure and honour to be a student of you!
Dr Nishad Mendis , Design Engineer, Alstom Grid-Sydney [UoM EE Graduate 2006]
From: "Chandrika Wijesinghe"
Date: Fri, May 31, 2013 12:08 pm
It is a pleasure to write about a teacher who supports his students always.
All EE graduates from UOM have memories about Lucas Sir, because he always stood for students and do his best for them.
We were the second batch in the semester system and we had many problems in selecting our subjects and add/drops. We can still remember he helped all of us without any hesitation. All of us used to visit him whenever we had any problem regarding academic matters, because we knew that he would have the solution.
As a senior professor he never kept a gap between him and the students. He wants to be with students. In all activities and events, he comes on time and waits until the end. In his busy time schedule, he always had enough time for students. It is lucky to be students of such a teacher.
Lucas Sir never gets late for lectures. For each lecture, he is very well prepared. We can still remember how he draws sine waves for three phase in the space of James George hall with detail explanations. He uses examples of water flowing, water drops on the windscreen, to where water will flow from an open tap to illustrate what he is saying. During his lectures, sometimes students sleep, he never disturbs them, but asks a question from the next one.
It was not normal to see that teachers, especially senior professors give a lift to students. But he is very different. When he is on the way, he is looking for students. In the mornings, while we were crossing the road at Katubedda, he waited for us to come. Sometime before we saw him, he has noticed us and was waiting for us. While on the way to the University, he was asking about the last lecture, any difficulties. Sometimes we forgot what we learnt in last lecture (as usual), but he could remember it well.
When writing this, we suddenly remember his messy table. It's unique to him. But the most important thing is he can find anything from it within a few seconds. During our EESoc AGM, we decided to include some cartoons from the past souvenirs. But we had a problem in finding past souvenirs and thought Professor might have it. Then when we went to meet him told him our requirement, the Professor was very happy and pointed out a cupboard and told to get all what we wanted. All the EESoc AGM souvenirs were there to refer.
And Lucas Sir's unique identity, toffee in the mouth that never ends. In our second year we played a drama in EESoc AGM imitating staff members and our seniors' actions. There was a character having a toffee in his mouth. Earlier we thought professor might not happy with this. But he enjoyed the drama very much.
There was one thing we were afraid of, seeing Lucas sir in a presentation. If he starts questioning, it will continue for sometimes. As undergraduates, we wanted to finish our presentation as soon as possible (I think it's common to all undergrads). It was the presentation day of our final year projects. As usual we had some last minute work and after finishing them we were coming out of our computer lab. Lucas sir was on his way back to his room. Suddenly he stopped his way and asked us "are you going to do the presentation?" and we said "yes sir". Oh... he returned back to the presentation. We felt like "ada ivarai". Yes, he had many questions at the end of the presentation. Our project was about tariff, and he had many suggestions about that.
Even after passing out, we used to get updates about the University. Thanks to the Lucas Sir, the department web site was always updated. If it is not updated, what we fell is "Lucas sir might be busy". Time passed and it is already 8 years. But he can still remember our names.
Our wedding was three years after we graduated from UOM and we wanted to invite Lucas Sir for the wedding. We had no time to visit Sir as we had leave problems. So we invited him through the phone and he accepted with joy. Our wedding day was a heavy rainy day, but Lucas Sir came on time with Prof. Perera, because he never wants to miss anything related to his students. It is a privilege to be a student of such a humble teacher.
Missing him will make a big space in the department. Lucas Sir and the Electrical Department are not two; both are linked together.
Thank you very much sir for what you do us and all students at UOM. May god bless you as always and have a peaceful retired life.
Pubudu Niroshan, Project Manager, Dimo Power Solutions [UoM EE Graduate 2006]
Chandrika Wijesinghe, Electrical Engineer, CEB [UoM EE Graduate 2006]
From: "Asha pubuduni"
Date: Sun, June 23, 2013 3:13 am
Best wishes from Asha!
It was quite a shock to read that you are retiring from the EE Department of UoM, even though it may sound a bit strange, as the saying goes 'All good things must come to an end'. I just can't imagine the UOM dept without you. It will be left with a hole which cannot be filled.
I have the memories of good times and challenging times at Mora and one thing I specially appreciate is, you had your door open for us to walk in and talk to you on any academic matter.
I still remember me visiting you at your home in my rush to arrange a recommendation letter to apply for my masters at UEL and I have to say that I still praise you for the genuine support you offered your students to succeed in their lives even at a personal level.
I wish you all the very best in your retirement and thank you for the invaluable contribution to the EE department of UOM.
Asha Pubuduni Gamage, Electrical Engineer, Rolls-Royce plc, Bristol, UK [UoM EE graduate 2006]
Date: Sat, March 16, 2013 11:38 am
I hope it is never too late to say thank you for everything you have done not only to me but also to all the students over the years at Moratuwa.
What I can remember are the days you taught us (2002/2003 MPR batch) first year EE, theory of Electricity, how to write a resume, HV etc. Also the great reference you gave me when I applied to University of Western Ontario for M.E.Sc. Thank you for all that and many more I have not mentioned.
You asked to update you of our progress. As at now I am several hours from leaving to Long Beach, CA for IEEE APEC conference. Since I am about to defend in June 2013 this will be my last tour as as Ph.D. student. After my Masters's I started the Ph.D specializing in Power Electronics, specifically designing and building three-phase ac-dc power supplies for Telecommunication applications with power factor correction and reduced switching losses. I have three IEEE journal papers and 10 IEEE conference papers and still trying to survive in the harsh cycle of submitting proposals and trying to get them accepted by the reviewers. Most of the time I fail because they come up with numerous excuses and reject, then we try again. And this goes on..........
Thank you for remembering me and I wish you all the very best for everything and Good health.
Dunisha Wijeratne, PhD Student, University of Western Ontario, Canada [UoM Graduate 2007]
From: "roshan tantirimudalige "
Date: Mon, May 6, 2013 9:54 am
I had the honour and privilege to study under Professor Rohan Lucas during my time as an engineering undergraduate at the University of Moratuwa from 2002-2006. I was sad to hear that he was retiring, but after more than 40 years of serving the profession and the university it is well deserved indeed. It's will be hard to imagine the Electrical Engineering department without him, as most of our memories on the department and also the conversations when past graduates meet up are many a times associated with him in one way or another.
Not only being a brilliant scholar, academic, teacher, he was also a source of guidance to many of the students when it came to helping with carrier decisions, organising student or alumni activities, or to connect any of us with his vast network of academics and professionals. I still remember the many encounters I had personally with him during those years and also the theory of electricity and other high voltage engineering lectures which he did for our class. One thing most of our class will probably never forget is the difficult theory of electricity exam which he gave us in 2004, which I remember many of the students came out of the exam hall almost in tears and preparing themselves to sit again the next semester. But it was not to be, to the relief of all, the results were standardised and most of the students were able to get through.
Professor Lucas always came across as a flexible and fair person and gave a very positive image to the department within the university. I remember he allowed students flexibility in subject selections, industrial training, international exposure opportunities in line with specific student's career aspirations and departmental guidelines. This was at a time some other departments were very bureaucratic for these matters, and for this I am personally indebted to him as well. It's hard to picture that seven years have already passed since I left university and that Professor Lucas is also retiring. I wish him the very best in his retirement, but trust that he will still continue to be involved with the electrical engineering department and the profession as many can still learn from his vast experience and knowledge.
Roshan Tantirimudalige , Strategy Manager in the Unilever Global Supply Chain Organisation, Switzerland, [UoM EE Graduate 2007]
From: "Melinda Yasaranji "
Date: Wed, May 1, 2013 6:37 pm
Prof. J. R. Lucas - A True Legend
I am a proud alumnus of the Electrical Engineering Department of the University and Moratuwa and at the same time I am humbled that I was in an era of a legend of the department.
Our first encounter of Prof. J. R. Lucas was during the First Year June Term Projects where he was part of the evaluation team during the final presentations. One incident in particular will never be forgotten among our batch. Madawa Jayawardana (a fellow batch mate) was giving a presentation on the breakdown of the cost of his project which was quite detailed showing the cost of each item and finally the grand total. As he moved on to the next slide, he thought he was safe but then Prof. requested to go back. His question was "What happened to the one rupee?". All of us were baffled and wondering what on earth was he referring to and Madawa asked for clarifications. It was then we realized that the good Prof. had actually mentally summed up all the items and noticed it was Rs. 1 less!
'Theory of Electricity' was a subject that needed to be properly taught for any undergraduate who wanted to pursue a career in Electrical Engineering and Prof. Lucas did not let us down. We unfortunately didn't get the opportunity to be tutored by him in major subjects afterwards as he left on sabbatical during our final year.
Apart from academia, Prof. Lucas was a stout supporter of extra-curricular activities with a soft spot for our very own EESoc (Electrical Engineering Society). He also gave support to the Gavel Club of the University of Moratuwa which during my time had just formed and was trying to find it's feet. Upon my request as Vice President Education of the club at the time, Prof. Lucas published news items on the Electrical News website which can still be found by typing keywords in a search engine.
We were certainly lucky to have Prof. Lucas as our lecturer, mentor and friend during our time in the campus. I am sure that he has touched thousands of lives in one way or another during his 43 years in the department and on behalf of all his students, I thank him for a selfless service.
M. A. Melinda Yasaranji , Engineering Manager - Energy, Aitken Spence Hotel Managements (Pvt) Ltd [UoM EE graduate 2008]
From: "Anuradha Kariyawasam"
Date: Sun, July 28, 2013 10:58 pm
Although I have encountered many capable lecturers and professors at University of Moratuwa and elsewhere, beyond the shadow of a doubt Prof. J.R. Lucas has been the most influential figure in my life out of all of them. Therefore, I consider myself privileged to have the opportunity to write-up my memories of him.
The first thing that comes to my mind about Prof. Lucas is his professionalism and work ethic. He was always punctual and never under-prepared for his lectures and he expected nothing less from us. His lectures were intriguing and insightful. His marking was fair and we never had to wait longer than the final day of the exam for the results. Prof. Lucas had come to terms with the evolving technology, most times better than the students. His lecture notes were readily available online and he used the latest technology in his presentations.
He was never the one for exaggeration which complimented his humble character. I recollect that he gave us a great lesson not to overemphasize our work in first year June term projects as well as the final year projects. We were throwing around words such as "efficient", "low cost", "fully functional" and "accurate" into our project titles and we had a real hard time explaining to Prof. Lucas how our projects accomplished all that.
Prof. Lucas is a telling reason for me, as well as thousands of others, to excel in the field of Electrical Engineering. I gratefully remember that when I was at the crossroads about following higher-studies, his advice was decisive to make up my mind.
Prof. Lucas is a profound example of an outstanding academic and a dedicated educator. I regard that Prof. J.R. Lucas truly represents the pinnacle of university education in Sri Lanka.
Anuradha Kariyawasam, PhD Candidate, University of Manitoba [UOM EE graduate 2008]
From: "Nilusha Rajapaksha"
Date: Fri, August 29, 2014 12:05 pm
Memories of Rohan Sir
I felt very upset when I was asked to write memories of you. That gave me an impression of whether I need to stop thinking of our heart touched professor or the memories of you should not come to my mind hereafter. I was struggling to write this for months from the day I received the mail.
I still remember how you advised me: It was the short term of first year, when I met you in the first floor corridor, "you should balance your study and extra curricula activities". Thanking or appreciating is an insult for what you have done for us. It is placed in bottom of our hearts and when we remind it will come to you through the air as a blessing. You are so lucky, I know that I know you receive thousands of them every day, every hour, every moment. It is very unlucky to not having you in the uni for our sons and daughters, but surely we will tell them a story about you and they will take to the next generation. When they learn "High Voltage Theory", they will tell to their friends proudly; "He is my grandmother's & grandfather's professor" along with the stories we tolled to our sons and daughters.
Now that I am leaving;
I can tell you how I feel;;
For helping all of us. ;
So from me you get this THANK YOU,;
As well as this A PLUS;
No, that's not enough either;
For the teacher that you are;
You get this Thank You, an A+;
As well as this GOLD STAR;
We love you sir, until the last breath.
Nilusha Rajapaksha [EE Graduate 2008, Lighting Consultant for Intec Systems & Solutions (Pvt) Ltd.]
From: "Thilanka Sooriyaarachchi"
Date: Mon, March 11, 2013 8:00 pm
It is an honor and a privilege to share my memories of you at your retirement, after 43 years of service. I still remember swearing myself not to do Electrical Engineering when I was in my 1st year in 2004, and yet ended up in the same department, much to my great pleasure in the years to come.
I remember seen you at a distance in the 1st year and wondered what it would be like learning from this larger than life academic whose reputation extended beyond our shores. I thought most of us were initially intimidated by your reputation as a great mind. For a bunch of school levers who became engineering undergraduates, it's only honest to say that your work ethic was beyond our comprehension. 9 years later after getting to know the person behind the professor, things are crystal clear. Knowledge is power, and with that power comes great responsibility. With all that responsibility upon your shoulder and the burden of a senior academic, you managed to stay simple in a sophisticated world for 43 years. I believe that is partially why your clock ticks ever so slower than the rest of the world.
I remember how much you loved being and sharing with students than any other faculty member in the department. I still can remember how much you enjoyed the 'Communication Skills' course and that you were the first person to enter the classroom and would wait for the students to come. And some of us would even ask you a question during our own speech so that you would do the talking for the rest of the allocated time. I also remember how much you enjoyed student dramas and films we did for the EE-nite in both 2005 and 2006 and the smile on your face when you saw the character imitating you. We had our concerns what your response might be, and then later on, you always admired and praised all our efforts for the event in the department news website with much enthusiasm, displaying your great sense of humor, soul of a youngster and the wonderful heart. It's exemplary how you never missed any of the student events that took place in the department. And I would never forget the treats you shared with me after returning from Canada in 2007.
Your lecture notes were the best I have ever come across which were so elaborative that I never needed to look for other texts to understand their content. And you were the only faculty member in our department, who would publish model answers to the exam papers which helped us a lot when preparing for exams. And with such a slow clock and ample time at your disposal; you were always the first to release our grades.
I am grateful to you for the wonderful person and the teacher I found in you. You will always be the model professional any aspirant would want to become and your retirement will be a great loss to the future generation of engineers produced by Sri Lanka and to the University of Moratuwa. I believe you have already laid out your retirement plan based on your unique slow clock, and I take this opportunity to wish you on that journey which will be as thrilling, fulfilling, long, healthy and simple as was your professional life.
Thilanka Sooriyaarachchi, Postgrad, Abu Dhabi, UAE [UoM EE Graduate 2009]
From: "Rasara HL"
Date: Sat, May 25, 2013 8:28 am
Prof. Rohan Lucas and the Samarasinghe Family
First and foremost, we, the Samarasinghe family, consider it a privilege to be part of the "Memories" of Prof. Lucas, our beloved teacher. It is indeed a rarity to find an academic who has enriched a whole family, especially when it comes to tertiary education. Prof. Lucas has taught my whole family, which includes me, my father, my mother, my wife, and my sister, during his 43 years of service at the University of Moratuwa.
The link between Prof. Lucas and the Samarasinghe family originated in 1976, when he taught my father Chandana, and my mother Yamuna, Theory of Electricity during their second year in the university. My father and mother are currently working at the Ceylon Electricity Board as the Deputy General Manager Western Province North and the Additional General Manager Transmission, respectively. My parents always talked of him highly, and I can still remember them introducing me to him at a wedding of one of their batch mates at Hotel Sapphire, Wellawatta. I was a small kid then.
I became closer to Prof. Lucas in 2004, when I entered the University of Moratuwa for my undergraduate studies. Prof. Lucas also taught me the all important second year subject Theory of Electricity. At that time, he did not know me as the son of Chandana and Yamuna. At the third or fourth lecture, Prof. Lucas threw a question at me when he found me talking with Rasara, a friend of mine who was sitting next to me, in the middle of the lecture. Honestly, I was not listening to the lecture, but managed to answer thanks to the high quality study material that he made available through his website to all students. Without any doubt, this is the best and the most useful set of notes that was provided to me by a lecturer during my undergraduate studies.
In 2009, I married Rasara, and Prof Lucas was one of the two witnesses of our marriage. Prof. Lucas was in fact so happy to be a witness at the wedding, and considered it a unique opportunity. Rasara, who was a student of the department of electrical engineering, had stronger ties with Prof. Lucas, and was lucky enough to learn more subjects from him. The final year subject High Voltage breakdown and testing, which was taught by Prof. Lucas, actually motivated her to do her PhD in the same area.
In 2010, my sister Savini became the lucky fifth to learn Theory of Electricity from Prof. Lucas. She is currently in her final year as an undergraduate at the University of Moratuwa.
It is not a secret that Prof. Lucas is an excellent academic. His qualifications, publications and experience will back this claim. However, according to all five of us, the things which make him stand out in the academic community are his qualities as a human being, and the way he treats his students. Out of all of us, I think Rasara had the closest relationship with Prof. Lucas. I am herewith integrating some of her words to express our feelings of Prof. Lucas.
"Prof. Lucas is a valued lecturer, a mentor and most importantly, a good friend to all of us who studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Moratuwa. He was my favourite lecturer in the university and the most humble academic I have met throughout my undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
He was our hero in times of need. I remember one embarrassing situation at the AGM of EESoc in 2005, where I turned to the Head of the Department and asked "Sir, your name please...". I could not recognize him since I was a new member of the Electrical Engineering family and have only seen him once, which was at the welcome party held for us by the department. The surrounding became so tensed, but I still did not realize what I have done wrong. Prof. Lucas, being the white knight he is, came to my rescue making a joke out of the situation saying "even we cannot recognize you girls today, all dressed up for the occasion", and leading the shocked faculty members away.
Prof. Lucas always understood the students since he closely associated with us. Needless to say that he was the most reachable member of the faculty. He was always available and willing to help us on any matter, even after we graduated from the university. He enjoyed friendly bantering all the time, and always started a discussion with a witty remark putting us at ease (or sometimes even confusing us). As I have already mentioned to Prof. Lucas, an email from him is something to look forward to. He brings merriment to an otherwise boring day with his witty and hilarious writings.
All jokes aside, Prof. Lucas is one of my most beloved teachers and an important figure in my life. I could not think of any other person to be my witness when I got married in 2009 "
It is with mixed feelings that we acknowledge the news of Prof. Lucas's retirement since future students will be missing out on a lot. Sir, thank you very much for everything you have done for us, and we wish you all the best.
Dr. Tharaka Samarasinghe, Research Fellow, Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, Monash University, Australia. [UoM ENTC Graduate, 2009]
Mrs. H.L. Rasara Samarasinghe, PhD Candidate, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University, Australia. [UoM EE Graduate, 2009]
From: "Devinda Perera "
Date: Fri, May 10, 2013 2:19 pm
It is a great privilege to write up memories about you as you bid farewell to University of Moratuwa and embrace your well-deserved break. It is not an exaggeration to say that you have been the backbone of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Moratuwa, and it will never be the same without your valuable contribution.
The first thing I learnt about you during our first year Engineering Project presentations, was your passion to explain complex theoretical concepts in a simple to understand and memorable manner, though your natural desire to question students during your lectures and presentations was sometimes a pain for me and my colleagues . As I recall, at one point, one of my colleagues asked you not to interrupt him with any questions during his presentation, only to be met by a big smile on your face, with a series of unrelated questions which were quite amusing. (As I remember the starting question was "Is there any particular reason for the design of your slide").
One of your unsung services to the department, was maintaining of department website. During my undergraduate studies, I made a habit of visiting the department website every morning as it was the only website in the university that was up to date. Apart from all the academic and administrative matters, you never forgot to add some humour to the news page. I was able to dig up one such post reported on the inter-batch cricket tournament.
The Editor of EENews who witnessed some of the Intra-University Cricket played last week, accurately captured the following picture in his minds eye, drew it in MS-word and converted it to a picture in Corel Photopaint for your viewing pleasure. It shows Prof Rohan Lucas getting out, to a new mathematical delivery (the delivery termed "|sin x/x|" is pronounced "Absolute Sine X by X"). |sin x/x| is a multi-bounce, mid-pitched delivery which stops well before it reaches the wicket, enticing the batsmen to come forward very many steps. It has a very great resemblance to the corresponding mathematical expression shown on the right. It is to be patented through the Inventors Club of the University before the next World Cup. Incidentally, Prof Lucas scored the highest inverse score possible, and also earned five negative bonus points for his team. Prof Lucas had just arrived late at the ground after a meeting and immediately had to go and bat without even knowing the weird rules applicable for the day.
Another much loved quality of you was your keenness to attend university activities despite your busy schedule. During my days at the University of Moratuwa, I can't recall any sporting event organised by the department without your presence. You were always there to encourage students and even took part in some events.
You have always been a role model and a great mentor to me. Whether it was a matter related to studies or even making a choice between academia and industry, you were always there to listen and provide valuable guidance to me. It was not only the theoretical knowledge that I gained from you but also qualities of a human being who was ready to go that extra mile to help anyone. It is with great gratitude that I recall that you provided me with a recommendation which helped to secure a scholarship at the University of Wollongong to pursue my PhD.
To sum up, it is a great honour to be one of your students. I wish you all the best. May the next phase of your life bring you all that you seek and much more. Your dedication, your presence, your advice and your encouragement will be definitely missed by all future students at the University of Moratuwa.
Devinda Perera, Postgraduate Student, University of Wollongong [UoM EE graduate 2010]
From: "hansi rajapaksha "
Date: Fri, May 10, 2013 11:11 pm
Getting selected to do 'Electrical Engineering' was quite a surprise for me as I had no interest in that subject. I can still remember hearing the introductory lectures given by Prof. Ranjith Perera and also by Prof. Rohan Lucas with a very warm welcome smile on their faces. At that moment I knew that the coming 3 years at the university is not going to be tough for me with the assistance of these humble senior lecturers.
As we joined the Electrical Engineering department, day by day we got to know more and more about our mentors. Prof. Lucas, being the most senior lecturer, did not hesitate to assist us every time when we felt helpless in some academic issues. He was capable of understanding our issues at the very first moment and we felt relieved when we talked to him regarding our studies and research. During his lectures, we touched all the corners of 'Electrical Engineering'. We always felt free to ask questions about the basic concepts of the subject as he always encouraged us to do so. He had always been an interactive lecturer who did not make us uncomfortable by scolding for giving wrong answers. Likewise, his lecture notes were the best lecture notes I found at the university. All the theories were well-explained in every note and pictorial representations were at its best. I still can't imagine how he found the time to write-up these notes with his busy schedule.
When I published my first novel (still it's the only book I published so far), I handed-over one copy to Prof. Lucas. Within one week, he mentioned about the book in the webpage of the department of Electrical Engineering which made me surprised by thinking he spent some time in writing-up this as I was just a second-year student at that time. He always had time for us whether junior or senior.
Prof. Lucas was really interested in moving with students and he is very genuine in whatever he does. I can remember he was playing in a cricket match (as the batsman) which was between the lecturers and students where I was the bowler in that over. Two consecutive times the ball hit the wicket,but the umpire who was a student signaled those as 'no-balls'. However, third time again the ball hit the wicket and when the umpire was going to signal it as a 'no-ball', Prof.Lucas smiled at us and left the pitch as he understood we felt uncomfortable to make him 'out'. That was one time where Prof. Lucas had been our friend, a genuine friend.
I am really grateful to you Sir for all the seconds you spent on making our future brighten. You were one of the best mentors I met in my life and I feel sorry for the students who won't get lucky to get to know you after your retirement. With all my batch mates of batch-05 I wish you all the very best !!
Hansi Rajapaksha, Electrical Engineer, Ceylon Electricity Board, [UoM EE Graduate, 2010]
From: "Nadeesha Manamperi "
Date: Sat, May 11, 2013 5:37 pm
My favorite teacher
Last week, when I was scrolling through 'facebook' I came across a post carrying a picture of a very familiar face of our beloved teacher. The post was for congratulating him for his 43 years of priceless service in the university. It was a moment I spend thinking how lucky I am, being able to be a student of him and how blessed our Electrical Engineering Department of University of Moratuwa to 'own' such world recognized intellectual. Even though being very humble in his character, he is the pride and the recognition of our Department. He is none other than Prof. J. R. Lucas, our beloved teacher.
Down the memory lane, I meet Lucas Sir, as we called him, in 2006, as a second year Electrical Engineering Student. My first impression of him is that he is a very simple and sweet tempered lecturer.
By the 3rd year, I and my friend Nadeeshani started our six months Industrial Training at Lanka Transformers (Pvt) Ltd in Angulana, Moratuwa. Two of us became familiar with Prof. Lucas and he also got to know well about us and the extraordinary friendship of 'Nadeehsa and Nadeeshani' during this time, as he visited the Transformer Plant often. Nadeeshani and I've had a very long friendship since school days. Our names, appearance and even the scores in academics were very similar. Even today if Prof. Lucas meets one of us, he would definitely ask about the other. That is the inherent friendly nature of Prof. Lucas.
I must say, unlike most senior lecturers, Prof. Lucas has a very unique quality of being able to talk with students as a friend and he accepts them as they are without pre-judgment. Among the qualities I appreciate in him, this superior quality of equality to everyone is prominent. It may be the very strong reason that many students consider him as an inspiring role in their lives.
Henry Adams, a famous Historian and Intellect has once said that 'A teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops'. Prof. Lucas is one rare teacher who could inspire and influence his students.
During the Final year, Prof. Lucas taught us two subjects in High Voltage Engineering. I used to sit in the first or the second row in these lectures despite of the trouble of answering to his questions every now and then, which anyone who sits in the front has to bear, because I loved these lectures very much. It may be his great knowledge that he was able to teach us in a way that everything was explained well. I ended up with two A+ s for these two subjects easily.
Prof. J. R. Lucas was the supervisor from the University for my final year project. Due to his friendly nature, our team could discuss the problems with him at ease and his knowledge guided us to overcome many bottlenecks to finally end up in success.
On our convocation day, I remember Prof. Lucas personally came and wished all our batch mates. That day I learned how he enjoyed his teaching career by seeing his students succeed to a new world.
