Dr. K. Sivan graduated 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. He joined ISRO in 1982 in PSLV Project and has contributed immensely towards end to end mission planning, mission design, mission integration and analysis. The mission design process and innovative mission design strategies perfected for PSLV has become the foundation for ISRO launch vehicles like GSLV, GSLV-MK3 and RLV-TD. He is the chief architect of 6D trajectory simulation software, SITARA which is the extensively used the real-time and non-real-time trajectory simulations of all ISRO launch vehicles. He commissioned world class simulation facility in ISRO for mission synthesis and analysis which is used for mission design, sub-system level validation and integrated validation of avionics systems in all ISRO launch vehicles. He developed and implemented an innovative day-of launch wind biasing strategy which has made possible rocket launch on any day of the year at any weather and wind conditions. He evolved novel strategies for launching India's MARS mission endeavor through PSLV, ISRO's work horse. He also led the RLV-TD development program and spearheaded its design, qualification, aerodynamic characterization and hardware development.
He joined GSLV Project in April 2011 as Project Director and was instrumental in achieving the successful GSLV flight with indigenous cryogenic stage. During his career at ISRO, he has held many responsibilities like Group Director, MSSG, Project Director, RLV-TD, Deputy Director, Aeronautics Entity, Deputy Director, Structures Entity, Project Director, GSLV, Chief controller, VSSC and Director, LPSC from July 2014. He 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 numerous awards throughout his career which includes Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from Sathyabama University, Chennai in April 2014, The Distinguished Alumnus Award 2013 from MIT Alumni Association, Chennai, Dr Biren Roy Space science award for the year 2011, ISRO merit award for the year 2007 and Shri Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Research award for the year 1999.