Kailasavadivoo Sivan, a pioneer in the field of space science is currently the head of India’s top space research organisation Indian Space Research Organization. Sivan who has previously served as the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center and the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, is the first graduate from his family.
Born to a farmer family, Sivan did his schooling from a Tamil medium Government school in Mela Sarakkalvilai, Kanyakumari. He went on to do his graduation from the much renowned Madras Institute of Technology in 1980. He furthered his education in engineering and over the next two years successfully completed his Masters in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Sciences.
Just after his Masters from IISc, he joined ISRO in 1982 to participate in the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Project. He worked on the design and development of launch vehicles for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
In July 2014, he was appointed as the director of ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre. A year later he became the Director of VSSC.
In January 2018, Sivan was appointed as the chief of ISRO. Under his chairmanship, ISRO launched Chandrayaan 2, the second mission to the moon on July 22, 2019
Sivan is well known for his significant contributions to the development of cryogenic engines, for India’s space programme.
Few of the prestigious awards won by Sivan:
Shri Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr Vikram Sarabhai Research award (1999)
ISRO merit award (2007)
Dr Biren Roy Space Science award (2011)
Distinguished Alumnus Award (2013) from MIT Alumni Association, Chennai
Distinguished Alumnus Award (2018) from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
Conferred Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from Sathyabama University, Chennai in April 2014
Tamil Nadu government’s Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Award. (2019)