International Roundtable On Lightning Protection

Lightning causes serious losses, injuries and deaths. In South and East Asia, Africa and South America the problem is even more severe due to the high occurrence density of lighting, the large population and the rapid and unplanned industrialization. Lack of information and awareness are barriers hindering the development of protection systems.


22-25 MAY 2007

Organised by

Centre for Science & Technology of the Non-aligned and Other Developing Countries ( NAM S&T Centre ),
New Delhi, India and National Science and Technology Commission (NASTEC), Colombo, Sri Lanka


Lightning is a natural hazard that causes serious economical losses and personal injuries and deaths in many parts of the world. Especially in South and East Asia, Africa and South America the problem is even severe due to the high occurrence density of lighting, the large population and the rapid and unplanned industrialization. The lack of information in this part of the world regarding the lightning related characteristics is one barrier that hinders the development of protection systems. The other barrier is the poor knowledge among the engineering community on lightning and lightning protection and the lack of awareness among the general public in lightning safety.
Considering the importance of Lightning Protection as one of the needful areas of research in various parts of the developing world, the Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre) announces the organisation of a 4-days International Roundtable on “Lightning Protection” at Colombo, Sri Lanka during 22-25 May 2007 jointly with the National Science and Technology Commission (NASTEC), Sri Lanka and invites nominations from the government ministries/departments and R&D institutions of the member countries of the NAM S&T Centre and other developing countries for participation in the same.

The International Roundtable on Lightning Protection is designed with the view of meeting and addressing various issues related to lightning protection. The program will be conducted under the following themes.

1. Fundamental concepts of Lightning Physics
2. Lightning detection and warning systems
3. Lightning safety and education
4. Protection of structures
5. Protection of LV and HV power systems
6. Protection of communication and data lines
7. Latest development in surge protective devices

The programme aims to update the knowledge and share the experience of the participants in the latest information on Lightning Physics, need for lightning protection, designing, implementing and maintaining lightning protection systems, and the current international situation and trends with regard to lightning protection. The programme also intends to educate the activists and potential activists who operate or intend to operate Lightning Awareness and Information Centres in the NAM countries so that they will disseminate the knowledge of the safety concerns of human beings, livestock and household items to the society.

About the NAM S&T Centre
The Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre) is an inter-governmental organisation with a membership of 40 countries spread over Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America. The Centre was set up in 1989 in New Delhi, India in pursuance of the recommendations made in various NAM Summits for the promotion of science and technology cooperation among developing countries. The Centre undertakes a variety of programmes, including organization of workshops, meetings, symposiums and training courses and implementation of collaborative projects and offers short-term research fellowships to the scientists from the developing countries in association with various Centres of Excellence. The Centre also brings out technical books and other publications in different subjects. These activities provide opportunity for scientist–to–scientist contact and interaction, familiarising participants on the latest developments and techniques in the subject areas, identification of training requirements and expert assistance, identification of technologies for transfer between member countries, dissemination of S&T information, etc. The Centre also encourages academia-research-industry interaction in the developing countries through its NAM S&T – Industry Network programme.

The National Science and Technology Commission (NASTEC) is the apex policy formulating and advisory body to the government of Sri Lanka on S&T matters. It was created by an Act of Parliament and came into operation in August 1998. NASTEC as a policy making apex body of scientists fulfils a need that has been highlighted for a long time by the Sri Lankan scientific community.
The objects and functions of NASTEC have been incorporated in the Science and Technology Development Act No 11 of 1994. The Chairman heads the Commission consisting of six eminent Sri Lankan scientists. The Director is the Chief Executive Officer and the Scientific Programme Managers facilitate and manage the Expert Study Groups and various consultative forums.
Since NASTEC staff does not comprise of experts in each and every field in S&T, there is a considerable dependence on consultant scientists. Therefore, as empowered by the S&T Act, Study Groups comprising the experts and consultants with prescribed qualification are appointed to work out matters related to S&T issues. The system of consultation also includes a Young Scientists Forum, a Senior Scientists Forum and a Forum of Directors, that contribute towards achieving NASTEC’s objectives.

Roundtable Participants
The selection of the participants will be strictly based on merit and the quality of the resume of presentation material to be submitted along with the completed Nomination Form. A pre-condition for participation in the Roundtable is that each participant must present a Country Status Report and/or a scientific/research article on lightning protection during the roundtable and must submit the final manuscript of the presentation material at least a fortnight before the commencement of the Roundtable.
English will be the official language of the Roundtable.

Roundtable Date and Venue
The Roundtable will be held during 22-25 May 2007 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Resource Persons
The resource persons for the Roundtable will comprise eminent lightning protection specialists from Sri Lanka and other countries.

Submission of Nominations
Experts and scientists desirous of participating in the Roundtable, excepting those from Sri Lanka, are required to submit their nomination form directly to the NAM S&T Centre as early as possible but latest by 23rd April 2007. The form should be completed in all respects and no column should be left blank.
Applicants from Sri Lanka should however submit their requests directly to the National Science and Technology Commission (NASTEC), Colombo.
The submitted application should contain an extended abstract of the presentation to be made in the Roundtable.

Presentation of Papers
Each selected participant will be required to present a research paper or country report in any of the themes indicated above.

