Associate Dean of the Graduate School
Professor of Civil Engineering
Sunanda Dissanayake, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, professor of Civil Engineering joined the Graduate School in the summer of 2018 as its full time Associate Dean.
As the associate dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Dissanayake assists the dean of graduate school in all aspects related to the graduate education at the Kansas State University. Such activities include recruitment and retention of graduate students, admissions of graduate students, assisting with professional development activities, promoting graduate and professional education, facilitating program quality, and advocating for graduate students through various venues.
In her role as the Associate Dean, Dr. Dissanayake works with Academic Affairs committee of the Graduate Council on all matters pertaining to graduate courses, curricula, programs, and graduate faculty membership, where specific duties may include: reviewing proposals concerning graduate courses, graduate curricula, graduate programs and program-specific criteria for graduate faculty membership prior to their consideration by the Graduate Council; and the reviewing of existing graduate curricula and programs.
She is also the Graduate School liaison for the Assessment and Review Committee and handles the reviewing, evaluating, and approving assessment plans and Board of Regents (BOR) program review documents submitted by various graduate programs throughout the university, reviewing the current procedures for graduate program review, identifying methods to incorporate feedback data from the assessment process, determine the feedback mechanism to the graduate programs and the Graduate Dean, and submit recommendations to the Graduate Council's Committee on Planning to update the Graduate Handbook.
Dr. Dissanayake represents the Graduate School on numerous university committees including Associate Deans Research Council, Presidential Committee on Multi-cultural Affairs, Global Campus Advisory Council, Global Campus eLearning Committee, College International Advisory Council (CIAC), and is a member of Kansas Council of Graduate Deans and Council of Graduate Schools among others.
Prior to joining the Graduate School Dr. Dissanayake has been a professor of civil engineering at Kansas State University (KSU), specializing in the area of transportation engineering. Dr. Dissanayake joined the department of civil engineering at K-State in 2002 as an assistant professor. She was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2008, and became a full professor in 2014. She completed a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka; a master's degree in transportation engineering from the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand; and a doctorate degree in civil engineering from the University of South Florida.
In 2011, Dissanayake received the prestigious Fulbright Award for a sabbatical leave, and served as a senior scholar for the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. Her research focuses on studies related to solving applied and practical problems related to transportation engineering, with particular emphasis on traffic operations and safety of the highway mode. She was recently appointed as a high-end foreign expert in traffic safety and as a member of the First Advisory Board for Joint International Research Lab of Transportation Safety at Tongji University in Shanghai, China.
She has authored and co-authored more than 50 journal papers and presented more than 165 papers at national, international, and regional conferences, most of which are proceedings papers. She has been highly active in several professional societies, a member of two journal editorial boards, a member of two TRB technical committees, and the chair of the Transportation Safety Committee of ASCE/T&DI. She has won the Outstanding University and Professional Service Award, Advisor of the Year Award, Outstanding Teacher Award, and Outstanding Researcher Award at KSU Civil Engineering Department several times. She has successfully completed numerous externally funded research projects in the area of Transportation Engineering and taught courses related to those topics at KSU, preparing the future generation of Civil Engineers ready for real world.
Dr. Dissanayake can be reached at 785-532-6191 or firstname.lastname@example.org.