Dr. Priyantha D.C. Wijayatunga appointed ADB Energy Sector Group Chief
Dr. Wijayatunga earned a Doctorate in Power System Economics from the Imperial College London on a Beit Scientific Research Fellowship in 1992. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, joined the university as an Assistant Lecturer in 1986 and moved up to become a Professor of Electrical Engineering in 2001. When he left the University he was a Senior Professor of Electrical Engineering. He was also an Academic Visitor at Imperial College London from 1993-1998.
During his tenure in the University of Moratuwa while supporting development of university education in various forms, he contributed immensely to the development of energy sector both in Sri Lanka and outside. At the request of the university, he spearheaded the establishment of the Faculty of Information of Technology (IT) at the University of Moratuwa in 2001 and became the first Dean of the Faculty. During this period, as a member of the Standing Committee on IT in the University Grants Commission, he initiated the efforts to expand university IT education for students outside mathematics stream.
With the establishment of the Public Utilities of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) in 2003, the Commission invited Dr. Wijayatunga to take over administration as its first Director General, a position which he held concurrently while being a Professor at the University, until he joined ADB. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Ceylon Electricity Board and the Sustainable Energy Authority, Sri Lanka. He has contributed extensively in energy sector policy and regulatory activities and has co-authored large number of publications. He was a lead author of the Sri Lanka Energy Policies and Strategies 2007/08 and was closely involved in drafting the Electricity Act 2009 and Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority Act 2007.
Dr. Wijayatunga, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka and a Past President of the Sri Lanka Energy Managers Association (SLEMA), has been a strong supporter of regional energy cooperation in South Asia and has actively contributed to related investment projects and studies involving South Asia. During his stay at PUCSL, he was a member of the Steering Committee on India – Sri Lanka Electricity Grid Interconnection and Chairman of the South Asia Forum for Infrastructure Regulators (SAFIR). He was also a member of the Advisory Board of Melbourne Energy Institute, University of Melbourne.
Dr. Wijayatunga joined ADB as an Energy Specialist and later promoted to Senior Energy Specialist, Principal Energy Specialist and then became the Director, South Asia Energy Division. He also held the position of Unit Head, Portfolio Management at the ADB Nepal Resident Mission for a short period. During over 13 years of his career in ADB, Sri Lanka benefited immensely from his contribution to energy sector development in South Asia.