Nandula Wanasekara

Nandula Wanasekara

Senior Research Scientist

Applied Technologies

Solving challenging problems in material-related fields faced by New Zealand companies.

I am a Senior Research Scientist with the Microsystems and Polymers group at Callaghan Innovation. My expertise is in polymer/material characterisation to link the role of chemistry and structure to properties as suited for given applications. We have developed and characterised materials such as water absorptive polymers, functional polymers and natural polymers for a variety of applications in the fields of technical/medical textiles and engineered textile/polymer composites.

I have interest in solving industrial problems related to polymer/material synthesis and characterisation to match with the desired application. My experience with extraction of nanocellulose and biomass-derived carbon fibers, electrospinning nanofibers combines with textile/garment design and manufacturing to deliver bespoke material solutions for industries. 

Areas of expertise
  • Polymer and material analysis for bespoke applications
  • Polymer/textiles recycling and upcycling strategies
  • Triboelectric nanogenerators/wearable electronics
  • Bespoke composite design for different applications
  • Cellulose nanomaterial extraction and characterization methods
  • New textile fibre design and manufacturing strategies
  • Electrospinning nanofibers for bespoke applications

PhD, Polymer Science, Case Western Reserve University-USA, 2014 

Memberships and awards
  • President's Award for Scientific Research - 2023
  • Outstanding Research Award with Distinction (by University of Moratuwa) - 2020
  • Gold Medal for Best Performance in Textile Engineering (by University of Moratuwa) - 2007
Selected publications
  • Nethmi SL Dissanayake, Maadri A Pathirana, Nandula D. Wanasekara, Boris Mahltig, Gayani K Nandasiri, Removal of Methylene Blue and Congo Red Using a Chitosan–Graphene Oxide-Electrosprayed Functionalized Polymeric Nanofiber Membrane, Nanomaterials, 2023, 13, 1350.
  • Maadri A. Pathirana, Nethmi S. L. Dissanayake, Nandula D. Wanasekara, Boris Mahltig, Gayani K. Nandasiri, Chitosan-graphene oxide dip-coated polyacrylonitrileethylenediamine electrospun nanofiber membrane for removal of the dye stuffs methylene blue and congo red, Nanomaterials, 2023, 13, 498.
  • Dumidu G. Dassanayaka, Tiago M. Alves, Nandula D. Wanasekara, Ishara. G. Dharmasena, J Ventura, Recent progresses in wearable triboelectric nanogenerators, Advanced Functional Materials, 2022, 32, 2205438.
  • K. R. Sanjaya Gunawardhana, Nandula D. Wanasekara, K. Gamage Wijayantha, R. D. Ishara Dharmasena, Scalable textile manufacturing methods for fabricating triboelectric nanogenerators with balanced electrical and wearable properties, ACS Applied Electronic Materials, 2022, 4, 678-688.
  • Vishakha T. Weerasinghe, D.G. Kanchana Dissanayake, W. Pamoda T.D. Perera, Nadeeka D. Tissera, Ruchira N. Wijesena and Nandula D. Wanasekara, All-organic, conductive and biodegradable yarns from core-shell nanofibers through electrospinning, RSC Adv., 2020,10, 32875-32884.
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