Dr. Swaminathan Sivaram is a polymer chemist by profession and a mentor as well as a science administrator of distinction. He is a former Director of the CSIR – National Chemical Laboratory, Pune (2002-10), Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Fellow of CSIR (2010-2015) and J. C. Bose Fellow of the Department of Science and Technology (2006-2014). Currently, he is an Honorary Professor Emeritus and INSA Emeritus Scientist at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, Honorary Professor at IISER-Kolkata and a Professor of Eminence in Polymer Science at Somaiya Vidya Vihar University, Mumbai. From 1973 to 1988, Dr Sivaram was associated with the Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited and helped build the first petrochemicals and polymer industrial R&D Centre in India. He moved to CSIR-NCL in 1988 as the Head of the Polymer Chemistry Division.
Dr. Sivaram is a highly decorated scientist with numerous awards and honours to his credit. He was conferred Padma Shri by the President of India in 2006. He is a recipient of the Gold Medal of the Chemical Research Society of India for his life-time achievements in chemistry (2019) and the International Award for distinguished contributions to polymer science, awarded by the Society of Polymer Science, Japan (2017). Dr. Sivaram earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Madras Christian College (1965) and is a distinguished alumnus of IIT-Kanpur (M.Sc., 1967). He earned a PhD in Chemistry and DSc (h.c) from Purdue University, W. Lafayette, Indiana, USA. He is an elected Fellow of all the learned academies of science and engineering in India as well as The World Academy of Sciences, Trieste, Italy. He is a technical consultant to several reputed Indian companies and serves on the Board of Directors of many leading Indian companies dealing with chemicals and materials.
He was a founder Chairman and director of Venture Centre, A Section 8 company, Pune one of the first science driven technology business incubators established in India in 2004. He is also a founder Director of AIC-Society for Entrepreneurial Education and Development and I-HUB Quantum Technology Foundation, both located within IISER, Pune.
Dr. Sivaram ‘s research interest concerns polymer synthesis, surface chemistry of polymers, porous polymers for energy related applications, biodegradable polymers, organic-inorganic hybrids, nanocomposites and structure-property relationship in polymers. This apart, he is deeply interested in subjects such as sustainability issues, sustainable energy technology and policies, history of science as well as understanding the inter-play of science, technology and public policies. He has authored close to two hundred and fifty papers in peer-reviewed journals, edited two books and authored one book. He is cited as an inventor in fifty-one issued US and European patents as well as fifty-two Indian patents. He has supervised the doctoral thesis of about forty students and mentored over fifteen post-doctoral fellows in a research career spanning fifty years.