Noted scientist and director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), K Sivan, has been appointed chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) to replace A S Kiran Kumar.
Sivan, currently director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, will succeed Kumar who took over as Isro chairman on 12 January 2015, on the day the PSLV-C40 will launch the 710 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation and 30 co-passengers (together weighing about 613 kg) at lift-off.
It will be launched from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, about 100km from Chennai, on 12 January at 09.28 am, Isro said.
The appointments committee of the union cabinet approved Sivan's appointment as Isro chief and secretary, Department of Space and chairman of Space Commission, for a tenure of three years.
The announcement comes two days ahead of the proposed historic launch of Isro's 100th satellite along with 30 others in a single mission from Sriharikota.
Sivan graduated from Madras Institute of Technology in aeronautical engineering in 1980 and completed Master of Engineering in Aerospace engineering from IISc, Bangalore in 1982, according to his bio data.
Subsequently, he completed his PhD in Aerospace engineering from IIT, Bombay in 2006.
Sivan joined the Isro in 1982 in Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project and has contributed immensely towards end-to-end mission planning, mission design, mission integration and analysis.
He held various responsibilities during his stint in Isro.
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.
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.