Eminent scientist K. Sivan, known as the “Rocket Man” for his significant contribution in the development of cryogenic engines for India’s space programme, was on Wednesday appointed as the new Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Currently the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Center in Thiruvananthapuram which is responsible for the design and development activities for all launch vehicles, Sivan will succeed A.S. Kiran Kumar and have a three term as the ISRO chief.
Sivan’s appointment was cleared by the Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC) on Wednesday. It comes at a time when ISRO is planning to outsource construction of satellites and rockets for future launches.
Graduating from Madras Institute of Technology in Aeronautical Engineering in 1980, he took his ME in Aerospace Engineering from IISc, Bangalore in 1982. Subsequently, he completed his PhD in Aerospace engineering from IIT-Bombay in 2006.
Being an alumnus of IIT Bombay, Sivan has contributed significantly in the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and GSLV Mk-Ill vehicle design. He has been ascribed for 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.
He led the Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) project, one of the most technologically challenging endeavours of ISRO towards developing essential technologies for a fully reusable launch vehicle, and was involved in its design qualification, aerodynamic characterisation and hardware development.