Yalpanam Lover’s ,bridge of Love -Professor Thureiraja
The Akbar Bridge connects Peradeniya University’s Akbar Hall to the other side, separated by the Mahaweli River, where lovers frequently meet and separate, where many memories are buried in the Mahaweli, where the loneliness of nightly lovers is erased, and where wild bumblebees are intoxicated in the middle of the night. It is one of the university’s seven wonders. Mr. Thureiraja, a Jaffna-born scholar, presented this wonderful gift to Peradeniya University.
Thurai, or Alagiathurairaja, was a caring and dedicated teacher and researcher. He taught many students all over the world “Turai’s Principle,” a wonderful soil mechanics principle. Thureiraja, an eminent counsellor, was born on November 10th, 1934 in Imayan, Udupiddi, northern Sri Lanka.
He was the son of Velupilla’s Alagiya and Jolyma, as well as Imayan and Vadamarachchi. He attended American Mission College in Udupiddi and Hartley College in Jaffna. Thurai graduated with first class honours from the University of Ceylon’s Colombo Campus in 1957, topping the list and maintaining a record performance.
World famouse research
He received his PhD in June 1962. Very soon his pioneering research with Roscoe and Schofield became world famous as “Cam Clay Theory” with the original dissipation function which he widely named as “Thurairaja Theorem”. Thureirajah worked in London for Terreasearch Limited in 1962 before returning to the University of Ceylon as a lecturer.
He was the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the Peradeniya Campus of the University of Sri Lanka from May 1975 to September 1977, from February 1982 to February 1985, and from April 1987 to the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the Open University of Sri Lanka. Until August 1988, Turai spent time at the University of Waterloo and the University of British Columbia. Thurai was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of Jaffna University in 1988 and resigned in 1994 due to medical reasons. He died in 1994 in Colombo. He was awarded the Mamaneetra (Great Man) honor posthumously.
Thurairaja was a member of several professional organisations, including the National Academy of Sciences (Sri Lanka), the Institute of Engineering (Sri Lanka), and the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK). In 1986, he was President of the National Academy of Sciences (Sri Lanka), and from 1989 to 1990, he was President of the Institute of Engineering (Sri Lanka). He was a geotechnical engineering expert with extensive knowledge of all civil engineering disciplines. He was an excellent role model for all of his students, and he always assisted them in gaining admission to prestigious colleges and universities around the world.
In 2016, Professor Sarath Abeykoon, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, Professor Sarath Abeykoon, gave the following quotations from the memorial lecture of Professor Thureiraja, which clearly shows the contribution of Thureiraja to engineering education in Sri Lanka. “I have met Prof. Thurairaja on several occasions, but in my mind his soul is most firmly established as a great teacher and a great man. When I got to choose a topic for today’s presentation, I struggled at first but decided on “Ethics for University Lecturers.” There I unquestionably capture Prof. Alagaiya Thureiraja.
Noble human qualities
Prof. Thurairaja’s noble human qualities included respect for others’ autonomy, creating an environment conducive to free expression, causing no physical or emotional harm, being helpful to others and accepting responsibility, fairness and justice, trustworthiness and honesty. An exceptional educator and administrator who influenced generations of students. He went above and beyond his normal teaching responsibilities to assist his students.
He lectured students for two to three hours on topics outside the scope of the undergraduate programme. His lectures not only cover geotechnical engineering but also the most recent advances in mathematics, mechanics, finite elements, and civil engineering. He encouraged people to read a lot of scientific papers.
During the 1983 riots, his strong patriotism was on full display. Prof. Thureiraja was a true patriot who, despite the difficulties that Sri Lankan universities faced in the 1980s, turned down many attractive offers of academic positions abroad in order to serve his country.
Prof. Thureiraja’s tenacity inspired many young scholars to return to Sri Lanka and uphold the ethical values and academic traditions established by Thureiraja as a great university professor. Mrs. Thureiraja Rajeshwari is his wife. They were the parents of three daughters and two sons.
Pera’s Love Bridge From Yalpanam Lover