Dr. Kailasavadivoo Sivan, Secretary, DOS / Chairman, ISRO was felicitated with the Vigyan Ratna Award from Shri Venkaiah Naidu M, Vice President during the 68th Annual Convocation of Panjab University held in Chandigarh on April 28, 2019.
Dr. K. Sivan, born in Sarakkalvilai, near Nagercoil in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu state of India, is the Chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organization and the former Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Center and Liquid Propulsion centre. He is popularly known as the “Rocket Man” for his significant contribution to the development of cryogenic engines, for India’s space programme.
With financial constraints, something faced by most farming households in rural India, he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology in 1980. Later on he got a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bangalore in 1982 and started working in ISRO. He earned a Doctoral degree in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 2006.
Sivan was appointed the chief of ISRO in January 2018 and he assumed office on 15 January, but his journey to the top was very systematic.
Sivan joined ISRO in 1982 to participate on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Project. He was appointed as the director of ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre on 2 July 2014 and on 1 June 2015, he became the Director of VSSC. He joined ISRO in PSLV Project and has contributed immensely towards end to end mission planning, mission design, mission integration and analysis. The mission design process and innovative mission design strategies perfected for PSLV has become the foundation for ISRO launch vehicles like GSLV, GSLV-MK3 and RLV-TD.
Apart from this he is the chief architect of 6D trajectory simulation software, SITARA which is the back-bone of the real-time and non-real-time trajectory simulations of all ISRO launch vehicle and developed and implemented an innovative day-of launch wind biasing strategy which has made possible rocket launch on any day of the year at any weather and wind conditions. Sivan Contributed heavily in the area of computational fluid dynamics, and developing self-reliance in wind-tunnel testing.
Novel strategies were evolved by him for launching India’s MARS mission endeavor through PSLV, ISRO’s work horse and led the RLV-TD development program, spearheaded its design, qualification, aerodynamic characterization and hardware development. He joined GSLV Project in April 2011 as Project Director with a mandate to demonstrate the robustness and reliability of GSLV as well as flight demonstrate the Indigenous Cryo Stage. His leadership led to the historical achievement of most successful GSLV flight with indigenous cryogenic stage.
It was Sivan’s expertise that gave ISRO the ability to send 104 satellites in a single mission, setting a world record on 14 February 2017. He was the key person who worked on the technicalities of how the satellites would be placed in orbit. The new ISRO chairman has also played a key role in developing the indigenous Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MK II, and was part of the team that ideated on the Swadeshi space shuttle (a reusable launch vehicle).
Sivan was appointed the chief of ISRO in January 2018 and he assumed office on 15 January.
India needs great men like Sivan, who can contribute towards the national security and research for the betterment of the society.