Dr K Radhakrishnan, Member, Space Commission and Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, assumed the office of Chairman, Space Commission, Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today (October 31, 2009).
Dr K Radhakrishnan is an accomplished technocrat with a distinguished career of more than 38 years in the fields of space technology, applications and space programme management. Dr Radhakrishnan graduated in Electrical Engineering from Kerala University (1970) and obtained his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (1976). He was awarded PhD by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, in the year 2000.
Starting his career as an Avionics Engineer in 1971 at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Dr Radhakrishnan held several decisive positions in the Department of Space and ISRO such as Project Director for setting up Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres (1987-89), Director of National Natural Resources Management System-Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres (1989-97), Director of Budget and Economic Analysis for entire ISRO (1987-97), Mission Director of Integrated Mission for Sustainable Development and Deputy Director of National Remote Sensing Agency (1997-2000).
Dr Radhakrishnan had a short stint in the Ministry of Earth Sciences during 2000-05 as the founder Director of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services and the first Project Director of Indian National Tsunami Warning System.
As the Director of National Remote Sensing Agency during 2005-08, Dr Radhakrishnan led NRSA to be the nerve centre of the ISROs Disaster Management Support Programme by successfully institutionalising the 24X7 Decision Support Centre (DSC) at NRSA which provides space based inputs to various state and central government agencies during pre-disaster, disaster and post-disaster phases, in close coordination with the Ministry of Home Affairs.
As the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Dr Radhakrishnan (2007-09) led a team of about 4500 professionals including more than 2000 Engineers and Scientists. He was the key person in the Chandrayaan-1 mission, responsible for realisation of PSLV C-11 launch vehicle. Under his stewardship, five successful launches of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV) were realised and 20 spacecraft including Chandrayaan-1 were taken to the desired orbits precisely.
Dr Radhakrishnan is a member of the Space Commission since October 2008.
He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, Indian Society of Remote Sensing, Systems Society of India, Indian Geophysical Union and Andhra Pradesh Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and was the President of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing during 2005-07 and Vice President of Indian Geophysical Union during 2007-09.
Dr Radhakrishnan was bestowed with the Dr. Y. Nayudamma Memorial Award of Andhra Pradesh Academy of Sciences (2009), BHASKARA Award of Indian Society of Remote Sensing (2008), Silver Jubilee Honour by Ministry of Earth Sciences (2006), VASVIK Industrial Research Award in the field of Electrical and Electronics Sciences and Technology (2005) and K R Ramanathan Memorial Gold Medal of Indian Geophysical union (2003). Dr Radhakrishnan has authored more than 55 publications, including 12 in reputed journals and eight in edited books.
The outgoing Chairman of ISRO, Dr G Madhavan Nair, during his tenure from September 2003 to October 2009, was responsible for the realisation of 25 successful launch vehicle and spacecraft missions with the pinnacle of his achievement being the successful realisation of India`s first un-manned mission to the Moon Chandrayaan-1. Dr Madhavan Nair also operationlised the launch of multiple satellites using PSLV and was responsible for launch of 18 satellites for international customers and for bagging commercial satellite ventures such as W2M and Hylas for European customers. Dr Madhavan Nair is also credited with providing the second vision for the Indian Space Programme.