This great scholar spent a very humble life at the university. He wouldn't mind having a tea at the canteen sitting close by to his students or loosing to his students in a cricket match. The door labeled 'R. Lucas' was always open for the students to come in. He was very rarely absent in a function organized by Electrical Engineering Students, may it be a charity, sports, new year or Annual General Meeting. If in any case, Prof. Lucas was unable to participate, it was a big disappointment for everyone.
After two years of graduation, I and a quite a big cluster of my batch mates started our Masters Degree in 2011 in the University. It is our misfortune that in our course Prof. Lucas did not teach any module. But he was guiding us through our projects as a progress review panel member.
Even though he didn't teach us by this time, it was his usual habit to stop by for a minute or two to speak with us, whenever he sees us in the University. This made us feel homely at the Department regardless that we are now 'outsiders' to the University.
I was really saddened to hear that Prof. Lucas was planning his retirement in September this year. His service to the Department and the University is so huge, that would be hard to cover up.
A famous American Writer, William Arthur Ward ones said that 'The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."
In my eyes I see Prof. J. R. Lucas as a great teacher who inspired many Sri Lankan Electrical Engineers to rise up to their excellence.
I wish you good health, and success in all your future endeavors, Sir.
As now you are writing your auto-biography, perhaps this may be the beginning of a new journey of Prof. J. R. Lucas as a great author...
Nadeesha Manamperi, Electrical Engineer, Ceylon Electricity Board [UoM EE Graduate, 2010]
From: "Nadeeshani Rathnayaka "
Date: Sat, May 11, 2013 11:54 pm
When I entered to Faculty of Engineering, University of Moratuwa on 8th February 2005, the first thing I felt was that this place is a different world, and how can I adjust to this new world with so many big characters, like Professors, Doctors who were engaged in highest positions in the country. But getting selected to do Electrical Engineering changed my entire perspective. Prof. Rohan Lucas was one of those who made us feel comfortable in that different world.
Lucas sir's first lecture for us was "Theory of Electricity" which is a five credit subject in level two second semester. I can remember that within the first two or three days the entire three hours were felt like we are learning some alien language. But when we read your lecture notes, day by day we could understand the basics of theory of electricity in an interesting way, since your lecture notes touch each and every corner of the subject in a complete manner. Truly saying sir, I am still using the lecture notes which you have updated in the Department web site, when I have to work in Technical Evaluation Committees. It is like a hand book for Electrical Engineering. I can remember that every day at the end of the lecture, Lucas sir asks for questions from the students. Even though we do not ask any single question he never gives up and next day also he asks that again. At that time we do not have the confidence for doing such things. But day by day we understood that Lucas Sir is not a person who we have to fear about and he is such a humble and genuine person who always likes to help the students and share his knowledge with them.
There were thirteen girls in our Electrical Engineering batch and we thirteen were the nastiest and most obstinate girls in the entire batch (I think you can remember our dances for so many events). Before and after each and every lecture it is a common scene that we were chatting at each and every corner of the Sumanadasa building. For the bad luck of us we were always found by Lucas sir at that time; doing nothing valuable and just chatting. But when you found us in anywhere in the university, you did not forget to do some friendly chat with us. Those were the moments we understood your great personality of always accepting people for what they are. In three years life in Electrical Engineering Department, I saw Lucas sir was there in forefront for each and every event organized by the students. For EEsoc AGM and nights, for "we are with you" program and even for cricket matches, you did not hesitate to participate. In that way you appreciated all the good work in our university life.
When I am doing my MSc Research work, I got to know more about Lucas sir. You were there for each and every presentation done by research students, and I am honestly saying that all of us were fearful about your presence at the presentations. Because you are the one who continuously asked so many questions from us even regarding very minute things. But in my first progress review I understood that you are so much interested about the new things we were doing and the questions you asked were for our betterment.
One day you have met Nadeesha (My friend since school time) on the way to department office and while talking with her you have asked "how about your friend, Nadeeshani's project progress?" I was surprised when she told me that and I was surprised how much you have paid attention on us and how much you are interested in our work, even though we were such junior people compared to you.
I am really happy that I could study in University of Moratuwa in an era that Lucas sir was there to teach us. You taught us by being an example, how to be a humble and down to earth person while holding so many responsible positions. I am really thankful to you for the great support you gave us and wish you all the very best in the next chapter of your life.
Nadeeshani Rathnayaka, Engineer, Ceylon Electricity Board, [UoM EE Graduate, 2010]
From: "Hasala Dharmawardena "
Date: Fri, May 10, 2013 3:08 pm
When we entered the university in 2006 Professor Lucas was the public face of the electrical engineering department. Such was his charisma that some opted to follow electrical engineering, just to get lectured by the great professor!
I can still remember the first day, when he came to the lecture, connected the speakers to his laptop, and got a recording going mirroring the lecture notes, I wondered how the professor got time to get it edited by a professional...... Believe me only at the end that I understood that he had used Microsoft speech function.... Effectively he introduced us to this technology when it was thought that Professors were the old schools black board users!!!!
I can still remember how he made us visualize lumped modeling of the power system. He asked us the voltage drop when we short a socket outlet, and thereby he explained that the system can be replaced by such an impedance as to derive this voltage drop, ingenious lecturing!
The Professor was so homely and friendly that he would even take the time to stop and give a lift to any of his students he met on the road, I too were a recipient of this honor several times over the years! He was there for the students were it a Sports event or a Speech contest, in sun and in rain. He was an exemplarily person that we all looked up to in awe, and he was always there for us, were it for career advice or a recommendation.
Hasala Dharmawardena , Probationary Lecturer in Electrical Engineering, UoM, Engineer LTL Projects 2011-13, [EE UoM graduate 2011]
Date: Mon, July 15, 2013 10:32 pm
After graduating 2011 from the University of Moratuwa, I used to work in a private company where I got chance to meet a lot of Engineers working in the industry. When I met them, the first question they asked, knowing my university, "Is Prof. Lucas still teach in our university or I am a student of him". Now I am a grad student of the University of Manitoba in Canada. Even after coming to this university, I was asked so many times those same questions. Which made me realize that how much respect and recognition Prof. Lucas has earned not only in Sri Lanka but also abroad and how lucky I am to be considered as a student of him.
I had the privilege to attend insulation coordination, high voltage break down and testing courses of you. The clear and detailed notes, which are readily available on the web for everyone even today, helped me to remember those whenever I needed for class or research. I personally believe knowledge must be free, shared and cheered. And you Sir is the ambassador from our institution in this context.
I have always found you humble, enthusiastic and a devotee of learning as a teacher either in class or outside the department who was always ready to help the students. Personally my gratitude to you Sir for having a faith on my credibility by giving me a recommendation letter to continue my higher studies which means a lot to me as now I see what I could be.
I wish you a happy and healthy long life. Last but not least, you will always be remembered with honor for the hard work and sacrifice you made for our University.
Randapuma Gunasekera, PhD Student, University of Manitoba, Canada [EE UoM Graduate, 2011]
From: "Sasanka Herath"
Date: Tue, March 13, 2012 4:49 pm
Congratulations sir, Thank you very much for this. I just started to read it and didn't feel that this is too long until finishing, as it is very interesting.
The service of you for the society during this 42 years is excellent. A very few of the people in the country were fortune enough to get the service of you. I have a little proud to be one of them. Actually sir what I learnt from you during the project is vast. They may be both academic and non-academic. Some times after working with you I personally thought what good characteristics you have. May be I discussed with my friends. Nowadays that qualities I trained from you is very helpful to me for carry out works.
You have a big personality which influence others and make them at the correct path. During this 42 years this is surely may have caused to the university and its development up to now. Still now you are the earliest to come, isn't it ? I personally believe that you are a Pearl for our country. All of the students who were in our batch knew that you are doing the teaching to the best of you. They say that they can hardly find a teacher like you. How you describe complex things with simpler examples is magnificent. In all the semesters we receive the results for your subjects most earlier. Happy to memorize that I had over A passes for all the subjects done by you.
The child hood of you seems to prove that you are a special person. I think that is why you got the most of the opportunities for education. It is awesome how you did the plantation. Can't believe that a child in a area like that do so. I think it is the specialty of you.
I was shocked with the inconvenience you faced down while come down from Sripada, Which you didn't tell us earlier. In future hikes I would like to accompany with you.
Though you can spend a superior life you live very peacefully. That was clearly observed during our project period. Sometimes you surprised us. We could work in a relaxed mind due to that. Feel very sorry to hear that you are leaving the university. That will be a huge loss to the department as well as University. We wish you could stay there for another 10 years for the betterment of the future undergraduates.
Sasanka Herath, Electrical Engineer, LTL [UoM EE Graduate 2012]
From: "sujani madurapperuma"
Date: Mon, March 11, 2013 8:31 pm
Sweet memories bring smiles and that story emphasis your great courage and effort. But it is so sad about your retirement. Even you get retire I wish that you serve for the country as previous. Think you are happy and satisfied about the past.
It is my gratitude for your guidance and valuable knowledge given during both Undergraduate and Postgraduate studies. Happy to be your student for more than 4 years. Wish you good luck, happy and healthy long life !!!
Sujani Madurapperuma, Electrical Engineer, CEB [UoM EE Graduate 2012]
From: "Lahiru Himal"
Date: Thu, April 4, 2013 8:40 pm
First of all I should tell you that I am a very lucky person because I was able to learn from you, work with you, listen to you. You are the person who gave me the key to open doors of LTL Kingdom. You are not only a teacher to me, you are not only a mentor to me, you are not only a friend to me; You are a teacher, mentor and friend to me. I can remember that you listen to me and gave suitable opinions when I was in a bad mood.
I can remember the style which you taught us. When we asked a question, you get answer from us by another simple question asked by you. How wonderful. You are the only teacher I met in my life who can give answers by questions. I felt some kind of specialty of you. Now I realize you are very special from the birth . "Perhaps we got independence within 4 months of my birth because I would have refused to live in a country under occupation and given an ultimatum to my neighbour who would have done the needful on my behalf"
I do not feel that you are going to retire. I feel this is a beginning of another era. I am sure you will plan your future successfully.
As a Engineer, I am very proud to say that I AM A STUDENT OF PROF. LUCAS. This is why I say that I am lucky.
I am very happy to read your mail. Finally I wish you a healthy, wealthy and happy future.
Lahiru Himal, Electrical Engineer, LTL Projects, [UoM EE Graduate 2012]
From: "Malaka Gunasekara"
Date: Wed, March 13, 2013 12:08 am
It's an honour to have been a student of yours.
I read your e mail while traveling from Nebbi to Kampala in Uganda where Mr. Chaminda and me from LTL Projects went to a meeting and site visits related to the project we are doing there.
I really enjoyed the read and I wish that our country will be blessed with great academics like you.
I wish you good health and happiness.
Malaka Gunasekara [UoM EE Graduate 2012]
From: "Pawithra Gamage "
Date: Wed, May 22, 2013 1:17 pm
I'm really happy that I got a chance to express my gratitude to you, Prof. Lucas.
".....About 6 years ago my journey started at University of Moratuwa as a fresh undergraduate. After one year I selected Electrical Engineering as my field of specialization and today I feel really happy about that decision.
We were guided throughout this journey by a well experienced and caring group of teachers and I believe that Prof. Lucas is on top of that group.
I highly appreciate his effort and commitment in creating a young generation of capable Engineers and think that he can be proud of his work. He inspired and challenged us throughout this quest to help us to achieve our goals. I am happy where I am today as a young Engineer and I thank him for being a guiding light for my path.
I wish Prof. Lucas all the very best in his future endeavors and hope he will continue the process of enhancing the younger generation with his knowledge and experience....."
Pawithra Gamage , Electrical Engineer, JW1 International (Pvt) Ltd [UoM EE graduate 2012]
From: "Ruwinda Herath "
Date: Sat, April 27, 2013 7:17 pm
Sir when you asked me to send you a write up of my memories about you for your Autobiography I felt honored and privileged - just as I am to be one of your students. Since then I have been pondering the best way to convey my immense gratitude towards you and your tremendous service to the nation in an appropriate manner. Rather than compiling a conventional write up with numerous adjectives, I decided to focus on four memories that I cherish about you during the period I have known you.
During our third year at the University all of us were confused regarding the number of credits we have to take from other departments in order to fulfill the minimum credit requirement. Hence as a whole batch we got together after a lecture to discuss how we can advance regarding matter. As the batch representative I asked my batch mates to come up with their own solution. Every single person had the same thing in their minds - "Let's go and meet Lucas sir for advice". This shows the immense faith and trust the students have in you sir. It is hard coded in all our systems that you know what's best for us and that you will always guide us in the right direction.
EXMO 2010 exhibition was one of the most challenging scenarios we found ourselves in as a batch. All the other batches were having exams, so it was our responsibility to get most of the work finished for the exhibition. We spent most of our evenings stressed out worrying that we might not be able to finish up in time. During such an evening around 5pm when we were down and out (I was lying on the floor of the exhibition lab) you came in and discussed about the exhibits we were going to present and the problems we had. You visited every single laboratory, motivated us and offered to help us by educating the presenters on how best to explain their exhibits to visitors. On the day of commencement, you came early in the morning to the University and visited each laboratory and asked the presenters to explain their exhibits to you. Then you helped them to correct their mistakes and add more details. This shows your dedication towards the well-being of the students and the immense responsibility you feel for the University and it's students. All the students felt touched and grateful for the guidance you provided.
At a personal level, I feel indebted to you as well. After my graduation I needed to get some advice regarding an interview I was going to face. I had a few doubts which I wanted to get clarified. So I decided to come and meet you with the questions I had expecting a short time to be spent on the meeting. Instead, you met with me for 45mins, conducting a long mock interview teaching me how to present myself during the interview. This really meant a lot to me. You were always willing help out any of your students whenever they are in need. That is one of the most striking facets I have seen in your personality.
My fourth memory consists of the way you send greeting cards and photos to your students. In a way it's quite surprising how you manage to allocate time for them in your busy schedule. You spend so much of your time on them because deep down you are a very fun loving character.
I am afraid to think about the future of Department of Electrical Engineering University of Moratuwa without you. All I can say is that it will never be the same again.
Ruwinda Herath , Electrical Engineer, Ceylon Electricity Board, [UoM EE graduate 2012]
From: "Chirath Pathirawasam"
Date: Tue, September 9, 2014 4:07 pm
I still remember how Prof. Lucas was introduced by our seniors on the first day (Unofficial welcome done by immediate seniors) of our life in the Electrical Engineering Department. They introduced him as an iconic figure of the department. Prof. Lucas proved their claims for the next three years of my university life inside and outside the classroom.
His intention to deliver his message to the students is very admirable. He was fluent in describing any abstract concept, which are very abundant in Electrical Engineering, with a real world analogy. He took a large fraction of his time in lectures to explain more abstract topics as they are very important to the overall understanding of the subject, albeit it was not easy. Not only is Prof. Lucas's presence was enthusiastic in the classroom, but he is also found to be in the front in any department event. I can recall an event; 'We are with you- 2010', where he was present till the end without the presence of any other staff member.
I had the opportunity to associate him more closely after I joined the department as a staff member. Having a conversation with Prof. Lucas 'storms' the brain because, his arguments are always in the context of engineering. It opens another avenue in mind to think in. When he was preparing materials for a TV interview about lightening he went the extra mile by inquiring our experiences on lightening and analyzing the situation rationally to provide valuable information to the public.
I feel privileged to express my gratitude on a great personality like Prof. Lucas. I hope our department will not miss his service even after his retirement as it would be like a cricket team playing without its star player. I wish Prof. Lucas great success in his future endeavours!
Chirath D. Pathirawasam, [UoM EE graduate 2012, UoM EE Temporary Lecurer]
From: "Kasun Hettiarachchi"
Date: Mon, September 22, 2014 5:17 pm
It's a great, great pleasure to add few words regarding you. It's a privilege for me and thanx a lot for giving such an opportunity.
It was in 2007 at JG Hall. At that time, the level one co-ordinator was Mrs Premarathne, and on her first appearance, she has given some tutorials related to the first lecture. This tutorial was prepared by you and Mrs Premarathne didn't forget to mention about you at that lecture. She tagged Prof Lucas as one of the best lectures and she mentioned your capacity in electrical engineering. That's the very first time I heard about you and I was amazed even without seeing you.
Then in 2008 I got into the Electrical Engineering Department and from there onwards Prof Lucas is an often sight for each and every student. But in the first year in the Department of Electrical Eng, most of the students were scared to have a word or two with you including myself. Don't know the exact reason for that, and now I believe that's due to your high esteem personality where we thought we are not strong enough to reach you.
After few semesters we used to meet Prof Lucas frequently and then and there we figured out how soft he is. Every time he welcomed our suggestions and was very keen to listen even on a personal matter. I was lucky enough to work under Prof Lucas in my final year project and the given support and guidance is priceless. I'm sure we may not have been able to finish even one third of the project, if this great personality wasn't there with us throughout the project. My uni and college friends used to call me as Hapaya and I'm privileged that Prof Lucas also sometimes used to call me as Hapaya. One day during our project discussion suddenly Prof Lucas asked "Hapaya, why you are playing "Bad"minton. You should play "Good"minton rather than "Bad"minton?" So like this we worked under Prof Lucas and he never misses to crack some jokes.
Dear Sir, again and again I am thankful for the given courage, guidance and knowledge for thousands of Electrical Engineers including myself. We will miss "THE ICON" of Electrical Engineering Dept badly with your departure and wish you strength and good health to continue your immense service at least for few decades.
Kasun S Hettiarachchi (Hapaya), Electrical Engineer, Dialog [UoM EE Graduate 2012]
From: "Tharindu De Silva"
Date: Wed, January 14, 2015 1:00 pm
Thank You for Everything
It is always an honour and privilege to send a write up about such a legendary teacher like Prof. Lucas. I tried to start this a couple of times, but I couldn't come up with a good beginning to expresses my heartfelt feelings about this iconic character. So I thought of just starting it saying "Thank you for everything." Thank you for being an absolutely amazing teacher and making such a significant impact on generations of students to change their lives over last 40 plus years.
It was way back in 2007, where I heard your name for the first time when Mrs. Janaki Premarathne mentioned about you and thanked you during the lectures at JG Hall. She conducted the first ever subject offered for us from EE department and all the tutorials were prepared by you. But at that time, we never thought that name, "Prof. Rohan Lucas", printed on the tutorials, would do such a change in all of our lives. Instead, we got a feeling like "yet another traditional professor in the traditional field and traditional department building". We were not just wrong. We were absolutely wrong.
I can still remember the very first day you came for our lectures at Room 215, Sumanadasa building with your legendary laptop. Once you projected it to the screen, I counted sixteen open windows (not less than 16) but you were quick enough to open up the relevant lecture slides. We came to a conclusion that "This man" is kind of a busy professor who is out of our reach. Again we were not just wrong. We were absolutely wrong.
During the time in EESoc, we were fortunate enough to work under the supervision of you. You were so concerned about the department's reputation and advised us to do every event with zero error. You always tried to come early, in every event, and search about every matter till you got the feeling that proceedings are satisfactorily organized. Once the funny time comes, you blend with students and participate in games and take photographs where you know the exact time to leave the rest of funny time to students without staff.
From "Theory of Electricity" to "High Voltage" along four years, you installed a series of concepts in us, which we are still enjoying in our career. Even if we ask a stupid question, you get the answers out of us while keep questioning about the question we asked. (I can remember one such question I asked: "Nothing will happen if I touch only one 33kV line on bare foot, isn't it sir?" You took it serious and told me that "YES, but only from your domain of knowledge". I was not letdown. Then you asked couple of questions about ground coupling and leakages to explain the answer to me).
When you asked me for a write up about my memories, I couldn't give it to you on time. So I was bit upset when I saw all the other articles in the department website from your students over the past 40 plus years where I couldn't pay my gratitude with at least a couple of words. I was more disappointed when I heard that you are going to publish an autobiography with those articles. (All the students were invited for the launching ceremony). I replied back to you saying that I will definitely participate in that prestigious event where I will get an opportunity to pay my gratitude. But, I was over the moon when I realized that there is some sense of true in the old saying "Good things always come late". I was asked to organize this ceremony by Dr. Narendra from LECO. It was one of the great events that I got opportunity to organize and probably the best ever with much pleasure and hard driven satisfaction.
With having much to say, I thought of concluding this short write up at a point where it started. Dear Sir, Thank you very much for everything. You are a book which we cannot finish reading until we die. Because, you can be seen from a multidimensional view point for us as students where, sometimes as a father, as very good friend and as a very close teacher. So we wish you all the very best in your future endeavours. The University will never ever forget the tall, smiley and tongue in cheek face at Sumanadasa second floor corridor.
Tharindu De Silva, Electrical Engineer, LECO [UoM EE Graduate 2012]
From: "Prathaj Haputhanthri "
Date: Wed, August 30, 2017 11:14 am
Some fond memories of Professor Lucas
I had heard a lot about Professor Lucas, the revered senior professor of electrical engineering during my first year at University. However, it was only during my second year that I got the opportunity of interacting with Rohan Sir, as he would lecture us on Theory of Electricity. It was only then, that I truly understood as to why he is such an adored professor. In addition to him being an extraordinary teacher, he was a friend, a mentor and an advisor to us students. He was a professor whom we students could always go and discuss matters. The relationship Rohan Sir had with his students was such, that we were assured of seeing him actively take part in all student organized/related events, be it the EESoc CSR project, the Annual Electrical Engineering Cricket Match, the EE Fresher's Night, the University Colours Night, the Carols Service and many more. And during my final year, I got the opportunity to closely work with Rohan Sir since he was our Project Supervisor. He always made sure that the issues we brought up were addressed and guided us through to the submission of a successful project.
In addition to the above, Rohan Sir would help me get my first Job at LTL (Pvt) Ltd, and continued to help me with my postgraduate studies abroad. Even during my Masters, Rohan Sir would check up on me, make sure I am on track.
I am truly honored and lucky to have had the opportunity to have learned from and known Rohan Sir, and would like to wish him all the every best as he turns 70 this October.
Prathaj Haputhanthri, Visiting Professional, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden Colorado, USA[UoM EE Graduate 2012]
From: "Channa Silva "
Date: Sun, October 1, 2017 3:03 pm
The Wonderful Man Inside: Coolest Rohan Sir
First of all, I would like to wish you for your forthcoming 70th Birthday.
I am glad to take this opportunity to thank you for the many support you have given, and also for being an inspirational character to us.
Although I attended relatively few lectures during my academic life in the university, your lectures was one of the interesting academic times I had in my Uni life, though sometimes I didn't understand what you said, in your lecture as I was not regular in following lectures.
During the undergraduate final year project time, my Supervisor was on sabbatical leave and we had virtually no supervisor to guide us at that time. During that time during progress reviews, you along with other lecturers, gave us a very hard time. Because of that hard time we realised our project weaknesses and your feedbacks put us on the correct track. That pressure, the stress I handled with my group and batch mates taught me a lot. It was like a game changing moment in my career.
- In September 2015, I met you, after I came back to Sri Lanka from Sydney after completing my masters degree. You offered to help me seek opportunities at two of the most reputed Electrical companies LECO and LTL. Although I did not proceed with either, your response made my career during that time stress free, because I felt that you were behind me (as you are always behind your students).
- In January 2016, I was gifted a handmade designer envelope by you to include my wedding gift. It was a really memorable gift that I will always have with me.
- Last, but not the least, I was very fortunate that I was able to help your daughter to fix a Solar Net metering system at your daughter's place under your observation.
Finally, I wish a healthy happy future, from the bottom of my heart.
Channa Silva, Head of Project Management, JLanka Technologies Pvt Ltd [UoM EE Graduate 2012]
From: "Apeksha Weerasekera"
Date: Sun April 28, 2013
2008 Sep - 2009 Jan
It was the first semester at University of Moratuwa for us we all were kind of nervous; Prof. Lucas was one of the lecturers who conducted EE101-Electrical Engineering at JG (James George Hall). After his lectures students talked about the way he drew waveforms, phasor diagrams and other diagrams in free space with hands.
At the end of the lecture series, There was a 'Kuppi' organized by the senior batch conducted by a Level 3 student who was on industrial training (whom we later came to know as DJ Shami). He told us about the reputation, Prof. Lucas holds in the industry. He said many people knew our Department with Prof. Lucas's name. He also advertised about a 'Complicated' yet an 'Interesting' subject called 'Theory of Electricity' taught by Prof. Lucas, which many of us were planning to do in Level 2.
2009 Sep - 2010 Jan
Prof. Lucas came to the lecture hall 215 with his 'Toshiba' Laptop with a few dozens of windows opened. We thought he must be a very busy person because working with so many documents. Then he showed us the 1st lecture slide set of Theory of Electricity, no notes distributed, and we were planning to write down all what was on the slide. The first day lesson was about Electrical Safety, he did the lecture looking only at student faces. He was changing the slides such a way that no one had time to write down all what was in the slide. Later we understood that unlike all other subjects, notes, past papers and even the answers to them were available online.
During the lecture he was asking questions and students were thinking very hard yet at the end always the answers were very simple, most of the time it was 'one', 'zero', 'infinity', 'yes' or 'no'. He has been checking to see whether the students have got the basic idea to mind.
2011 Feb - Aug
It was '08 batch's time to go out to industrial training. After finishing Level 3 exams on a Friday we were assigned to training places and we were to start next Monday onwards. The company which I was planning to go to asked to bring a CV on Monday. I was very eager to get into their industrial training program without delaying a even a day beyond my friends, but I could reach the academic staff only through email and only Prof. Lucas and Prof. Nalin could save day by replying.
During that time even some engineers, who look very old, ask about Prof. Lucas and said "He is looking the same as when we passed out".
2011 Dec - 2013 March
08' EE batch met Prof Lucas two times a week at the Final year room for two compulsory subjects 'Insulation Coordination', 'Fault Study' and once a week on the next semester for the optional subject 'High Voltage Breakdown and Testing'.
After all having done all the great work, he is the first one to smile with the students walking down the EE corridor in Sumanadasa Building. There was a day some crazy and lazy roommates, smiling at their own high heel sounds, were walking down the EE corridor even when we were late to 8.00am lecture of another subject. Prof Lucas suddenly appeared from the EE office and greeted us with a smile and asked us for the reason to laugh. Being two crazy ladies, I and Nadeesha couldn't explain the reason that time, just told him that we were late and ran towards the lecture room.
