Employment & Experience

Dilanthi’s current achievements are part of a development process that started several years ago when she began her academic career as a lecturer at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka in 1994, which she began immediately after the completion of BSc (Quantity Surveying) Degree with First Class Honours at the same University.

Subsequently, in October 1997, she was awarded the prestigious Overseas Research Scholarship Award, which enabled her to begin her doctoral studies at the University of Salford, UK. In 2001, she received her PhD and since then, she has continued to develop her research in a manner that demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence, to encouraging colleagues and students to fulfil their full potential, and to promoting the University as a leading institution within the subject discipline of the built environment. The key contributions Dilanthi has made have been in providing leadership within the international research community, within the University and peer respected research in issues relating to capability building within a construction context. The strengths she has brought to these activities are critical scholarship and leadership.

Dilanthi’s commitment to excellence and her leadership qualities have been recognised with promotion and additional management responsibilities. After five years at Salford as an Overseas Research Award scholar, Research Assistant/Part-Time Lecturer, and then a Research Fellow, she became a Lecturer at then the School of Construction and Property Management in 2002. Dilanthi was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2004 at the School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, UK. In 2007, Dilanthi was promoted to the post of Professor with a focus on disaster management that has influenced her work since then. She has moved to the University of Huddersfield in September 2014 and will continue her research and scholarship in disaster resilience whilst leading its Global Disaster Resilience centre.


Current appointment

  • Professor of Disaster Risk Reduction and ManagementThe University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH, UK. Appointed 1st September 2014-date
  • Head, Global Disaster Resilience Centre. September 2014-date. What would it be like to live in a world in which government authorities, businesses, communities, and individuals work together to create a society that can withstand the effects of unforeseen events and threats? At the Global Disaster Resilience Centre, we are working with stakeholders at the global, national, and local level to make this happen.

Immediate previous appointment

  • Professor of Disaster Management, School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, UK. Responsible for promoting research and scholarly activity in disaster mitigation and reconstruction. 2006 – 31st August 2014
  • Associate Head of School (International), School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, UK. 2009 – 2014.
  • Head, Centre for Disaster Resilience, School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, UK. September 2009 to 2014.

Previous appointments

1997 to 2006 – University of Salford, UK

  • 2004 – 2006. Senior Lecturer (full-time), School of Construction and Property Management, University of Salford, UK
  • 2002 – 2004. Lecturer (full-time), School of Construction and Property Management, University of Salford, UK
  • 2002 – Sep. 2002. Research Fellow (full-time), Salford Centre for Research and Innovation (EPSRC IMI), School of Construction and Property Management, The University of Salford, Salford, UK.
  • 2001 – Dec. 2001. Centre for Facilities Management Fellow (full-time). I was leading the team of the newly established Centre for Facilities Management at the School of Construction and Property Management.
  • 1998 –Sep.2002. Lecturer (part-time) in Quantity Surveying. School of Construction and Property Management, University of Salford, Salford, UK.
  • 1999 – Jan. 2001. Research Assistant (full-time).School of Construction and Property Management, University of Salford, Salford, UK.
  • 1997 – 2000. Overseas Research Students Awards Scholar.Research Institute for the Built and Human Environment, University of Salford, Salford, UK.

Jan. 1994 – Sep. 1997 University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

  • Lecturer (full-time).Department of Building Economics, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
  • 1994 – Sep. 1997. Commonwealth teaching counterpart. Commonwealth Fund for Technical Corporation (CFTC) Expert. Department of Building Economics. 1996 – 1997.

