Faculty & Staff

Photo of Renuka Manchanayakage, Ph.D.

Renuka Manchanayakage, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Phone: 570-372-4608
Office Location: Natural Sciences Center - Rm 322 A
Office Hours:
9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., MWF
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., TTH

Personal Web Page

Academic Credentials:
PHD, SUNY Binghamton
BS, University of Sri Jayawardenepura

Manchanayakage teaches Organic Chemistry, Green Chemical Concepts and Perspectives. Her main focus is to integrate sustainability in both teaching and research. In her course, Green Chemical Concepts taught in Fall 2010, she covers the sustainability from a chemistry perspective.

Her major research area is organic synthesis using sustainable methods. Within this broad area, Manchanayakage focuses on the study of environmentally benign solvents and reaction methods. In the ongoing quest to improve the environmental compatibility of chemical synthesis, alternatives to conventional organic solvents have attracted increasing attention in recent decades. In her research, she studies metal-mediated allylation reactions using environmentally benign solvents such as water and room-temperature ionic liquids (RTILs). RTILs are poorly coordinated ionic salts with no measurable vapor pressure at room temperature. They show some intriguing properties such as high thermal and chemical stability, non-flammability, recyclability and high-loading capacity. She also uses a green technique; electrosynthesis in studying reductive cyclization reactions for natural product synthesis. In this method, organic reactions are conducted in an electrochemical cell. The method consumes no organic reagents and promotes the bond formation between functional groups of the same reactivity or polarity. The detailed understanding of the mechanistic implications of these reactions and the application of the products in biologically important natural product synthesis will be a main focus of this research.

Manchanayakage collaborates with a number of Susquehanna students; some have presented their work at chemistry research conferences. Under her guidance, students gain valuable experience of methods and techniques used in Organic Chemistry, Organometallic Chemistry and Electro-organic Chemistry. Manchanayakage has published her research in Organic Letters, Tetrahedron and Tetrahedron Letters. She is also a member of American Chemical Society, ACS Organic Chemistry Division, Pennsylvania Academy of Science and Gamma Sigma Epsilon, a Chemistry Honors Society.


  • CHEM-102L General Chemistry II Lab
  • CHEM-221 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM-221L Organic Chemistry I Lab
  • CHEM-222 Organic Chemistry II
  • CHEM-222L Organic Chemistry II Lab
  • CHEM-300 Topics in Chemistry
  • CHEM-400 Research Experience
  • CHEM-500 Problems in Chemistry
  • CHEM-505 Seminar
  • HONS-301 300-Level Honors Seminar

Course Catalog

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