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1 July, 2021 - 20:54 By Tony Quested

Solid silver as PervasID CEO is honoured by Royal Academy of Engineering

The founder and CEO of Cambridge RFID specialist PervasID – Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan – has been honoured with a Silver Medal from The Royal Academy of Engineering.

The award recognises an outstanding and demonstrated personal contribution to UK engineering, which results in successful market exploitation, by an engineer with less than 22 years in full-time employment. PervasID is developing best-in-class battery-free RFID reader systems for automating inventory and asset tracking.

Sabesan has previously won a Royal Academy of Engineering Engineers Trust Young Engineer of the Year award, the Sir George Macfarlane Medal 2016 for excellence in the early stage of his career, an Engineering Enterprise Fellowship and most recently Pervas won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation.

He said: “Knowing where assets are located is a critical requirement for organisations of all sizes across a huge range of industries and sectors. Our Cambridge-developed battery-free RFID technology allows enterprises of all types to keep track of their inventory and asset cost effectively with unparalleled accuracy and speed.”

PervasID, backed by leading strategic investors such as Stanley Black & Decker, is the result of Dr Sabesan’s groundbreaking work as a PhD student at the University of Cambridge. 

His work in the area of battery-free RFID tag tracking has been internationally recognised and resulted in four patents. As founder and CEO, Sabesan successfully grew PervasID from its inception to become a global enterprise, providing transformative solutions to healthcare, industrial, security, retail and supply chain and logistics sectors with a complete product suite of the world’s most accurate passive RFID readers.

RFID systems use electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and wirelessly track tags which are attached to assets. Battery-free RFID tags contain electronically stored information and can be linked up as components of intelligent networks, with sensors to determine their location from a distance. 

RFID tags conventionally suffer from ‘dead spots’ where tags are not detected well within the range of the reader. PervasID overcomes this problem and achieves near 100 per cent accuracy in detecting battery-free tags to less than one metre over wide areas.

In commercial trials against all other competitors, PervasID says it achieved more than 99 per cent tag detection accuracy over a 20-metre distance compared to 80 per cent achieved over 2-metre to 3-metre distance using conventional approaches.

PervasID’s customers include some of the world’s the largest aircraft manufacturers, Stanley Black & Decker, blue chip retailers and NHS hospitals including Guy's and St Thomas' in London. 

Stanley Black & Decker also uses the tags to track supplies from its 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.

It is estimated that Foreign Object Debris costs the aviation industry $13 billion per year in direct and indirect costs, including flight delays, plane changes and fuel inefficiencies. 

In healthcare, PervasID solutions are being deployed in NHS hospitals for tracking surgical instruments to enhance decontamination and sterilisation processes and for tracking hospital assets to ensure that mission critical medical devices are available at the right place and time, for robust and efficient care. 

The need for this level of traceability of medical devices has been particularly evident in the COVID-19 pandemic. The solution is predicted to save billions for NHS hospitals and to save lives.

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