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UIC Physicist Named White House Champion of ChangeArticle by Jeanne Galatzer-Levy
“Immigrants have long made America more prosperous and innovative...” - U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park
(WASHINGTON DC) - Sivalingam Sivananthan, professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has been named a White House Champion of Change. He was presented with the honor at a ceremony this morning at the White House.
The honor recognizes immigrant innovators and entrepreneurs—”the best and brightest from around the world who are helping create American jobs, grow the economy and make our nation competitive in the world,” the White House said in a press release.
Sivananthan’s work with a semiconductor material, mercury cadmium telluride or MCT, is at the heart of night vision technology and made the raid that took down Osama Bin Laden on a moonless night possible. Developing “technology that protects our protectors” has given him the opportunity to give back to his adopted country, said Sivananthan.
“Immigrants have long made America more prosperous and innovative, and the Champions we are celebrating today represent very best in leadership, entrepreneurship, and public service,” said U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park. “We are proud to recognize these leaders who work every day to grow our economy, advance science and technology, and support their home communities.”
Sivananthan is the founder of the high-tech, Bell-Labs-styled incubator, Sivananthan Laboratories, Inc. in Bolingbrook, Ill. The Laboratories’ focus is on infared technology, radiation detection, materials research and biosensors.
Because, at its most fundamental, MCT technology is about transforming light into electricity, Sivananthan is also leading an effort to develop next-generation solar power. To that end, he helped found InSPIRE (the non-profit Institute for Solar Photovoltaic Innovation, Research, and Edu-training), whose mission is training Illinois’s workforce and exciting Illinois undergraduate and high school students to create a renewable energy and solar eco-system in Illinois.http://news.uic.edu/uic-
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