He is the CEO of MIT Square based in Bangalore, India.

By Mr John Stevenson (Senior Communications Officer), Published

City, University of London’s School of Science and Technology will honour four of its most outstanding alumni at the second edition of the STEM Alumni Awards on 7th September 2023.

Dr Mithileysh Sathiyanarayanan (PhD Computer Science, 2020) has received the ‘Excellence in STEM Achievement Award', while Professor Dame Wendy Hall (MSc Computing, 1986, Honorary Doctorate in Science 2013) is the recipient of the Distinguished STEM Alumni Award. Dr Fatemeh Najibi (PhD in Computer Science, 2021) has been awarded 'Special Recognition' in the 'Excellence in STEM Achievement' category and Jaz Rabadia (BEng Mechanical Engineering, First Class, 2006 and MSc Energy, Environmental Technology and Economics, Distinction, 2009), has received ‘Special Recognition’ in the 'Distinguished STEM Alumni Award' category.

Dr Mithileysh Sathiyanarayanan is the CEO of his parents’ organisation MIT Square in Bangalore, India, which he took control over during the COVID pandemic and transformed it from a non-technological to a technological organisation.

He introduced disruptive technologies such as IoT, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, AR/VR, and expanded offices in London and USA. The organisation achieved ISO status within a year.

740692 Mithileysh has emerged as a visionary scientist-CEO with 100-plus publications, more than 50 patents and 50 awards. He has been featured in several newspapers and magazines and was invited to give a keynote talk at Westminster on UK-Global Education and Innovation.

Mithileysh has shared highlights from his times at City and his professional career with City News.

City News: What were your motivations for studying at City?  

Dr Mithileysh Sathiyanarayanan: As I was standing on the precipice of embarking on a transformative academic-industry journey, my decision to pursue a PhD at City, was driven by a tapestry of aspirations that transcend geographical borders and cultural boundaries.

Coming from a very difficult background in India, my thirst for knowledge has been insatiable. The pursuit of excellence and a burning curiosity fuelled my academic endeavors, propelling me to continuously seek new challenges and horizons. City’s reputation as a bastion of academic excellence in the field of Computer Science is unparalleled. The faculty's expertise, the state-of-the-art research facilities, and the rigorous curriculum all stand as testament to the institution's commitment to fostering intellectual growth. By studying here under the guidance of Dr Cagatay Turkay and Professor Jason Dykes, I was extremely confident that I would be equipped with the cutting-edge knowledge and skills to enable me to make a meaningful impact in my chosen field. I was really lucky to have been offered a full scholarship and a grant to work on an industrial project with Red Sift cyber company. I was curious to work on cyber intelligence, data visualisation, and how solutions could be deployed in a Google Workspace. The academic-industry collaboration created a spark in me to apply for the PhD degree programme.

CN: What were the highlights and challenges of your PhD degree programme?

DMS: During my PhD degree programme, I encountered a myriad of enriching highlights and stimulating challenges that collectively shaped my academic-industry journey. Among the most memorable highlights was the opportunity to delve into ground-breaking research in my field. Conducting original cyber investigations, collaborating with esteemed researchers, and making incremental contributions to the body of knowledge in the field, were truly exhilarating experiences. These moments not only reaffirmed my passion for research but also expanded my critical thinking and analytical skills from both industry and academic perspective.

However, the journey was not without its challenges. The pursuit of new knowledge often meant navigating uncharted territories – indeed, grappling with the ambiguity inherent in research questions was a constant trial. Balancing the demands of industry requirements, academic research, and teaching responsibilities required adept time management and resilience. Furthermore, the process of distilling complex concepts into coherent academic papers challenged my communication skills. Yet, each challenge became an opportunity for growth and learning, teaching me adaptability, perseverance, and the importance of seeking guidance from mentors and peers. I always thankful to Dr Turkay and Professor Dykes for making me a stronger personality.

CN: How did your previous career assist you to transition into and out of your degree programme at City?

DMS: My pre-doctoral fellowship at the University of Brighton served as a pivotal bridge both into and out of my doctoral fellowship, facilitating a seamless transition and enriching my academic and industry journey. Before embarking on my doctoral studies, my professional experience in cyber intelligence and data analytics provided me with a strong foundation. This background proved invaluable as I entered my PhD programme, enabling me to approach research methodologies with a pragmatic mindset and a deep appreciation for the real-world implications of my academic pursuits. Moreover, my exposure to new data visualisation techniques, equipped me with transferable skills that seamlessly translated into my research, from project management to effective communication.

Upon completing my PhD, my transition back into the professional realm was greatly facilitated by the transferable skills and insights gained during my doctoral journey. The analytical rigor honed throughout my research empowered me to approach complex challenges with a systematic and innovative perspective. Additionally, the experiences of teaching and collaborating with peers fostered a strong aptitude for teamwork and leadership. These attributes were instrumental in heading a research unit, where I continue to leverage my academic background to drive impactful projects and contribute to cutting-edge advancements. In essence, my previous career served as a guiding beacon, illuminating the path to and from my PhD programme, enriching my academic pursuits, and enabling a seamless integration into my present professional trajectory.

CN: Why would you recommend City as a place to study STEM and specifically computer science?

DMS: I wholeheartedly recommend City as an exceptional destination for studying STEM, particularly computer science, due to its unwavering commitment to academic excellence, cutting-edge research, and a vibrant learning environment. The university's distinguished faculty, comprising esteemed experts in the field, bring a wealth of experience and industry insights into the classroom, fostering an environment of intellectual curiosity and innovation. City's state-of-the-art facilities, including advanced laboratories and technology centers, offer students an unparalleled opportunity to engage in hands-on learning, enabling them to bridge theoretical knowledge with practical applications.

CN: What are the main issues facing the UK in terms of STEM from your perspective as Founder, CEO and Scientist of MIT Square?

DMS: As the founder of a technology company, my perspective on the main issues facing the UK in terms of STEM is rooted in both practical experience and a broader industry outlook. The rapid pace of technological changes that used science and mathematics poses a complex challenge. As new technologies emerge, there is a critical need for flexible and adaptable curricula that equip students with the ability to learn and apply novel skills throughout their careers. Universities and educational institutions must collaborate closely with industries and policymakers to ensure that STEM programs remain current, reflecting the dynamic demands of the tech landscape. Simultaneously, fostering a culture of continuous learning within the workforce will be essential to bridge any emerging skills gaps.

Furthermore, diversity and inclusivity within the STEM sector warrant urgent attention. Women, minority groups, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds remain underrepresented in STEM fields. To harness the full potential of innovation, the UK must actively encourage and support the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, fostering an inclusive environment that welcomes fresh perspectives and novel ideas.


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