Prof Lucas remembered most of 08' batch. When he called them by the their names, at first the students got astonished, and started pondering for how long did professor know him or her personally, and worrying about the things they did during his lectures.
He was always a mentor to us, being very close with the students and also holding many positions in the university. Hence whenever we have a problem, which seemed to be rhetorical, we tend to reach him and discuss about the problem. Prof Lucas at all times had answers to complex problems in students' mind. He shows empathy towards them always, and had enough time to discuss with them personally and explain the real situation. As with many of the EE academic staff members, he also was willing to make more effort than is expected at our crisis rather than just counseling. He makes the calls, adjust his schedules for us, even corrected the writing.
When I asked for permission to include him as the referee in my CV, there was a replying email asking, with a friendly gesture, to meet him with the CV. After the meeting only I realize that I haven't prepared a proper CV at all.
2013 March - Present
During this hard time where there's nobody to guide us as before, it is feeling of real safety to have a close friendly mentor.
It is always a pleasure to share interesting facts with a mentor who is the founder of the 'Crazy Gang' which was formed from an innocent group students who went to take advice from him, award gangster sort of names such as 'hockey stick' and 'Curly hair', makes wanted posters using the photo is in the CVs which we submitted and send great New Year cards and poems.
It is indeed an honor for me to get to know this great personality so well.
Apeksha Weerasekara , hockey stick, Electrical Engineer, Dimo Ltd, [UoM EE Graduand 2013]
From: "Dilantha Liyanage"
Date: Tue, April 16, 2013 2:39 pm
How have our lives crossed?
It is a common site to seestudents knocking at a door adjoining the High Voltage lab in the second floor of the Sumanadasa building and then keeping their ears very close to itto hear the most exciting "Yes, Come in" I've heard during my undergraduate life.The unhappy faces, if he was not in the seat showed how important the discussions would have been to them. He had reached the highest limits of knowledge and education yet he was a simple man. His desk was cluttered yet his life was well organized. He had friends of the highest ranks yet he spent time trying to make friends with all of us. "How have our lives crossed?" is a small write up to show my gratitude to my teacher, mentor and friend.
If I am not mistaken it was at an introductory lecture to Electricity in level onethat I met him. After the lecture he insisted that we should ask questions and we felt he was not going to leave the James George unless. It was one of our maiden lectures and none of us were brave enough to stand. After a long silence a question reaches him in a folded piece of paper. It read if P V2, how come power loss is minimized when transmission voltages are increased? He smiled and wanted to know who asked it. Obviously no one owned it up. Just from the way he answered I felt he was a lecturer who had a real passion in what he taught, and made us feel very comfortable to ask more questions. On another day at his Theory of Electricity lecture at hall 215 his presentation begins with a picture on how to be seated in the hall. That was his unique and interactive way of telling us to come and sit in the front.
Since then I have met him on various occasions and I still believe that it was Gods major plan to make us friends and none of the relating events happened by chance. During our year, the order of selecting a project was decided by a numbering system. Who would've thought that we'll be the 1st out of 17 groups to select a project? It was the obvious choice of many to choose a project that he supervised, and so did we. In that same year I was appointed Secretary of Electrical Engineering Society which paved the way to meet him often and get to know him better. As a patron of EESoc his advice to us were priceless.
He used a pocket diary in which he wrote down all his appointments so when we ask for an appointment he used to refer this diary. I remember him telling me that his diary doesn't have a book mark and how all diaries should have a book mark to make reference easier. One fine morning he comes and hands me over a diary saying "it's a present from me". I liked it very much but to this day I do not know what that present was for.
It was quite difficult for me to understand him in the beginning. Is it only me? or is it because he was quite different from the men of his caliber. It was through a couple of emails I really got to know him. At times I used to wonder whether it was actually him or some other person who writes on his behalf. The writer sounded very young more like one of my batch mates and had the ability to make a joke out of anything I wrote. May be because of the respect I had for him it took me hours to reply as I thought I had to be very careful of how I replied. Now we are two good friends.
I may not know everything about him but I do know certain interesting characteristics of him. He loves to eat sweets. So much love he has for sweets, he chooses only the corner pieces of a cake which has the most icing. He enjoys trying out new technology. He comes back from an assignment in China with so many devices and I still remember how enthusiastic he was in showing me his new Tab and iPhone. I am still wondering how he managed to do so much of work in such a small time. Even if his paper was the last in the semester, he was always the first to put the marks on the notice board. To this day I do not know how he marks super fast. Everyone would definitely remember him for the strict supervision he had at exams. His rule was "Stop writing, when I say Stop writing". He has put zeros to some after getting caught but he never reduced their marks when marking the paper. He was kind like that. Maybe that was his unique way of teaching us to be fair and square.
There is one particular thing that I cannot thank him enough for. I was one of the three whom he recommended for LTL. True it was my dream, job but never would have been possible without him. I was called for an interview even before the final two exam papers, and now I am working for LTL. What he did unknowingly was to make me believe in myself. I still remember how I had to sit in front of him for hours while he took me through my entire CV. He was so concerned about the issues of his students and he truly helped them out. Maybe that is why he was so different from the others and took me time to understand.
You would've probably guessed this character already. Yes, you are right. It's no other but Prof. Joseph Rohan Lucas. Many called him either as Rohan Sir or Lucas Sir. He's not a very difficult person to guess because of his unique personality. Well, those were some of the memories I had with him. So here is what I have got to say,
I am a very lucky person. My dreams of being an engineer came true when I got selected to university of Moratuwa. I selected Electrical Engineering, maybe because I got influenced by teachers like you. Then I got selected to be an electrical engineer at LTL, thanks to you. I am very lucky that I met you. Like they say the rich got richer, the lucky got luckier.
Before I end my thoughts there is another person who wanted to say Thank you to you . I like to thank my batch mates (whose identities are now relieved) who secretly gave you the information about Roshaya. I am glad that you were able to give us valuable advice, wish for our birthdays with e-cards and share your experiences with us. I will treasure them forever.
In life we meet different types of people from different walks of life. And I was fortunate enough to get to know Professor Lucas.He is one humble human being who cares for his students and would go an extra mile to get to know them personally.He always takes extra care and would go out of his way to make his students feel they could turn to him whenever they needed him. Now days when people are so involved with money and materialistic world it is nice to find a Human being who is so involved with people.
And Professor Lucas is one of them. - Roshaya
God uses us in unique ways. In a university where the majority is Buddhist, a person of your caliber setting the example of a Christian has without any doubt spread Gods word among many. Sir, you were a great example of Christian values.
I have a feeling that love is moving away from the society, not only the love for your husband or wife but also the love for your parents. The main reason is competition among us we forget the affection and care for the people who are close to us. We limit our love to be only a duty for the name sake of love. In a society where love is at such a stake you stepping up to be an example is truly admirable.
And finally to end my thoughts,if someone comes to me and asks me who my role model is,I would not hesitate to say it is Prof. J.R. Lucas. Thank you for everything you've done for us, the department and university of Moratuwa. I will always keep in touch with you and wish you all the best for your next chapter in life.
In short I would like to say you are the greatest. A professor who is friendly and funny... how cool is that?
Dilantha Liyanage Electrical Engineer, LTL Projects, [UoM EE Graduand, 2013]
From: "Mihiri Madawala"
Date: Sun, March 17, 2013 9:28 am
First of all I would like to express my heartiest gratitude for the service you have done to the university and in particular, us. You made Electrical Engineering really interesting to us. I can assure you that you and Prof. N. Wickramarachchi were the reason for me choosing the field of electrical engineering, as you have taught us well in Level 1.
You are not only remarkable teacher but also a good guider. It is only recently that I have got to know you personally, but now whenever I have doubt in anything the first thing that comes to mind is 'I should ask Prof. Lucas. He knows what's best'.
I am personally thankful to you for your recommendation for LTL even though I didn't have the chance to join them. I totally agree with Dr. Narendra of correcting the statement to 'change of working patterns after incomparable service', because we will always consult you for any difficulty in subject matter or otherwise.
We are very much privileged and lucky to be your students, sir. I wish you a very happy future.
Mihiri Madawala, [UoM EE graduating batch 2013]
From: "Nadeesha Akarawita"
Date: Fri, May 10, 2013 10:57 am
Please accept my heartiest congratulations for completing 43 years of successful teaching. And it is sad that our future batches will not get a chance to learn from you (because of your retirement in the end of this year.)
Sir, I came to know you from the mentoring sessions at Level one. You were our mentor. There were ten students in our group. At the very beginning of your mentoring session you asked for a briefing about us. When the chance came to me, I told that my ambition was to become a programmer. But you were not satisfied with the statement. You asked me why did I choose to be a programmer. My answer was that I liked programming. Then you kindly explained that becoming a programmer was not a goal or an ambition. It was the first lesson I learnt from you. If I say it in simple words, that day you taught me to think big and have clear targets. Before that day, I had not thought what my career path should be. But your advice made me to think different. Throughout the mentoring sessions you taught us many things to make our professional lives better.
Sir, you are a great mentor. Some of my groups in our batch were able to meet their mentor only on the first day. But you made sure to allocate whole two hours from your busy schedule, for our mentoring session every week for three months. You did not miss a single session. You considered mentoring as much important as any other academic activity. I think it is because of your passion towards making the others' lives better.
From my personal experience, I know that you helped many students in various problems. I remember one such incident about a boy who was in our mentoring group. He got selected to the University from a very rural area in Hambanthota. His English knowledge was very poor. The mentoring sessions were held in English. On the first day, when it was his chance to talk about himself, he did not talk. Everyone was silent and looking at him, waiting for him to start. We could see he was terrified, like he was caught by a monster. After asking him two or three times in English, you kindly asked him in Sinhala, what the problem was. Then the silent boy answered in Sinhala and said he doesn't know to talk in English. Your response was quite encouraging for him. You told him that many bright students got selected from rural areas to the University but some of them drop out because of the lack of English knowledge and he should not be like that. You encouraged him to study more and practice English. At the end of the mentoring programme, he was able to manage English to express his ideas. He did not drop out from University because of you, Sir.
I am one of the few lucky people to have the opportunity to learn from their parents' teachers. I am happy to say that my father and I were both lucky to be students of a great teacher like you. You did not just teach, you showed the beauty of Electrical Engineering. You aroused our interest about the subject. In any problem or any subject (not essentially electrical related) you see a whole different aspect than us. When we were doing presentations for final year projects, our group always tried to guess what your questions would be and we create answers for those guesses. But you always surprised us. Actually your questions were a blessing for us. When you told one of our group members that you were interested about our project, we were so happy and excited. We knew that if you are interested, that means we have done something worthy. Your advice and direction was a great help to make our final year project a success.
Most of the time when I come across people from the Industry, and when I say I'm from the University of Moratuwa, their next question is "Is Prof. Lucas still working?" That is because you are so close with students. You enjoy the company of students. You always think about students and you always try to help them. When people get into trouble they ask God to help, because they trust God. Sometimes you are like a God to students because they trust you. When a student faces a problem (academic or non academic), I myself have heard a lot of times that his/her friend says "You should ask from Lucas sir. He will give a solution".
Your retirement will be not only a loss of a great teacher to UoM, but future students will lose their guardian and a great friend of their university life. We are lucky to become students of a great lecturer like you.
Sir, I thank you very much for your great service and especially for the knowledge and help you offer us through our University life. I wish you a happy and peaceful retirement life!!!
Nadeesha Akarawita, [UoM EE graduating batch 2013]
From: "Thilina Rajapaksha"
Date: Sat, April 6, 2013 10:27 pm
I met Sir in 2008 during the first semester in my university life, the module being the well-known Electrical Engineering. Somehow with a great deal of pain going through to memorize all the equations, I thought I was done with that person for the rest of my life, after the first year exams.
This belief was there till the day I was selected to the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa. During the first few weeks we were given to organize the event "We Are With You" which is a annual CSR project done by EESoc. We being Level 2 had to perform a Drama during the event. Unfortunately in that particular Drama my role was to behave as a lunatic and most dangerous thing was that I had to laugh at somebody from the department during the play. On the day of the event, I laughed at Prof. Lucas, which I thought that I had to repeat exams that were yet to come. To my surprise, the next day when I was climbing the staircase of Sumanadasa building, I met him, and he instead of blaming me, appreciated my role and asked "Did you have previous experience in performing?" Being confused with that question, I answered "no". That was my first personal chat I had with Prof. Lucas.
The chat we had made me more open to Sir and always look for advice when I am in doubt. He helped me a lot organizing the IET YP events in and outside the university. I still have no clue about one thing, that is, whether it's the respect, interestingness or curiosity that lured us to his lecturers all the time.
He was the only lecturer, teacher I met who put the results just few days after the exam, being his papers the hardest to correct. So we among students had various explanations such as he uses a secret way of correcting exam papers. Being inside the friendliest department of the university, I can put him in the front for being approachable, and always ready to listen to the students. His door was always open to students, except as he once mentioned me that after fixing the air conditioner it was always closed.
One sorrow I have is that I couldn't associate him any closer, because it was during the last few months of my life I got to know the person thoroughly Prof. Lucas.
One thing to grumble about him was that he never remembers my name and he used to come to the Computer Lab and asked from the people there for the curly hair guy. I wish Prof. Lucas a wonderful life ahead, and hope he will guide me and many thousands of his other students during their careers.
Other than that he was one of the influential persons in my life that I will respect all the time. God bless him with his future endeavors.
Thilina Rajapaksha [UoM EE graduating batch 2013]
From: "Kaumadee Samarakoon"
Date: Tue, April 23, 2013 10:53 am
To a teacher like a second father
One of the luckiest things in my life as an undergraduate is being taught by you. Sir, you are such a good and kind teacher. I got the opportunity of learning from the most experienced lecturer in our department from my first year to final year.
It was really interesting to learn high voltage from you. When you teach, the piece of chalk and the duster acts very different roles at our lessons. Once duster becomes a capacitor, then a transformer. You can explain very complex theories using just a half sheet. Your favourite example about the heaviest person of the world and the strength of a chair in our final year room made us understand the concept of optimization of insulation very effectively.
When we select final year projects everybody recommended to takeover projects supervised by Prof. Lucas. Our group was lucky enough to get the project, the automated battery test bench supervised by Prof. Wickramarachchi and you.
Whenever we visit you, you had time to advise us on our project, The Automated Battery Test Bench. Also I can't forget how much trouble you took to correct our project research paper when university is closed. You read word by word and correct our engineering mistakes as well as grammar mistakes also. We couldn't present any presentation prepared by us without severely edited by you. And we always remembered to add your favourite dark blue theme for presentations. We never got stuck at presentations because you were behind us.
When I go to industrial training viva, the advice I got from one of my colleagues is "look at Prof. Lucas's eyes and answer the questions. If they become big your answer is wrong." I answered looking at you even for the questions raised by others and got an 'A' pass.
You never forget " We Are With You " programme. I can remember the joy on your face when you watch how children are playing. You never forget to bring your camera at each function. You can still become a child in mind even after decades of years. I admire that quality.
At last days I realized the artistic side of a professor of electrical engineering. The creative cards, cartoons, result sheets were wonderful. You gave life to the mere black and white result sheet with smilies. I was surprised to see the cartoons and graphics designed by you. I got a chance to see your collection of photos and poems also.
You are a personality who respects rules strictly. I can still remember the way you cut off a part of my answer sheet when I wrote after you said "STOP". We learnt to respect rules from you sir.
You always wear a smile and always eager to help us at any issue.
The light you gave to our department is incomparable. Your experience, knowledge, dedication and presence will be sorely missed. It cannot be easily replaced. But the time has arrived to say good bye to such a great lecturer.
May god grant all the happiness to you and may goodwill be on your side for the years to come. You can put new tires on an old car. That's what you are doing now, 'retiring.' So I wish you a healthy and satisfied retired life.
Enjoy writing this next chapter of your life!
Kaumadee Samarakoon, [UoM EE graduand 2013]
From: "Chathuraka Kaushalya Samarasekara "
Date: Sat, April 27, 2013 7:30 am
First I wish to express my heartiest gratitude to you for making us valuable people to the country. It is you who taught us the basics of electricity in the module "Theory of Electricity" and also went on to teach advanced aspects in the modules on "High Voltage Engineering". It is thus obvious that it is you "Prof. Rohan Lucas" who made us Electrical Engineers.
Even though you seem like a tough person, you are the friendliest professor that I have ever met. You have been very helpful to us during the 3 years we spent in the electrical engineering department. You gave us your fullest support when we needed it from you, even if it was not related to the academic matters.
Thank you so much for being with us and helping us. Wish you all the best for the next chapter in your life.
"The best teacher is not the one who knows most
but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge
to that simple compound of the obvious and wonderful. "
He is one humble human being who cares for his students and would go an extra mile to get to know them personally. He always takes extra care and would go out of his way to make his students feel they could turn to him whenever they needed him.
Chathuraka Samarasekara , Wild life photographer, [EE UoM graduand 2013]
From: "Sachintha Kariyawasam "
Date: Wed, May 1, 2013 11:19 am
My Reminiscences of Professor J.R. Lucas
Seldom have you seen a person epitomizing an establishment as Professor Lucas has epitomized the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa. I had heard about Professor Lucas before I entered University of Moratuwa and once I did, it wasn't long before me realizing that, for once, the rumors were correct. He taught me from the very first week of my university carrier to the very last.
He teaches with the utmost assurance. I, as many others before me had over the years, have had the supreme confidence in Professor Lucas's unparalleled knowledge of the subject matter. He possesses the great gift of conjuring up analogies whenever he wants to explain things. Questions are never in short supply when Professor Lucas is around and one should do well to answer them, a lesson we learnt the hard way, during our final year at the university.
Electrical Engineering was not the only thing we learnt from Professor Lucas. He cared for and participated in every single event organized by the department. His wisdom guided us through many difficult circumstances. I can recall him personally representing the issues of the students, more than once, during my stay at the university. He has been the ultimate guardian of the Department of Electrical Engineering for the better part of his carrier.
One doesn't find him being late or coming under prepared to a lecture he conducts or, for that matter, any other event he attends. I would struggle to see an individual more punctual or well-organized than him, during the rest of my days. I have not seen Professor Lucas take more than a week and a little to release exam results, nor have I seen a student with a glum face walking away from the notice board having seen them. He is the embodiment of proper conduct; his benevolence and fortitude are common knowledge around the university.
Professor Lucas stands head and shoulders above many, as one of the founders of University of Moratuwa and one of the leading academics the country has ever produced. All of us who were lucky enough to have the privilege of learning from Professor Lucas can rejoice in the knowledge that we had been brought up as Electrical Engineers in the presence of true greatness.
Dear Sir, the history is beckoning; I have little doubt that you would go down in university folklore for all eternity as a legend, a prodigy, a grand servant of Sri Lanka and above all, a great human being. Please do accept my sincerest gratitude.
Sachintha Kariyawasam , [UoM EE graduand 2013]
From: "Sajani Thotagamuwa "
Date: Wed, May 8, 2013 12:38 am
From the first year to the final year of my university life I was able to learn from you and I think it is a great opportunity that I ever got as an undergraduate. I was lucky enough to be the one of the final year final batch who got the opportunity to learn High Voltage Engineering from you sir. Starting with 'Theory of Electricity 'to 'High Voltage Breakdowns & Testing' I was taught by you and the knowledge I gained from you is incomparable.
You were a really good lecturer with good qualities that I appreciate very much. In the lecture room, you were a well experienced lecturer. You did teaching with all your effort for the benefit of students, even not regarding your health. I can remember that there was a period; you conducted lectures while continuing treatment. You always were punctual and well prepared for the lecture. I tried to be in the class in time if it was conducted by you sir. Because we all knew you were there at least ten minutes before the staring of the lecture. Even though High Voltage Engineering subjects were really hard to understand, you tried hard to teach as easy as possible by taking examples.
Not only in academic activities, but also in other programs organized by our department, you played a great role and never missed to take part in those. I can remember that you took part in avurudu games in the Electrical New Year festival and enjoyed with us. Annual charity program 'We are with You' was an event you never missed to participate, and you were with us until the last moment to share the happiness with those children. Your enthusiasm on sports was well displayed In the Electrical cricket festival where we all had unforgettable memories of battle of cricket. I think those events all built up a great bond between you and the 08 electrical batch.
Our final year project group was very lucky to select a project supervised by you, as your support always took us towards success. Your advice before each presentation inspired us to face it confidently. You defend us when we face to problems. I never forget your dedication of your valuable time in correcting our final year project research paper within one day. One thing I understood about your character is your commitment to do anything in the best way. You were a great person with humanity who always helped the students.
As a fellow member of IET Sri Lanka network, you always were behind us in all IET events organized by the IET Young Professionals Chapter - University of Moratuwa. Your speeches, loaded with your experiences, always encouraged active participation of our chapter members. I like to remind the grand occasion of www.ietypuom.org web site launching event which was enlightened by you sir. Your guidance always carried our chapter towards such achievements.
The enlightenment given by you as a senior professor to the department of Electrical Engineering is exceptional. Your incomparable knowledge in electrical engineering, your experiences, and your guidance gave strength to the department and your retirement is a great loss to the department. Finally I like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to you and wish you a healthy, happy retired life.
T. Sajani , [UoM EE Graduand 2013]
From: "Sasanka Ranjitha "
Date: Fri, April 26, 2013 10:04 pm
First of all I should say that it's a great honour for me that the legend of the field of high voltage engineering in Sri Lanka has stated "I would be pleased if you could send me your beautiful poem."
When I saw that topic the 1st time, my vision got blurred and I re-read it to verify that whether I have read it correctly. Please accept my humble thanks for such a privileged statement.
Whoever told you "You are strict sometimes and very friendly, the rest of the time" has deceived you, saying that. Can I clarify what is "Rest of the time"? In my lifetime I have never seen a so called strict face of your's, neither at lectures nor at any other event. What I have only seen is either face with a childish smile or a face with a question mark (at Final Year Presentations).
So how come "Rest of time"? I'll give you a recent example. In our final semester I had only A- s, A s and A+ s except for the subject "Renewable Energy and Environment". Because of your generosity Wijayapala sir has moderated all the results,in such a way that I have received A-. So in this semester I am in Dean's list, only with the A results for all my subjects, Thanks to you! So it helped me to conclude a 1st class "2nd UPPER".
So who says you are strict and not friendly?
Coming to the subject of the Poem: After the successful project demonstration,our group members took a photo with you after the tea party.
When I received the photo I thought, with this I should practice one of my old hobbies after a long time and put it on facebook. And the results was unexpected and unbelievable. Most friends of mine and students of yours, even from the industry have commented there; and even sent me personal messages saying that the poem was great... since it was rhyming well and included all the GENUINE projections of your's, from the view of a student. (If you invite me to write a poem about you, the outcome would be so different since I'm writing nothing else but only the few lines of praising you. But this is so genuine I must say because I never meant for you to see.)
Here is the original poem ...
අධිසැර විදුලි බලයට සුපතල නිපුණු...
සැමවිට අසන පැණයකි පිළිතුරු නොවුනු...
පිළිතුර නැතත් සැදු ක්රමයට දුන් ලකුණු...
මහැදුරු ඔබයි "ලුකස්" ලොව නම රැඳුනු...
You know sir, it's a very difficult to translate a sinhala poem to English, since the nature of using the words and pattern of idioms are very different from Sinhala to English. The same sinhala poem can have many meanings as the different readers grab the meaning in different ways.
But in literature it doesn't matter since it adds colour for entertaining purposes.
Only the narrator can give the exact meaning about what he intended when he was writing the initial poem. Here is the meaning which I have intended. I don't know whether it is the same meaning that you have grabbed.
It doesn't matter since it depends on the reader...
Line 1: He is a veteran legend in the field of High voltage.
Line 2: He always has a question about anything, for which the answer is very difficult to explain or the answer cannot be given at all.
Line 3: He gives full marks for the answer script which has clearly stated the assumptions and the steps of the method, even when the final answer is not there.
Line 4: You are the senior professor whose name is "Lucas" and whose glory and fame have travelled every nook and corner of the world.
So sir, this is the poem and my meaning. I don't know why, but after typing this I have a guilty feeling for being honest. Sorry sir, my experiences in the final year presentations led me to write the second line and the third line was written because otherwise I wouldn't get A s for your subjects.
Extremely sorry sir, my genuine feelings for you cannot be expressed in 2 or 3 lines as you mentioned when you asked me for my poem. No lies, no exaggerations..I have written what I saw through your character since the very 1st day that I saw you.
As far as I know, I'm the only student in the entire 08 engineering faculty batch, who is a friend of your beloved daughter in facebook. I don't know how it happened but when I sent a friend request through facebook several years back, Roshanthi Akka had accepted my request, even we have never seen each other. From her face book profile, I could see some of your family photos even. The photos of trip to Maskeliya in 2012 were really beautiful.
It's a great honour to me to support you even in this way.. Thank you very much sir!
Sasanka Ranjitha, [UoM EE 2013 graduand]
From: "Rangana Punchihewa "
Date: Thu, May 9, 2013 9:07 pm
For you Dear Prof. Rohan Lucas
Four years and nine months, since the day I stepped to my university life
Met some great people and admired them, but you have been always my top admirer
You were always with us, no matter what the situation was
Guided us through the right path, Million poems are not worth enough to pay you back
Teacher and advisor in academic matters, Counsellor and friend in other matters
Imparter of experience and knowledge, which never has an end, ever
"Prof. JR LUCAS"
A name which is carved into many hearts,
A name which won't be forgotten,
A name which will always be respected,
A name which always be legendary.
Rangana Punchihewa, [UoM EE Graduand 2013]
From: ""Michelle Athukorala"
Date: Sun, May 26, 2013 12:06 pm
This is Adieu and not Goodbye
It is with deep sense of gratitude and love that we, the members of the Catholic Students' Society of University of Moratuwa, recall and go back alongside the memory lane to remember and pay homage to our stalwart lecturer, Prof. Rohan Lucas, the ardent lecturer of Electrical Engineering.
Our close comradeship with this citadel of knowledge made us radically feel that this lecturer whose knowledge in his particular field is also an oasis of wisdom, was not just a lecturer, but also was a man of great filial love whose paternal assistance added colour and meaning to the students of our society. His love for Jesus, aptly legitimated by humble practice of faith, became his true hallmark. It is with saddened hearts, yet with overflowing joy that we say 'good-bye, dear sir' as he reaches his graceful retirement period.
