Upul Wijayantha

Favourite Thing: Playing with materials science, electrochemistry and semiconductors.



St. Mary’s College, Hambantota, Sri Lanka.


University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka in 1993. MPhil (at the Institute of Fundamental Studies, Sri Lanka) in 1997 and completed a PhD (at the University of Bath, UK) in the area of semiconductor photoelectrochemistry in 2000.

Work History:

Demonstrator (University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka), Research Student Fellow (Institute Fundamental Studies, Sri Lanka), Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Dept of Chemistry, University of Bath, UK), Senior Scientist & then Programme Manager (Hydrogen Solar Ltd, UK), Lecturer & then Senior Lecturer (Department of Chemistry, Loughborough University, UK)


Loughborough University

Current Job:

Senior Lecturer in Physical Chemistry

Me and my work

I’m working on clean renewable energy

I am currently researching: Solar Cells : The work is underway to develop the next generation of solar cells that are cheaper to make than the current silicon based solar cell by using nanocrystalline semiconductor photoelectrochemical cells. Solar Hydrogen Generation: The key objective of this work is to study light-induced water slitting to make hydrogen gas by oxidation (O2 evolution) and reduction (H2 evolution) reactions on novel nanostructured semiconductor electrode surfaces.

My Typical Day


Get up, tea, plan for the day, e-mail, breakfast, come to work, lunch, go home,  play with children, and family company, e-mail, go to sleep.  

What I'd do with the money

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Energetic, ambitious, kind hearted

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Lionel Richie

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Travelling for a day disguised as traders to see the lover of a friend.

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

I would wish to be happy, healthy and quiet.

What did you want to be after you left school?

A medical doctor

Were you ever in trouble at school?

Yes, caught by a teacher when I read novel during a teaching session

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Contributing to the concept of use of natural dyes in artificial photosynthesis (use of natural dyes as light absorber material in solar cells)

Tell us a joke.