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- I am very happy and grateful to have been awarded the GKN scholarship. I have had fantastic supervisors and work closely with GKN, among others, which is very inspiring. I am humble for the future and really want to thank and emphasize all the teamwork that takes place in our research environment, says Chamara Kumara.

This means a lot to me in my future research. I have had a fantastic research group and very good supervisors who have believed in me and my sometimes crazy ideas, which has been of great importance to be able to receive this scholarship. It is a great honor, Chamara continues.

Additive manufacturing is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry. But with additive manufacturing also comes the need for new material knowledge, not least in the case of alloy 718, which is one of the most widely used in the gas turbine industry. During additive manufacturing, the alloy is exposed to high temperatures. This applies to both the additive process and the finishing. Temperature and time are two parameters that are crucial for the final microstructure, and it in turn is crucial for the material properties.

Instead of real-life testing, Chamara Kumara performs simulations using modern computer-based models. There you can see how the microstructure changes depending on temperature and time.

- In short, my research contributes to better constructed and more goal-oriented physical experiments, says Chamara Kumara.

The core of the research effort is that the industry saves time and money because the physical experiments can more quickly arrive at the parameters that must apply in the manufacture for alloy 718 to have the desired properties. This paves the way for increased and more qualified use of additive manufacturing.

During a digital ceremony, the scholarship was awarded at University West on December 10, where Henrik Runnemalm, head of research at GKN Aerospace, participated to announce the scholarship recipient. The scholarship wants to reward special and innovative collaborative efforts and those who can apply are students and staff at University West. The scholarship covers SEK 15,000 and is awarded annually for 10 years from 2016. It was established in 2015 when GKN Aerospace turned 85 and University West turned 25.

From the jury's motivation:

Chamara Kumara’s appetite for research and his innovative problem-solving skills were evident already from the early weeks of his employment as a PhD student.

He has impressed with his ability to identify not only the scientific research gaps but also his consideration of the industrial relevance of these research gaps. He has a flair for expression of ideas, which has helped him set up collaborations with his peers in the department, PhD students from other universities besides the industrial partners. He is always on the lookout for opportunities to set up collaborative projects.

It is fair to say that he has made a significant contribution, both directly and indirectly, towards making University West the highest publishing organization in Sweden, on additive manufacturing of Alloy 718. His work on microstructure modelling on additive manufacturing of Alloy 718 is considered as a pioneering work in the field.

Besides the technical expertise, Chamara’s proactive personality, social skills and leadership qualities are also admirable. He has demonstrated qualities of an independent and proactive researcher and has the potential to be an excellent researcher and a leader in future.

Therefore, we believe that Chamara Kumara fulfills all the requirements for the GKN stipendium.

About the scholarship:

Contakt: Chamara Kumara,  0701-03 99 45