Professor Lucas as a lecturer
More often than not, we hear our colleagues prompting to each other with words of appreciation of the incredible presentations and soul-stirring explanations he imparts to the students entrusted to his care. He was truly a man of distinction when it came to teaching. The merit that he earned as a professor would never be diluted by any future happening, for he was truly of rare calibre. Literally, all his students will endorse and vouch that he was among the best, because he worked with such a great sense of vocation.
Professor Lucas as a Humanitarian
Cheerful as he is, we have never seen him weary and worn out. The explicit character of feeling one with everyone, even with subordinates, is rare and often seldom among the people in our society. He will go down to the shoes of anyone to show his paternal love and never probably regretted the standards being mitigated by such action. The ability to reach out to him to attract his concern was never too little for youngsters who left awhile the family, friends and colleagues.
Professor as a catholic
The diehard quality of being catholic to the maximum capacity, was innumerably exemplary for the youngsters like us to shape our lives after the image and example of Jesus. Not only was he, his whole life was Christian. The quality of never missing Holy Mass and being faithful to the faith he professes was incredibly in high standards. One can appear to be holy, while others can externally show up in practical happenings, but his whole being was an ardent follower of Jesus.
Professor as an Integral Part of Catholic Students' Society
He had so many activities lined up, but he never mixed up his priorities when it came to his contribution to our society. The inherent quality of being a profound stakeholder of our society was never too little for us as his availing himself to be with us in every important moment was like the presence of a mighty giant. It is still fresh in my mind, the way he expressed joy over our society being named after St. Joseph. "That is my patron saint too; mine and my wife's..." were the immediate deliberate words that came. He was an integral part of our life as catholic students. He became so open to us to an extent that we always reached out to him for every required advice and guidance.
God makes saints while people are still living. You are one such person. As you enter into your graceful retirement period, you are also entering into a world of prayer, reflection, meditation and recollection. All our hearts will be extended to you in love, tenderness and amity. We will be with you in spirit always.
May you enjoy a stupendous evening of life with your family and friends. God Bless you!!!
Michelle Athukorala, MAS Intimates - Ratmalana, Secretary Catholic Student's Society 2012 [UoM Textile Graduand 2013]
From: "Madhavi Nakandala"
Date: Tue, September 9, 2014 3:09 pm
The Teacher Prof. Rohan Lucas
Prof. Rohan is far more a teacher than a lecturer to everyone, because it is not only at the academic level; he is there for anyone who wants guidance. From the first day of your lecture for level one, you have been my lecturer in every year. Sir your knowledge is like one of a kind and I'm honoured be your student in my degree as well as in the postgraduate level.
I don't know why, but starting from level one, we (three of us M, N & C. ;-)) were quiet afraid of you. If you are coming on the left corridor of the Sumanadasa Building, we'll definitely be using the right one.
Even though things were like that, we all knew that you are a person who thinks about the students. When it comes to exams your paper was kind of like the least stressed-out paper, because what everyone said was "Lucas sir kawadawat lamayeka kapanne ne. :-)" and by my experience I think it's definitely true. You have this enormous knowledge, but when you are grading papers I think you try to squeeze into our little shoes. :-)
I regret not knowing you closely during my 4 years of studies. You are a such a wonderful person to be with, a person with a never ending smile and ability to make a joke on anything , even regarding academic matters. Only after graduating I saw you for who you are; a humble person with a huge knowledge who likes to make "mada" pictures of his students and laugh with them. Every time I get a new mail from you, even before opening it, there is a smile in my face because I know there will be a joke definitely.
I might forget what you taught, but I can assure that I'll never forget you, or the practical Breakdown of Air Gaps. ;-)
So this is the end of my memory of you for your memory wall.
Wish you a happy healthy long life. Wish to see your smiling face and hear your teasing sound at Sumanadasa every day.
Madhavi Nakandala [UoM EE Graduate 2013, UoM PG Student]"
From: "Prabuddhi Edirisinghe"
Date: Tue, October 1, 2013 9:25 pm
First of all congratulations for your achievement of both Engineering Excellence Award and Teaching Excellence Award both of which are well deserved by you with no doubt at all!!
It is again really happy to hear that your day of retirement is also extended by six months, which is definitely good news for our undergraduates.
In your stumbling block [original cartoon created on the path to graduation], I am wondering why you have represented the modules you taught by different types of thugs and finally the academic staff is by a gorgeous lady. Are they carrying any particular reason?? :D
Hope you are doing well sir.
Prabuddhi Edirisinghe , [UoM EE Graduate 2013, Engineer Hayleys]
From: "Uditha Lenaduwa"
Date: Wed, September 25, 2013 8:13 pm
You are the best teacher, I ever met. Congratulations sir, for Teaching Excellence Award and the Engineering Excellence Awards.
Uditha Lenaduwa, [UoM EE Graduate 2013, Electrical Engineer, Synex International (Pvt) Ltd]
From: "Kasun Peiris"
Date: Sat, October 14, 2017 11:38PM
A truly humble human being apart from an academic giant…
Every time when I hear the name Prof. Rohan Lucas, it always brings happiness knowing that he has been crowned as the friendliest professor in the University of Moratuwa. I never believed that an academic giant like you could ever become a close friend of mine who cares about his students well.
Sir, thank you very much for sharing your incomparable knowledge, technical proficiency and mostly your humbleness with us in order to create a complete student. The learning experience of being taught by an inspirational teacher like you is unmatchable.
I am really proud to say that I'm a student of Emeritus Professor Rohan Lucas, who is a truly humble human being apart from an academic giant.
Wish you all the very best for your future endeavors..
Kasun Peiris, Electrical Engineer, CEB[UoM EE Graduate 2013]
From: "Heshani Fernando"
Date: Tue, June 3, 2014 4:53 pm
When jogging my memory, the first thing coming to my mind about Prof. Lucas is that he is the person who offered me the first A+ in my academic life, which was for Theory of Electricity. Subsequently, I have always got A+s for all his modules.
Until the final year I didn't know that he is not a typical professor but a very fun filled character. I still remember the first day that our FYP group went to meet him for introducing ourselves. We were little bit afraid of talking to him. But after a few days he became a part of our group.
I was delighted that he became our supervisor for the Final Year Project (FYP). It was a pleasure to work with him even under stress, because he was always there to bring us a smile. But of course some times I felt like, "why sir is always asking our report parts every day????? I can't even get a rest." But I knew finally our report and project will be successes if we work hard a bit. We knew he awoke more than us for correcting our report. That's why we are always saying that he is the best supervisor that one can have once in a life time. I'm pleasantly surprised about the coincidence that my Last A+ too came for the FYP module supervised by him.
The most memorable things of him are his nice funny mails that he composes for us and his remarkable photo editing. He is always keen in finding new friends and making new names for them, such as Queen of Orangeheap, Smiling Terrorist, Orange avoiding Robothead etc.
As a member of his last FYP group, I'm proud to say that I was a student of Prof.Lucas and we were perhaps the last luckiest group to have him as our supervisor.
Dear Prof.Lucas Sir, may you always have enough strength and health to serve more to the Engineering field!!!
Heshani Fernando, Engineer, Inova IT Systems, [FYP student, UoM EE Graduate 2014 (2009 Intake)]
From: "Chathuranga Fernando"
Date: Wed, June 26, 2013 8:25 pm
What we think about Lucas Sir
It's hard for anyone to either assume or absolutely say what kind of thoughts crawl inside an undergraduate's mind, until the day a mind reading device is being invented. Ironically, this implies that the undergraduates mind is filled with thoughts which are not meant to be exposed as most of them would be negative attributes towards the process of learning. Thankfully for us, this wrong perception was changed by a teacher/father/friend, whom we met during in our second semester.
Lucas sir was a very well reputed person, of whom we had heard before we had entered the department. Our first glimpse of the individual was at the welcoming ceremony. Fair, tall and seeming to exist in the department for a long time, made us feel bit scared. All of these perceptions were changed when we started learning "Theory of Electricity" during the course of our second semester. His teaching skills are excellent. It was easy for us to understand most of the theories by listening and observing the slides and what was written on the board. He was humble to stop and clarify any question raised by students and made sure that the student clearly understood by explaining it until he did so. Tests were quite different from most lecturers. His testing style was having a test each week and taking only the 4 or 5 highest from all. This gave us a large benefit as though we missed a class, we were ensured we can cover the missed assignment. Another opportunity the students were given was of meeting sir anytime and clarifying any doubts. Though he was lenient towards the process of learning, he was very strict during the exam. His Policy of start on time, end on time and no copying was kept always. But, unlike most, he was full of heart towards the student during the marking process and gave the maximum possible marks.
Our journey didn't end in the second semester. We again met him in our fourth semester for Power Systems II and in the fifth semester for High Voltage I. Today he has become our supervisor for the final year project as well, which we consider as a blessing. The approach towards us regarding the project can be defined by the word "Empowering". Each aspect of the project is initially brought up from deep within ourselves and then would be amended and guided appropriately. This had created a better understanding about the project and has led in achieving tasks quite easily.
It has been now almost 4 years since we had come on our journey. Now we are in the pinnacle of concluding this journey. Even we pass out from the university and leave to far off places, our hearts will always remember the great man who taught us and his noble qualities which we look upon always.
Thank you Sir!!
Chathuranga Fernando, Heshani Manjula, Sankha Dissanayaka, Roshan Devinda, [Final Year Project Group 2013/2014, 2009 Intake, UoM EE Students]
From: "Sankha Dissanayaka"
Date: Fri, September 27, 2013 12:47 pm
Engineering Excellence Award Vs Teaching Excellence Award
My congratulations for obtaining the two valuable awards in two consecutive days. It is a rare opportunity anyone can get. I think you are the one and only one who got them both in the engineering history. Because there isn't anyone to compare with you, in either side of "Engineering excellence" or "Teaching Excellence".
Sankha Dissanayaka , [UoM EE Graduand 2014, 2009 Intake]
From: "Roshan Devinda"
Date: Sun, April 6, 2014 7:46 pm & Wed, September 4, 2013
Felicitation on Retirement
I don't know how to reply on this email sir, you are a great personal recognized by not even the university but also from the industry as well.
"The Golden Rule" had been justified by you by serving our country. (that's the way I believe). and also by forcing me to the direction of the Wind. We know all giants like you leave our country but amazingly you stayed with students, the quality of rare individual. Wish you healthy and happy future sir.
It's been a pleasure and honor working with you and I am thankful that I had a wonderful opportunity to work with you, the friendly way you treated us makes us feel happy. We are grateful to salute you for your dedication of work.
The postponement news from the penguin is a relief for us because we highly acknowledge your guidance to our project "Power system simulator"
Hope we will be fortunate to continue our alliance.
Roshan Devinda, [UoM EE Graduand 2014, 2009 Intake]
From: "Hasini Madhurangi"
Date: Sat, September 6, 2014 11:32 am
Memories of Professor J.R.Lucas (The Teacher)
When thinking about the memories, I have heard about Professor J.R.Lucas as the most senior professor in the university and a very valuable person to the country. But then I saw a very simple and smiling person which was completely different from the imaginary person which I pictured on my mind. I also have heard of you as a very good teacher but I never thought of you as that much pleasant and kind.
You are a teacher with an extraordinary talent to keep the student totally immersed in the subject. I can still remember how you tried to explain subject matters using nice examples and asking questions from the students. You made a pleasant environment for students without letting us to get stressed and all those techniques you used were very effective.
You have that great quality of caring for others. When you talk with me, you never let me feel any difficulty even from a word. You gave me confidence in myself and help me see what I could be. You have helped me (and I know for most of others) in difficult situations to keep us strong. I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom.
You were lucky to have a blissful life and you are spending it with a great worth as an exemplary gentleman. I wish you to have a delightful life filled with everything you wish.
Hasini Madhurangi [Engineer, Venora, UoM EE Graduate 2014 (2009 Intake)]
From: "Isuru Kasthurirathne"
Date: Wed, September 10, 2014 9:43 am
Prof. J R Lucas - A Simply Outstanding Person
Universities are busy places and the lecturers are busy people too. So it's not surprising that sometimes we miss out a chance to meet a lecturer for some purpose. But what if I tell you that there are lecturers who can be met even on your way in the corridor? Yes, the best example is the very Prof. Lucas himself.
Prof. J R Lucas is the most exceptional lecturer that I ever met in my life as a student. As a person he made a very friendly impact at the beginning of a lecture and he tried his best to keep us awake by making jokes during the lectures too. Prof. Lucas was well known in the University for his teaching methods and also about the examples that he used to describe theories in the lectures. As I remember, we kept talking about a single example he told for several weeks (eg: Laksith Sirisena and the Kettle).
Prof. Lucas was always the first to issue the marks of a subject after the exam. After my 7th semester High Voltage exam, we got our results prior to the next exam date which was three days later. This is an example of his enthusiasm for teaching. He also helped us in many ways to learn and understand the subject. As I learnt, his teaching goal was about the students understanding the subject. So he gave us all the past papers with answers prior to the exam and also did some paper classes too.
He was very keen to know new things. Every time he walked pass the lab, he normally peeked in and observed what's going on with our projects. I remember the way he asked questions about Muthugala's project of robot head, making various movements from his head. Even in the non-academic stuff, he needed to participate and get experienced. At the 2012 New Year Festival at the University, there was this weird game which I didn't understand, but Prof. Lucas wanted to participate for that game and he really enjoyed it. He loved us organizing various events to get together students and lecturers.
It must be the truth if I say there won't be a Department of Electrical Engineering in UOM without Prof. Lucas in it. But we all have to accept the reality and it is his time to retire from his services. I truly believe that we were blessed to have a teacher like Prof. Lucas who is very smart, simple and kind person who has shown us the best possible way of learning engineering.
I would like to thank him with the bottom of my heart for all the things that he has done for all of us throughout his career. He must be the sole reason for the success for hundreds of Electrical Engineers in Sri Lanka. I feel sorry for the young undergraduates for the missed opportunity of learning from the best. But he has earned his retirement after his unmatchable service. So I wish all the best for him in his future plans.
Isuru Kasthurirathne [UoM EE Graduate 2014]
From: "Mohasha Isuru Sampath"
Date: Wed, September 10, 2014 11:43 am
It is always my pleasure to recall the memories of Prof. J. R. Lucas as a student of Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa. As I remember, our first meeting happened four years ago, as you are the lecturer for the "Theory of Electricity" module, which is on the basics of Electrical Engineering at semester II. It was a bit hard module at that time, since we are novices to the field, and due to the large content it covers. But fortunately, your way of explaining made me interested in the subject. Little by little, I understood that although it feels like difficult, it is not that much hard, if I thoroughly understand and follow the basic principles step by step. Later I had the privilege to attend in few other modules which were conducted by you too namely Fault Analysis, High Voltage I and High Voltage II.
You always had a unique way of delivering the lectures, which is clear, rare, interesting and simple to understand. The small incidents in the day to day life were used as examples to explain the complex theories. One such example is the ceiling fan, with the hand being used to visualize the harm of wrong phase sequence for three phase electrical machines.
You are a role model for punctuality, since you always come to the lectures exactly on time, never later and not earlier too. You always try to put others at ease as much as possible. It made us a lot easy to prepare for the exams of the modules conducted by you, since all the clear and detailed lecture notes and the past papers with model answers are available in the department website. You always considered discipline first. You are a simple and humble character, who is easy to understand, in the department.
Since I'm currently working as an instructor in the department, I have interacted a lot with you in various academic activities. You are a person who I see at least once walking along the department corridor, which provides evidence of your availability. The great commitment you provided in the department mentoring sessions, conducted for semester I students, well proves that you consider each and every single duty as equally important.
You are a prominent character in the field, and a giant of the department. Whatever the achievements of the department are always involved with your participation and sacrifice. You were always behind the students in need of academic recommendation or professional advice.
It may be difficult to think about the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa without your presence since you are a symbol of it, through its all milestones. I'm honestly saying that you are still working with a lot of courage that makes me difficult to believe that you are going to retire until the end of your life span.
Sir, I wish you the entire very best in whatever good things you prefer in the future!!!
Mohasha Isuru Sampath [UoM EE Graduate 2014]
From: "Nirmal Undugoda"
Date: Wed, September 10, 2014 6:33 pm
I remember the first time I went through the staff section of department website. I am pretty sure that first time visitors do not forget to click the Lucas sir's "view profile" and I too gazed upon your personal tab: the shared personal life of Prof. Lucas. Your Achievements inspired many; and students like to study under great achievers; being a cause to opt for Electrical Engineering as my life-long career. Yet the personality exhibited by you surpassed the achievements, from the day one to now, being a friendly teacher and a humble advisor to us. I can't imagine any other person to consult in our studies. Besides, you were quite easily accessible. You shared your experience and knowledge, in the easiest way to the students, with a smiling face, encouraging us to pursue more questions. You always help the students to break the ice, with cracking a joke, lowering the gap of the student and the professor. Your room is not a strange place to most of the students as it was always filled with cheerful enjoyment.
Even very old students, always rush to meet you whenever your presence is known, even with their busy schedules. I could see the respect and desire of all your past students, in the very short time I had at LTL.
Sir, the wiki says, "A role model is a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people", and you are!!
Sir, we'll always cherish the memories with you in our hearts and the void you make in the department will be never filled. "
U.A.N.B. Undugoda, [UoM EE Graduate 2014]"
From: "Sandamali Sanchala"
Date: Thu, September 11, 2014 9:27 pm
Memories of a humble glorious personality I ever met in my life
After being selected to the Electrical Engineering Department, I came to know that "Professor Lucas' was the well-known and giant character there. All of us believed that there is no Electrical Engineering Department without Professor Lucas. During the four years I spent in University of Moratuwa, I realized why everyone believed in that.
Sir, you were an exemplary and a greatest character a student can ever come across. You always wanted to give the best and largest portion of knowledge to the students from your vast wisdom like an ocean. You always explained the more complex theories with simple examples and encouraged all of us to ask questions with a humble smile on your face. You always grab the attention of all students with interesting jokes during the class. Inside your character, there are unlimited valuable lessons to be taken for our lives. You are such a humble man to spend your precious time to attend to any students matter. We had a belief that you will always look from our side and give us the best solution for any problem. I know that even personally you would be helpful to a needy one. Not only that, if have you engaged in something, you always did the maximum. If you correct something there was nothing to be corrected by someone else. That was one of the most valuable lessons I could learn from your character. Once I got a chance to admire your qualities by writing the poem for you on the plaque given by the 09` batch of students.
Your memories will always be with us and I know that your mark will be never fade from the Electrical Engineering Department, as a person of your kind is so rare in this world.
Memories of You
Will never fade away
Wisdom you shared
Will not walk away
In student heart
Will never be flushed away
With smiling face
Was a father companion
For us all
There are no words
To admire at all
Wish you all the best Sir
Sandamali Sanchala, [UoM EE graduate 2014]
From: "Savini Samarasinghe"
Date: Sun, September 28, 2014 3:02 pm
As my brother (Tharaka) very rightly mentioned in his memories to you on "Prof. Rohan Lucas and the Samarasinghe Family", I was the "lucky" fifth of our family to learn from Prof. Lucas. To me, Professor Lucas always appeared as a legend, having taught my WHOLE family! It has been a great privilege to be taught by an individual with such exceptional talent, knowledge and intelligence. However, what is most striking about him is his character. How he could be so successful in life and remain so modest and humble has always filled me with admiration.
I was first introduced to Professor Lucas at my brother's wedding in 2009, a few days before my entrance to UoM. During the 3rd semester at the university, Prof. Lucas taught us Theory of Electricity. Thanks to the wonderful lectures and impeccable lecture notes, I was naturally quite fond of the subject. The only thing I did not like was of course the weekly continuous assessments (CAs). However, looking back I believe that these CAs did help us comprehend subject matter more effectively.
During the first year at the university, I was unfortunate enough to have my brand new laptop stolen. Thanks to the efforts by the police, the thief was caught. I was later summoned to courts to claim my stolen property. However, the court case was scheduled at the same time Prof. Lucas had scheduled his famous weekly assessment. Being very understanding and flexible, Prof. Lucas put an extra effort to conduct the assessment on time to facilitate my court case. It has been nearly three years now. However, he still does not miss an opportunity to make a witty remark about my missing laptop.
Prof. Lucas, you have and you will always be a true inspiration to us, the whole Samarasinghe family. Please accept our heart-felt gratitude for everything you have done to us. Thank you!
Savini Samarasinghe, [UoM ENTC 2014 Graduate]
From: "Mekhala Prabhani "
Date: Sun, September 24, 2017 7:10 pm
Third Rock from the Sun - Prof Rohan Lucas
Everybody has a favourite teacher; a teacher who has transformed the way you see the world, given you self-belief and whose impact you never really forget. Sometimes it takes years to realize fully what they taught us.
In my life there are two teachers who have made a significant impact; my science and technology teacher in Grade 10 & 11 and the Prof. Rohan Lucas in the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa.
Reminiscing the first memory of Prof. Lucas, it runs back way before I entered into the university. It was during a discussion I had with one of my cousin brothers regarding his university days. I was awaiting university entrance and discussed how it would be like the first year of study in the university. He mentioned that there is a renowned Professor of Electrical Engineering for Theory of Electricity, and I will be meeting him during my first year for electrical engineering theories.
One of my fondest memories with him includes the cartoons he prepared for my friends, and the most adorable things depicted in all those cartoons are that Prof. Lucas's strong power of imagination and his ability to fragmentize a word (be it in English or Sinhala) to give a totally unexpected meaning. There were nine girls in our batch and everybody was given a novel name by Prof. Lucas. They are "Goodminton" (myself as I played Badminton), "Queen of Orangeheap" (Heshani from Dodangoda area), "Smiling Terrorist" (Terashmila was called by the name 'Tera' by us, her colleagues), "Pencil-in-hair" (Maheshi-who used to wear a stick like pin to tie up her long hair), "Clever lady" (Nuwani - because of her name meaning in Sinhala), "Robot-head" (Hasini - because her final year project was on making a Robot head), "Nuclear Lady" (Sanchala did her undergraduate project on a Nuclear Reactor), "Halo 1 and Halo 2"(Uthpala & Erandi who still use the word 'Halo' whenever starting a conversation with anyone and we used to call them "halo doubala").
Not only that, he is also a talented photographer who never fails to take photographs from beginning to end of any wedding he was invited. In addition to being an excellent teacher, he has a great sense of humour too. I was lucky enough to be among those who witnessed the publishing of his self-narrative autobiography at the IESL,, where he described himself as being born to the "Third Rock from the Sun", on the completion of forty four years of his teaching at the UoM and I still have a copy of the book today.
Presently, Prof. Rohan Lucas is supervising my MSc.research, together with Dr.Upuli Jayatunga and Eng.Kusum Shanthi. Another one aspect I have noticed particularly throughout my research is that Lucas sir is very keen on all the aspects of the presentation slides. If I name a few, he notices even the slightest irregularities in the use of slide numbering, Capital/Simple letters etc. and what I admire most is the prompt constructive feedback he gives on presentation slides and my presentation style.
Not to forget, Prof. Rohan Lucas humbly accepted my request of being the witness of my marriage, and he was there well and truly early, and I am ever grateful for that.
I wish Prof. Lucas a happy life journey filled with love, laughter and good health to brighten up the future of many students in many years to come!
Mekhala Prabhani, Electrical Engineer (Design) Distribution Coordination, CEB, [UoM EE Graduate 2014]
From: "Sameera Madhushanka"
Date: 16 October 2017 10:11am
Originally, and by default, I was reverse biased to link with the greatest character of the department, Prof. J. R.Lucas as everyone else, but it was her the Queen of Orange heap who forward biased my p-n junction (connectivity between a Professor and a normal person) to connect with the available largest resource of knowledge, humanity & simplicity.
Since then, there has been a very low impedance path between you & me through which we share knowledge, experience, memories & fun too.
Here I do not consider you as just a Professor in EE, but a priceless lifetime Professional Partner.
Dear Rohan Sir, you are an absolutely genius who explains imaginary things that we can't even imagine & most importantly standing on a zero potential level as a simple & humble character.
Sameera Madhushanka Jayasekera, [UoM EE Graduate 2014]
From: "Dilini Hansika Dharmawardhana"
Date: Sun, June 23, 2013 5:37 pm
Time drags on... Memories fade away... But some special memories, lingering with our thoughts, dwell deep in our hearts. Dear Lucas sir, you have given us such memories, worth remembering... worth sharing...
Time flashes back to the year 2010, when I was a semester 1 student. While distributing handouts, madam Janaki told us that they were prepared by a senior lecturer called Professor Lucas, not only a giant in the Department of Electrical Engineering, but also the most senior lecturer in the university. She also pointed out that you are a very great person too, which filled me with an immense desire to see you, since Electrical Engineering was the discipline that I was most interested and was dreaming to get selected to.
It's at the seminar room of the Department of Electrical Engineering that I first saw you. I was lucky enough to get selected to the Department of Electrical Engineering and you had visited to welcome us, the green horns. You also gave us advice regarding our group projects. I was astonished to witness your friendliness and humility, which were quite contrary to what I had anticipated. You came to each and every group, had nice chit chats with students here and there, making us all feel at home and warmly welcomed.
So, I started to admire you as a great human being and not a day have you failed me. One particular incident is sacred in my memory, which made me realize how sensitive you are. It was the day of our group presentations and I was the representative of our group. During those days, I was feeding a baby squirrel, since the poor thing had fallen from the roof and was helpless. Each passing minute, I got more and more upset, since I could not go early to feed that little fellow. But, when I told you my problem, you gave me permission to do my presentation first and leave early, without much hesitation. You were so interested about the baby squirrel, that the next day, you wanted to know more about my little pet. Though it's a little incident, it reveals your inner self... your true character... how soft hearted you are...
I consider it a great fortune to be a student of someone like you. No matter how brilliant you are, you always adapted simple, easy to understand examples to teach us complicated subject matters. I will never forget the "water analogy" you taught us under "Fundamentals of Electricity". Due to the interactive way you lecture us, I often felt as if I was back in my school days, under the watchful eye of my dear teachers, which I missed very much at the university. You always considered us as "Children" rather than "Adults" and it made the department a much comfortable place.
