In the King’s 2024 New year Honours list, British Tamil Engineer Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan has been appointed an OBE for services to innovation technology and the promotion of STEM subjects in Education.
Based in Cambridge, The enterprise fellow at Girton College founded award-winning PervasID in 2011. The multimillion-dollar global enterprise has pioneered the world’s most accurate battery-free real-time location tracking technology which has transformed the healthcare, retail and aerospace industries.
Jaffna born, Dr Sithamparanathan was educated in Sri Lanka before leaving to the UK to study Electronic Engineering at the University of Sheffield on a scholarship, earning a prestigious Sir William Siemens Medal. Following a stint as a student engineer at ARM holding, a British semiconductor and software design company, he commenced his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2007.
This is where he invented and developed the world’s most accurate passive RFID real-time location tracking solution that achieves a 99%+ accuracy rate with up to 20 metre detection range, under the supervision of Professor Ian White, in the Department of Engineering at Corpus Christi College.
In an interview with the BBC, he said, “I came here as a teenager to pursue higher education. If it was not for Cambridge and the people who mentored me along the way, I would not be where I am today. Cambridge allowed me to exploit possibilities; to maximise potential. I learned from very talented professionals. At the end of the day, innovating is exciting but bringing an idea from the lab to the real world has been a real challenge. On a personal level, it is a dream come true.”
In the industrial sector, Stanley Black & Decker use the tags to track supplies from their tool cabinets used by aircraft manufacturers. Each cabinet contains over 1,000 tools, and it can result in serious safety incidents if any are left inside an aircraft.
In the retail industry, Dr Sithamparanathan’s technology integrates with third-party stock management applications to give retailers a graphical map interface that shows the location and movement of all tagged goods, preventing losses by offering real-time visibility, and enabling timely restocking, and improving click-and-collect and online order services. A crucial aspect highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.