K Sivan, popularly known as Rocket Man for his significant contribution to the development of cryogenic engines for India's space program has been appointed as the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Dr. Sivan will replace AS Kiran Kumar who took over as ISRO chairman on 12 January 2015.
His name was recommended by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet based on the recommendation of the SCSC, according to an order issued by the ACC Secretary under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
Dr. Sivan has contributed significantly to Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and GSLV Mk-Ill vehicle design. He has been recognized for the development of the PSLV rocket that launched 104 satellites in a single mission, setting a world record in February last year.
Dr. Annadurai, Director ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore was quoted in media saying, “Any idea that comes in, he knows how to push it to the logical end of the prescribed timeline. That’s what his strength has been.”
Dr. Sivan shared in media that former legendary leaders like Vikram Sarabhai and Satish Dhawan have set high standards for the department and it is a big responsibility and honor for him to take it forward in their footsteps.
Dr. Sivan has been recognized by numerous awards like Shri Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Research Award (1999), ISRO merit award (2007), Dr. Biren Roy Space Science Award (2011, and Distinguished Alumnus Award (2013) from Madras Institute Technology Alumni Association, Chennai.
Dr. Sivan graduated from Madras Institute of Technology in Aeronautical Engineering in 1980. Then he did his ME in Aerospace Engineering from IISc, Bangalore and then moved on to earn his doctoral degree in Aerospace Engineering from IIT, Bombay in 2006. He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the Aeronautical Society of India and the Systems Society of India.