Dear Sir, you always gave due consideration to our problems. When we asked you to write on the white board, you did so without any hesitation. When we said that the students at the back could not properly see you, you took all that trouble to keep standing throughout the lecture, which I felt, was not an easy task at your age. When we complained that the lab facilities were not adequate, you at once got involved, so that the next time, we could do our programming assignment in a fine computer lab. Ready support was always given whenever we came to you. Such is your commitment to the university and to us all.
Other than performing the duties entrusted to you wholeheartedly, as a senior lecturer, you were always keen to improve our knowledge and skills. You spent hours of your precious time teaching me "how to write reports" when I said that I didn't know. Actually you could have asked me to refer internet or ask from a senior student, but you personally attended my problem. Showing me various reports you had collected, you gave me valuable advice. Thinking back, I feel ashamed of my ignorance, to bother the most senior professor in the university, regarding a simple matter as such. But you actually admired and encouraged me to ask more and learn more. I am very much obliged to you sir, for the ready support given, every time I visited you. You also encouraged and advised me regarding my individual project, which had a major contribution in making it a great success.
Thinking how forgiving you are, another memory floats back to my mind. It was our Annual General Meeting (2012). I was appointed to usher you. I knew so well that you were invited and I had personally requested you to be present there somehow. But, a senior "akka" had advised me to inquire each and every one, whether they had been invited to the function. I asked the same question from you. At hearing that foolish question, everybody got bewildered... even you did... I was so embarrassed and thought that you might blame me for sure. But to everyone's greatest surprise, you made some witty remark and behaved as if nothing happened. How humble you are... and how understanding you are... you asked me to forget it when I apologized to you. Dear Sir, the kindness you showed me that day will remain forever in my heart, giving more glow to my memories of you...
Sir, you are greatly loved by students for some other reason as well. Every time when there's an event or a function in the department, you are there to help us. You never miss a function, if invited. Moving so well with the students, you add more value to our efforts. Among a million and one other duties, you somehow manage to spend some time with us, empowering us...encouraging us... to do our best... to step from the possible to impossible...
Dear Sir, you are an exceptional lecturer, not only because of the expertise you have gained or due to the subject matters you have mastered, but also because who you are, and how you interact with us. I am more than happy that I could learn under a great human being as you are. I wish you good health and long life, to continue your invalid service to the nation.
Dilini Dharmawardhana, [2010 intake, UoM EE Semester 5 student]
From: "Harshani Amanda"
Date: Mon, June 24, 2013 9:50 pm
First of all I would like to recall the beginning of my university life, the first semester, because during that time I heard the name Prof. Rohan Lucas for the first time. I still remember well that Mrs. Janaki Premaratne conducted the Electrical Engineering module in our first semester and she told that "I'm referring Prof. Lucas's notes". That was the first time I heard Prof. Lucas's name. It made a curiosity in my mind because Janaki madam was also referring his notes and therefore I wanted to know who that person is.
Then I would like to recall the day that I faced to the Electrical Engineering paper in the semester one end examination. After the examination while talking about the question paper, one of my friends said "Have you seen that Prof. Lucas was in the hall during the examination?" but I didn't see and I still remember that then I was reminding the persons in the examination hall and tried to decide who was Prof. Lucas. After I selected to Electrical Engineering department in the field selection, there was a module called Theory of Electricity in the second semester and Prof. Lucas conducted it. It was the first time I saw him. I felt a big honor as well as I felt a little scared because I got to know that he is a Senior Professor and once he was the head of the Electrical Engineering department.
With time, while learning the module, I was able to talk with Prof. Lucas to clarify subject matters. He explained those things very clearly, kindly and friendly. Then I and my friends used to talk him and clarify our subject matters frequently. He is very humble and he understands student's minds well. We can talk with him any time. Even today, while walking in the department if we meet him he doesn't go without talking to us. I really admire that.
Once my IESL application was missed by that Institution and after they informed me, I told Prof. Lucas of the situation. At that moment he called to that Institution and I didn't need to post my new application again because Prof. Lucas handed it over it to that Institution by himself. I'm really grateful to him forever.
Finally I want to say that Prof. Lucas is a real gentlemen and thank you very much sir and I wish you will teach us at least until our university life ends.
Harshani Amanda, [2010 intake, UoM EE Semester 5 student]
From: "Muditha Karunathilake"
Date: Sat, August 30, 2014 9:08 pm
Memories...... From our birth till the death, we gather millions of memories. Of course, everything we do, do not stay in our memories for a long time. But there are very precious memories that we cherish everyday and the memories of Prof. Lucas are some of them.
Today, we are under the giant pillar of the university called "Prof. Rohan Lucas", within the Department of Electrical Engineering carrying out our final year project. I can still remember the first day I saw Prof. Lucas. It was our orientation program at the seminar room after the field selection. He was tall, pleasant and was looking at us, the new faces of the department. I had heard about Prof. Lucas before as he was the most senior professor in the university. Being the most senior professor, actually I was scared of him. I never thought that I could have such a good bond with him as I have today.
'Professors......... They are very dreadful. If we mess with them, we will have to go back to home without the degree or else, we will have to study in the university forever. We can only talk about the studies with them. If only we have a difficult, serious problem regarding what they teach, we can meet them'. That is how I had thought about professors in the university. But after meeting Prof. Lucas, I understood that I was totally wrong. He is a kind hearted, fun loving professor whom you hardly meet.
We were lucky enough to have him as our final year project supervisor although he is retired from the university. He still comes to the university everyday and is still carrying out his lectures although he is officially retired. That is merely because, he wants to be with the students whom he call as 'Friends'.
When we started the final year project, we had to meet Prof. Lucas very often and it is at that time I first saw the fun loving Prof. Lucas. Of course, at the High Voltage I lecture, he had shown some cartoons, but I never thought that they were designed by him. And later even the first few days that he showed us the cartoons when we went to meet him for the project, I thought that some person had designed and sent them to Prof. Lucas. But finally I had to accept his talent. He always questions us 'Don't you draw cartoons like these? Do it at your leisure time'.
'Compassion'..It was the name given to me by you, dear sir. I'm so proud to be one of your friends and I hope that the friendship between Prof. Loose Screw and Compassion would last forever. You are a giant pillar who shows me the correct path, my mistakes and guide me towards the success. Dear sir, I wish you a happy and long life and I hope you will be able to make another hundreds of friends from the university in the coming years. Although you are officially retired, we all wish to see you in the department every morning.
May Triple Gems Bless You
Muditha Karunathilake, [2010 intake, UoM EE Semester 7 student]
From: "Manusha Indika Deegala"
Date: Sat, August 30, 2014 9:08 pm
Most of the people have their leisure time every day. They have different hobbies, which help them to relive stress and forget about everyday work and problems.But professors are hardly finding those. After this story, every one of you will identify Prof. Lucas's strange hobby.
He was a senior student and one of my friend. He showed me a photo and told me that it was sent by Prof. Lucas. It was a congratulation card containing an edited photo of my friend and his girlfriend with a hidden meaning of their pet names. I actually thought it was not an edited one and said "No, it cannot be. You are a liar. Prof. Lucas will not create photos like these. He will have more hobbies than editing photos". When I started my final year project under the supervision of Prof. Lucas huge tree, I realized that my friend was right. I could not believe myself that Prof. Lucas is a that kind of person having a strange hobby with excellent capability of photo editing. I asked him "How to find time for those thing? How to do those thing with your heavy work schedule, even we cannot find time for playing cricket as students" and he gave me this advice. "No one will have leisure time. You have to find those even if you are the busiest person on the earth".
Manusha Indika Deegala, [2010 Intake, UoM EE Semester 7 student]
From: "Mihirani Kethumalika"
Date: Sun, August 31, 2014 12:52 pm
My Memories of Prof.Lucas
When I received your very first email, a few months ago, I was wondering "Is this really from the Genius Professor Lucas ?" Is it possible, for a professor to be this much friendly with the students?"
So you must be very proud of yourself being so friendly :D
Sir, it is very much appreciated that you have given me a chance to express myself about being teased. So about Cone, who was caught by Prof.Lucas with her school friends in the paddy field, there is lot to say. Cone was not expecting anyone to find out about her farming research in the paddy field after she became interested in engineering. So she was not interested in her university friends finding out about it being presented in Sweden. But it was out of her control, so she couldn't even blame the internet which was responsible for this discovery.
After you found out about Sweden, and our winning second place in the international youth competition on water conservation, you boasted to everyone, and the rest of the department also got know about that.. So Cone was thinking to disappear like it's the world ending.. Her friends were asking a grand party for a thing which happened, like 8 years ago; but as a back-effect, she was very happy about the fact that, again she got a chance to sink on those sweet memories which were awesome. So she was thinking "I am already in my final year. Whether I should return again into a farmer instead of struggling with our FYP?"
I must say this. Sir, seeing you appreciating our school-time project and achievement I was really happy. It is true that I felt shy, but to tell the truth your appreciation made me feel like a real achiever...I respect your humbleness and let me tell you about a great quality of a great teacher as Lord Buddha defined. A great teacher introduces his students to the wise, recognises their talents and appreciates them in front of the wise. (ශ්රේෂධ ගුරුවරයා තම සිසුන් නුවණැතියන්ට හදුන්වා දෙයි. සිසුන්ගේ දක්ෂතා ඔවුන් ඉදිරියේ අගය කරයි. වර්ණනා කරයි.) You should be very happy about being very rich of that quality.. To be honest, I must say that Cone is enjoying herself being teased with the others together. I mean with Pearl, Swan and Compassion. Because it is much better to get teased with friends than alone. :D I call it as "Mutual Sharing"
But there is one thing that she enjoyed being teased alone. That is Tennis. She is very much interested in sports so the comments. And as you said, it is really great that she can control her FYP group with her tennis power
Sir, if you can propose names for my group mates too, then our FYP group will be completely under the power of the great supervisor "Prof.Lucas".
Finally, it is really nice and great to have you as our supervisor. It was also a blessing decided naturally when we ended up by getting number 1 in the project lottery. My group mates were so happy and appreciated me because they thought it was my luck. I even got a message from Chamath (a good friend of mine) saying that "You are the luckiest one ". Because they also know that anyone who got first is going to choose you as the supervisor and others are missing the chance.
And I must say that your daughter has a great fortune to have you as her father. She has followed you behind and got success even much more better a daughter can be. I am really happy about the name "Cone" given by you.. I will use it often. May be I should think of a signature :D. It is simply a nice name that I can ever imagine. And my friends also got lovely names from you.. My favorite name is "Pearl" which is given to Ashani; and from the names given to seniors it is "Smiling terrorist" to Terashmila.
Mihirani Kethumalika, [Kethu or C@ne 2010 Intake, UoM EE Semester 7 student]
From: "Udayantha Niraj de Silva"
Date: Sun, August 31, 2014 9:38 pm
When I first noticed you at the University delivering a nice presentation during my orientation period, a boast came through from colleague sitting next to me that you are a legendary of electrical engineering. Then I worried why you spend most of the time in the university compromising the time you have for creating the future with new technologies, sciences and philosophies. Since then it took years for me to understand the reason, that you greatly value sharing your knowledge and experience with younger generation in order to create future rather than just doing it by yourself, even though you are way more capable than it required in doing so. I learnt theory of electricity and high voltage engineering from you. I loved the way you made us study and your extraordinary teaching methods perfectly engrave our minds with each tiny bit of the important details of the lessons. Not only that your cartoon creations, a gifted talent of you made us laugh and felt comfortable in many times. They blessed us with relief from pressure created by academic studies. I believe the future lecturers and students are supposed to take you as an ideal person in their lives to achieve their goals.
We are very luck to work under you especially in final year project as last bunches of your students. Your support and guidance is massive for us. Your kind advices and that true fatherly smile encourage us a lot. Your retirement is not just a big loss to us, but a big loss to the nation.
Your leaving marks the end of an era in the University of Moratuwa.
Udayantha Niraj de Silva, [FYP group student, 2010 Intake, UoM EE Semester 7 student]
From: "Ashani Muthumala"
Date: Fri, September 5, 2014 4:19 am
Memories of a Humble Legend
First of all I'm thankful to you sir, for giving me this great opportunity to write few things about a LEGEND like you.
When I walk backwards in my memory lane, I can recall that I first met Prof. Lucas during my first year when we were studying "Theory of Electricity" in Semester 2. The way you taught that subject was very unique and you were always willing to share the interest of the subject with your students. You always come up with different examples to make our life easier, to make us understand the electrical theories easily. Then again I met you in the "High Voltage I" subject in Semester 5 during the third year. I personally loved that subject and your notes helped us a lot. During this time I actually didn't know much about you sir and even you didn't know much about me either. You were "Prof. Lucas" for me. And we are also waiting to learn "High Voltage II" in semester 8 under your guidance.
And for my curiosity I never thought a professor, a genius, a legend and a huge pillar of the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Moratuwa can be so friendly with students. I would say that you are humble at its BEST. You remembered my b'day from a long time and wished me on my b'day which I never expect from someone like you. I'm blessed to get a wish from a legend like you. And I'm really happy that I could get teased by you. I might be one of the few people who likes to get teased from others.
PEARL NECKLACE and PEARL the names you gave me, I loved most. Even though I had my name for about 24 years, I never thought of this sweet name. I also love the names cone and swan given to my friends too. And I would like to say that apart from your great knowledge you are a very creative person.
Finally I would like to say that you are a great pillar for our Electrical Engineering Department and we would like you to be with us forever.
I wish you good health. May the noble triple gem bless you!!!
Yours loving Student,
Ashani Muthumala, [PEARL NECKLACE or PEARL , 2010 Intake, UoM EE Semester 7 student, Secretary | IEEE Women in Engineering Affinity Group]
From: "Thisandu Kahingala "
Date: Sat, September 16, 2017 3:51 pm
My first memory of Prof. Rohan Lucas goes back to the time when I was in the first semester of my university life. While delivering the first semester Electrical Engineering lectures, Mrs. Janaki Premarathne mentioned to us of this great lecturer who had prepared the course notes. Those well-structured course notes filled with nice analogies gave us a glimpse of the beauty of Electrical Engineering, thus a good reason to select the same discipline.
Once we got selected to the Department of Electrical Engineering, we had the chance to get to know him better. During the second, fifth and the last semesters, we were lucky enough to have him as our lecturer for some modules, namely Theory of Electricity, High voltage Engineering 1 & 2, respectively. Prof. Rohan Lucas certainly is one of the most wonderful teachers I have met so far. It is not an exaggeration to say, I believe, that his teaching is beyond comparison. He always used to teach us through nice analogies. Also, at the end of the semester, he was normally the first lecturer to release our results.
Dear Rohan sir, above all, I truly like you as a person. Your humbleness is the most remarkable quality which came to my mind when I first started writing this short write-up. Your door was always open for students to come and go. You never remained seated among the distinguished guests during any event, but participated in every single bit of the event with much enthusiasm. Most importantly, you were always with students, enjoying their company.
Not everyone gets a specially designed greeting card or a nice web post covering the full event from one of the most renowned professors on their wedding day! Both Dilini and I simply did not have words to express the pleasant surprise we had once we received your nice greeting card and saw your nice post on the web. Moreover, you were amongst the first few guests to arrive at the reception hall and the last few to leave.
After all you had done for us, both as a lecturer and a dear friend, Dilini and I were keenly waiting for a chance to show our gratitude, until you visited University of Wollongong in Australia to deliver a lecture at an event organized by the IEEE PES student branch of the university. We had much pleasure in treating you and showing you around during those couple of days.
Finally, dear Rohan sir, we wish you all the happiness in the world and strength to continue your invaluable service for a long time to come!
Thisandu Kahingala , University of Wollongong PhD student [UoM EE Graduate 2015]
From: "Moditha Karunanayake "
Date: Tues, September 26, 2017 9:41 PM
My first memory of Prof. Rohan Lucas goes back to the time when he conducted a lecture on introduction to Electrical Engineering during the pre-academic semester. Actually during the very first lecture of him, I decided I would choose Electrical Engineering, if I would get enough marks on the first semester in order to select Electrical Engineering.
I was lucky to get selected for Electrical Engineering. During the course of studies we had 3 interesting modules from him in semester 3, 5 and 8 namely Theory of Electricity, High voltage Engineering 1 & High voltage Engineering 2 respectively. During his teachings, I saw a difference in method compared to other teachers I had learned from. He made the lecture so much more interesting using his experience and his unique teaching methods. We felt the 2 hour lecture as 2 minutes, as time flied as the lectures were so much interesting.
Before starting the final year projects in level 4, everyone had been waiting to select a project which is supervised by Rohan sir. So the Electrical batch decided on a draw of lots to select projects. In drawing lots, we were really lucky to get the number one; then without any hesitation we decided to choose one of Rohan sir's projects. The groups who got number 2 and 3 also chose the other 2 projects of Rohan sir. Throughout the final year, he gave us immense guidance and assistance in order to complete the project successfully. We also published research papers for 3 conferences with the guidance of the Rohan sir. Another thing I most admire about Rohan sir is that we can talk with him at any time on anything. He is also a big fan of cricket. During free times, I talked with him about Cricket because criket was my passion. I was really amazed about his knowledge of Cricket. I learned a lot of new things about cricket from Rohan sir. He shared his experience of the days in which cricket scoring were not computerized and done manually. He also never missed a cricket match organized by the Department. He came very early to the ground and did practice sessions with students and he was a really good cricket player as well. Above all, I truly like his great quality of humbleness with the students. Even today when I go to the University, the first thing I do is to check to see if the Rohan sir is there and if he is present, to definitely have a chat with him. He is such a humble and great character to talk. He shares his experience as much as possible with us and we love to talk with him.
Finally, dear Rohan sir, I wish you every success in your future endeavors...!!!
Moditha Karunanayake, Engineer - IDC Infrastructure Operations, Dialog Axiata PLC [UoM EE Graduate 2015]
From: "Harsha Weerasinghe "
Date: Mon, September 25, 2017 09:45 am
As I was one of the typical students who joins a lecture and goes back afterwards, I did not have a close connection with Lucas sir until I graduated. I couldn't even take a photo with him after the convocation as my parents had to go back early.
However, I got to know him and talk with him frequently after I joined the electrical engineering department as a temporary instructor. That was the period during which he came to the instructor's room and talked to us. During that time, he needed to upload a video and I'm glad that I could help him to setup a YouTube channel for him too. I also edited some videos for him so that he can upload them. You can subscribe to his YouTube channel by following the link https://goo.gl/b4oFsk .
A photo taken by me during "We Are with You" 2014
I have a memory that one day he showed us an illustration of life of becoming an engineer [I have managed to get a copy of it from him]. I was astonished that he claimed that he designed it and he was really good at doing it. He also used to design such cartoon style illustrations for students to wish them, to surprise them and to trigger humor too. He used to show me some of his creations before he sends them. Kethu, Ashani and Dilini were among those, who frequently got humorous illustrations.
His friendly nature with his students is something we cannot expect from anybody. It is special to him and that's what is behind his popularity among almost all students including other departments of engineering faculty. His enormous service to academia and Sri Lanka is more than evident. I would like to invite all of you to read his autobiography to see milestones in his life. I would like to wish "Lucas Sir" for the best for being a good teacher, good friend to us and good grandfather to Avisha too. Happy birthday to Lucas Sir!!!
Harsha Yashoman Arjuna Weerasinghe, PhD Student, Nanyang Technological University Singapore [UoM EE Graduate 2015]
From: "Sapna Sridharani"
Date: Sun, October 15, 2017 7:02PM
Dear Rohan Sir, You are a great teacher, mentor and a good friend for us through out Undergraduate period as well as Postgraduate period. Though I knew about you even before entering to the University, I got the opportunity to be your student after selecting to the Electrical Engineering field. The first subject I learnt from you is Theory of Electricity. And after that We have learnt the subjects High Voltage Engineering I and II during the latter part of the University period. You have also taught us Protection Measures of Electrical Installations, Lightning Protection and Earthing in the M.Sc Course. How you describe complicated theories using real world examples is really appreciated. We got a good understanding about complicated theories because of your teaching methods.
Sir, I got to know you better after selecting your final year project. Udayatha, Manusha, Muditha and me were very grateful to have you as our final year project Supervisor. Our project became the best final year project with your supervision and guidance.
Dear Sir, I really appreciate your friendly attitude and kindness towards your students. Celebrating special events of students' lives, helping and motivating them when they are in trouble, has made you a special teacher, mentor and a friend in each and every students' heart.
I wish you and your family happy and healthy future. May you have all the strength to brighten the lives of more and more students.
Sapna Sridharani, Electrical Engineer, State Engineering Corporation of Sri Lanka [Electrical Engineer, State Engineering Corporation of Sri Lanka]
From: "Dimuthu Punsara Colambage"
Date: Sat, June 15, 2013 5:50 pm
It is honour and privilege to me that I was given the opportunity to send my short memories to your e-autobiography.
Sincerely happy and proud to have been one of your students in your last batch (before your retirement) of UoM. It is very fortunate to have opportunity to study under a world recognized (most) senior teacher like you who wish to spare your precious time and knowledge for the betterment of your students. If I questioned my senior colleagues by asking their favourite teacher in UoM, no doubt that I would be given the answer as "Prof. Lucas". Wishing that we'll be taught by you in future as an emeritus Professor. looking forward to your kind participation (for the recommended modules) in future.
I wish you all the best in your future endeavors'
Punsara Colambage, [2011 Intake, UoM EE Semester 3 student]
From: "Guvanthi Abeysinghe"
Date: Thu, October 5, 2017 5:24 am
The Strict Professor Vs The Friendliest Teacher ever
My memory of Prof. Lucas runs back to the tail of the year 2010 where I saw his name as the composer of the first semester electrical engineering lecture notes. That's when I heard of him for the first time. I saw him for the first time at our first semester exam while he was being so strict to a student who was still writing answers even when the given time was over. So when he began to teach us the very first subject in the department of electrical engineering, the theory of electricity, I imagined him to be a strict teacher. But was it really him?
Of course not. He is the friendliest teacher I've ever seen. I consider myself lucky to meet the most wonderful teachers on earth, ever since my kindergarten. However Prof. Lucas is a big star in that list. He is a great teacher when it comes to teaching. Yes, he tries to explain the HV theory with the use of the marker pens, ballpoint pens, papers and everything you find inside the classroom relating to daytoday events as examples where you have no idea how all those things finally add into HV. But sooner or later you'll get through his point (at least at the exam ?). So far he has taught for fve decades.. continuosly, yet there's no retirement in his service to-date. He has such a gratitude to his service as a teacher.
Prof. Lucas is someone you can often find among the students in any big or small event in the university. Instead of sitting among the dignitaries throughout the whole event, there he is among the students clicking selfis. He is a great friend to the students. Students have the freedom to walk into his office with their academic related issues without any second thoughts.
Prof Lucas is a collector of memories. Eversince I knew him, he used to take photographs of anything and everything at various events. He also has this entertaining skill of creating nice cartoon pictures with the photos he took. He even started a blog of his own covering the special events in his life. Then, about three years back a group of my seniors introduced Prof Lucas to the world famous social network, Facebook. He was an amateur to Facebook for a few weeks only, but now despite his matured age, he is a Facebook expert against the young crowd in Facebook. So with Prof. Lucas's skills of photography, reporting and art work, he has become a famous Facebook icon. Not only Prof. Lucas, his baby grand son too is a famous Facebook icon as Prof. Lucas keeps continuos records on the little one, and share those with his friends in Facebook.
Amongst everything else, Prof Lucas is a great mentor as well. He is someone you can consult when you need some guidance in your career/academic life. He may even advise you in organising your professional life balanced with the personal life.
To this nicest person in the world, I do not have to wish for happiness and success anymore. Because being a proud grandfather, he is one of the happiest people on earth and his life truly is successful. So my wish is may as many people as possible get the opportunity to be a friend of Prof. Lucas. Dear Sir, may you have good health and long life to be the greatest friend of all times.
Meanwhile if you are destined to have Prof. Lucas as a supervisor for the university final year project or any other project, there he is popping up in Facebook messenger at late nights threatening whether you have completed the project report or presentation slides. He is eagerly waiting at the other end to go through those and point out each and every minute thing that needs corrections. Thus Facebook became one of his modes of reaching the students.
Earlier Post: Fri, June 21, 2013 10:21 am
Prof. J.R. Lucas, the man of Electricity in University of Moratuwa...
As a most recent student of Prof. J.R. Lucas, I'm privileged to turn over pages of my memory book and give life to the memories on Prof. J.R. Lucas... I met Prof. Lucas, as the most senior professor in the University of Moratuwa, delivering lectures on 'Theory of Electricity' during my second semester of the University. Personally, I am proud to take lectures from the most senior lecturer of the University.
Have you ever been to Prof. J.R. Lucas's office room recently? Cupboards are sunken with piles of penned documents, few photographs hanging over the walls and at the hands reach, a rack of books and magazines; and his table..., filled with student assignments all over. If not Prof. Lucas is a tall man the one who sits other side of his table can hardly see him. I have no idea how valuable is those penned documents tucked up in the cupboards and I may hardly understand the stuff written in them, but I knew once upon a time they were accredited to be his master pieces of work... I was lucky enough to pop my head into several lab sheets compiled by Prof. Lucas during his time as a university undergraduate. First, I was little bit surprised with the long discussions they carried, but soon came back into my senses, 'he is THE Prof. Rohan Lucas' after all...
Prof. J.R. Lucas can be reckoned as one who is always on the side of the students. During various events held in the University, he was not sitting in the seats reserved for honourable guests; instead he was sitting elsewhere among his students. His professor hood never was an obstacle for his close relationship with the students. Have you ever had a word with Prof. Lucas? You should..., because no need of prior appointments, you can meet him at any time. A word from Prof. Lucas is more than enough to inspire you. Students always preferred his company and they were very enthusiastic from his words.
Ever experienced the efficiency of Prof. Rohan Lucas...? Even at this time of his age, his speed is remarkable... In marking the answer scripts of the students, I have never witnessed such speedy teacher in my life. He is such a quick man...
At the end I should say, I'm honoured to be a student of Prof. J.R. Lucas and find myself so lucky to be his most recent student... He always has been THE Professor Lucas and my personal belief is that he is the man of Electricity in the University of Moratuwa.
