Highlight of the event: "Alumnus of the Year" category Award winner - Mr. Shahen Amaratunga, Chemical & Environmental Engineering, 2010 receiving his award from the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sir David Greenaway, Vice Chancellor, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom — at Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur.
The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) held its annual Alumni Laureate Awards Ceremony recently in Malaysia. This year, alumnus Shahen Amaratunga from Sri Lanka was awarded “Alumnus of the Year 2016” for his contribution in designing and developing an environmental sustainability standard for Sri Lanka’s MAS Holdings.
Since his graduation from the University, Shahen has worked for MAS Holdings, one of the world’s most recognized designed-to-delivery solution providers in apparel and textile manufacturing.
“My studies at University of Nottingham helped me secure a job as an environmental engineer in one of the most reputed apparel manufacturing companies in Sri Lanka, employing over 85,000 people with a turnover in excess of USD1.6 Billion. My task was to ensure that we manufactured in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Shahen during his acceptance speech for the award.
He is currently a member of the MAS Biodiversity team tasked with reforesting Sri Lanka where he designed a butterfly gardening guide that could even be used in residential areas. In 2015 he led an initiative that reduced 32MW of electrical energy in one week and planted 6,500 trees in a single month.
As a student at UNMC, Shahen was elected as student representative for his subject area and he served in the position for three consecutive years due to his outstanding leadership qualities. He was a member of the student body that represented the Department of Chemical Engineering at the BEM (Board of Engineers Malaysia) & MQA (Malaysian Qualifications Agency) accreditation panel discussions and also represented the UNMC Chemical Engineering Department at the iChemE games hosted by NUS-Singapore in 2009.
The award recipient - Shahen Amarathunga delivering his acceptance speech
‘Even as a student he was involved in the accreditation process with professional bodies and standards body,” said UNMC CEO and Provost Professor Graham Kendall.
The Alumnus of the Year award was presented at the Alumni Laureate Awards, which is an annual event to recognise outstanding alumni that also provides a networking platform for graduates of The University of Nottingham. The awards dinner was hosted by Vice Chancellor of The University of Nottingham Professor Sir David Greenaway and Professor Graham Kendall.
The University of Nottingham has more than 250,000 graduates in the alumni community, a global family originating from the foundation of the University in 1881. Approximately 5 percent of the alumni members are Malaysians. The University of Nottingham was named as the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, which was announced on September 23.