Publication of Proceedings of the Roundtable
A technical publication based on the proceedings of the Roundtable, including the country status reports, scientific articles and key note papers presented during the Roundtable will be brought out by the NAM S&T Centre soon after the Roundtable. The scientists and experts finally selected to attend the Roundtable will be required to submit the full manuscript of their papers as per the Centre’s prescribed guidelines at least 15 days before the commencement of the Roundtable.

Financial Arrangement for Travel
This is being conveyed separately to the member countries of the NAM S&T Centre and other developing countries.

Local Hospitality and Travel within Sri Lanka
Local hospitality including accommodation, meals and local transport for the participants will be arranged by NASTEC, Sri Lanka for the period 21 – 26 May 2007 i.e. one day before and one day after the completion of the Roundtable. The participants will have to make their own arrangements of stay beyond these dates and therefore they are requested to book their flights accordingly.

Entry Formalities
Visitors must be in possession of a current passport or any other internationally recognized travel document. They must be endorsed for travelling to Sri Lanka and have a period of validity of at last six months beyond the time of stay allowed in Sri Lanka.

Immigration & Health
Participants of the Roundtable should have a valid visa for entry into Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan embassy / high commission located in the country of participants should be approached for obtaining an entry visa. If required, NASTEC, Sri Lanka will facilitate the issuance of a visa by providing the participants with an official letter of invitation. Participants of the Roundtable from yellow fever endemic countries must ensure that they obtain a Vaccination Certificate before arrival in Sri Lanka.

About Colombo and Its Surroundings
Colombo is the largest city and the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. The official administrative capital is Sri Jayawardenepura, Kotte, just 10 Km (6 miles) away from Colombo. Adjacent to the Port of Colombo is the oldest part of the city, dating back to the Portugese period and traditionally known as the Fort. It is here that most of the gracious old buildings from the Dutch, Portuguese and British colonial eras are to be seen. The eastern part of the city is home to the Pettah bazaar district, which is an experience in itself and a good place to do a spot of souvenir shopping as well as brush up on your haggling skills. Further south is the city’s seafront known as Galle Face Green, where locals enjoy games of cricket, fly kites or take evening strolls watching the sunset. The city’s other main attraction is the Dehiwala Zoo, which has an eye catching daily elephant show. Those looking to have a glimpse of Sri Lankan culture and history should check out the Art Gallery and the National Museum, which both contain some very worthwhile exhibits. The nearest beach is about 20 minutes away at Mt Lavinia although it is not as beautiful as some of the more southern beaches. A major university, numerous colleges, several Buddhist and Hindu temples, churches, mosques and many more, attract visitors to Colombo year round.

People and Culture
Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country. It is a land of religious freedom and tolerance. It has a population of 19.5 million, of which the majority is Sinhalese. Buddhism is the major religion while other religious groups are Hindus, Muslims and Christians. Sri Lanka's literacy rate of 88.6% is one of the highest in Asia. Sinhala and Tamil are official languages in Sri Lanka. English is widely spoken and understood. Place names and signboards on buses and trains are usually in all three languages.

Other Useful Information
- Sri Lankan currency is Rupee (SLR).
- 1.00 USD (United States Dollar) ≈ 104 SLR (Sri Lanka Rupees)
- Sri Lankan Standard Time is 5.5 hours ahead of GMT.
- The temperature during the period is likely to be around 28-30˚C min/max.
- The voltage is 220 volts / 50 Hz.
- International dialing code: +94
- Internet Domain: lk

- Individual participants or their governments / institutions will be required to bear the following costs:
- All expenses in the home country incidental to travel abroad, including expenditure for passport and visa, required medical examinations and vaccinations and miscellaneous expenses such as internal travel to/from the airport of departure in the home country.
- Salary and other related allowances for the participants during the Roundtable.
- Cost of medical insurance to cover the period of their participation in the Roundtable in Sri Lanka.
- The organisers will not assume responsibility for the following expenditure in connection with the participant’s attendance in the Roundtable:
- Insurance, medical bills or hospitalisation fees.
- Compensation in the event of death, disability or illness of participants.
- Loss of personal belongings or compensation for damage caused by climatic or other conditions.
- Travel or other costs incurred by the dependents, who might accompany the participants.

Contact Details


Prof. Arun P. Kulshreshtha,
Centre for Science & Technology of the Non-Aligned and other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre),
Zone-6A, 2ndFloor, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road,
New Delhi – 110003,INDIA
Tel: +91-11-24645134, 24644974; Fax: +91-11-24644973
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Mr. M. Bandyopadhyay,
Senior Expert & Administrative Officer
Address, Tel. and E-mail: (O) as above. Tel. (R) +91-11-29941203


Dr. R. D. Guneratne,
Director/Chief Executive Officer,
National Science and Technology Commission (NASTEC),
320, T.B. Jayah Mawatha,
Colombo 10, SRI LANKA
Tel: +94-11-2685141, 2687724, 2687725; Fax: +94-11-2683755
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]

Dr. Chandima Gomes,
Chairman, Expert Study Group on Lightning Protection Measures of NASTEC,
Department of Physics,
University of Colombo,
Colombo 03, SRI LANKA
Tel: +94-(0)-777396438; Fax: +94-11-2683755
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]

In order to avoid confusion, interested scientists from countries other than Sri Lanka may in the first instance please correspond only with the NAM S&T Centre, and not with NASTEC. All these applications will be initially processed by the NAM S&T Centre. Scientists from Sri Lanka should however submit their requests to the NASTEC.

From 22 May 2007
Until 25 May 2007
Colombo, Sri Lanka
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