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Sri Lanka’s Internet Pioneer, Prof. Abhaya Induruwa inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame

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Professor Abhaya Induruwa today (April 8th) joins the elite ranks of notable individuals who have been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame for their significant contributions to the advancement of the global Internet. The Internet Hall of Fame inducted Professor Induruwa for pioneering academic and research networking and Internet in Sri Lanka. The induction ceremony was held in Hong Kong today (8th April) at 3.30pm.

Professor Induruwa shared few words with us about the significant recognition:

Prof_Abhaya_InduruwaProfessor Induruwa has been named a Global Connector, a category which recognizes and celebrates individuals from around the world who have made major contributions to the growth, connectivity, and use of the Internet, either on a global scale or within a specific region or community.

In 1989, exactly 25 years ago this month (April), Professor Induruwa articulated his vision for an island-wide computer network for academics and researchers, and proposed the setting up of LEARN, Lanka Experimental Academic and Research Network to the government of Sri Lanka.  He served as the Principal Investigator and the Project Leader of the LEARN project which he completed in 1995 when LEARN was permanently connected to the global Internet. He established LEARNmail in 1990 offering Internet email service to the Sri Lankan academic and research community.  In 1992 he architected LEARN Internet and managed to secure funds from the Sri Lankan government via the University Grants Commission to procure three 64 Kbps wireless links and associated networking devices.  LEARN became the first TCP/IP WAN in Sri Lanka when the University of Colombo and the Open University of Sri Lanka were connected to the University of Moratuwa using these links.  Today LEARN provides island-wide Internet connectivity to all Universities, Higher Education Institutions and Research Centres in the country.  His pioneering efforts also paved the way for the establishment of commercial Internet services in Sri Lanka.

He founded the Department of Computer Science & Engineering of the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka in 1985 and served as its Head until 1998.  He was appointed by H E The President of Sri Lanka to the inaugural Board of the Computer and Information Technology Council (CINTEC) in 1983.  He served as a Member of the CINTEC Board until 1998.  During this period he held the portfolios for the development of ICT education, and data communication & computer networking policy & infrastructure in the country, and chaired the respective CINTEC Working Committees.  From 1992-1996 he also served as a Board Member of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka (formerly Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Sciences) and, using funds provided under a SIDA project, introduced an on-line document delivery service by connecting the NSF-SL to LEARN.

He is the first student to graduate with a First Class Honours degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Moratuwa winning the Prof O P Kulshreshtha award for the best Electrical and Electronic Engineering graduate in 1975. He earned his PhD from Imperial College London in 1980.  Currently he is the Prof V K Samaranayake Endowed Professor of Computing at the University of Colombo School of Computing in addition to being the Joint Acting Head of Computing at the Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. Among his current research interests is the security of Internet of Things.

A founding member of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka, Professor Induruwa is also a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, UK; the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka; and the British Computer Society. He is the founding Treasure of the Cybercrime Forensics Specialist Group of the British Computer Society, a position he has held from its inception in 2007 until today.  In recognition of his signal contributions to the development of national ICT policy framework, for pioneering Computer Science & Engineering education, and for pioneering Internet in Sri Lanka, the Computer Society of Sri Lanka awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in 2003.

“The 2014 Internet Hall of Fame inductees include extraordinary individuals who have helped shape the global Internet,” noted Internet Society CEO Kathy Brown. “This historic assembly of Internet trailblazers, innovators, and thought-leaders represent many different countries and backgrounds, each with an inspiring story to share.  We applaud their achievements and determination to push the boundaries of technological and social innovation to connect the world.”

Acceptance speech by Prof. Abhaya Induruwa in Hong Kong (3.30pm SL time)

About the Internet Hall of Fame

The Internet Hall of Fame (www.internethalloffame.org) is a recognition program and virtual museum that celebrates the living history of the Internet and the individuals whose extraordinary contributions have made the Internet, its worldwide availability and use, and its transformative nature possible.  The Internet Hall of Fame was launched by the Internet Society in 2012.

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