Faces of Research - Meet Raghupathy "Siva" Sivakumar
Jan 11, 2022 — Atlanta, GA
Meet Raghupathy "Siva" Sivakumar, Vice President of Commercialization and Chief Commercialization Officer for Georgia Tech.
What is your field of expertise and why did you choose it?
My research expertise is in wireless networks and mobile computing. The advent of wireless in communication, and specifically in the Internet, was instrumental in the explosion of usage of the Internet. Over 7 billion people own some kind of phone that relies on wireless communication and networking. Any research in this area can and does have a tremendous impact on many people. With the emerging domain of Internet of Things (IoT), wireless will have an even more profound impact on our day to day lives. These are all reasons for why I continue to be interested in the general areas of wireless and mobile.
Outside of research, I also have a strong interest in entrepreneurship and commercialization. I have founded multiple startups myself; helped launch the CREATE-X program on campus for students that have worked with over 300 ventures, and more recently took on the role of the Chief Commercialization Officer/VP of Commercialization at Georgia Tech.
Why do you think commercialization is so important at Georgia Tech?
Universities are increasingly realizing that they have to be better custodians of the process of creation of impact using their technologies and talent. I see commercialization as being the primary pathway that drives this impact. Interestingly, commercialization in academia is still largely an unsolved problem. If we manage to figure out how to do commercialization effectively, we will not just change Georgia Tech but academia, around the country and the world.
What impact is Georgia Tech commercialization having on the world?
Georgia Tech commercialization has been having a tremendous impact in several different domains. On the technologies side, a great example is Sila Nanotechnologies - a startup founded by one of own professors Gleb Yushin. Sila is going to change the face of battery technologies in several different areas. On the talent side, a great example is Stord - a startup founded through CREATE-X by one of our students Sean Henry. Stord is one of the fastest growing companies and just recently became a unicorn.
What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not working on your research or teaching?
I love spending time with my family - with my wife Neelima, son Nirvan, and dog Sherlock. I like to read and run (not at the same time). During the pandemic, I have grown a renewed liking to chess and am actively trying to get better at it.