Dear Lucas Sir; You made the history..., we being your students are proud to be a part of it... The day you leave the University of Moratuwa, the red giant (Sumanadasa building); making home to the Department of Electrical Engineering will find herself empty..., all the electrical engineering students will miss the company of their inspiring man..., and the whole University will feel the loss of a valuable jewel in possession... But the future will definitely talk about you...
2011 intake, UoM EE Semester 3 student in 2013
Guvanthi Abeysinghe, Electrical Engineer, Ceylex Engineering (formerly LTL Projects)[FYP student, UoM EE Graduate 2015]
From: "Hasantha Malavipathirana"
Date: Sun, December 15, 2013 5:05 pm
The tallest Professor .....
He is a tall man, tall not just in appearance but in his qualities. If you have ever talked to him, you would have noticed that it is not very difficult to talk with him, the most senior Professor in the University (and of course the tallest Professor), because he bends to your level. He is such a humble and friendly person, that everybody should talk at least a word with him.
I met Lucas sir in our semester 3 'Theory of Electricity' class. At first I didn't like that subject as well as Professor Lucas because he gave us quizzes every week. One day after a quiz, I was walking towards the canteen with a mind full of hopelessness and frustration, when a gentle voice from the back asked me 'how was the quiz?'. Unexpectedly it was Professor Lucas, but with the mindset I had, I told him a whole lot of grievance just as I'm talking to my school class teacher and without giving any time for him to talk. Only after telling everything I realized that I'm talking to the most senior professor in the University. I felt ashamed and even afraid. Amazingly his words were very mild and soothing and he encouraged me. I'll never forget his inspiring and soothing words. He was there to encourage me, every time when I'm down.
He is not just a teacher, but a 'Dear' teacher in the real sense of the word. He is always at the side of students and his words are inspiring and encouraging. He is an amazingly efficient person. I have never seen a teacher that much quick in marking answer scripts. Also amidst all his big work, he has time to talk with us, reply our mails and even make jokes. Sometimes I feel he is a magician who can do lot of magic. The most powerful magic that I have seen in him is his ability to take the best out from his students. Before I met him I sometimes felt like a dunce and I was very much disappointed. Professor Lucas, as the great magician who rub his magic lamp to summon an angel, summoned the good in me and made me confident and stronger so that I also can do magic. However he jokingly called me an idiot, and I love to hear those words from him.
I have no words to express my gratitude for Lucas sir. Simply I'm blessed and proud to be under the guidance of such a humble happy teacher and a friend. He is such an amazing person, that once you become a friend of him there's no way that you can forget him.
Dear Lucas sir, I wish you all the best for your future endeavors and wish that you will be with us as long as possible.
Hasantha Malavipathirana, [2011 Intake, UoM EnTc Semester 3 field Rep]
From: "Jinani Nupehewa "
Date: Sat, September 16, 2017 5:50 pm
My Memories of the Giant Pillar of the Department of Electrical Engineering, UOM
He is a giant pillar of the Department, not only because of the vast knowledge he possesses, but also because of the great qualities he carries.
First, I'm thankful for giving me this opportunity to recall my memories and write down a few things about you sir.
I heard your name for the first time through Mrs. Janaki Premaratne during my first semester as she was referring to some of your notes. My curiosity started that day. When it comes to the Department of Electrical Engineering, everyone talks about the same Professor; "Prof. Rohan Lucas". I was lucky enough to enter the electrical engineering department where I was privileged to learn under you. First, your lectures were a headache for me as you gave us those continuous assessments. However, later on, I understood that it made me easier to learn and perform well.
To me, you were this great professor who dedicated his life to bring the department where it stands today, until I became one of your Final Year Project (FYP) students. After that, I came to know you better as we had to meet you more often. We were lucky to have you as one of our supervisors. Your kind advice and guidance led us to success. Even though we were stressed out sometimes, you always found something to joke around and made us feel better.
As students, many of us were able to communicate well with you and discuss our issues, including subject matter, because you are a simple and humble teacher who doesn't feel like an elder professor to us but a fellow student who is playing, cartooning, making jokes and updating the news around the university through facebook.
Dear sir, you are a legacy that we will remember until the end of our days. I wish you good health and happiness. May triple gem bless you!
Jinani Nupehewa , Electrical Systems Modelling Engineer, Yarra Trams, Melbourne [FYP student, UoM EE Graduate 2016]
From: "Manuja Gunawardana "
Date: Sun, September 17, 2017 11:24 am
What I saw in Prof. Rohan Lucas?
The friendliest lecturer: Starting from Theory of Electricity in Semester 2, to High Voltage 1 and 2 towards the end of the BSc Engineering degree program, his lectures were the only ones that I did not fear to sit in the front row! He is friendly with students, brings up very simple analogies to explain difficult theories and he always makes sure the questions he asks during the lecture are easy to answer! The 'famous secret' among EE students sums up it all - "Prof. Lucas would never let his students down!"
The most helpful project supervisor: I might have a few things that I am a hundred percent contented with when I look back, and my final year group project is one of them for sure. I am forever thankful to Rohan Sir and Rasara Madam for being such great supervisors. Several of us in our group being sports captains of UOM in our final year had very small progress in the project during the Inter-University Game season. Our supervisors not only were always very lenient with us, but also were very supportive when we really got down to working. It's with great gratitude I recall how Rohan Sir guided us through the project from understanding a difficult theory, to making a flawless presentation. The success of the project speaks for itself by all group members getting the highest grade and the outcome "High Voltage Discharge Detection" becoming the newest addition to the High Voltage practicals, commencing from our immediate junior batch.
And above all one of the greatest friends I have got: Be it an academic matter, making a career decision, or even when you need some advice on a personal matter, Rohan Sir would give you the best advice with his fair share of humor, lightening up your mood and giving you more than enough confidence to face it. Many a times have I got solutions from him and wiped off my hands on the mere excuse "Because Rohan Sir said to do so"! And it's not an exaggeration to say that in all those occasions the solution he gave was perfect!
Fast forwarding a year and a half from that, to today: Here I am sitting at my desk at the University of Manitoba, putting together this small write up, while chasing my dreams on the field I love, again thanks to you, Rohan Sir. Words are not enough to say how thankful I am to you for brightening up my entire future, just like you have done for hundreds of your students. I wish you long and healthy life and all the very best in all your future endeavors!
Manuja Gunawardana , Postgraduate Student, University of Manitoba, Canada [FYP student, UoM EE Graduate 2016]
From: "Roshani Peiris "
Date: Sun, September 17, 2017 10:25 pm
Refreshing the memory lane as a student of Rohan Sir
Whispers of your greatness reached our ears long before you first appeared in front of us at the "Theory of Electricity" class in semester two. Since that day you have inspired me with your exceptional knowledge, technical expertise and most of all with your friendliness and humbleness.
As an electrical engineering undergraduate, I took three subjects of you. Your superior teaching methods made it very easy to grasp the basics in a jiffy. Your classes were open to questions and by explaining complexity through simplicity, you slow-walked us through the doubts. While helping us to mould the core concepts, you immensely helped us to thrive at exams. Your collection of past papers is something I immensely admire and to my knowledge has come quite handy to hardwire the subjects to our brains. Undoubtedly, you are a blessing for the engineering undergraduates of University of Moratuwa and the "Pillar" in making "High Voltage" an evolutionary heritage in the Department of Electrical Engineering.
As a representative of the batch for all four years, my memories flashes back to so many department events where your continuous support and guidance gleaned over their success. You not only supported the batch in organizing events but also did not hesitate to sneak some time from your busy schedule to come and share a laugh with us. You were always curious about our next move always being a part of our batch and it was evidently shown in the making of batch video. At so many occasions you have guided and counselled me regarding the welfare of the batch and those little pieces of advice helped immensely in forestalling the obstacles we would have barged in to otherwise.
As a friend of yours, I was first caught guilty of plagiarism (my FB name at that time: Roshani Iusaas] for misusing your daughter's (Roshanthi) and your name :D . I could state so many such examples where you amazed me with your artistic mind filled with witticism. You always encouraged me during the inter university games and also have given me so many advices at so many crucial points in my life.
Throughout my undergraduate life, and even now in my postgraduate life, I have met so many distinguished personalities who were once students of Prof. Rohan Lucas. Sir, your fame and greatness has become a fact all around the world and you are well renowned for being a teacher who has taught generations.
Words are not enough to say how grateful I am to be student of yours and I conclude this short write up wishing you all the happiness in the world and a healthy and peaceful retirement life.
Roshani Peiris , Postgraduate Student University of Manitoba, Canada [UoM EE graduate 2016]
From: "Kavindu Amarasinghe "
Date: Mon, September 18, 2017 9:15 pm
Rohan Lucas, the Humble Professor
- Lit up the minds with expertiness
- Touch up the hearts with Kindness
- Fill up the laughs with friendliness
- Kept up the legend with Humbliness
Happy 70th birthday sir...
May you live long to lecture our kids..
Kavindu Amarasinghe , Design Engineer @ Orel Corporation (pvt) Ltd [UoM EE graduate 2016]
From: "Chapa Sirithunge "
Date: Wed, September 21, 2017 11:08 pm
I am very pleased to share my memories with Prof. Lucas.
I first came to know Prof. Lucas as one of our lecturers in the first year at the Department of Electrical Engineering, in UoM. He taught us from the basics to the most complex, but above all he proved that he is a best example for "The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don't tell you what to see."
He was always friendly and helpful and he will always be. He always brought up nice examples to show how simple stuff works in electricity! Through his simple strategies of teaching, electrical engineering felt familiar to us.
I still remember how he explained many overwhelming theories simply using the red, blue, green markers in our classroom to supplement his slides. Then, and only then, intricate network of equations and theorems made sense.
Over my years at the university, his contribution to the development of teaching and learning in our department was outstanding.
And at the end, I wish you sincerely very good luck to light up so many lives as you just did before!
Chapa Sirithunge , UoM Postgraduate student, [UoM EE Graduate 2016]
From: "Charithri Yapa "
Date: Sat, September 23, 2017 10:33 pm
The very first day I stepped into the Department of Electrical Engineering, the academic staff was introduced to us by the Head of the Department then, Prof. Karunadasa. Among them was Emeritus Professor Rohan Lucas. To me you became an eminent personality and an inspiration to my life from that day itself, but I never would have expected that this great person would be an extremely close friend in my life.
Dear Rohan Sir, as I proceeded year after year as an undergraduate, I realized you were a great teacher and your knowledge and experience could not be compared with any other expertise in this field. I've always enjoyed your classes since they never became boring or sleepy in the way you deliver the lecture. The sense of humor you provide during the lecture not only keeps the class lively but deep down, the meaning of that is on the other hand a simple way to understand complex theories of Electrical Engineering. This art of delivering the lecture comes to you naturally and it's always amazing to observe how well you organize the facts to be explained in an understandable manner, which in my opinion is the most challenging task for a teacher. I recall that once you gave me an opportunity to take a class in Theory of Electricity for the undergraduates of ENTC and BME, which happened to be my first lecture, which I'm always thankful for. That was the day I realized how challenging it is to become a great teacher, which you have inevitably conquered, and your past students who are living around the world serving in various positions are living proof to that.
As my final year project supervisor, you guided me and my colleagues through the difficult path that was ahead of us to achieve the goal. There were ups and downs during which we were highly disheartened, but you were always there to support us and cherish us. You would resolve the matters which almost always happened to be the perfect solution for the problem at hand.
Prof. Rohan Lucas, you are always an enthusiastic person, a quality which I've always liked of you. The caring nature of you, for your students, will always be in our minds since there a very few in academia who would share such a friendly bond with their students. One other person whom I know that shares such a loving kind bond with the students is Professor Udaya Annakkage; the academic advisor of my Master's thesis, who is also a student of you.
I would proudly speak out to say that I'm a student of Emeritus Professor Rohan Lucas, whom to me is the greatest teacher I've ever met and at the same time a loving, kind, and a caring friend who would never let you down in difficult situations, and, last but not the least the star that guides me to success in my career as an Electrical Engineer.
Charithri Yapa , Postgraduate Student, University of Manitoba 2017 [FYP student, UoM EE Graduate 2016]
From: "Nuwanee Wijethunga "
Date: Tue, September 26, 2017 10:03am
Memories of Prof. Lucas
Today after a year of graduation, I'm sitting here and recalling some of my lifetime memories at UOM semester 2 Theory of Electricity - one of the subjects that I did not like to attend for lectures: Reason is the every day QUIZ...
If sir felt like giving a quiz, we have to answer. So we have to prepare every day for quizes. Not only for that subject, in High voltage too.
Ultimate result of all the quizes is that we have nothing left to study for the finals, although we didn't like those quizes. It is very easy to study for final exams. Not like other subjects, we have nothing to study. We have already done the studying and even past papers.
That'll lead to A++++++s
I was lucky enough to get you as a final year project [FYP] supervisor - Prof.J.R.Lucas
Your advices are the success of our project.
Your door is always open for us.
We enter with several matters of FYP
"we don't have that...
we don't have money...
we can't buy that...
we don't have time to do that and so on..."
(my friends will agree with me)
But you have answers for every small matter..
We have all the sollutions after discussing with you.
Although we enter empty handed, when we are leaving the room, we are rich with everything.
ANYTHING we ask for, you have it in your hand...
Although a very busy person, you have much time to talk with students. Not only subject matters... even about wedding plans.
You have time to prepare beautiful cards with wishes for every single special event.
And also you are the first one to mark the answer scripts..
We fear to see the notice board even in the afternoon of the very same day we had your subjects for exams.
Notice Board may say HIGH VOLTAGE MARKS with happy faces.
You made me Brainy... and gave the name Brainy...
Thank you for inviting me to recall all these interesting memories.
Wish you a long healthy life to lighten up the lives of hundreds of students.
Nuwanee Wijethunga (Brainy), Design and estimation Engineer, Pubudu Engineering (Pvt) Ltd, Homagama [FYP student, UoM EE Graduate 2016]
From: "Prasad Manjula"
Date: Fri, September 29, 2017 10:10 AM
My memories of Prof.Lucas
Thank you for inviting me to recall all these interesting memories after one year of graduation.
There were 100 students in the 2011 Batch of Engineering students to enter the Electrical Engineering Department.
As I think, I was the first student that you came to know in the 2011 Batch, with a sad story. With starting of semester 2, I was suffering with severe economic problems because my father couldn't fully support my expenses since my mother had faced an accident. At that time, I knew about scholarship programme of "University of Moratuwa Alumni Association in Victoria" and I met you for getting your recommendation as the academic mentor to apply for that scholarship. You kindly asked about my problem and contributed for giving me that scholarship.
Not only that you asked me to meet you after every three months and explain about my academic progress. At the end of semester 2, my GPA was 2.9 and you always advised me to work hard for developing academic progress and communicational skills ignoring my economic difficulties. So I am very happy to say that finally I passed out with a second class upper division (3.5 GPA). You always tried to enhance the academic and communicational skills of all students in the batch. Dear sir you never let your students down.
I was lucky to get you as a final year project [FYP] supervisor. We had to research about "Partial Discharge" which was not included in our syllabus. But we weren't afraid because we knew that you were always behind us for facing any theoretical, practical, economical and presentational problems. So we worked hard with your help and we successfully developed PD measuring equipment.
The final result was that all the group members geot the highest grade and the outcome "High Voltage Discharge Detection" becoming the newest addition to the High Voltage practicals.
Not only for academic progress you guided me to build my career in Renewable Energy sector with Windforce team.
Dear sir I have not enough words to say my thoughts about you. I have put these memories in to this small write up while wishing you long and healthy life and all the very best in all your future endeavors!
Prasad Manjula Wijesinghe, Electrical Engineer, Windforce(pvt)Ltd.[FYP Student, UoM EE Graduate 2016]
From: "Lahiru Sasintha Wijesiri"
Date: Fri, September 29, 2017 7:46 PM
1. හමුවුණ සොදුරු මිනිසෙක් මගෙ දිවිමගට
අමතක වෙන්නේ නෑ කවදාවත්ම මට
අරගෙන උතුම් සරසවි දෙවිදුගේ පිහිට
අවසර දෙන්න ලියුමට කවි ඔහු නමට
2. ආවෙමි ලබන්නට ඉහල අධ්යාපනය
නිවහන උනා අපෙ මොරටුව සරසවිය
ගෙවූ සිව් වසර දැන්නම් මට හරි කෙටිය
දුක සිතෙනවා අපි ඔබගෙන් දැන් දුරය
3. දුර සිටියා උනත් ඔබ දුන් මතක පොත
සමගින් ඔබේ සිනහව පිරි සොදුරු වත
තවමත් ඇත අපේ ගැඹුරුම තැනක සිත
නොමැකෙන ලෙසට තෙක් අපෙ අවසන් මොහොත
4. ඈතින් බලන විට ඔබ එක ගුරුතුමෙකි
ලංවූ කලට ඔබ ආදරවන් පියෙකි
ඒ සෙනෙහසට වෙන ගුරු සමකල නොහැකි
ඔබ මුණගැසුම අපි සැම කල පෙර පිනකි
5. රොහාන් සර් සතු වූ ඉගෙනුම් ක්රමය
පැහැදිලි කරන විට කරුණක් හරබරය
සරලව කියා දෙන්නට ඔබ ගෙන විරිය
දුන්නු උදාහරණය හරි පැහැදිලිය
6. දේශනයේදී දෙන විභාග ජයගන්ට
එන්නම වෙනවා බෑ එය කට් කර යන්ට
දේශන මගහරින්නට සිත කීවට
බැහැනේ ඔබේ දෙසුමට නෑවිත් ඉන්ට
7. ඕනෑම විභාගෙක ඔබ ඇවිදින් දුන්න
ලකුණුත් ආව ඊලග දිනයෙම ඔන්න
කාලය ඔබ ලඟදි පරදිනවා වෙන්න
සිදුවෙනවනේ මේ දේ අද පිළිගන්න
8. තිබුනා ඔබ ලගින් තනියට කැමරාවක්
හසුකරගත්තා ඉන් හැම වැදගත්ම දෙයක්
ආවරණය කලා නැතිවම කිසි අඩුවක්
වාර්තා කිරීමෙහි ලා හොද සමතෙක්
9. ඩීපර්ට්මෙන්ට් එකෙන් කරනා පිට්ටනියේ
මැච් එක හිතට ආවා මට හිටිහැටියේ
ඔබ ගැසූ හයේ පහරට ඒ සැණකෙළියේ
ක්රීඩාවයි ඔබයි එක පැත්තක සිටියේ
10. උපන් දිනය දුටුවොත් තම සිසුවෙකුගේ
නොවරදවාම සුබපතනවා සිත ඔබගේ
ඔබ සිටියේම අපි එකපැත්තක වාගේ
එය එක හේතුවක් වන්නට ඔබ අපගේ
11. සිදු උන විටදී යම් වරදක් අපේ අතින්
ඔබ අපි අතර දැම්මේ නෑ වූ තරහින්
වියයුතු දෙයක් පවසා ඔබෙ ගුණ නුවණින්
යහමග පෙන්නුවා සිනහව දුන් ඔවදන්
12. දස්කම් විස්කම් ගුණවත් හා නැණස
මේ වූ හැම සියල්ලම කැටි වූ එකක් ලෙස
රොහාන් සර් වාගේ එක් කෙනෙක් මිස
වෙනකෙකු සොයන්නට බෑ නැත කිසි රහස
13. ඔබ ගැන කියන්නට මේ කවි පෙළ මදිය
මතකය විශාලයි ඔබ ගැන ලත් දිවිය
සදාකාලිකව තුල අප සිත්යාය
ඔබෙ නම රැදෙන්නේ යලි නොමැකෙන ලෙසය
14. සුමනදාස ගොඩනැගිල්ල තුල රැදිලා
ඇත ඔබෙ නාමෙ වෙන්කළ බැරි ලෙස ඇදිලා
සුවහස් සිසුන්ගේ පෙරමග එලිකරලා
දිගුකල් සිටීවා අපෙ ආයුෂ ලැබිලා
Lahiru Sasintha Wijesiri , Electrical Engineer- Castle Power House (pvt) Ltd [UoM EE Graduate 2016]
From: "Manjitha Geethadhara Gunarathne "
Date: Sat, September 30, 2017 6:22 PM
It is an honor to me to have an opportunity to send my memories and wishes for your upcoming 70th birthday.
Before I came to the university, when I heard the word "Professor", the image drawn in my mind is an academic minded person without even a smile. But I understood that my thought is completely wrong after meeting you. I was amazed by seeing the friendly way you interact with your students and how you lead them to success with your life experiences. I never expected that much of bond between university students and their professors.
There is one other thing I need to mention here. When I see the board on the top of the door of your room at Department of Electrical Engineering which says "Professor of Electrical Engineering", I always thinks it should be "The Professor of Electrical Engineering". The reason is you are one of the most esteemed professors in the field of electrical engineering and a teacher of several generations of Electrical Engineers.
I am really happy and proud to be one of your students and most importantly to do the final year project under your supervision. I would like to wish you a very happy birthday and all the best in your future endeavors.
Manjitha Geethadhara Gunarathne, Electrical Engineer, Amithi Power Consultants (Pvt) Ltd [FYP student, UoM EE Graduate 2016]
From: "Jayashani Ridmika "
Date: Sun, October 1, 2017 5:01 PM
Time goes by way too fast, but memories last forever: Prof. J.R. Lucas
My memory of Prof. Lucas is going far back to the first semester at the University of Moratuwa. My first touch in Electrical Engineering in the university was the module "Electrical Engineering" where the lecturer Mrs. Janaki Premaratne told us that Prof. Lucas prepared those well-structured course notes. This made him indirectly introduced to me, although I had never seen him before.
When we were selected to the departments, I was able to be among the 100 undergraduates in EE batch, and I was fortunate enough to learn from Prof. Lucas, and to have a better companionship with him. Sir taught us the subjects, Theory of Electricity, High Voltage Engineering I and High Voltage Engineering II. As he is very passionate about the subjects, he was very clever at presenting the theories by simple examples. He always used to ask students some questions during lectures in order to make an interactive environment in the classroom. I can remember that sometimes we were thinking too seriously to find the answers, but always those questions had very easy answers. For all the subjects taught by Lucas sir, we had to face for in-class quizzes. That was really a good experience for us, as it helped us automatically getting ready for semester end examinations. Lucas sir was very speedy in paper marking. Most of the time, the results were released even before the exam was finished for some other subjects. Here I can remember the words once Lucas sir had told about his speedy paper marking: "I take your answer scripts to a staircase and push down - those who are at the top will get higher grades."
Although he was the most experienced Senior Professor in our department, he was a very humble person who were ready to help his students anytime, sometimes even as a friend. His friendly behavior made everyone getting to know him as a good person. I can remember that he actively participated in every extra-curricular event the department had: "We are with you", "Panel Discussion" and all other events was with his presence and he made sure to feel and be a part of every moment with students as much as it was possible.
In the final year, for our final year project, sir helped us a lot even though he was not our project supervisor. His door was always open for students, and each and every time he made sure to give us a better advice and better solution for any matter we had in academics or any other. He was there in any event Department of Electrical Engineering organized and as a well-known Senior Professor, he had to attend for many events outside the university too. But he always had time for his students. I am even surprised at how a single person is managing time to do this much of work: but Prof. Lucas could and even now he can.
Prior to our convocation held in August, 2016, he had made a nice picture to congratulate our EE batch and on the convocation day, he even covered the moments of graduation for each and every student of the Electrical Engineering batch of 100 by taking photos by himself, seated at the front row of the BMICH main auditorium.
So, after a year of graduation, I could get an opportunity to recap my memories of Prof. Lucas in this way. In a nutshell, he is a great personality with a humble character our country has produced.
Sir, I wish you a healthy and blissful life ahead to serve the country in the future too. Since Lucas sir has been the teacher of thousands of students, I, with all of them, wish you good luck in your future endeavours. I am very lucky to have chance to get to know this great personality in my real life.
Jayashani Ridmika , Project Engineer, J Lanka Technologies (Pvt) Ltd [UoM EE Graduate 2016]
From: "Eranga Anuradha Balasuriya "
Date: Sun, October 1, 2017 10:27 pm
How I see Professor Lucas
I first met Prof. Lucas during Semester one Electrical Exam. He was a friendly examiner who has zero tolerance for cheating at the exams.
Then in Semester Two, Prof. Lucas taught us the Theory of Electricity, which was easy to understand through his methods of teaching. He always took day-to-day examples to explain certain scenarios of the subject. He was one of the few lecturers who gave in class tests which measured our knowledge and made final exams easier through continuous studying.
He has always helped students, always treated everyone equally. During the Final Year Projects, he always encouraged us to do the best. Always asked questions from us during presentations in the areas we never thought of. Pointed out our mistakes such that we could correct them and appreciated our efforts.
I have visited University of Moratuwa a couple of times as an employee of LTL Transformers (Pvt.) Ltd. For Lightning Impulse Tests of Transformers. Professor Lucas always looked after the testing and explained how the tests are done and the usage of the devices for us, trainees and even for the foreign customers without hesitation apart of his busy schedules. Professor Lucas even convinced the university to upgrade the High Voltage Laboratory which enabled us to test at Impulse levels of 500 kV.
Whenever we have a problem in the industry about the field of high voltage engineering, we always seek consultation of Professor Lucas to get his expert advice with tons of experience.
So I could say Professor Lucas is the most kind and the friendliest professor we could meet in both the field of academics and Industry of Electrical Engineering.
Eranga Anuradha Balasuriya, Electrical Engineer, LTL Transformers, Angulana [UoM EE Graduate 2016 ]
From: "Gunani Jayamaha "
Date: Mon, October 2, 2017 11:19 am
The very first time I saw Prof. Lucas was at the Welcome given to us by the Catholic Students Movement of University of Moratuwa. He smiled with every one of us the new comers, stayed for the Holy Mass and left with a similar smile. For the next four and half years I spent at the University, at almost every Mass of any other CSM meetup he was there.
Then I came to know him more as my lecturer in the second semester of the first year, and if I'm not mistaken, it was the very first lecture (at least the very first I attended) that semester. We only had a couple of peaceful weeks, then every Monday early morning there were quizzes. But when it came towards the end of the semester it was the least worrisome subject as we went through each chapter very deeply by getting ready for the quizzes and doing the past papers. As I understood, Lucas Sir wants every student (both type of students who learn in class and who don't) not only to understand the lessons then and there, but to study regularly without piling them till exams to learn by heart in the study week.
