Researcher biography

Chandima Ekanayake received his B.Sc.Eng (Hons) in 1999 from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He obtained his Tech. Lic. and PhD from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, in 2003 and 2006 respectively. From 2006 to June 2008 he was attached to the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka as a Senior lecturer. In 2008 he joined School of ITEE, The University of Queensland as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and in 2011 became a lecturer attached to the same school. From 2015-2018 he served as a lecturer in School of Engineering, Griffith University. In 2018 he re-joined school of ITEE, UQ where he is currently a senior lecturer.

His research focuses on instrumentation for condition monitoring & protection of power system assets and developing ageing models based on laboratory and field measurements to quantify the ageing of assets due to multi-factor ageing mechanisms. This work targets to increase the reliability and efficiency of electricity supply. Chandima's current research areas are as follows:

  • Developing lifetime prediction models - Many power system assets are currently operating beyond their designed life. It is not economical to replace these expensive assets based on the age. As operating conditions of the modern electrical grid is significantly different from the traditional system the operating stresses imposed on the assets are complex and therefore traditional failure prediction models are not capable to count these effects on the ageing of power system assets. Our research is focused on identifying the failure mechanisms under modern operating conditions of the grid through laboratory and field investigations to develop new life time prediction models for power system assets including transformer, cables , bushings, circuit breakers and tap changers.
  • Smart Monitoring - Developing reliable monitoring techniques and applying artificial intelligence for condition assessment of power system assets are essential requirements for advanced asset monitoring systems. Our research is focused on developing smart monitoring systems using start-of-the-art facilities available at UQ. This includes instrumentation, signal processing, data analytics and application of artificial intelligence.
  • Insulating materials and emerging tests - Introducing sustainable materials for high voltage insulation systems is a timely requirement. In addition reliable tests to determine the condition of new and existing materials used for electrotechnology is essential. UQ has state-of-the-art lab facilities for electrical insulation ageing studies and developing diagnostic tools and associated knowledge. Our current research is focused on application of bio-degradable oil, developing thermal models for new insulating materials, analysis on corrosive sulphur in transformers, oil paper ageing, XLPE ageing and evaluating moisture in high voltage insulation systems.
  • Power quality - Detection and classification of power quality can improve the grid reliability. Our research is focused on developing suitable techniques to identify the system status and asset conditions through power quality measurements.

Chandima is senior member of IEEE. He is an active IEEE volunteer and held many volunteer positions including the Chair of IEEE PES/DEIS Queensland and Chair of IEEE Sri Lanka section. Currently he is serving as the Deputy Director of Australasian Transformer Innovation Centre. Chandima is a member of CIGRE Australian Panel B1 and closely working with CIGRE Australian A2 and D1. His research work is closely associated with the Australian electricity supply industry.