Current external responsibilities

  • Steering committee member of the UK Alliance for Disaster Research (UKADR). UKADR seeks to foster innovative interdisciplinary research, as well as professional applied research structures to be able to predict or respond to slow and rapid onset hazards with relevant scientific advice.
  • Appointed member of the MCR2030 Regional Coordination Committee for Europe, UNDRR Regional Office for Europe would like to invite you to join. Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) is an initiative led by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and its partners to support cities in taking action to reduce disaster risk in alignment with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Launched in October 2020 and operational in January 2021, MCR2030 emerges from a decade long of advocacy and capacity building work that reached more than 4,000 cities across the globe within the network of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign. Through its Regional Coordination Committee (RCC-Europe), MCR2030 brings together key regional partners and selected city representatives, responsible for coordinating and ensuring synergies among regional partners in providing technical support to cities to empower them to progress along with the resilience roadmap.
  • Invited member of the UNDRR GRAF working group (Global Risk Assessment Framework Working Group on Risk Communication). 2020 –
  • Expert member, ICG/IOTWMS WG-1 on Tsunami Risk, Community Awareness & Preparedness. IOC-UNESCO, Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS). The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), established in 1960 as a body with functional autonomy within UNESCO, is the only competent organization for marine science within the UN system. Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS) Member List including all Indian Ocean surrounding 28 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, British Indian Ocean Territory, Comoros, Djibouti, France – Reunion, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. 2018-
  • Formally appointed international expert of IOC UNESCO ICG/IOTWMS inter-sessional Task Team on “Tsunami Preparedness for a Near-Field Tsunami Hazard”. The Task Team will work towards enhancing Tsunami preparedness for near-field tsunami hazard including improving end-to-end national warning chains learning from the recent tsunami events. The Task Team will report to the Steering Group and be composed of representatives from WG-1, WG-2, WG-NWIO, IOTIC, interested Member States and international experts with a Chair and Vice-Chair. 2018 –
  • An international expert on “A Regional Assessment of DRM Institutions in the South Asia Region” with Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, a partnership with Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC). We will engage with key stakeholders in each country as well as regional stakeholders such as UN agencies, civil society organisations, and bilateral and multilateral development partners. This is a World Bank initiative. 2019 –to date
  • Appointed as a Steering Committee Member of the Royal Academy of Engineering with specific input to the frontiers of Development programme, from April 2019, which is a programme across the Royal Academy of Engineering, The Academy of Medical Sciences, The British Academy and The Royal Society. It is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund that supports cutting-edge research to address the challenges faced by developing countries.
  • Member of the European Commission’s European Science & Technology Advisory Group (E-STAG), Joint Research Center (JRC) and UNISDR. The principal goal of the European Scientific and Technical Advisory Group (E-STAG) is to provide scientific and technical support to the 56 European and Central Asian countries for the implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR, and other DRR related relevant frameworks or policies in the EU.
  • A member of the Advisory Board of the Federation of Local Governments Authorities Sri Lanka (FSLGA) for the period 2018-2022 new term of the local council, to ensure strategic direction and guidance needed ahead. The Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities (FSLGA) is the umbrella organisation for all 346 local government associations in Sri Lanka.
  • Member of the Advisory Committee of the Association of Disaster Risk Management Professionals (ADRiMP) of Sri Lanka. The ADRiMP will work towards nurturing a culture of safety in Sri Lanka from the impact of disasters and climate change and will provide policy advice and facilitate capacity building services including strategic learning, research, training, system development, expertise promotion and exchange of information for effective DRR
  • Joint Editor in Chief, International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment. Published by Emerald Publishing, UK. The journal, indexed in SCOPUS and ISI Web of Science™Core Collection, Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) and published by Emerald Publishing, UK, is the only journal in the field to promote research and scholarly activity that examines the role of building and construction to anticipate and respond to disasters that damage or destroy the built environment (http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/ijdrbe.htm)
  • Global Working Group Co-Leader. Words into action – leading UNISDR (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) Words into Action Guidelines on Accountability within the context of disaster risk governance
  • Global Working Group Leader, Words into action – leading UNISDR (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) Words into Action Guidelines on Construction Practice and Policy.
  • Board of AdvisorsArticle 25.  Article 25 is an architecture charity based in London.
  • Visiting Professor, UTM Razak School, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Malaysia.
  • International Expert, Ministry of Disaster Management, Sri Lanka

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