On Wednesday, acclaimed scientist K Sivan was appointed as the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to replace AS Kiran Kumar, who took over as ISRO chairman on 12th January 2015. Sivan is at present the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram. He is popularly known as the ‘Rocket Man’ for his significant contribution to the development of cryogenic engines for India's space programme. The announcement comes two days ahead of the proposed historic launch of the ISRO's 100th satellite along with 30 others in a single mission from Sriharikota.
Sivan, who hails from Nagercoil, graduated from Madras Institute of Technology in aeronautical engineering in 1980. Subsequently, he completed his Master of Engineering in Aerospace engineering from IISc, Bangalore in 1982 and PhD in Aerospace engineering from IIT Bombay in 2006. Sivan joined the ISRO in 1982 and has contributed significantly to Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and GSLV Mk-Ill vehicle design. He has been credited for the development of the PSLV rocket that launched 104 satellites in a single mission, setting a world record in February last year. Sivan also designed a software called Sitara, which ISRO uses for simulating trajectories of its rockets.
Sivan has numerous publications in various journals and is a fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering, Aeronautical Society of India and Systems Society of India and Indian Systems Society for Science and Engineering. He has received various awards throughout his career which includes Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from Sathyabama University, Chennai in April 2014 and Shri Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr Vikram Sarabhai Research award for 1999.
When asked what the new appointment means to him, Sivan told News18 that he ''feels like shaking''.