Indian aerospace engineer and rocket scientist Dr. S Somanath was appointed as the new chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday, replacing Kaliasavadivoo Sivan whose extended tenure is over on Friday.
A Personnel Ministry order said that Dr. Somanath has been appointed for a combined tenure of three years from the date of joining including an extension in his tenure beyond the age of superannuation in the public interest.
Notably, Dr. Somanath is an expert in a wide range of disciplines including launch vehicle design, structural dynamics, integration designs and procedures, mechanism design, and pyrotechnics.
Currently, he is serving as the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram. He had also served as a team leader for the Integration of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) during his early career.
Born in July 1963, Dr. Somanath graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Kerala University with second rank. He completed his Post Graduation in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore with a gold medal for his meritorious academic performance.
He is also the recipient of the Space Gold Medal from the Astronautical Society of India (ASI), Performance Excellence Award 2014, and Team Excellence Award 2014 for GSLV Mk-III realization, from ISRO.