During final year project days, we were doing our project in the measurements lab. So whenever Lucas Sir visits the Department office, he'd look through the glass window and smile, which I can still recall. Also, whenever he senses that we are struggling he drops by and gives his suggestions.
There were so many other memories I had, which still brings a smile like he once refused to support me with some official matter I requested from him through an email, just because I addressed him as "Dear Sir", saying "Friends don't call me Sir".
After all dearest Lucas Sir, I am overjoyed for having this opportunity, since I was not your best student but you still requested. I am thankful for all the support I received during my university days and up to now.
May God Bless you with his choicest Blessings!!
Gunani Jayamaha, Management Trainee, Coca Cola [UoM EE Graduate 2016]
From: "Chamali Gamage"
Date: Sun, October 8, 2017 23:53
My memory of Prof. Rohan Lucas is going far back to the Semester 1 Electrical Exam. He is a good, equitable examiner and works to rule. Actually, as he was strict on that day, I didn't think that he is a friendly teacher. But now I know him well and know that he is a very friendly teacher and wants all of the students to learn well.
Then I remember the memories in the Semester 2 "Theory of Electricity" module and quizzes. As many of my friends said, those quizzes were a headache to me also. But with time I understood that it was a great help to me for the end semester exam. There was nothing left to study for the end exam afresh. Not only for the Theory of Electricity but also for the High Voltage Engineering modules which he taught in later years. He teaches in the simplest way. Most difficult theories, he explains in a simple and more easy way for us to understand.
He was my Final Year Project supervisor and I was lucky to have a supervisor like him. For the FYP he gives a great help to us and advises us to go for success. Now, when I work at the department, I realize that when he teaches, he wants to go forward with each and every student. It is proven more from the tutorial class he has done.
Prof. Rohan Lucas is a honorable, friendly and famous teacher at the Department of Electrical Engineering, UOM. When someone talks with me about the EE department, he/she surely asks about Prof. Lucas. Finally I would like to mention that my father is also a student of you and I wish you to lighten up hundreds of students also in the future. Also I wish you a long healthy life and all the very best for your future.
Thank you for inviting me to recall the memories of you Sir.
Chamali Gamage, Contract Lecturer, UoM[FYP student, UoM EE Graduate 2016]
From: "Gayan Amaradasa"
Date: Sun, October 15, 2017 10:39PM
Prof. Rohan Lucas the Legend of Electrical Engineering UOM
Firstly, I heard about Prof. Rohan Lucas during my first semester at University of Moratuwa. Mrs. Janaki Premarathna mentioned his name during her lectures, because he was the lecturer who prepared the course notes for Electrical Engineering subject. But I could not see him until my second semester began.
I first saw him at the Introductory Session to the Department of Electrical Engineering which was held at the Electrical Engineering Seminar room in 2012. He taught “Theory of Electricity” to us during our second semester. While I was sitting at his first lecture, I recognized his special teaching style. He always uses real-world examples which are related to our daily life to explain theoretical concepts. It would be a great help to me to understand the more difficult theories. And he never forgets to ask simple questions from the class.
Dear Rohan sir, you are the friendliest lecturer in Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa. At all times you work with students as a close friend of them and enjoying their company. And specially, I like your nice cartoon creations which is in your website. I was introduced to you by Guvanthi in 2015 and I could not get a chance to speak with you until then. It is a very small period, but I am proud to have a great friend like you.
And I would like to thank you for the support and advice which you gave for the final year project. Specially, I can remember that you helped our group to correct the research paper which was published in MERCON 2016. We came to your room at the last minute to ask about the modifications of that paper. I know it is not a good time to do that kind of a thing, but you never rejected us and gave your support as much as you could. Sir, once again I would like to thank you for the advice and guidance which you have given to us for out undergraduate studies.
Rohan sir, I wish you happy and healthy life and all the best for your future endeavors!!
Gayan Amaradasa, Postgraduate Research Student, University of Manitoba [UoM EE Graduate 2016]
From: "Thilina Kanchana "
Date: Mon, 16 October 2017, 3:52pm
It is a great pleasure for me to recall the memory about Prof.J.R.Lucas for your upcoming 70th birthday.
During my undergraduate life I have studied "Theory of Electricity", "High Voltage - Part 1" and "High Voltage - Part 2" from you. You always used good examples to explain deep theories in those subjects. So it was not difficult to understand your theories and get a good pass for the exam paper also. And another important teaching method was weekly quizzes. Due to them we had to study your subject very well before the exam. But ultimately it makes our lives easy during the exam seasons.
Then my memory goes to the final year project season. You were one of my project supervisors and during all ups and downs you were with us and gave us correct guidance to finish our project successfully. I get this opportunity to thank you for that great help that you gave for my project group.
Not only as a teacher, but you worked with as a good friend and always shows a great smile and behave in a friendly manner so that we can tell anything that matters for us in our academic life. Normally it is difficult to find that kind of professor in the whole university.
So dear Lucas Sir thank you very much for being such a great teacher and also a good friend. I am very lucky to be a student of you.
May God Bless You Long and Healthy Life.
Thilini Kanchana, Electrical Engineer, SAW Engineering(Pvt)Ltd [UoM EE Graduate 2016]
From: "Chathurka Mihiraj Karunanayake "
Date: Fri, October 6, 2017 7:35 pm
The Professor and a Gentleman "Memories with Prof Rohan Lucas"
"What's the lecture now", somebody asks? (The majority of the cadet officers at the KDU were rarely concerned about the timetable and used to ask each other what the next subject was). "It's High Voltage", another replies. "Oh! Prof Lucas is coming." One rushes downstairs to receive you sir. Another finds a hot water glass to place it on your table, and everybody settles down in the class. The Toyota Aqua arrives. A tall person slowly gets down with a heavy bag containing the laptop, and step by step comes near us. With a warm welcome we get your bag and make you relax on the elevator up to the 7TH FLOOR; the classroom for electrical undergraduates. "Silence, sir is coming" another calls.
Sir, you may or may not know it, but this was the pre-preparation in the lecture room for your HV lecture. No other lecture ever took so much of our concern for a lecture. With a fresh mind, you could start the lecture coming so near to us. We remember that you being taller, bends down slowly and comes nearer to us to get answers for your questions in class. May be we answered it right, may be not, but you rush to the board and explained. "The chewing tongue" came every time, whenever you recollected something. The word "ahhh" with surprise was very frequent in your words. We could never notice an angry mood on you in our lectures. We feel happy on it Sir.
End of the class made one of us accompany you again to the car and gave a good bye. On the way to the car, your curiosity was to know much on cadet officers' living pattern and specialties. On our farewell party, what we could give you was a simple souvenir to remember us. Picture shows 6 of us officer cadets posing with you with our souvenir. I am at the extreme right in the photo.
We are away from KDU now, though you are still there. It's just like "අපෙ ගුරුතුමා යයි තාමත් ඉස්කෝලේ"
Mihiraj Karunanayake, Lieutenant in SL Navy, [KDU Intake 29, EE, Graduate 2016]
From: "Kalana Dharmapala "
Date: Tue, September 19, 2017 9:16 am
Memories about Prof. Lucas
It was the first day after we had been selected to the specialized fields: the module name was Theory of Electricity, and we were sitting at the James George (JG) hall waiting for the lecturer.
Suddenly a familiar face appeared through the entrance. We all knew him by the name of Prof. Lucas, since he had done lectures during our first semester. But this time the module is bit different, it is about the practical aspects of electricity which includes calculations too. With his usual smile on his face, he started the lesson.
We were so enthusiastic: but after a little while, I couldn't grasp what he was teaching, as he was talking about water pressure flow rates, pipelines ... etc. which were irrelevant to electricity. I look at my colleague next to me, he shook his head signaling that he couldn't understand it either. So I had given up understanding, but kept on listening.
After a few days, I took the course note to read and understand it by myself. While reading the first few lines, I understood the things which Lucas sir taught to us: they were guidelines to understand the lesson much clearer. He had taken examples from matter instead of energy to make us understand better. That is how it all began.
Sir, you have been our guider throughout our undergraduate life. I'm always grateful to you for being the Northern star and guided us to the shores of professionalism and competence. Finally, I would like to wish you a healthy and joyful life.
Kalana Dharmapala , Temporary Instructor, University of Moratuwa [UoM EE Graduate 2017]
From: "Lemasha Peiris "
Date: Thu, October 5, 2017 09:19
The coolest teacher, lecturer and professor I have ever seen
Yeah sir. It is you. I met you four years back in the 1st semester. You came to teach us Electrical Engineering in the 1st semester. You are very different because you find the coolest way to teach your students. And also I am informed that from my seniors that you have prepared our course notes. Sir, they are very organized course notes and they are very helpful to get good results for Electrical Engineering in the 1st semester. And your lecture series of Electrical Engineering gave us good inspiration and motivation to choose the field of Electrical Engineering. At that time "Electrical Engineering" became my favorite subject and as a result of it I chose Electrical Engineering as my field of study.
In the second semester we have only one Electrical subject and it is done by you; "Theory of Electricity". Every day I attend your lectures and I listen to what u said. After every topic of "Theory of Electricity" there was a quiz. Sometimes I hate these quizzes because every week we had to prepare for a quiz. But sir thanks to your quizzes we got better marks for "Theory of Electricity".
One day I came with my friend to you to find about an entrepreneur. There was a module that I followed named as "Entrepreneurship" and as an assignment we had to organize some interviews with an entrepreneur and to analyse his journey. You introduced your friend, Manjula Perera who is CEO of "Wind Force" to us. We organized some interviews with him and submitted our assignment attractively. We got the highest marks for that assignment and I put an email thanking you. I think, from that moment we became friendlier. I always view your blog and put comments about your achievements. I feel very proud of you sir, and you are the most amazing person I have ever seen.
In semester 5 and semester 8 you came to teach us "High Voltage" and also we have quizzes.
Fortunately you became a member of my final year group project panel. You motivate us to take best results from it and you always asked one particular question during all progress review sessions. On the final session we could give the answer to that question and you had appreciated it.
After my final examination, I hadn't any idea to choose a job related to field of Electrical Engineering or do higher studies. At that time you gave me a good motivation to choose higher studies. Now you always encourage me to do my research project.
Finally thank you very much dear Rohan sir. I wish you long and healthy life and wish you all the best.
Lemasha Peiris, Research Assistant, University of Moratuwa [UoM EE Graduate 2017]
From: "Yashoda Sewwandi"
Date: Mon, October 9, 2017 07:59am
Dear Sir, I'm happy that I'm one of your students. My first memory about you is from the day of our first lecture of Electrical Engineering in Semester 01.
I enjoyed each lesson that you thought us. You inspire us to dream and to work and to reach out. You helped me to fulfill my potential.
I'm thankful for all that you've done.
I admire you each day, and I just want to say,
"Sir, you are the kindest lecturer I have ever seen. You always try to do your maximum for the students. People like you, are hard to find. As a person, as a Lecturer you are the greatest ?"
Yashoda Sewwandi, Trainee Plant Engineer, Sojitz Kelanitissa (Pvt) Limited [Trainee Plant Engineer, Sojitz Kelanitissa (Pvt) Limited]
From: "Lasindu Laknath"
Date: Date: Sun, October 15, 2017 2:52PM
For the first time in the life time, we recognized you as a distinguished and honorable person in the electrical engineering field during our 1st semester. Engaging to the new university life was somewhat hard those days due to the new style of exams, lectures and technology based educational patterns. If someone asked me to teach "Addition" to a child who just started grade 1 schooling, I can't even imagine how much of patience I would have to accord, and probably he/she would make me angry ?. We students and lecturers can be really analogous to this incident during our first years, and I saw you as one of the teachers who were kind enough to share your knowledge on subject matters with a great patience, so that we can understand them properly. Later also, we met in the same lecture hall for several electrical modules such as Theory of Electricity, High Voltage Engineering 1 & 2. It was pretty amazing to see a man in his sixties actively participate to those lecture sessions without any hesitation. And also, I should not forget to mention those splendid practical examples you had on your finger tips to explain each and every hard subject matter and undoubtedly it mirrors your adroit knowledge. I haven't seen you giving zero marks to any student even in an in-class assignment and I still remember that your kindness to arrange make up tests was really beneficial to some of my colleagues at that time.
During our time in 3rd semester in 2014, a team of my colleagues and myself represented the Techno exhibition 2014 with a Tesla Coil. As I know it was for the first time in the long history of EE department. At the end we completed it with a great success and I should not forget the invaluable help you provided us during that time. It paved the way to drive us to grab the second place in university category. Even after that, during academic based projects, your advice and guidance helped us to find out our loop holes and make them correct at the end. It's a famous secret that most of the students were afraid to see you in the panel of a presentation knowing your potential to ask questions in any subject related area ? ?. In most of the times, students were unable to answer your questions in the presentations and at the end of the day they realize that it was your question that showed them the right direction to become successful. During the four years of my university life I was an active member of IET university chapter and finally ended up being the treasurer for 2016-2017 year. Every time, as the main advisor, you were behind us with your knowledge and experience. That advice really impressed upon our minds to show us the correct path in our future professional life and career.
So dear sir, finally after memorable four years I am going out with a First Class in Electrical Engineering and I honestly think that you also deserve a big part of the credit for that. I wish you all the very best for your future endeavors and may you live long a happy, healthy and prosperous life to share your knowledge with thousands of students and to serve this motherland.
Lasindu Laknath, Trainee Plant Engineer at Sojitz Kelanithissa Thermal Power Station [12' batch UoM EE Graduate 2017]
From: "Lahiruni Ranasinghe"
Date: Date: Sun, October 15, 2017 2:53PM
First of all, I am privileged to share the memories of a great person like u sir. In 2013 I first saw the Prof Lucas as our first semester lecturer and I was lucky enough to join to the Electrical Engineering Department and that’s made me to learn from you again with different modules. Though, I sometimes felt annoyed about quizzes in every week, but when I studied for the end exams that made it really easy since we studied it before. Luckily Prof Lucas became one of the supervisors of our final year project. Your immense help made us to complete a successful project. And thanks to you and Dr. Rasara Samarasinghe we got good grades as well ?.
The next memory is of the EEsoc get-together where Prof Lucas and me were in the same group "Team Loku Seen". We were able to play the games and share lots of fun and joy. As a person I really like your simplicity and humbleness. That small talks and jokes were real good examples :D . When I am talking about your service, it is remarkable and there are no words to explain, as everyone in the industry knows who Prof Lucas is. I am really happy that I could meet the giant in the Electrical Engineering field as a teacher but at the end we became friends ?.
Lastly I wish you a happy 70th birthday with long healthy life. Thank you for being awesome.
Lahiruni Ranasinghe, Graduate Trainee- Capital Maharaja Organization [FYP student, UoM EE Graduate 2017]
From: "Bhagya Samarakoon"
Date: Sun, October 15, 2017 9:37PM
I am very much fortunate to have a teacher like you. I think I am really lucky because you were lecturing to our batch from first semester to eighth semester. Before attending to your first lecture, my roommates said that there is a teacher called Prof Rohan Lucas who teaches in a different style. I was really excited to attend to the lecture, not to learn but to see how you teach and haven't heard a name as Lucas. Therefore I went to the lecture with full excitement. Still I can remember the first day you taught us. The way you take examples and explain theories was brilliant. Actually I thought after attending to your lectures, I will go to electrical department after end of first semester. The material you gave us were really helpful for the module, and I was fortunate to get an A pass for electrical module.
After entering the department, the module theory of electricity was taught by you and there were several in-class assignments which were really an irritating thing for me. Because, before coming to an in-class test we need to study the chapter you have done. But end semester examination was easy to pass the due to the in-class assignments ?. Finally irritating thing transformed to a fruitful thing ?. Semester four design project, high voltage modules in semester seven and eight, conducted by you, were really interesting.
You are not just a lecturer but also a very good friend to me. In the final year project also you really helped us to make it a success. The advice you have given to us is more valuable than gold sir. You are a great gift to us given by the god. Wish you all the very best and thank you very much for you kindness.
Bhagya Samarakoon, Research Scholar, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa[FYP student, UoM EE Graduate 2017]
From: "Jayamini Upeka FernandoPulle "
Date: Sun, October 15, 2017 10:38PM
Memories of Prof. Rohan Lucas
I first met Prof. Rohan Lucas as the one of the lecturers who delivered the Semester 1 module Electrical Engineering. With the choice of specializing in the field of Electrical Engineering, I got the chance to attend the lectures of Theory of Electricity, High Voltage Engineering I & II delivered by Prof. Lucas. Being a very unique person at teaching, Prof. Lucas follows a very interesting method of lecturing, which includes number of quite simple and very understanding examples. But if you lose the track of those examples it will be bit harder to understand what Professor would be explaining. When we talk about Prof. Lucas I think most of his students will remember the numerous in-class assignments that he gives. Sometime we will not know when it will be given and therefore we had to prepare ourselves throughout the entire lecture series. We would revise the theory, follow up the past papers. Eventually we will not need to work very hard for the final exams since we have already covered the syllabus, past papers throughout the semester. I must say that it was most of Prof. Lucas’s modules for which I scored an average beyond 'A-'.
However, I remember the very first days of Prof. Lucas joining social media (Facebook). He was one of the anxious people whom I know who wanted to learn about most of the things/option which we could do using Facebook.
Prof. Lucas has been an inspiration and motivation for all the catholic students in the University. It might be a monthly mass or a special occasion, Professor will not miss any of it.
Prof. Lucas has been an inspiration and motivation for all the catholic students in the University. It might be a monthly mass or a special occasion, Professor will not miss any of it.
Further Prof. Lucas is very famous for teasing his students. Not to make someone uncomfortable, but to have a little bit of fun and laughter for all. Either it will be a joke that he would crack, a Facebook post that he would share, or an amusing card or craft that he would make very creatively.
Further Prof. Lucas is very famous for teasing his students. Not to make someone uncomfortable, but to have a little bit of fun and laughter for all. Either it will be a joke that he would crack, a Facebook post that he would share, or an amusing card or craft that he would make very creatively.
May God Bless you Professor and all your good deeds!!
Jayamini Upeka FernandoPulle, Temporary Instructor in Electrical Engineering, UoM [12' batch UoM EE Graduate 2017]
From: "Himali Lakshika"
Date: Fri, November 24, 2017 11:26AM
Memories with Rohan Lucas sir
I never expected, you will be a good friend of me the first time I met you. But now I am proud to be a good friend of yours and to have a friend indeed like you.
I'd like to recall my memories of you, like this. When I rewind my memories, it goes to the NA1 lecture hall, and at there you were teaching us the basic concepts of electrical engineering for the "Electrical Engineering" subject. After your Lecture, I felt that you are performing teaching in a way which I expected to do, if I will become a Lecturer. I was also inspired by how you teach with small examples (funny examples) which are closer to our life. I have also heard from my seniors that you are a flexible lecturer who gives very high priority to check students understanding of the concepts, rather than considering only the final answer or the English, at in-class test or exams. I also used to concentrate on these aspects from my school time. So, I was inspired and I was free to be myself in your lecture without any limitations. Since those times, you became one of my role models in my university life.
Since I was selected to the Electrical Engineering department, I was Lucky enough to attend your lectures for my next three-and-half years also. Then my mind goes to the day on which I talk with you for the first time. That was the day we attended the WE ARE WITH YOU event, which is organized for deaf school students. It was the first WAWY event I attended. At the end of the event, we all started to dance with those students. Then suddenly my friend showed you and he asked me to go to Lucas sir and invite him to dance with those students on behalf of our batch, as he is normally willing do that (I had got caught to a trap from my friend). Then I kindly invited you to join to dance with those students. That was the day I first talked with you. Then we got to know each other from the interview, which we had done on lightning for an EnergyEE article. I can remember the first word you corrected on me is, lightning and lighting, since I had written my whole article using "lighting" for "lightning". After those discussions, we became good friends. The main thing I like to be your friend is the freedom to criticize you and your work openly and being criticized directly. I can remember, we always come to you, when we got a problem with finding some guidance for academic things. You helped us even for our management subject to find some entrepreneurs, because you had a ready solution for our problems, like magic.
Finally, we were also lucky to be selected for your Final year Project group. Your guidance helped us to finish our project with success and building our personality and confidence to face any challenges in the field. I can remember how you gave me advices to face a problem related to our project. From that incident, you wisely guided me and showed me, how to make decisions and deal with others as a professional engineer. At the end of my degree, I needed some career guidance. At that time also, you kindly helped me a lot.
I respect you very much as a great teacher in my life. As students, we are very lucky as you are still giving your kind service to our department, dedicating your free time for students who are learning at the University of Moratuwa. With your name, our University get fame that others cannot get. Its due to your value. Finally, I have to say, I am proud to be a student from University of Moratuwa as well as being your friend and your Student.
"Being a good teacher is hard, but being a beloved teacher is the hardest. You have been a beloved teacher of all of us". God bless you and wish you to live long with good health and wealth.
Himali Lakshika, Postgraduate Research Student, University of Moratuwa [FYP student, UoM EE Graduate 2017]
From: "Nadeesha Dilrukshi"
Date: Thu, September 21, 2017 7:07 pm
Pleasant memories of Prof Rohan Lucas
Sir, whether you knew it or not, you taught me more than just a subject in the university. The best kinds of teachers give criticism, advice and compliments that stay with their students for life. Thank you for being one of those teachers to me.
Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember you as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honor. A good teacher who can take a zero pay and help students to develop physically, emotionally, socially, is literally an angel.
Sometimes I just need that extra push of confidence or other times for someone to sit me down and be real with me. I appreciate all of the times you gave me constructive criticism, even if it meant hours of extra work to get that good grade. Thank you for being able to be hard on me when you knew it could allow me to do better.
Sometimes project assignments can be painfully boring. But you always created fun and engaging assignments and activities for me that made learning, something I had no interest in, to be fun. Thank you for putting that extra time and effort so that we could all learn something that was required, but also have fun doing it.
Not all teachers can double as a therapist, but you're not all teachers. Thank you for the advice you gave me for my masters' project, a problem I was having, or whatever it may have been.
Not everything comes naturally for everyone. Thank you for being the kind of teacher I felt I could always go to for extra help so that I could work through what I was struggling with.
You are the kind of teacher that has such a joy and passion for teaching that it is contagious to your students and makes us more excited for class. Thank you for letting your passion shine.
I can't imagine how many hours upon hours of your free time were spent grading projects and papers, creating assignments and making lesson plans. Thank you for the time and effort you put into my whole project.
You go above and beyond to be the best teacher that you can be, and it really stuck out to me. It was a privilege to have you as a teacher, I enjoyed your lessons, advice and wanted you to know that when I think of the best teacher I ever had, you immediately come to mind.
Thank you for your patience, your time and helping me with my masters' project. Thank you for setting me homework and staying behind to help me, even when I know there are lots of other places you'd rather be. Thank you for explaining things until I understood and making me do my best. Once again thank you very much for being my best teacher ever.
N.A.A. Nadeesha Dilrukshi, Research Engineer, ACCIMT, [UoM Industrial Automation MSc graduand 2017]
From: "Gayani de Soysa "
Date: Mon, September 11, 2017 7:10 pm
It's a great pleasure for me to recall memories about you sir.
You first came to our class to teach high voltage Engineering at KDU wearing a short sleeve shirt (I think I haven't seen you in a long sleeve shirt yet). That was when I was in 3rd year. Your first day lecture was Greek to me because of your fast accent and I was afraid even to talk to you because you were a Senior Professor from the University of Moratuwa. But when the weeks passed by, I got used to that and I understood your lecturers well. Almost all the time, you used to take the chair as an example to make us understand the theory. Even though I didn't understand your teaching style at first, later on, I got on track. I still remember you saying to me to talk loud when I gave answers, because it will be a problem in future (I am still trying to talk loud). You were always on time to class and very rarely you missed a class.
During the final year, you were helping us a lot to clarify doubts regarding our final year group project. One special quality of you sir, is that you ask a lot of questions when we are looking for help. That's not to make us feel bad, but to make us understand the situation, which in return clears our doubts. Even for presenting the project, you gave us ideas so that we won't be in difficulty during our final viva.
Later, I was fortunate enough to be in the same academic staff at the KDU as an instructor to assist you with your lectures, and the advice and the guidance I received from you was immense. You always found time to clarify our doubts whether it is academic or other matters. You are a true mentor of mine that I hold in respect. Even though you are a Senior Professor, you are very humble and a down to earth person. I rarely remember you getting angry over the years I have known you. You interacted with students in a friendly and caring manner. You are always with a knowing smile and always ready to crack a joke. It made us all more comfortable to work with you. You were always there for us when we needed you the most.
Thank you sir for all the things you have done to us. Working with you is also an unforgettable pleasant experience, because of the background you made us to work with. I will always remember you as a very simple man with a great personality. Your presence in the department is a great honor and a blessing for every one of us in the Department and for the University.
Gayani de Soysa , Temporary Instructor in Electrical Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering [KDU Intake 30 Graduate 2017]
From: "Lahiru De Silva"
Date: Sun, October 8, 2017 09:38am
My memories about Prof. Lucas
I met Professor Lucas for the first time in 2015 during the first lecture of High Voltage Engineering I. I had heard that Prof. Lucas was one of the most senior professors in the whole country and therefore I was a bit scared that I would not be able to ask him any questions, in case I did not understand anything. Moreover, I believed that High Voltage would be the most difficult subject in the whole degree programme. But little did I know that High Voltage would turn out to be one of the most exciting subject areas of the whole electrical engineering programme. I had to occupy the first row on the very first day at the lecture, since I was a bit late for the lecture. Prof. Lucas started the lecture and it was evident that his lecturing style was different from most others. Instead of going on and on, he started asking questions from us continuously and I had to start answering, since I was in the first row right in front of him (and I am pretty sure I gave the dumbest answers that day). Then he gave all sorts of real life analogies, so that we would figure out electrical engineering using things we already knew. Marker pens, dusters, water bottles and books became his tools of demonstration which was very strange for me but at the same time it was more absorbing. At the end, High Voltage Engineering became one of my favourite subjects because of Prof. Lucas's unique method of guiding us to understand the concepts, rather than just cramming theory.
When doing our final year project, it was him who we first consulted. He asked us a few questions and expressed his views which was really helpful in improving the standard of our project. Even during project reviews his constructive criticism provided us really useful guidance.
