Shri. M Chandradathan is a renowned Chemical Engineer with accomplishments in Space technology mainly in the field of propulsion and solid motors. He began his career in ISRO (then SSTC) at Thiruvananthapuram in January, 1972. After his initial stint in the SLV3 Project, he moved on to the development of solid propellant formulations for SLV3 under the guidance of Shri M R Kurup at the Rocket Propellant Plant – RPP, another unit at Thiruvananthapuram. During this period he has held many additional responsibilities in various fields of management and carried out good number of experiments on solid motors. He has made significant contributions in the development and realisation of rocket nozzles mainly for solid motors. Later this unit came under the umbrella of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram in 1972.
At VSSC, he was instrumental in the development and realisation of the flex nozzle for the S200 motor which is now the strap-on booster for GSLV Mk-III. As Project Director, S200 booster he made immense contributions in the development of GSLV Mk-III.His vast experience in the field of solid motors made him shoulder the responsibility of establishing the Solid Propellant Plant (SPP), the world class solid booster production plant for realising the S200 solid boosters, at SDSC, SHAR. He held various positions at SDSC, SHAR from General Manager, Solid Propellant Space Booster Plant (SPROB) to Deputy Director, SPROB & SPP and Vehicle Assembly and Static Test Facilities (VAST) and Associate Director before taking over as Director of the Centre in August, 2008.
Born on May 08, 1951 at Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in India, Shri Dathan did his schooling at Government High School, Varkala and the pre-degree course at Sivagiri Sri Narayana College. He graduated in Chemical Engineering in the year 1971 from Government Engineering College, Thrissur which was then affiliated to Kerala University. He took his M Tech in Rocket Propulsion from Birla Institute of Technology (BITS) in 1985. Immediately after graduation he worked for a short spell at Manipal Engineering College as Lecturer in Chemical Engineering.
The nation honoured him with Padma Shri award in 2014. He is also the recipient of the ‘Individual Service Award’ of ISRO in 2006, ‘Outstanding Chemical Engineer’ Award of Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers in 2009 and ‘Performance Excellence Award’ of ISRO in 2009.