Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan

Born in Madduvil South near Chavakachcheri in Sri Lanka, Sivalingam Sivananthan attended Jaffna Hindu College. In 1980, he graduated from the University of Peradeniya with a B.Sc in Physics. He served as an assistant lecturer at the University of Peradeniya and Batticaloa University for two years. In 1985, he obtained his M.Sc in Physics and later in 1988 a Ph.D in Physics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He joined the University of Illinois at Chicago as an research assistant in 1983 and is currently the Director, Microphysics Laboratory at the Department of Physics and Distinguished Professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In May 2013, Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan was recognized as a “Champion of Change” at the White House for his contributions to the changes he pioneered. For his exemplary citizenship, he was awarded the “Outstanding American by Choice” award by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2013.

Crain’s magazine recognized Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan as one of the top 50 most influential tech funders and founders in Chicago. He pioneered the growth of Mercury Cadmium Telluride and other II-VI materials by the molecular beam epitaxy process. This work has become vital beyond night vision technology but also has numerous applications in the solar, medical, auto and other industries.

He remains an outstanding teacher with awards for excellence in teaching physics for over 25 years at the University of Illinois at Chicago and served on more than 57 M.S. and Ph.D thesis committees.

In 1998, Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan founded EPIR Technologies Inc. to provide specialized photovoltaic materials for the infrared and solar industries as well as to provide research and development services to government agencies and industry. In 2009, he launched Sivananthan Laboratories Inc. (Siva Labs); a premier business incubator located in the Chicago area, focused on promoting economic growth in Illinois and the United States through fostering cutting-edge, fundamental research and development.

With the able leadership and support of Sivananthan Laboratories, many companies such as Episensors, Inc, Episolar, Inc, Epimaterials, Inc and the Institute of Solar Photovoltaic Innovation, Research, and edutraining (InSPIRE) organization were born. Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan serves as the Chairman of the Board at the non-profit InSPIRE Institute promoting research, development, workforce training and technology commercialization within the solar and renewable energy industry.

In 2000, Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan was appointed a member of the editorial board of Journal of Infrared and Millimeter Waves and currently serves this position. Also since 2000, Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan serves as a Program Committee member, U.S. Workshop on the Physics and Chemistry of II-VI Materials.

In 2003, Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan testified before the U.S. Congressional House Committee on Small Business on the need to strengthen small businesses for the retention of infrared materials technology and the removal of the dependence on foreign suppliers. Since 2006, Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan has served as an adviser to the Sri Lankan Graduate Student Association at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Since 2009, Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan has served a Visiting Professor-Overseas at the Anna University in Chennai, India.

Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan maintains close working ties in Sri Lanka with University of Peradeniya, Ruhuna, Jaffna and Kelaniya. Faculty and students from these universities have been supported in their several visits to the U.S. where they received extensive training and in photovoltaic solar cell technology.

Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan has authored or co-authored more than 200 refereed journal articles and conference proceedings.

Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan resides in Illinois with his wife and children.