It was 18th March 2015 when Sri Lanka played against South Africa in the World Cup quarter final and most students were checking the score periodically during the High Voltage lecture (when Prof. Lucas was not looking at us). At the end of the lecture Prof. Lucas came near us and to our surprise, asked what the score was and how much Sangakkara had scored. To his disappointment, SL had only scored 137 runs and Sanga had missed his 5th consecutive century (SL went on to lose the game afterwards).
Prof. Lucas is one of the best teachers I have met, and is the friendliest professor I have ever met. He is a perfect role model, a true professional and is simply one of the best human beings. It is a privilege to be taught by someone as great as Prof. Lucas and I would like to wish him a happy, healthy, long, prosperous life ahead.
Lahiru De Silva, Temporary Instructor in Electrical Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering [KDU Intake 30 EE Graduate 2017]
From: "Yamani Dalpadathu "
Date: Mon, 16 October, 2017 12:09PM
My memories of Prof. Lucas
Dear Sir, I got to know you when I was in my final year. The electrical engineering students had High Voltage Engineering I. As I did ET, it was an elective subject for me. So I decided to attend the lecture the 1st day. I stayed at the very back hoping I could only listen to the lecture. And all the electrical students told me that you were one of the big giants in electrical engineering. I remember you did the lecture and took the “Chair” as the example. And suddenly you asked a question. You wanted students to interact during the lecture. I was so scared because I thought I even don’t know some of the electrical engineering concepts and this is "you" asking questions. I decided to take a module which unfortunately clashed with the high voltage engineering slot. I then went home and told my dad we had this lecture and he started talking about you. He has been one of your students back when he was in UoM. He told me about your car, the Morris minor (I guess) which you used to park near the electrical building and that it was the only car there.
The next thing I remember was, Me, Gayani and two other ET friends so badly wanted to take a picture with you at the Aurudu Uthsawaya 2016. And yeah, we succeeded. And sir, you still remember that day and I was very surprised when you told me about that photo, a year after. So through Gayani I got to know a lot about you. And when I started as an instructor, I got the chance to work with you closer. To my surprise, the first proper lecture of yours that I attended was your guest lecture on "Lightning protection".
You are indeed one of the most humble people I've known and when it comes to helping in matters, you do it the best. I am very grateful that I got the opportunity to work with you. I wish you all the very best sir and thank you so much for being a good friend to me.
C.P.S. Yamani Dalpathadu, Temporary Instructor in Electrical Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering [KDU Intake 30 EE Graduate 2017]
From: "Sandaru Karunasiri "
Date: Sun, October 1, 2017 10:30 pm
It was the James George hall, where we had the first lecture of Electrical Engineering as a fresh undergrad in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Moratuwa. Since those were the first few days for us at the university, we were in a mood to be surprised from everything we see and hear. But it needed no reason to be surprised when the professor started his lecture by saying,
"My name is Rohan Lucas, and I've been lecturing here for 44 years, that's probably double your age"
The lecture hall was pouring with one full of "Woah", when I immediately started thinking about the number of electrical circuits these hands have drawn, the number of students who followed his words to become electrical engineers in this country. This being the first time I saw this person in my life, however a brief visual rolled up in front of my eyes of the journey of this person becoming one of the best professors in electrical engineering. With an eager curiosity to talk to him to learn his journey, I always thought he would be not be such an accessible personality.
As a person who keeps giving surprises, he was unbelievably accessible. As a student who is engaging more in extracurricular activities, I found that Prof. Rohan Lucas has more interest in students like myself. He likes students engaging in more dynamic activities, other than just studying and he encourages people to do so.
I remember when I was competing for the Speech Olympiad IX preliminaries in our university, the competition was held at Electrical Engineering Seminar Room. Usual practice is to have the preliminaries in empty audiences only, with the judge panel since it had less importance than the semifinals. So I prepared for an empty audience where I found Prof. Rohan Lucas sitting in the back end of the hall listening to my full speech with keen interest. Also he was kind and humble enough to support me in making me the most popular speaker in this particular competition and also in the inter university speech competitions. I could least expect this support from a lecturer in our university but from a senior professor!, rather from one of the best professors in the university.
There were so many instances I have come across where Prof. Lucas has never failed to exhibit his humbleness. Some of those are at "We Are With You" charity events for the hearing impaired, which are organized by Electrical Engineering Society. Especially when we organized it in 2015 with the superhero theme, Prof. Lucas did not want to be an exception, when he decided to put up a superhero mask of Wolverine to join the crowd. We kept being surprised by his down to earth personality and he agreed to take photographs with all of us.
As one person in the staff not to miss the annual cricket tournament in the department, he makes sure he participates somehow to play with the young boys and girls to make their university memories more colorful. We as a bunch of cricket lovers always have enjoyed professor's presence and it is quite a joy to watch.
Myself coming from a rural school in Hambanthota District, he was interested about how I developed my language skills which must be why Prof. Lucas decided to talk to me about my English education and advised me to read more newspapers and books.
Sometimes it's not easy to talk to him, because he's very keen about words and try to frame us if we make any mistake in colloquial language
However, we have always enjoyed his company because it's always a joy to associate an emeritus professor in the university, who is humble enough for us to talk to with zero hesitation.
Dear sir, thank you for being this simple, humble personality! Thank you for your immense effort to teach us with the best way possible. Thank you for being a real human, the world needs more of them.
Sandaru Karunasiri, [UoM Semester 8 EE student 2017]
From: "Ishitha Piyawadani Loku Kaluge "
Date: Tue, October 3, 2017 5:43 pm
My Memories of Prof. Lucas
My first memory about you is from the day of our first lecture of Electrical Engineering in New Auditorium 2, as a fresh undergrad in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Moratuwa. On that day, I got to know you as one of the best professors in electrical engineering, who has done remarkable service for this university. But I would never ever have thought that this person will become a friend of mine.
And I think, I was the first person who became a friend of yours from 13 batch. It was after the first in class test for Theory of Electricity that you teased me first. You sent me a message telling me that you will have to repeat the students of our batch who had got zero marks for the test. I was so astonished at that moment, but after few days I got to know that it was a joke and that zero was in fact one-zero. I remember you told me once that you also have a daughter who did extra-curricular activities, so that you would like to support a girl like me who does sports rather than focusing only on studies.
You had created this funny karate kid poster for me. From all those little humorous and surprising things, I realized that you are a very humble, generous and innocent person. You are not a just a lecturer to us, but always willing to listen to us and do whatever you can for our future betterment. You are a true friend to me sir.
When I was selected to represent Sri Lanka through the University for the World Karate University Championship 2016 in Braga Portugal, you were there to support me. Within a few days you found sponsorships from your close friends in industry to cover the expenses that my parents couldn't bare on their own. I have no words to thank you for supporting me at that difficult situation; if you were not there, I won't be able to participate for that prestigious event and make it to the 5th place of women's team kata event.
Not only that, when I had to find a training place which would also allow for my Karate practices in the evenings, your guidance directed me to the right placement. Because of that I had successfully completed my training under well-experienced professionals in Amithi Power Consultants (Pvt) ltd.
You always appreciated my achievements and guided me to strike a balance between my academic work and sport life. Like my parents, you were proud of my all achievements and made sure to make an FB post for me and share it in your timeline to congratulate me. You have always strengthened me with your encouraging words, standing by my side like my own parents in every endeavor that I encountered.
After the coming two months, our lives would be changed to different paths, but I would never ever forget what you have done for me Sir. You are the most humble person I have ever met in my life.
Thank you for inviting me to make a memory for you, but these words are not enough to appreciate my thoughts for you sir. I wish you a long healthy and happy life with your grandson and may all your utmost wishes come true.
LokuKaluge Ishitha Piyawadani, Karate Girl [UoM Semester 8 EE student 2017]
From: "Charith Dharmabandu "
Date: Wed, October 4, 2017 01:02 am
Dear Prof. Lucas sir, "Theory of Electricity", the first electrical engineering module which I attended, being an undergraduate of University of Moratuwa, draws me the opportunity to meet you sir. At the very beginning of the first lecture, when your laptop was powering on, I confused myself that you are a foreign lecturer when I saw your profile picture at the welcome screen of your laptop. But you were not. Instead, you were a proud Sri Lankan who contributed to the whole nation as well as to overseas.
When I came to our university, I had no intention of being an electrical engineering undergraduate. But your explanations, beyond the boundaries of the content of the lecture, made me understood the potential we have in serving our country as an electrical engineer, which motivated me in becoming one.
One of the most outstanding qualities of yours which I admired a lot is your willingness to make your students feel that you are not just a teacher, but a good friend of ours. The best example is calling me "Dharmabandu" even though I always introduce myself to you as Charith. By doing that, you always wanted to remind me of the character which I played in the drama dedicated for "We are with you 2015" where I played the character in my own surname, "Dharmabandu" which was hilarious, but meaningful.
Another eminent quality that I remind myself with gratitude is your dedication in supporting extracurricular activities. It's a well-known fact that you act as the patron of IET SL YP UoM as well as the fellow member of IET Sri Lanka network. It should be mentioned that I would not have become a successful chairman of IET SL YP UoM if not for the guidance and support of yours. Even being one of the busiest personnel in the university, you still somehow find time to offer your cooperation in IET activities of the university with passion.
Another memory which I repeat myself is you being the only one to capture the dancing video of the after party of panel discussion 2015. If not for you, we would have missed that chance of having a video of that wonderful dance we performed.
The most remarkable memory which I would like to recall in my memory lane with yours is an incident which displays your endless humbleness. When I was attending industrial internship, I was a given a task to study about the types of lightning conductors and their appropriateness in the Sri Lankan context. Even though I found much information from the internet, it was not reliable to depend on those. I exactly knew that the pioneer person to get rid of my confusions in this regard was you. But as I was unable to reach you at the university, and understanding my situation, you accepted to discuss my matter through an online chat. You would have easily rejected my request while complaining that it is informal to do so. But you were not. You were very humble to help me out.
You always try your best to teach your students what you know, which is unbounded, in order to make them reach beyond what they think they are. You take the finest simple examples for your teachings, so that no one remains without understanding. Thank you for caring enough to gently push and prod me, to do my best and to fulfill my potential peaks. Last, I would like to say that, I am so proud and grateful to become one of your many students as well as a friend of your pool of friends. Even though you have many students and many friends, I hope you will remember me as Dharmabandu as you always did.
I wish the triple gems bless you and lead you to a long live healthy life. Your dearest student,
Charith Dharmabandu , [2013 batch UoM Semester 8 EE student 2017]
From: "Dilmi Prabhashwari "
Date: Wed, October 4, 2017 7:54 pm
Memories of Prof. Lucas
First I came to know Prof Rohan Lucas Sir in 2014 when I entered the University of Moratuwa as a First year Engineering Undergraduate. You taught us part of the Electrical Engineering module in my first semester. I was very grateful to learn it from one of the most senior lecturers at the University. You had a very unique teaching style, and a well-organized teaching approach, which was so easy to everyone to understand the subjects.
After I got selected to the Department of Electrical Engineering, we were lucky to have Lucas Sir as our lecturer during the second semester (Theory of Electricity), seventh and final semester (High Voltage Engineering 1&2). I remember at the Theory of Electricity lecture, when Prof Lucas came to the lecture hall, we looked at his hands to check whether there is a large yellow Envelope in his hand. If there was an envelope we had quiz that day. However, we have nothing left to study for the end exam, as result of your everyday quiz. At the first year I thought Prof Lucas was very tough lecturer. I was scared to talk to you. But now I realized that you are a very friendly lecturer who likes to spend your time with your students.
High Voltage Engineering is one of my favorite subjects. Although the module content is very difficult for me, Lucas Sir made it easy to understand. Lecture notes are ordered and clear. Lectures are interesting and refreshing and not boring. Lucas sir always tried to teach some theories by using some practical as well as funny examples. Sir never gets late for lectures, never cancel any lectures and well prepared for a lecture. Thank you very much Sir for high quality study material that was made available through your website to all students. Past question papers with answers were also available at your site and it was very useful to study for my exams. Sir you are the first one to mark the answer scripts and release results among all lecturers.
Lucas Sir was really interested in talking with students. When he found us anywhere in the University, Sir did not forget to do some friendly funny chat with us. Lucas Sir participates all the EESoc activities "We are with you" "EESoc get together" "Annual Cricket tournament etc. As a Senior Professor, you never kept a gap between you and the students. You want to be with students.
Sir, Thank you inviting me to recall all these interesting memories. I have not enough words to say my thoughts about you. You are a great teacher to me from the start of my university life. I am very lucky to be a student of you.
Dear Sir I wish you long and healthy life and all the very best in all your future endeavors.
Dilmi Prabhashwari , [2013 Intake, UoM EE Semester 8 Student, 2017]
From: "Nadeesha Chandramali "
Date: Thu, 5 October 2017 6:13 pm
My Memories of Prof.Lucas
Dear sir, I got to know about you in my 1st year at the University of Moratuwa. At that time I knew you as a world famous, respectful, talented person among universities, industries and etc. So, I never thought that we will be able to even talk with you, and I was very afraid to talk. But you were the person who talked with me first. At that time you teased me and said "Are you laughing always?", making me so surprised and I felt a bit shy. But on the other hand, I was very happy and this changed my attitude towards you. Actually you were a humble, kind hearted, and cheerful person. I really respect and appreciate those qualities and I am very proud to be a student as well as a good friend of you. You always try your best to help your students. And also you never forget to appreciate students for their talents and encourage to improve them to do their best.
So, finally I would like to ask you to keep your smile forever (like mine) and please be healthy. I wish you all the best and again thank you very much for being a good friend to me...
K.A.Nadeesha Chandramali Perera, [UoM 2013 Intake, S8 EE student 2017]
From: "Anuththara Karunarathna "
Date: Sat, October 7, 2017 8:27 am
My Memories of Prof.Rohan Lucas
Dear Sir, once I started my academic life at the University of Moratuwa, you were the first person I got to know in the Electrical Engineering field, since the first lecture in Electrical Engineering for fresh undergraduates was conducted by you in the auditorium NA2. We got to know that you are one of the greatest professors in the University, who is a very talented, kind hearted and cheerful person.
As I dreamt, I was selected to the Electrical Engineering field where I was again lucky to be a student of yours. "Theory of Electricity", the subject that is considered as the heart of all the Electrical Engineers, was taught by you in Semester 2. The in-class tests given by you were the most irritable thing about the subject at that time. Other than that we were really thrilled to get the results because we knew that definitely the results will be staring at us on the noticeboard not more than two to three days after the test. I still am surprised as to how you give the results to us that fast. I want to tell you that you are the first ever teacher I've ever met who puts out the results that fast. However later we all were realized that the in-class tests was the path to the success in the final examination, as there was almost nothing to study new.
As a final year student, it is a great pleasure for being a part of a Final Year Project supervised by you Sir. All the time we came to meet you with a problem, you were free to listen to them and gave solutions, ideas that motivated us to do the project in a better way. Even when we entered your room with empty minds, when we left we were full of new ideas and concepts. I am really thankful for all the advice and the immense support given to us.
I am very happy to meet a professor who is wearing a smile on his face all the time and wishing you to keep it forever. The service you have done to the entire Engineering students is remarkable. It's a great pleasure to recall my memories of you during my University life and I wish you a happy healthy long life.
I.M. Anuththara Madumadalie Karunarathna, [FYP student, 2013 batch UoM Semester 8 EE student 2017]
From: "Shehani Dilshika de Saram "
Date: Sun, October 8, 2017 08:57am
My Memories about Prof. Joseph Rohan Lucas
My very first memory about Prof. Lucas runs back to the time when I was a first year undergraduate, at the University of Moratuwa. Prof. Lucas, as I got to know then, was an Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering, and was a highly reputed character in the University of Moratuwa. I am really proud because I was among those very few undergraduates who were lucky enough to attend your lectures right from the first year to the final year. Your lectures were always very interesting and I never get bored listening to them. It is not very rare for someone to become an expert in a particular discipline, but the ones who are skilled at sharing the vast knowledge they have gathered among others in a way they can understand, is a rare kind. You are one of them.
You have been the most humble professor that I have and I shall ever meet in my life. You are amazingly friendly and open to your students, and that is one of the reasons that has made you one of my favorite teachers. I have never felt uncomfortable to come and talk with you during any difficulty related to my academic work, because you always have time for your students, no matter how busy you are. I have been a fan of your blog ever since I got to know that you are interested in blogging. The posts you create, teasing your students, are so funny that it surprises me how a senior professor can be this close to his students. You have lightened up the minds of thousands of students with the vast knowledge that you have gathered, and above all, you have been a friend- in- need to all of them.
Finally, I am thankful to the knowledge you have given me and for being one of the most remarkable friends in my life. I wish you for good health and all the good things in life that keeps you happy. Thank you once again for being a good friend to me because such people are very hard to find. Please continue to be this super friendly professor to your students, because not everyone can win the hearts of students as much as you have. Thank you.
Shehani Dilshika , [2013 batch UoM Semester 8 EE student 2017]
From: "Harindya Shehani Attanayaka "
Date: Date: Sun, October 8, 2017 11:42am
My Memories of Prof. Lucas
Dear Lucas sir, when I stepped to the University of Moratuwa as a freshman, you were the very first person I got to know as a professor. Even as a semester 1 student I knew your greatness and remarkable things that you have done both for the university and the Electrical Engineering field.
Once I have selected my path as an Electrical Engineering undergraduate, I was very lucky to be a student of yours. The foundation for all Electrical aspects, “Theory of Electricity” was taught by you for semester 2 students. Once the lecture series started, when you informed us about the in-class tests, we knew that they were inevitable and a little bit burdensome. But we were all thrilled to check the notice board for results. But later on, I realized that the in-class tests you have given, was the very reason for my good grades in the final examination, as you said.
In Semester 5, when we were about to go to Industrial Training, I got to know you as a very cheerful person who likes to help students without any hesitation, because it was you, who introduced me to the Electrical Engineer, Mrs. Hasini Madurangi, of the Venora Group company; It was really helpful for me, for my success in Industrial Training.
Finally, I would like to say that sir; you have always praised us for good ideas and have never criticized us for not giving right answers. Instead of that, you explain the correct answers with very simple examples.
Thank you very much for allowing me to write a memory of you and it gives a great pleasure to reminisce your memories. I wish you all the happiness and a very long healthy life.
Shehani Attanayaka , [UoM 13 batch, EE S8 student 2017]
From: "Hasini De Silva"
Date: Sun, October 8, 2017 12:26pm
My memories of Prof. Lucas
Being an Emeritus Professor, your knowledge and expertise on the subject is undoubtedly the best, but as a human you truly are amazing. I've known you from the early days that I got into the department until now, and the help and guidance you have given in academic matter and for the projects are immense. Your doors are always open for students for any matter to be discussed, and your willingness to help us, the students, is just amazing. The way you approach the problems that we question, and help us understand the facts in-depth is really interesting. You put a question back to us, make us think and get the solution to our questions by own selves.
You are an amazing example for humbleness that I have ever met. Not only that! You have inspired us by being a man who is capable of many things (I guess everything!). Your motivation for us to engage in extra-curricular activities and your sense of humour, fun-loving nature reminds us always who a balanced person really is. You have always being a great inspiration to young engineers like us!
You will always be in my heart as the greatest personality that I've met at University of Moratuwa. I will always be a dearest student and a friend to you!
I wish the triple gems bless you and the healthiest, of course the happiest life ahead with your amazing grandson!
Your dearest student,
Hasini De Silva , [[UoM 13 batch, EE S8 student 2017]]
From: "Sasrika Fernando"
Date: Sun, October 8, 2017 3:26 pm
Dear Rohan Sir, I feel honoured to write a memory about you. I can still recall the day I first met you as our lecturer. It was the very first day of the subject theory of electricity in our first semester. As first year students, we all were not familiar with the professors. But sir, you were friendly with all the students so I think every student felt relaxed learning from you.
Although I have been learning from you for more than a semester, the "we are with you" event which held in our second semester was the occasion that gave me the opportunity to talk to you, as almost as a friend. In that event, students in our batch were divided into groups and each group were supposed to create an activity so that we can interact with the children from the School for the Deaf, Ratmalana. You had a little chat with us when you came to play the game which was organized by our group. I happened to be captured in the same photograph as you at that moment. After you saw that photograph, you teased me about it. That was how I started to get to know you.
Nowadays when we accidently meet at the department, you always have a little chat with me. And I feel very familiar with you, and I don’t hesitate to talk to you because of that. You are like that with all your friends. And when you are lecturing us, you don't forget to tease your friends. I think those are the reasons for you to be friends with many students.
Finally I would like to thank you for considering me as a friend and for giving me this opportunity to write a memory about you. Thank you very much sir and may you have lots of friends in your healthy life.
Sasrika Fernando, [UoM 2013 batch, S8, EE student 2017]
From: "Malisha Anurangi "
Date: Sun, October 8, 2017 7:45pm
Dear Lucas sir, First of all, I am very much lucky to be your student. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my memories of you. I got to know you in my first semester when I started studying in University of Moratuwa as a student. The first subject I learnt from you is "Theory of Electricity" in semester one. You are one of the humble professors I have met in my life. I like your teaching methods very much because you explain the complex subject maters in a very simple way with such great examples. You are not only a teacher but also a good guider and a friend whom we can talk about anything at any time.
There are no words to express to the service you offered to the students at our university as a lecturer and a friend. You are one of the best teachers that I have met in my life. I wish you a happy and healthy life and thank you very much for being a good friend to me.
Malisha Anurangi, [UoM 2013 batch, EE Semester 8 student 2017]
From: "Hiruni Bandara"
Date: Wed, 11 October 2017, 9:04pm
Memories of Prof. J. R. Lucas
My first memory about Prof. Lucas keeps running back to the time when I was a first year undergraduate student at the University of Moratuwa, after I got selected to the Department of Electrical Engineering. I was lucky enough to have Prof. Lucas as our lecturer for Theory of Electricity in semester 2. Thereafter he was the lecturer for High Voltage Engineering I &II in semester 7 & 8. During all these years of study with Prof. Lucas, he was never late for the lectures and was well prepared for the lecture. I will always remember that he is one of the greatest professors in the University, who is a very talented, kind hearted and cheerful person.
Prof. Lucas always surprised us with his down to earth personality by participating in all the EESoc events, "We are with you", "EESoc get together", "Lightning Cricket tournament”. He always wanted to be with students and never let us to think that there is a vast gap between a Senior Professor and the students. It was a great pleasure for me to meet such a prestigious person and who always wears a smile on his face, wishing you to keep it forever.
I wish the triple gems bless you the healthiest and the happiest life ahead!
Hiruni Bandara, [UoM 2013 batch, EE Semester 8 student 2017]
From: "Yashodini Randunu"
Date: Wed, 11 October 2017, 8:16pm
My Memories of Prof.Rohan Lucas
Dear Sir, When I recall my memories about you, it begins from our first lecture in Electrical Engineering in Semester 1. Since then, you became one of my favorite lecturers and made me believe that there are such people who can fill the huge gap between a university lecturer and undergraduate. I think, me and my colleagues unanimously agree that you have been an amazing and humble friend to all of us during these four years of our university life.
The most amazing memory I have is “Shooting Lucas Sir with my Water Gun” in annual EESoc event “We are with You” in 2015. I was shocked when the photograph appeared on Facebook. But this shocking incident introduced me to one of most honorable friends in my life. Your teasing made me understand my fault of shooting one of our best Emeritus Professors of the university, and we became good friends that day onwards. I think we are privileged to have teacher like you who is humble enough to become a friend of students.
Thank you for being a good lecturer, advisor and a friend to all of us. Sir, wish you happy and healthy years ahead. May god bless you today and always.
Yashodini Randunu, [UoM 2013 batch, EE Semester 8 student 2017]
From: "W.M.S.L Wanninayaka "
Date: Sun, September 17, 2017 7:57 pm
Memories of a wonderful Professor: Rohan Lucas
Sir, by recalling the memories about you, it sprang up to 4 years back, and can be gathered into three memory stages, with the dawn of the 1st year in the Kotelawala Defence University (KDU). By the end of the 1st semester, I was selected for Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering, but I changed my field to Electrical and Electronics Engineering since I had a keen interest on this field. When we had the 1st lecture on "Theory of Electricity" conducted by you at the 2HD lecture hall, I got a feeling of satisfaction about my decision on selecting Electrical Engineering. I still remember how you magnificently explained the basic theories behind electrical engineering using simple and practical applications. Dear Sir, you have paved a strong path to initiate my studies as an engineering undergraduate.
The second memory stage was during the 5th semester of the university, when we had lectures on "High Voltage Engineering I". The complex theories behind High Voltage Engineering were excellently penetrated to our brain by your exceptional teaching abilities. Sir, you have an excellent capability of teaching us complex concepts using basic and natural phenomena that can be easily understood. Unlike others, you have an efficiently organized method of teaching, where all the students can easily obtain lecture notes and past papers from your website. Sir, the way you collaborate with students was an outstanding qualification of your great character. You have always been there by the side of the students helping them to resolve problems. As an electrical undergraduate, I feel so lucky to be one of your students. Dear Sir, I am very proud to say that you are the backbone of the Electrical Department of our University.
The third stage is the latest memories at LTL Transformers (where I was an Electrical engineering trainee) and of the final year at the university ("High Voltage Engineering II"). During my training period, you had several visits and guided us to gain correct training experience. During the final year, we were expected to select a final year project topic and you directed us precisely. Dear Sir, we are very fortunate to have you as our final year project supervisor. You guide and motivate us by boosting our confidence in project activities. Sir, during this period I have recognized one of the overwhelming quality of you, other than as a brilliant professor in the field of electrical engineering. It is a tremendous feeling of been treated as a friend of you, not just as a student. Dear Sir, I feel very blessed to be your friend. Every student feels very comfortable because of your friendliness. The way you enthusiastically integrate into social events like "Awurudu Uthsavaya" and matches held in the university, reflects the unique qualities of your wonderful character. You also treat everyone equally, giving everyone the same chance disregarding their standards, portraying your big-heartedness. Sir, one of the other remarkable quality of you is having a great sense of humor making things enjoyable.
Dear Professor, "You haven't just taught me the subject, You have opened my eyes to a whole new world."