• Prof.R.Kumaravadivel

    • BSc(Hons.)(Ceylon), PhD(Bristol)

      • Member, University Grants Commission, May 2015 – January 2020
      • Acting Vice Chancellor, University of Jaffna, 05 June 2006 – 20 December 2007
      • Dean /Science, University of Jaffna, November 1999 - July 2010
      • Head/Physics, University of Jaffna, Feb 1985 – Feb. 1988, April 1994 – Oct. 1995, Jan. 1997 – Nove. 1999
      • Head/Computer Unit, University of Jaffna, August 1989 - October 1990
      • Head/Physics, University of Peradeniya, Jan. 1978 – Jan.1979

Appreciation of services


      An academic and administrator of the highest calibre
    Professor Rajaratnam Kumaravadivel retired from the university service on 05.05.2013 after forty-five years of service in two Universities in Sri Lanka, twelve years in Peradeniya and thirty three years in Jaffna. Born on 03 February 1947 in Jaffna, Prof. Kumaravadivel entered the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya in October 1965. He pursued a degree programme in General Science with Physics and Mathematics as subjects and obtained a First Class Honours in the General Degree examination held in 1968. Soon after, he was appointed as a Temporary Demonstrator in Physics at Peradeniya. He was promoted as a Temporary Assistant Lecturer in Physics in 1969. While he was serving as Assistant Lecturer in Physics, he pursued a special degree programme in Physics for two years. He passed the special degree examination in September 1970 with First Class Honours. He won the Coomarasamy Memorial Prize and the Hewavitharana Memorial Prize for achieving the highest competence at the General and Special Degree Examinations, respectively. He was made an Assistant Lecturer [now designated as Lecturer (Probationary)] in Physics at the University of Peradeniya in July 1971.

    Prof. Kumaravadivel proceeded to the University of Bristol, UK in 1973 for postgraduate studies and was awarded a PhD in Theoretical Solid State Physics in November 1975. In 1976, when the Department of Physics at Peradeniya was in a ‘crisis’ situation with acute shortage of qualified teachers, Prof. Kumaravadivel returned to Peradeniya nine months earlier than scheduled, and organized and conducted lectures on all theoretical physics topics at Special Degree level. In 1977, he travelled to Jaffna from Peradeniya under difficult conditions to teach physics at the Jaffna Campus during weekends. He served as the Lecturer in Charge / Head of the Department of Physics, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka from January 1978 to January 1979. While in Peradeniya he served as an External Examiner for examinations in a number of topics in Physics conducted by the Jaffna Campus between 1977 and 1980 and also served as an External Examiner in Physics at the Eastern University of Sri Lanka.

    Prof Kumaravadivel joined the department of Physics, University of Jaffna as a Senior Lecturer in April 1980 and worked tirelessly to upgrade and maintain the standard of the physics courses. He has always been admired by his students as an excellent and dedicated teacher. I am privileged to be one of his students in several classes. All his work was meticulously planned and carried out methodically. His students too have been trained by him to work in the same manner. Prof.Kumaravadivel has also made valuable contributions in drafting the Physics curriculum in the University of Peradeniya and the University of Jaffna. In March 1986, he was appointed as Professor of Theoretical Physics in University of Jaffna at the age of 39 years. Over the last forty-five years Prof. Kumaravadivel has trained hundreds of Physics graduates, many of whom are holding high positions in Universities, Research Institutions and Government Departments in Sri Lanka and abroad.

    Prof. Kumaravadivel’s main research interest is in the theory of the structure and thermodynamic properties of liquid metals and liquid metal surfaces. His research abilities have been recognized internationally and his work has been commended as outstanding by many internationally well-known theoretical Physicists including Prof.J.M.Ziman,FRS (UK), Prof.J.E.Enderby (UK), Prof. W.H.Young (UK), Prof. Watabe (Japan) and Prof.M.Tosi (Italy).

