A. Thurairajah

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Professor

A. Thurairajah
அ. துரைராசா
A. Thurairajah.jpg
2nd Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jaffna
In office
September 1988 – April 1994
Preceded byS. Vithiananthan
Succeeded byK. Kunaratnam
Personal details
Born(1934-11-10)10 November 1934
Kamparmalai, Ceylon
Died11 June 1994(1994-06-11) (aged 59)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Alma materUdupiddy AMC
Hartley College
University of Ceylon
University of Cambridge
ProfessionAcademic
EthnicitySri Lankan Tamil

Alagiah Thurairajah (Tamil: அழகையா துரைராசா Aḻakaiyā Turairācā; 10 November 1934 – 11 June 1994) was a leading Sri Lankan Tamil academic and vice-chancellor of the University of Jaffna.

Early life and family[edit]

Thurairajah was born on 10 November 1934 in Kamparmalai in northern Ceylon.[1][2] He was the son of Velupillai Alagiah and Sellammah from Imaiyanan in Vadamarachchi.[1] He was educated at the Udupiddy American Mission College and Hartley College.[1][2] After school he joined the University of Ceylon in July 1953, graduating with BSc degree in civil engineering in 1957.[1][2]

Thurairajah then served as an instructor in civil engineering at the university until March 1958 before working for the Public Works Department as a Junior Assistant Engineer for four months.[2] He then went to the University of Cambridge on a scholarship after Kenneth H. Roscoe chose him to be his research student.[2] Between October 1958 and December 1961 Thurairajah assisted Roscoe in his research into shear properties of soils.[1][2] This research earned Thurairajah a PhD in June 1962 with thesis titled Some shear properties of kaolin and of sand.[1][2]

Thurairajah married Rajeswari.[1] They had three daughters and two sons.[1][2]

Career[edit]

After Cambridge Thurairajah worked in London for a company called Terreasearch Ltd for a while in 1962 before returning to Ceylon.[1][2] He joined the University of Ceylon as a lecturer.[1][2] He was visiting assistant professor at the University of Waterloo before becoming Professor of Civil Engineering in 1971 at the University of Ceylon.[1][2] He was Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the Peradeniya Campus of the University of Sri Lanka from May 1975 to September 1977, and February 1982 to February 1985.[1][2][3] He was visiting professor at the University of British Columbia between October 1977 and December 1978.[1][2] He was Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the Open University of Sri Lanka from April 1987 to August 1988.[1][2]

Thurairajah became vice-chancellor of the University of Jaffna in September 1988.[1][2][4] He resigned in March 1994 due to medical reasons.[1][2]

Thurairajah moved to Colombo for treatment and re-joined the Open University.[1] He died on 11 June 1994 in Colombo due to cardiovascular failure brought about by leukaemia.[1][2] He was posthumously awarded the Maamanithar (Great Man) honour by the LTTE Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.[5]

Thurairajah was a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (Sri Lanka) from 1977; Institution of Civil Engineers (Sri Lanka) from 1979; and the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK) from May 1985.[1][2] He was president of the National Academy of Sciences (Sri Lanka) in 1986.[1] He was president of the Institution of Civil Engineers (Sri Lanka) between October 1989 to October 1990.[2] He was an expert on soil engineering.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Arumugam, S. (1997). Dictionary of Biography of the Tamils of Ceylon. p. 233.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Appreciation: Prof. Alagiah Thurairajah" (PDF). Tamil Times. Vol. XIII no. 6. 15 June 1994. p. 33. ISSN 0266-4488.
  3. ^ "Past Deans". University of Peradeniya.
  4. ^ "Establishment of the Jaffna Campus of the University of Sri Lanka". University of Jaffna. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012.
  5. ^ "'Great man' award to Tamilnet editor". BBC Sinhala. 1 May 2005.
  6. ^ https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=Y3dn6e8AAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

External links[edit]