E. O. E. Pereira

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Vidya Jyothi
E.O.E. Pereira
BSc (Lond), BA (Cantab)
Vice Chancellor of the
University of Ceylon
Born September 13, 1907
Colombo, Ceylon
Died 1988
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Alma mater Downing College, Cambridge
University College Colombo
Royal College Colombo
Profession Engineer, Academic

Vidya Jyothi E.O. Eustace Pereira (September 13, 1907 – 1988) was a Sri Lankan Engineer and Academic. He was the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ceylon. The Founder of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Ceylon he was known as the Father of modern engineering education in Sri Lanka.

Early life and education[edit]

Born on September 13, 1907 to George Eustace Pereira a station master of the Ceylon Government Railway. Pereira received his educated at the prestigious Royal College Colombo, where he excelled in both academics and sports. He won the De Soysa Science Prize, the Mohamed Ali Arithmetic Prize, Evams Prize for Mathematics (shared with Danton G. Obyesekere) and won house colours for cricket. J.R. Jayawardene the further President of Sri Lanka and Ceylon Cricketer N.S. Joseph were his classes-mates at Royal College.

In 1928 he entered the University College Colombo graduating with a first class honours degree from the University of London gaining first place in the faculty of Science and winning the engineering scholarship. The scholarship enabled him to enter Downing College, Cambridge, where he gained the distinction of being the only graduate to finish the 3 year degree in two years. His contemporaries at Cambridge were Dudley Senanayake the further Prime Minister of Ceylon. From the University of Cambridge he graduated with first class honours in Mechanical Sciences Tripos in 1931.


Pereira joined the Department of Public Works, where he would sever for 15 years before joining the teaching staff of the University of Ceylon in 1946 and was its first Professor of Civil Engineering and founding Dean of the Engineering Faculty, University of Ceylon at is inception in 1950. In 1969 he was appointed as Vice Chancellor of the University of Ceylon in Peradeniya.

He was chairman of the National Science Council and member of a several other government boards and commissions, including the Official Languages Commission, the Loan Commission..


Prof Pereira was honoured with the title Vidya Jyothi in 1986 and died in 1988.[1] In his honor, named after him is the EOE Pereira Theatre of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya; the annual E.O.E. Pereira Memorial Prize is awarded for the Best Paper by the Institute of Engineers Sri Lanka followed by the annual E.O.E. Pereira Memorial Lecture and the E.O.E. Pereira Gold Medal at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya.


Prof Pereira was married to Mavis Scharenguivel in 1939 and had three children Lorenz, Bryan and Alan. His grandfather Edwin C. Pereira was a member of the first batch of students to graduate from the Ceylon Medical College in 1872.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
M. J. Perera
Vice Chancellor of the University of Ceylon
1969 - 1971
Succeeded by
Prof. B.A. Abeywickrema