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Guest of Honour

Engineers’ Day - 2016

Padma Bhushan Er. K. Radhakrishnan

Ex. Chairman, ISRO

  Dr. Koppillil Radhakrishnan (born 29 August 1949) was the Chairman of Space Commission, Secretary of Department of Space as well as Chairman of Indian Space research Organisation (ISRO) during November 2009-December 2014. Besides, during this period, he was member of Scientific Advisory Committee to Prime Minister and Scientific Advisory Committee to Cabinet. After superannuation on December 31, 2014, Dr. Radhakrishnan has been contributing as Chairman of the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology, Shibpur, West Bengal and as member a few high level committees of Government of India. Since January 2016, Dr. Radhakrishnan is Advisor in Department of Space/ISRO.

Academic Profile
A graduate in Electrical Engineering from Kerala University (1970), a Post Graduate in Management from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (1976), he obtained PhD from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (2000). Dr. Radhakrishnan is Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering; Fellow of National Academy of Science, India; Hon. Life Fellow of Institution of Engineers, India; Hon. Fellow of Institution of Electronics & Telecommunication Engineers, India; Member of International Academy of Astronautics; Fellow of Andhra Pradesh Academy of Sciences; Hon. Fellow of Kerala Academy of Sciences; Fellow of Indian Society of Remote Sensing and Fellow of Indian Geophysical Union.

Career Profile
Dr. Radhakrishnan started his career in 1971, at ISRO's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, as an Avionics Engineer. He has had a distinguished career of more than 43 years in space engineering, space applications and programme management and in particular a vibrant and fruitful stint of five years at the helm of Indian Space Programme.

During 1980's, he set up a chain of five Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres (RRSSC) at Bangalore, Dehradun, Jodhpur, Kharagpur and Nagpur, under the aegis of National Natural Resources Management System. He was Director for these RRSScs during 1989-97. Concurrently, as Director of Budget and Economic Analysis at ISRO Headquarters during 1987-97, he shouldered a key responsibility in space programme management. During 1997-2000, he was national Mission Director for Integrated Mission for Sustainable Development that focussed on use of remote sensing data to prepare spatial database, for nearly 25 % of the geographical area of the country, to facilitate generation of action plans for watershed development.

He had a short stint in the Ministry of Earth Sciences (formerly Department of Ocean Development). As the founder Director of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), he set up a world class scientific institution in the in a record time of two years, right from concept to fruition. Under his stewardship, INCOIS became the Indian National Tsunami Warning Centre in 2005.

During 2005-08, he was Director of National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), responsible for the ground segment of Indian Remote Sensing Satellites, aerial remote sensing, remote sensing application missions and disaster management support.

Prior to taking over as chief of India's space programme, he had been the Director of ISRO's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, the lead centre of launch vehicle development in ISRO, when five consecutive successful PSLV missions were accomplished including the PSLV-C11 that lifted Chandrayaan-1.

As Chief of ISRO
During 2010-14, he drove the synergy of the 16,000 strong "Team ISRO" to execute 37 space missions. Under his leadership, India's first planetary exploration-the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan)-was conceived, planned and executed, with great deal of novelty. While the 12 successful PSLV missions signify the ability to execute a wide range of satellite launch missions reliably, the concerted efforts towards a reliable GSLV with Indian Cryogenic Engine & Stage achieved a spectacular success on January 5, 2014. In this quest, India's space capabilities for satellite navigation, strategic communications, microwave radar imaging and tropical climate studies have been established, in addition to ensuring continuity and capacity for operational space services. Under his astounding leadership, India's next generation launch vehicle the LVM-3 was successfully tested for the atmospheric ascent regime along with the Crew module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment. Also, he steered Indian Institute of Space Science & Technology, as Chairman of its Board of Management during November 2009 to December 2014. He chaired the Board of Antrix during November 2009 to July 2011.

Dr. Radhakrishnan demonstrated strong & successful leadership qualities and communication skills by taking forward the entire ISRO and Department of Space, in the difficult periods, with commendable resilience, grit and determination to achieve historic feats in space missions that made the entire country proud. He charted out a clear programmatic direction till the year 2020 to congregate the country's needs and aspirations in all walks of Indian Space Programme.
It is noteworthy that, during his leadership 'ISRO' received (i) Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2014, (ii) Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2014, (iii) The Knowledge Economy Network KEN Award (2014), (iv) CNN-IBN Indian of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award (2014), (v) The Global Game Changer Award of Marico Innovation Foundation(2014) and (vi) CNBC-18 India Business Leader Award-BRAND INDIA (2013).

International Positions
He was Vice Chairman of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) during 2001-05, the apex body under the UN System on Ocean Sciences and Services; Member of the 4-member International Expert Committee of IOC for Restructuring the Global Ocean Observing System (2002-03); Founder Chairman, Regional alliance in Indian Ocean for Global Ocean Observing System (2001-06) that co-supported planning of an integrated observing system for the Indian Ocean for climate studies, with multi-national synergy. He headed Indian Delegation to UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and Chairman, Working Group of the Whole of its S&T Sub-Committee of 2008 & 2009.

Awards, Honours and Recognitions
Dr. Radhakrishnan has been awarded “Padma Bhushan”, the third highest Civilian Award in India in 2014 for his outstanding contribution to Science & Engineering in India. The Nature International Weekly Journal of Science chose him as one of the "Top Ten People who mattered in 2014". He is recipient of numerous accolades including the Lifetime Achievement Award of ISRO for 2014; Allan D Emil Memorial Award of International Astronautical Federation (2014); Lifetime Achievement Award of Union Bank of India (2015); Lifetime Outstanding Innovation Award-Indore Management Association (2015); Ernst & Young Lifetime Achievement Award (2014); Technovation-Sarabhai Award-Indian Electronics & Semiconductor Association (2014); Distinguished Alumnus Award of IIT Kharagpur (2010) and IIM Bangalore (2010); Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Award of Indian Science Congress (2010); Social Sciences Award of the International Academy of Astronautics (2009); Dr. Y. Nayudamma Memorial Award from AP 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 (2005); & K.R. Ramanathan Memorial Gold Medal of Indian Geophysical Union (2003).

Further, he is recipient of 21 Awards from Socio-cultural Trusts including: Pazhassi Raja Rajakeeya Award –Sastraratna (2009); Sivananda Eminent Citizen Award-Sanatana Dharma Charitable Trust, Hyderabad (2012); Bharat Asmita Vigyan Tantragyaan Shreshta (2015); P.C. Chandra Purashkar for Lifetime Achievement (2015), NES Jagadguru Sankaracharya H.H. Sri Jayendra Saraswathi National Eminence Award (2015) and Mother Teresa Memorial Award of Indian Development Foundation (2015).

Dr. Radhakrishnan has been conferred Honorary Doctorates from 13 Universities from across the country : (i) IIT Kharagpur; (ii) Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, (iii) Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur; (iv) Amity University, Noida (v) Rajasthan Technical University, Kota; (vi) North Maharashtra University Jalgaon, (vii) KIIT University, Bhubaneswar; (viii) Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati; (ix) Shri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantpur; (x) GITAM University, Visakhapatnam (xi) Tumkur University (xii) SRM University, Chennai and (xiii) M.G. University, Kottayam.


An excellent communicator and inspiring orator, he delivered several award lectures, key note addresses, public lectures and held interactive sessions with students and professionals on facets of Space Programme and Leadership. He is an ardent student of Carnatic music and Kathakali dance. ISBN 978-0-670-08283-4