Eng. Janaka Rathnakumara

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As an MSc student of Sustainable Energy Engineering at the KTH University, I am well-equipped to develop energy management and conservation practices at Wijeya Newspapers Ltd in Sri Lanka. I started my career as a mechanical engineer at Wijeya Newspapers Ltd in 2005 and assumed duties in mechanical maintenance department where I implemented productivity development techniques and maintenance management systems. As a result of the new techniques, the down time of the printing operation was considerably reduced and the total waste copy generation was reduced. In 2007, I got an opportunity to join Wijeya Newspapers Ltd’s state of the art factory designing project as a project engineer. In the same period, I was selected to pursue the master’s programme in SEEW at KTH University. As a professional who was eager to apply new energy management, conservation and improvement systems and technologies, the knowledge that I had been gaining from my MSc studies in SEEW was immensely helpful and I was able to initiate and implement some fruitful projects in the newly constructed factory. By implementing energy saving projects, I could improve the efficiency and productivity of the work place. Furthermore, I designed the factory in a sustainable way using maximum natural resources such as daylight for the entire factory operation about 12 hours a day, natural and passive ventilation systems to improve the efficiency of employees and sound proof technology in the building which was selected for the national award competition and won LKR 5 million grant for environmental friendly factory award from the Government of Netherlands in 2009.

With my continuous dedication, leadership and application of the best practices in the plant, I moved up the corporate ladder being promoted to the post of Plant Engineer at the newly constructed factory and the Assistant General Manager in 2010 and the Chief Operations Officer in 2014.

Wijeya Newspapers Ltd has received many national and international awards and certifications for the factory operations such as National Energy Efficiency Award, National Green Award, National Cleaner Production Award, and National Productivity Award during last eight years in recognition of our efforts in energy and environment management. ISO 50001-2011 (Energy Management System) Certification and ISO 14001-2004 (Environmental Management System) Certification have also been awarded for energy efficiency and environmental friendly business practices at Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.

As a result of my efforts in boosting interest on energy management and renewable energy technologies in the top management of the company, I started the research feasibility on electricity generation from Dendro power for industrial printing press machine at Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.

While working in the Wijeya Newspapers Ltd, I extend my services as a professional in the field of Quality Management, Energy Management and Environmental Management Systems. I serve as a lead auditor for ISO 9001-2008, Consultant for ISO 14001-2004, ISO 50001-2011, and auditor for Energy Management, Cleaner Production Practice and Productivity Development. I have conducted presentations and speeches in national and international symposia and conferences on energy improvement and management, sustainable practices and productivity enhancement. In universities, schools and other institutions, I have been sharing the knowledge and experience that I have received from SEEW. I believe the backbone of a successful career is a comprehensive knowledge of the subject matter and the field and my MSc studies at KTH have contributed to make me an accomplished professional.

Eng.Janaka Rathnakumara
Chief Operations Officer/AGM,
Wijeya Newspapers Ltd,
No.08, Hunupitiya Cross Road,
Colombo-02,
Sri Lanka.