Somanath Assumes Charge as ISRO Chairman; Dr. Sivan’s Tenure Ends

Somanath and Dr. K. Sivan
Somanath and Dr. K. Sivan

Bengaluru: Eminent rocket scientist S. Somanath assumed charge as Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, Space Commission, on Friday (January 14) in Bengaluru. He replaced Dr. K. Sivan.

Somanath assumed charge as the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) after a stint of four years as the Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananathapuram. He also served as the Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Valiamala, for two and half years, ISRO said in a statement.

Also read: All You Need To Know About Somanath

Dr. Sivan’s tenure at the Bengaluru-headquartered space organisation ended on January 14, 2022. In December 2020, he was given one-year extension. Dr. Sivan took charge of ISRO in January 2018.

Somnath will have a combined tenure of three years from the date of joining the post, inclusive of an extension in tenure beyond the age of superannuation in public interest, or until further orders whichever is earlier, according to the government’s order.

Somanath obtained B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering from TKM College of Engineering, Kollam, and Masters in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, specializing in Structures, Dynamics, and Control with a Gold Medal. He joined VSSC in 1985 and was a team leader for the Integration of PSLV during the early phases.

Somanath is an expert in the area of system engineering of Launch vehicles. His contributions in PSLV and GSLV MkIII were in their overall architecture, propulsion stages design, structural and structural dynamics designs, separation systems, vehicle integration, and integration procedures development.

He is the recipient of the ‘Space Gold Medal’ from the Astronautical Society of India. He received the ‘Merit Award” and ‘Performance Excellence award’ from ISRO and a ‘Team excellence award’ for GSLV Mk-III development.

He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), a Fellow of the Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI), Astronautical Society of India (ASI), and a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). He is in the bureau of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and a recipient of the National Aeronautics Prize from the Aeronautical Society of India (ASI).

He has published papers in journals & seminars in structural dynamics and control, dynamic analysis of separation mechanisms, vibration & acoustic testing, launch vehicle design, and launch services management.

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