Dr. MDEK Gunathilaka

Senior Lecturer


Email :


  • PhD in Hydrography, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

    MSc in Hydrography, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

    BSc in Surveying Sciences, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka.


  • Dr. M.D.E.K. Gunathilaka a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Surveying and Geodesy, Faculty of Geomatics at the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka. His main responsibility is teaching Hydrographic Surveying subjects and conducting related practical components for undergraduate and postgraduate students. His research interests are in the field of Hydrographic Surveying and Spatial Sciences. Apart from that, he is the programme coordinator for BSc in Surveying Sciences Specialisation in Hydrographic Surveying (IBSC FIG/IHO/ICA Category B). Further, he is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) and Member of the Australasian Hydrographic Society. In 2022, Dr. Gunathilaka appointed as the chair of the commission 4 (on hydrography) of International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) for the term of 2023 to 2026.

    Research Interests

  • Climate Change, Sea Level Rise and Coastal Innundation Modelling

    Tidal Studies

    Swath Sounding Systems

    Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure

    Offshore Navigation and Positioning


    Current Research Projects

  • Co-investigator : An Assessment of Tidal Asymmetry around the Sri Lankan Coastline, (with National Hydrographic Office of Sri Lanka, NARA) 2020-2021.

    Principal Investigator: An Investigation into Sea Level Rise in Sri Lankan Waters with Satellite Altimetry, Sabaragamuwa University Research Grant 2016 - SUSL/RG/2015/16 – Rs. 195,000.00

    Coinvestigator: Development of a Unified Vertical Reference Framework for Land and Hydrographic Surveying in Sri Lanka - National Science Foundation Research Grant 2017 – RG/2017/EA/ &ICT/01 – Rs. 1,653,280.00

    Coinvestigator: Diffusion of Survey Profession in Sri Lanka, Sabaragamuwa University Research Grant 2016 - SUSL/RG/2016/15 – Rs. 792,500.00

    Recent Publications

    1. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., Wishwajith, K.L.K.K. & Rathnayake, R.M.D.I. Satellite derived bathymetry for rapid investigation for possible navigational channel design for coastal wind farm installation: a case study at Silavathurai, Sri Lanka. Discov Appl Sci 6, 54 (2024).        
    2. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., Karunathilaka I. & Perera A.N.D. (2023). Developing an Algorithm to Improve Positioning Accuracy of Low-Cost Global Navigation Satellite System Modules, Journal of Applied Geospatial Information (JAGI), 7(2), pp 1050-1058. DOI:
    3. Fernando, P., Lewis, S., Perera, A., & Gunathilaka, M. (2023). Resolving problems in symbol identification in compilation of electronic navigational charts utilising paper charts, The Journal of Navigation, 76(2-3), pp. 394 – 411. DOI:

    4. Prasanna, H.M.I., Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K. & İz, H. B (2023). Sea level variability at Colombo, Sri Lanka inferred from the conflation of satellite altimetry and tide gauge measurements, Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 51(2), pp 205-214. DOI: 10.4038/jnsfsr.v51i2.10713

    5. Prasanna, H.M.I. and Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K. (2022). Detection of GPS-levelling datum variation using heterogeneous data: A case study in Sri Lanka. Journal of Geospatial Surveying, 2(1), pp.1–6. DOI: 10.4038/jgs.v2i1.34

    6. Perera, A.N.D. and Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., 2022. Rapid Assessment Survey Using Side Scan Sonar: International Obligations and Role of Hydrography in Ensuring Safety of Navigation – Case Study of the Aftermath of MV X- Press Pearl Incident. Journal of Geospatial Surveying, 2(1), p.7-10.DOI:

    7. Gunathilaka M.D.E.K. and Kannangara W.S. (2021). An Investigation into Sea Level Rise in Sri Lankan Waters with Satellite Altimetry. Journal of Geospatial Surveying, 1(2), pp.14–22. DOI: http://10.4038/jgs.v1i2.30