    The International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Italy, a prestigious institution founded by the Nobel Laureate Prof. Abdus Salam, and sponsored by UNESCO and IAEA appointed Prof. Kumaravadivel as an Associate of the Centre for two consecutive terms, 1982 - 1994. This is an appointment given to scientists living in the Third world countries and chosen by the Centre on the basis of proven ability. Although he was invited to visit the ICTP six times during this period, because of heavy teaching responsibilities and the war situation in Jaffna, he was able to make only two visits, during the tenure of the two terms, one in each term. He was awarded a Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship in 1991 to pursue research in ‘many body effects in Compton Scattering’ at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge and worked there for one year from January 1991 to December 1991 as a Visiting Pofessor. Considering the high quality of his contribution to research in Theoretical Solid State Physics he was appointed as a referee for research papers submitted to the Journal of Physics published by the Institute of Physics (London, UK). Prof. Kumaravadivel has made very significant contribution to the Theory of Liquid Metals. This could be gauged from the fact that his journal publications are extensively referred to in large number of research publications. Diagrams, tables and certain paragraphs from his publications have been reproduced in many review articles and books. He has the experience of working with a large number of eminent scientists of international calibre.

    Besides being a skilled physicist, Prof. Kumaravadivel is also an able administrator. He involved himself enthusiastically in all activities for the development of the University of Jaffna. He was an active member of the Senate and the Council for several years and also served in several standing committees of these bodies. He was a lionhearted and very straight-forward person who was keen on his duties and responsibilities as a university academic and administrator. He served as head of the department of Physics for about ten years. He also served as the head of the Computer Unit for some time. The Faculty of Science had confidence in his ability as an effective administrator and elected him as its Dean four times. He served as Dean / Science for more than a decade and steered the faculty towards development during difficult periods. During his period as Dean, the faculty won a number of grants worth more than 200 million rupees from World Bank and other national funding agencies.

    Prof. Kumaravadivel served as acting Vice - Chancellor of this University from June 2006 to December 2007 during one of the difficult periods in the history of this University. In spite of the many obstacles he had to face, he guided the university and faculty of science towards fulfilling their aim without compromising on standards, values and principles. Although he had been nominated three times by the Council of the University for the Post of Vice Chancellor, he was not appointed to the post because of his uncompromising and independent stance.

    Based on the confidence on Prof.Kumaravadivel’s administrative capability and his track record on academic and research career, His Excellency the President appointed him for a period of five years from May 2015 as one of the members of the University Grants Commission, which is the apex body of the sixteen Universities in the country.

    His contribution to the development of the Sri Lankan universities especially to the university of Jaffna, Faculty of Science and to the department of Physics was immense and will always be remembered by them.


Academic Qualifications


  • PhD, University of Bristol, October 1975
  • BSc Special degree in Physics(First Class Honours), University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, 1966-1970
  • Joined the University of Jaffna in 1976
  • Prior to that worked in the Universities of Peradeniya from 1968.

