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II-VI Expert And EPIR Founder Honoured At White House

The SPIE awarded Siva Sivananthan for his contributions to the development of II-VI photovoltaic materials
Sivalingam (Siva) Sivananthan, founder and Chief Executive Officer of EPIR Technologies, Inc. (EPIR) was honoured at a White House ceremony on May 29th as one of eleven Champions of Change.

Siva Sivananthan

"Immigrants have long made America more prosperous and innovative, and the Champions we are celebrating today represent the very best in leadership, entrepreneurship, and public service," said US Chief Technology Officer Todd Park. "We are proud to recognise these leaders who work every day to grow our economy, advance science and technology, and support their home communities."

Sivananthan is a University of Chicago (UIC) alumnus, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Microphysics Laboratory (MPL) at the Department of Physics at UIC. He is a fellow of American Physical Society (APS) and SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics.

He was honoured by SPIE for his contributions to the development of II-VI photovoltaic materials, and received the fellowship on May 1st 2013 at the SPIE Defence, Security and Sensing symposium in Baltimore.

Sivananthan says, “I started EPIR in 1998 to provide research and development for mercury cadmium telluride technology, and to eventually become a manufacturer for infrared materials and devices. I saw the need and opportunities for a horizontally-integrated merchant supplier in the infrared imaging and sensor market. Military requirements necessitate research and development work done at industrial as well as university laboratories."

Working with leaders in US defence agencies and industry, Sivananthan vigorously promoted the need for on-shore capabilities and horizontal integration for infrared materials and devices. He has given testimony on Capitol Hill and has consistently advocated for the need to do all that is necessary to protect those who protect us.

In 2005 he was awarded the “Friend of the Night" award and the “Conquest of Darkness" medallion by the director of the Night Vision Laboratory,. Fenner Milton. The medallion symbolises the theme that, “…research and experiment cause knowledge and light to flow from the darkness…"

Sivananthan is presently leading strategies at EPIR to strengthen its infrared material foundry and focal plane array (FPA) fabrication facilities. EPIR is collaborating with DRS Technologies, FLIR Systems and BAE Systems in these efforts.

DRS is now qualifying the material from EPIR, Vice President of Technology of DRS Network and Imaging Systems, James Robinson says, “The ultimate goal is to qualify EPIR as a merchant supplier of HgCdTe material for DRS NIS’s future cooled products…" BAE Systems has licensed to EPIR the fabrication of its Liquid Phase Epitaxy (LPE) Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) detector array technology.

Sivananthan’s optimism, often well founded, is a characteristic he has grown up with. He says, “My parents are teachers and the confidence level I was given was very strong, ‘You can do it,’ I was told all the time."

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