ESR7 – Speciation & Transport of REE in Passive Treatment Systems (PTS) of the Iberian pyrite Belt.

ESR7 – Dileesha Jayahansani Kottehewa

The Early Stage Reasercher (ESR) for this research topic is Dileesha Jayahansani Kottehewa.

Hello everyone!

I’m Dileesha Jayahansani Kottehewa from Sri Lanka, currently working as a Probationary Lecturer attached to Department of Applied Earth Sciences in Uva Wellassa University of Sri Lanka.

In 2013, I graduated with my BSc. in Mineral Resources and Technology with Water Science and Technology Specialization from Uva Wellassa University in Sri Lanka and then in 2017, with my MSc. in Water technology from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. I have been fascinated and intrigued about surface science and its application in (waste)water treatment starting from my bachelor’s degree.

Therefore, I am incredibly excited about having the opportunity to investigate on speciation and transport of REE in Passive Treatment Systems of IPB as an Early stage researcher under Marie Curie Innovative Training Network, PANORAMA project as this involves in surface science and modelling. Moreover, having opportunities to work with high-tech analytical tools, the secondments and training opportunities involve in this PhD position excite me further to apply for this position as I believe, those will be hugely beneficial for me as a researcher in sharpening my research skills and soft skills and, expanding my networking.

Apart from those, it is inspiring for me to work with a PhD topic which has a direct application at the end rather than sitting pretty in an archive.

Looking forward to embark on a PhD journey with a good start and with a vision of a successful end (Doctorate!)

This Early Stage Researcher will be hosted in SCK-CEN and supervised by Delphine Durce and Sonia Salah.

This research topic’s goal is to investigate speciation and transport of REE in Passive Treatment Systems (PTE) within the Iberian Pyrite belt.

This shall be done by studying the remediation relevant chemical reaction in order to appreciate the efficiency of various components used in the PTS.


Three secondments are planned:

  • Universidad de Huelva (two months): Field sampling;
  • Synchrotron Soleil (twice, half a month): Characterization of REE binding to secondary phases;
  • Amphos21 (three months): Thermodynamic database development with REE.

The researcher will be enrolled in Doctoral degree in Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.