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Tamil innovator awarded OBE for breakthrough location-tracking technology

Photograph: Dr Sithamparanathan (Girton College, Cambridge)

Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan, a Jaffna-born trailblazer, has been honoured with an OBE in recognition of his pioneering work in location-tracking technology in the King's New Year Honours.

The founder of Cambridge-based company PervasID, Dr Sithamparanathan devised a cutting-edge real-time location tracking system that has been instrumental in various sectors, including NHS trusts, hospitals, aircraft manufacturing, and retail.

Originally from Jaffna, Dr Sithamparanathan's academic journey commenced at the University of Sheffield before pursuing a PhD at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. It was during this time that he developed the groundbreaking tracking system. Reflecting on his journey, he expressed gratitude to Cambridge for providing a platform that enabled him to explore possibilities and reach his full potential.

Acknowledged for his exceptional contributions to innovation technology and his advocacy for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in education, Dr Sithamparanathan emphasized the significance of his team's dedication and innovation in receiving the honour. He highlighted the excitement of innovation and the challenges involved in transitioning ideas from the laboratory to practical implementation in the real world.

Speaking on his journey, he told the BBC, "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."

Read more from the BBC here.

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