Dr Nilmini Dissanayake
Nilmini Dissanayake joined the Centre for Natural Material Innovation (CNMI) as a Postdoctoral Research Associate and is currently involved in the EU Horizon funded project WOODCIRCLES. This innovative project aims to improve the circularity of wood used in construction by reusing and recycling to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation and materials consumption. Nilmini will assess sustainability using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to quantify the environmental impact when reused and recycled wood is used for construction.
Nilmini completed her PhD at the University of Plymouth on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for flax fibre reinforced polymer matrix composites. She worked at the University of Exeter as a postdoctoral Researcher on a project funded by EPSRC to improve mechanical properties of natural fibre reinforced composites for potential use in automotive body panels. Following a 5-year career break, she joined NPL as Higher Scientist, having been awarded a Daphne Jackson Fellowship in 2018 to return back to research. During the fellowship, Nilmini investigated the influence of moisture uptake on natural fibre reinforced polymer matrix composites using accelerated aging techniques, and mechanical creep was modeled using TTSP (Time-temperature super positioning) by DMA (Dynamic Mechanical Analysis). She led projects in the area of sustainability of fibre reinforced composites and durability of natural fibre reinforced composites. Her work included, investigating the data quality and measurement gaps that exist within the LCA framework for composites, developing a set of recommendations and guidelines to improve the data quality and investigating traceability of recycled carbon fibre.
Nilmini is a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), Chartered Scientist (CSci) and a fellow of Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining (FIMMM). She is also a member of IOM3 Natural Materials Group, Composites Group – Sustainability working group and the chair of the local society Southern Counties Materials Minerals and Mining Society (SCMMMS). Nilmini has represented NPL in British Standards Institute (BSI) committee for Environmental Management Life Cycle Tools.
Nilmini’s research interests include natural materials, natural fibre composites, sustainability, circularity of materials, recycling, materials cascading, durability and environmental impact assessment.