Three centres of ISRO, viz., Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), with campuses in Thiruvananthapuram, Bangalore and Mahendragiri and Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, have new Directors (Mr. S. Ramakrishnan, Mr. M. Chandradathan and Dr. M.Y.S. Prasad respectively) from January 1, 2013.
Mr. S. Ramakrishnan, Distinguished Scientist of ISRO and hitherto Director, LPSC, has assumed the office of the Director, VSSC. He took over the charge from Mr. P. S. Veeraraghavan, the retiring Director. VSSC is the lead centre for the design and development of launch vehicle technologies for the Indian Space Programme.
Mr. Ramakrishnan graduated in Mechanical Engineering in the year 1970 from Guindy Engineering College, Chennai and got his M.Tech in Aerospace from IIT, Madras in 1972 with first rank.
Mr. Ramakrishnan joined ISRO in August 1972 and worked as member in SLV-3 Project team responsible to develop India's first Satellite Launch Vehicle under the leadership of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Subsequently, he worked in the Polar Satellite launch Vehicle (PSLV) programme and was Project Director for PSLV continuation programme during 1996-2002. Under his leadership, the PSLV was operationalised, enhancing its payload capacity from 900 kg to 1500 kg.
In 2003, Mr. Ramakrishnan took charge as Project Director, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV MkIII) and steered the Project during the crucial phase of design, engineering and first-off hardware.
He was Director (Projects) at VSSC. As Chairman, Flight Readiness Review, he played key role in accomplishing the PSLV C-11/Chandrayaan-1 Mission.
Since June 2010, Mr. Ramakrishnan is heading the LPSC, one of the lead Centres of ISRO in the area of Liquid Propulsion Systems for Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft Programmes.
His fields of specialisation are Aerospace Propulsion, Launch Vehicle Systems and Project Management.
Mr. Ramakrishnan is the recipient of many prestigious awards including National Design Award (Institute of Engineers) in 2010, ISRO Performance Excellence Award during 2006 in recognition of his contribution to Indian Space Programme in the area of satellite launch vehicles, Astronautical Society of India award for contributions to Rockets and Related Technologies development and Dr. Biren Roy award from Aeronautical Society of India in recognition of his role in the operationalisation of PSLV launches and entering into commercial launch services. Government of India conferred Mr. Ramakrishnan with Padmashree during 2003.
Mr. Ramakrishnan is a fellow of several Professional Bodies including Indian National Academy of Engineering, Aeronautical Society of India and Systems Society of India. He is also a member of International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).
Mr. M. Chandradathan, Distinguished Scientist and hitherto Director, SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota, is appointed as Director, LPSC with campuses in Thiruvananthapuram, Mahendragiri and Bangalore. He took over the charge from Mr. S. Ramakrishnan, who is appointed as Director, VSSC.
He obtained his degree in Chemical Engineering from Government Engineering College, Trissur in 1971 and M.Tech from Birla Institute of Technology in 1985. He joined ISRO in 1972. Initially, he worked for the SLV-3 Project during its design phase and later was involved in the development of solid propellant formulations for SLV-3 and over three decades, made rich contribution to the realisation of solid motors for sounding rockets, SLV-3, ASLV and PSLV.
Subsequently, Mr. Chandradathan was assigned the responsibility of development and realisation of rocket nozzles mainly for solid motors. From 2000 to 2004 he was heading the group for ablative nozzle production where he was responsible for the development and realisation of 'flex nozzle' for the S200 motor which is the strap-on booster for GSLV Mk-III. During 2002 when the core team of GSLV Mk-III was formed, he was assigned the responsibility of Project Director, S200 booster for GSLV Mk-III.
Based on his vast experience in the field of solid motors, Mr. Chandradathan became Chief Executive of the existing solid propellant (SPROB) plant for making PSLV and GSLV boosters. In 2006, he was given the additional responsibility of realising the new Solid Propellant Plant (SPP), a world class solid booster production facility for making S200 solid booster, which was successfully commissioned and operationalised in 2008.
In the same year, Mr. Chandradathan became the Director of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR. His major contributions as Director, SDSC SHAR include the enhancement of solid booster production at SPROB for multiple launches of PSLV and GSLV, realisation of S200 segments for two ground tests as well as for the first experimental mission of GSLV Mk-III, two successful ground tests of S200 boosters with identical performance, augmentation of all SDSC facilities to meet the stage preparation and vehicle integration for GSLV Mk-III, realisation of a new world class Mission Control Centre and Launch Control Centre and a large number of other new facilities to meet the future launch vehicle requirements of ISRO.
Mr. Chandradathan has been the recipient of many awards including Performance Excellence Award of ISRO for the year 2009, Outstanding Chemical Engineer Award, 2009 from Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers and 'Individual Service Award' of ISRO for the year 2006.
Dr. M.Y.S. Prasad, Distinguished Scientist and Associate Director of SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota has assumed the office of Director, SDSC SHAR. He took over the charge from Mr. M Chandradathan, who has been appointed as the Director of ISRO's Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre. SDSC SHAR with two launch pads is the spaceport of ISRO.
Dr. Prasad obtained his Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication from Government College of Engineering, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh in 1974 and obtained his Doctoral Degree from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS).
He has a long and exceptional career in Indian Space Programme, steering various activities and Programmes of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in the past four decades. He worked for almost two decades in the Launch Vehicle development programmes of ISRO from 1975 to 1994 and was part of the Project Team of SLV-3, the first indigenously developed launch vehicle of India.
Dr. Prasad was Counselor (Space) in Embassy of India, Paris from 1994 to 1997 during which he interfaced with all the Space Agencies and leading Aerospace Industries of European countries for ISRO's programmes.
He was Director of Master Control Facility (MCF) of ISRO from 1998 to 2005, which manages all geostationary Satellites of India. During his tenure the Facilities in MCF were extensively augmented. Under his leadership, a new Master Control Facility was established at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
Dr. Prasad was the Director of Development and Educational Communication Unit (DECU) and Deputy Director at Space Applications Centre (SAC) responsible for SATCOM and IT Applications Area from October 2005 to March 2008.
Dr. Prasad worked as Range Operations Director for all the launches during 2008-2010, including PSLV-C11 and Chandrayaan-1. During this period, he contributed to the realisation of a number of new facilities in SDSC SHAR.
Dr. Prasad represented India in the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS) and its Science and Technology Sub-Committee for eleven years (1995-2006).
Dr. Prasad is a member of the working group of COPUOS, which evolved "Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines".
He has been active in the professional international organisations like IAF, IAA and SUIRG and worked as organising secretary of International Astronautical Congress 2007 held in Hyderabad, India. He was vice president of International Astronautical Federation (IAF) from 2006 to 2010 and was elected as the Member of the prestigious International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) in 2008.
Dr. Prasad has around 35 publications to his credit in various Indian and International Journals as well as International symposia.
Dr. Prasad is the recipient of many prestigious awards including ISRO Team Excellence award for Development of Innovative Launch Facilities (2011), EDUSAT Utilisation Programme,. Satellite based Disaster Warning and Communication Systems (2009), Operations of INSTE-2E (2007), ISRO Merit award for in Orbit Management of geostationary Satellites (2007) and Karnataka Rajyotsava award in the field of Science, 2001.