University of Illinois Press Release
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.
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.
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.