Professor in Facilities Management, Co-Director - Centre for Sustainable Transitions (CST),
Universty of Central Lancashire
Champika was born in Sri Lanka and came to the UK after gaining a PhD full scholarship at Glasgow Caledonian University in 2003. Most of Champika's educational journey took place in Sri Lanka, with the Sri Lankan education system influencing her academic journey. Unlike the UK, where individuals can choose their undergraduate degree/path; in Sri Lanka, there is a selection process based on A-level grades, with Champika being assigned to quantitative surveying degree at University of Moratuwa, the main Engineering University in Sri Lanka. Due to the Sri Lankan selection system, opportunities for male and female students to go onto higher education were the same, with Champika being the first person in her family to go onto further education. She graduated with a first class honours in Quantity Surveying and was given the opportunity to take on a lectureship role within the university. She then moved to the UK in 2003 to do a funded PhD on 'the role of FM in the control of healthcare associated infections' in Glasgow Caledonian University. Champika came to UCLan in 2008 as a lecturer, with the support offered by colleagues and line managers enabling her to progress through the different roles within UCLan. Champika has been a senior lecturer, reader and was recently (Sept 2019) promoted to a Professor, making her the first female professor in School of Engineering at UCLan. Through sheer hardwork and perseverance, she was able to access a range of opportunities and experiences, such as developing a strong international research portfolio. By securing funding, including from Horizon 2020 and EU ERASMUS+, Champika has been able to carve a research path, developing a range of internal, national and international projects and networks. For Champika, her race has not prevented her from succeeding, with the Engineering school having a diverse workforce and post-graduate student population.