    8. Prasanna H.M.I., Gunathilaka M.D.E.K. and Welikanna D.R. (2021). Development of a unified vertical reference framework for Land and Hydrographic surveying in Sri Lanka, Marine Geodesy, DOI: 10.1080/01490419.2021902889.
    9. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., and Ratnayake, R.M.D.I. (2020). An Analysis of Tidal Asymmetry around Sri Lankan Coastline, Invited Paper. KL Geo Hydro 2020, Webinar, 7-8 December 2020.
    10. Abeyrathna, H.M.S.P., Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., and Perera, A.N.D. (2020). A Geo-Physical Investigation into the Colombo Port Seabed using Sub Bottom Profiler. KDU IRC 2020, Ratmalana, 10-11 September 2020.
    11. Semasinghe, S.N.S.B.R.L., Kumara, G.L.T., Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., and Ariyarathne, R.K.A. (2019). Establishment of Hydrographic Datum for Mandaitivu Island for National Charting. KDU IRC 2019, Ratmalana, 11-12 September 2019.
    12. Nilanjana, K.M.G., Thanusan, K., Puveenthiran, M., Anushan, R., and Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K. (2019). Computation of Luni-tidal Interval in East and West Coast of Sri Lanka, NARA Scientific Sessions 2019, National Aquatic Research Agency Colombo, 26 July 2019.
    13. Aziz, K.N.A., Mahmud, M.R., Hasan, R.C., Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., Peter, B.N., Tajam, J., Roslani M.A., and Kamaruddin, S.A.  (2018). Water Column Features and Seafloor Characteristics Using Simultaneous Multibeam Water Column Detection. Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology (JAMT), vol. 12, no. 2, December 2018.
    14. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K. (2018). Towards a Professional Bachelor’s Degree: Faculty of Geomatics, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka. The 10th Higher Education International Conference on Innovation and Developments in Teaching and Learning Quality Assurance, November 20-22 Macau 2018.
    15. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., Kannangara, K.K.D.W.S., and Samarapperuma S.A.H.M. (2017). Estimation of Sea Level Rise in Colombo with Satellite Altimetry Data. KDU IRC 2017, Ratmalana, 3-4 August 2017.
    16. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., Fonseka, P.G.C.C., Priyasad, J.K.S.M., Yasarathna, K.H.J.I., and Madhushanka, H.R.S. (2017). Latency Effect on Single Beam Echosounder Bathymetry. NARA Scientific Sessions 2017, Colombo, 27 July 2017.
    17. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., Pussella, P.G.R.N.I., and Munasinghe, D.S. (2016). Role of Spatial Sciences in Blooming the Blue Economy, Sri Lanka Journal of Marine Environmental Sciences 1, pp.57-60.
    18. Pussella, P.G.R.N.I., Munasinghe, D.S., Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., and Karadana, C.A.(2015). Land Valuation Systems using GIS Technology Case of Matara Urban Council Area, Sri Lanka. Bhumi, The Planning Research Journal. Vol 4 Issue 2, pp.7–16, November 2015.
    19. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K. (2015). Inculcating Professionalism in to the University Degrees: Experience of the Faculty of Geomatics, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka. KDU IRC 2015, Ratmalana, 27-28 August 2015.
    20. Munasinghe, D.S., Pussella P.G.R.N.I., and Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K. (2015), Integration of GIS and AHP for Suitable Site Selection of Domestic Wastewater Treatment Plant – A Case Study of Akkaraipattu Municipal Council , 20th  International Forestry and Environment Symposium, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, 16-17 October 2015.
    21. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., and Mahmud, M.R. (2014). Ceaseless Tidal Zoning for Straits of Malacca using Spatial Interpolation. FIG Working Week 2014, Malaysia; 16-21 June 20
    22. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., Munasinghe, D.S., and Kavinda, H.M.A. (2013). A Conceptual Model for Marine Cadastre for Sri Lanka. NSS 2013, National Aquatic Research Agency Colombo, Sri Lanka; 29 November 2013.
    23. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., and Mahmud, M.R. (2013). Fast Tidal Modelling Application Development for the Straits of Malacca. 3rd Annual Research Sessions 2013 - Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka; 19 December 2013.
    24. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., and Mahmud, M.R. (2013). Spatial Distribution of the Sounding Datum in Johor Estuary. First National Symposium on Marine Environment, Marine Environment Protection Agency-Sri Lanka; 27-28 August 2013.
    25. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., and Mahmud, M.R. (2012). Modelling the Tidal Datum Variability at the Straits of Malacca. 11th International Symposium and Exhibition on Geoinformation (ISG 2012), Kuala Lumpur- Malaysia; 25-26 September 2012.
    26. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., and Mahmud, M.R. (2011). Tidal Modelling Using the Numerical Solution of Laplace’s Equation for Offshore Applications. 10th International Symposium and Exhibition on Geoinformation and ISPRS Commission II/5 & II/7 Conference, Shah Alam-Malaysia; 27-29 September 2011.
    27. Rubasingam R., Mahmud M.R., and Gunathilaka M.D.E.K. (2011). Comparative Study Between Flat and Uniform Bottom Assumptions for Snippet Imageries in Hydrographic Applications. Geoinformation Science Journal, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, pp 41-51, Vol 11, Number 2; Dec 2011.
    28. Kumari, Y.M.R.N., Gunathilaka M.D.E.K., and Ariyarathne, R.K.A. (2009). Tsunami Inundation Mapping in Sri Lanka. East Asia Hydrographic Symposium and Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur-Malaysia; 20-22 October 2009.
    29. Ariyarathne, R.K.A., Ranaweera, S.R.C., Kumari, Y.M.R.N., and Gunathilaka M.D.E.K. (2009). NTRIP for Land and Hydrographic Positioning in Sri Lanka. East Asia Hydrographic Symposium and Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur-Malaysia; 20-22 October 2009.
    30. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., Wikramanayake, W.A.L., and Perera, D.N.D. (2009). Identify the Impact of Tide Level for River Basin Flooding. National Conference on Water Food Security and Climate Changes. International Water Management Institute of Sri Lanka (IWMI); Colombo 9-11 June 2009.
    31. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., and Mahmud, M.R. (2008). Mitigating Refraction in Multibeam Bathymetry. 7th International Symposium and Exhibition in Geoinformation 2008 (ISG2008), Malaysia; 13-15 October 2008.
    32. Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., and Mahmud, M.R. (2008). Inadequate Sound Velocity Profile Measurement Artefacts in Multibeam Echosounder System Data. 7th International Symposium and Exhibition in Geoinformation 2008, Malaysia; 13-15 October 2008.
    33. Mahmud, M.R., Gunathilaka, M.D.E.K., and Kelvin, T.K.W. (2007). An Appraisal of Multibeam Echosounder Calibration. Joint International Symposium and Exhibition in Geoinformation & GPS/GNSS 2007, Malaysia; 5-7 November 2007.