Kailasavadivoo Sivan

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K. Sivan
The Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Dr. K. Sivan addressing a press conference on the occasion of ‘Lunar Orbit Insertion of Chandrayaan-2 Mission’, in Bengaluru on August 20, 2019 (cropped).jpg
K. Sivan addressing a press conference on Chandrayaan-2
Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation
Assumed office
15 January 2018
Preceded byA. S. Kiran Kumar
Personal details
Kailasavadivoo Sivan

(1957-04-14) 14 April 1957 (age 62)
Mela Sarakkalvilai,
Kanyakumari District,
(present-day Tamil Nadu), India
EducationSouth Travancore Hindu College, Nagercoil (B.Sc)
Madras Institute of Technology (BE)
Indian Institute of Science (ME)
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (PhD)

Kailasavadivoo Sivan (born 14 April 1957) is an Indian space scientist and the chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organization.[1][2] He has previously served as the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center and the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Sivan was born in Mela Sarakkalvilai, near Nagercoil in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu state of India.[4] His parents are Kailasa Vadivu and mother Chellam.[5] Sivan is known for his significant contribution to the development of cryogenic engines, for India's space programme.[citation needed]


Sivan is son of a farmer and studied in a Tamil medium Government school in Mela Sarakkalvilai Village and later in Vallankumaranvilai in Kanyakumari district. He is the first graduate from his family.[6] Later Sivan graduated with a bachelor's degree in engineering from Madras Institute of Technology in 1980. He then got a master's degree in aerospace engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 1982, and started working in ISRO.[citation needed] He earned a doctoral degree in aerospace engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, 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.[citation needed]


Sivan worked on the design and development of launch vehicles for Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). 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.[7] On 1 June 2015, he became the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.[8] Sivan was appointed the chief of ISRO in January 2018 and he assumed office on 15 January.[9] Under his chairmanship, ISRO launched Chandrayaan 2, the second mission to the moon on July 22, 2019.[10]


  • 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 Madras Institute of Technology Alumni Association, Chennai
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award (2018) from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  • He was conferred Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from Sathyabama University, Chennai in April 2014.[11]
  • Tamil Nadu government’s Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Award. (2019)[12]


  1. ^ "Renowned scientist Sivan K named new ISRO chairman". The Times of India. 10 January 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Sivan K named new ISRO chairman". The Economic Times. 10 January 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Dr. Sivan takes over as LPSC director". The Hindu. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  4. ^ "A humble farmer's son to Isro's 'Rocket Man': Incredible journey of K Sivan".
  5. ^ Raman, A. Ragu (12 January 2018). "Fighting odds: Once mango trader now Isro chairman". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  6. ^ "K Sivan: A humble farmer's son's journey to Indian Space agency top job". The Times of India. 11 January 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  7. ^ Correspondent, Special (2 July 2014). "New Directors at ISRO centres". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  8. ^ New directors for major ISRO centres
  9. ^ "K. Sivan takes charge as new ISRO chairman". The Hindu. 16 January 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Chandrayaan-2: Success in India's second attempt at launching Moon mission".
  11. ^ "Who is K. Sivan?". Sharan Poovanna. Livemint. 12 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  12. ^ "ISRO Chairman Sivan gets A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Award". The Hindu. 15 August 2019.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
A. S. Kiran Kumar
ISRO Chairman
Succeeded by