OBE Honor for Sri Lankan Origins Innovator

Innovator Behind Revolutionary Battery-Free Location Tracking Technology, Sabesan Sithamparanathan, Receives OBE in King's 2024 New Year Honours List

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Sri Lankan-born founder of Cambridge, UK based tech company PervasID [ Supplied Photo]

In a groundbreaking recognition of his contributions to innovation technology and STEM education, Dr. Sabesan Sithamparanathan, the pioneer of the world’s most accurate battery-free real-time location tracking technology, has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the King’s 2024 New Year Honours List.

Dr. Sithamparanathan’s revolutionary RFID (Radio-frequency identification) systems, boasting near 100% accuracy and an impressive 20-meter detection range without the need for batteries, have found applications in various sectors globally. These include deployment in several NHS trusts, major aircraft manufacturers, airlines, and blue-chip retailers.

RFID systems utilize electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and locate tags attached to objects. Dr. Sithamparanathan’s innovations have significantly surpassed industry standards, achieving over 99% accuracy compared to the typical 80%, with an extended detection range.

Born and educated in Sri Lanka, Dr. Sithamparanathan’s journey in technology began with studies in physics, maths, and chemistry. His pursuit of excellence led him to the UK, where he studied Electronic Engineering at the University of Sheffield on a scholarship, earning a prestigious Sir William Siemens Medal. Following this, he embarked on a remarkable career, including a stint as a student electronic engineer at tech giant ARM and eventually pursuing a PhD at the University of Cambridge.

Establishing his company, PervasID, to commercialize his innovations, Dr. Sithamparanathan seamlessly blended academia with commercial viability. His entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with his ability to secure funding and mentorship, propelled PervasID into a multimillion-dollar global enterprise, raising over $10 million in investment.

PervasID’s technology has been transformative in various industries. Major retailers have adopted it for accurate inventory management, enhancing sales and customer satisfaction. In manufacturing, it aids in tracking supplies, preventing safety incidents in critical sectors such as aerospace. In healthcare, the technology ensures the traceability of medical devices, a crucial aspect highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyond his entrepreneurial endeavors, Dr. Sithamparanathan has become a thought leader in the industry, advocating for STEM education and mentoring students. His numerous accolades include the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Entrepreneurs Award, Young Engineer of the Year and Silver Medal, The UK ICT Pioneer of Connected World Award, Sir George Macfarlane Medal, and a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation. Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), he was also named in Business Elite’s “40 Under 40” in 2023.

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email: editor@slguardian.org

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