  • Member, University Grants Commission, May 2015 – January 2020
  • Acting Vice Chancellor, University of Jaffna, 05 June 2006 – 20 December 2007
  • Dean /Science, University of Jaffna, November 1999 - July 2010
  • Head/Physics, University of Jaffna, Feb 1985 – Feb. 1988, April 1994 – Oct. 1995, Jan. 1997 – Nove. 1999
  • Head/Computer Unit, University of Jaffna, August 1989 - October 1990
  • Head/Physics, University of Peradeniya, Jan. 1978 – Jan.1979
  • Oct. 1968 Jan. 1969 Demonstrator in Physics, University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, Ceylon.
  • Feb. 1969 July 1971 Temporary Assistant Lecturer in Physics, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
  • July 1971 July 1976 Assistant Lecturer in Physics, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
  • July 1976 March 1980 Lecturer in Physics, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
  • April 1980 July 1982 Lecturer in Physics, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka.
  • July 1982 March 1986 Senior Lecturer in Physics, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka.
  • March 1986 Dec. 1992 Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka.
  • Jan. 1993 to date Senior Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka.
  • R.Kumaravadivel, R.evans and D.A.Greenwood. The Born-Green equation for Liquid Metals, J.Phys. F (Metal Physics), 1974, Vol 4 pp 1839-48
  • R.Kumaravadivel and R.Evans Calculation of the surface energy of simple liquid metals, J.Phys. C (Solid State Physics), 1975, Vol 13 pp 793-808.
  • R.Kumaravadivel and R.Evans Effective pair potentials from structure data on liquid metals, A report presented at the Conference on Interatomic forces in Condensed matter, University of Reading, England, April 1975 (abstract only).
  • R.Kumaravadivel Theory of thermodynamic properties of liquid metals, Ph.D. theses , September 1975, University of Bristol, England.
  • R.Evans and R.Kumaravadivel Interatomic forces at liquid metal surfaces. A report presented at the Conference on Interatomic forces in Condensed Matter, University of Reading, England, April 1975 (abstract).
  • R.Evans and R.Kumaravadivel A thermodynamic perturbation theory for the surface tension and ion density profile of a liquid metal, J.Phys.C (Solid State Physics), 1976, Vol 9, pp 1891-1906.
  • R.Kumaravadivel and R.Evans The entropies and structure factors of liquid simple metals , J.Phys.C (Solid State Physics), 1976, Vol 9 pp 3877-3903.
  • R.Kumaravadivel Thermodynamic properties of liquid metals, J.Phys.F (Metal Physics) , 1983, Vol.13, pp 1607-26.
  • R.Kumaravadivel and M.P.Tosi Pair potentials and structure factors of liquid alkali metals, IL Nuovo Cimento, 1984, Vol 1, pp 39
  • R.Kumaravadivel Effective interionic pair potentials in liquid alkali metals, Publication of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy. 1984 Publication No. IC/84/89.
  • R.Kumaravadivel Intercalate layer structure in alkali metal-graphite intercalation compounds (Review) , 1985 (typescript).
  • Won the Coomarasamy Prize for Science, 1968, University of Ceylon, Peradeniya. (Awarded for achieving the highest competence at the General Science Degree Examination held in 1968).
  • Won the Dr.C.A.Hewavitharana Memorial Prize for Physics, 1970, University of Ceylon, Peradeniya (Awarded for achieving the highest competence at the Special Science Degree Examination held in 1970).
  • Appointed by the Scientific Council of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) , Trieste, Italy as an Associate Member of the Centre for the period 1982-87. This appointment was renewed for another six years in 1989. Note: The ICTP was founded by the Nobel Laureate Prof. Abdus Salam in 1967. It is funded by the UNESCO, IAEA and several other international organisations and rich countries. Associates are Scientists living in the Third World and chosen by the Centre on the basis of proven ability. At the expense of the ICTP, Associates are entitled to visit the Centre three times, each time for up to three months, over a span of six years.
  • Appointed by the Institute of Physics (London) as a referee of research papers submitted to the Journal of Physics F (Metal Physics), UK.
  • Awarded a Visiting Scientist Fellowship by the International Centre for Theoretical Physics for the academic year 1983/84.
  • Awarded a Commonwealth Fellowship by the Commonwealth Commission to spend one year at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, England as Visiting Professor (1991).
  • Participated in the Summer School on Physics of Surfaces, University of Warwick, U.K., August 1974 (Organised by the Institute of Physics, London).
  • Participated in the ‘Liquid Metals Forum’ , University of Birmingham, March 1974 and gave a seminar on ‘Born-Green Equation in Liquid Metals’.
  • Gave a seminar on ‘Pair Potentials in liquid metals’ at the University of Bristol, England , January 1975.
  • Participated in the International Conference on Interatomic forces in Condensed Matter, University of Reading, U.K., April 1975 and presented the following papers: (i) Interatomic forces in liquid metal surfaces. (ii) Effective pair potentials from structural data on liquid metals. (The Conference was organised jointly by the Institute of Physics and the Faraday Division of the Chemical Society, U.K.)
  • Presented the following papers at the Third International Conference on Liquid Metals, University of Bristol, England, July 1976. (Organised by the Institute of Physics, London): (i) The entropies and structure factors of liquid simple metals. (ii) The surface tension and ion density profile of a liquid metal. (Published in Institute of Physics Conference Series No. 30).
  • Participated in the Condensed Matter Physics Workshop of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy from July to September 1977.
  • Participated in the International Symposium on one dimensional conductors, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy in August 1977.
  • Participated in the Condensed Matter Physics Workshop of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy from July to September 1982.
  • Gave seminars on ‘Pair potentials in liquid alkali metals from experimental structure factor data’ at the Universities of Bristol and East Anglia, U.K. (August 1984).
  • Participated in a Working Party on Physics of Condensed Matter at Planetary Pressures at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy (August/September 1984).
  • Participated in the Spring College on Semiconductor devices at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy from April to June 1984.
  • Participated in the Condensed Matter Physics Workshop of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy from July to September 1984.
  • Participated in many Workshops, seminars and conferences at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy during a three months visit as a Visiting Scientist from October to December 1992.