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Election for FIG Chair Commission 4 (Hydrography) for the term 2023-2026: Chair for the Commission 4 (on hydrography) Dr. MDEK Gunathilaka

International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) is the largest global association representing the profession of surveying which was founded in 1878. FIG is a United Nations recognized non-governmental organization of national member associations, mapping agencies and ministries, universities and corporates from over 120 countries. FIG covers the whole range of professional fields within the global surveying community, hereunder surveying, cadastre, valuation, mapping, geodesy, hydrography, geospatial, and quantity surveyors and provides an international forum for discussion and development aiming to promote professional practice and standards. FIG’s technical work is led by ten Commissions. The work of each Commission is led by the Chairperson, elected for four-year term of office by the General Assembly at the Congress.

During the FIG General Assembly 2021, Dr. MDEK Gunathilaka has been elected as the chair for the Commission 4 (on hydrography) for the term 2023-2026. Further, he will hold the position ‘Chair-elect’ for the Commission 4 from 2021 to 2022, which will be considered as preparation years to get acquainted with the tasks in cooperation with the FIG, current chairs & related working groups and then he is expected to take over the task as Commission Chair form 2023 to 2026. FIG Commission 4 is focusing on development and recognition of standards of competency, development of technical standards and guidelines, developing and promoting the need to manage our oceans and seas in a sustainable manner, and a comprehensive investigation of plastic pollution at source that is concerning global environmental problem. Here, Faculty of Geomatics is grateful to the Surveyors’ Institute of Sri Lanka (SISL) for nominating him for this position during the FIG General Assembly 2021 as the FIG member institute for Sri Lanka.

Dr. Gunathilaka is currently working as a senior lecturer grade-I at the Department of Surveying & Geodesy and he joined the faculty in 2004 an instructor in Surveying Sciences. He is a graduate in BSc Surveying Sciences from the Faculty of Geomatics, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka in 2004. Later he completed his MSc and PhD in Hydrography from University of Technology Malaysia. He is also a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and also a member of the Australasian Hydrographic Society. During his career, he has made significant contributions to the development of Faculty. With his coordination, Faculty initiated a specialisation degree programme in Hydrographic Surveying at the Faculty in 2015 for the first time in the history of Sri Lanka. Further, this degree programme has obtained the FIG/IHO/ICA Category B professional recognition for Hydrographic Surveyors and Nautical Cartographers from its inception. Apart from that, he has successfully conducted several consultancy projects related to hydrography through the university and actively engaged with the related research work over the years.