Dr. S Srinivasan is a renowned aeronautical engineer who is truly recognised as one of the very few authorities in area of launch vehicle technology in the country. Dr Srinivasan was the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, the lead Centre of ISRO for development of launch vehicles, for the period 1994 to 1999.
Dr Srinivasan was associated with the Indian space programme right from its inception. He started his career at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (then SSTC), Thiruvananthapuram in 1970. His initial stint was in the development of hardware for the Rohini sounding rockets. He was Deputy Project Director in the SLV3 Project, working with Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, when India made its entry into the exclusive ‘Space Club’ with the successful SLV3 mission on July, 18, 1980. Later he was entrusted with the challenging task of building the PSLV, which made India self-reliant in orbiting her remote sensing satellites. Realising the need for development of a family of launch vehicles to fulfil the country’s application needs, he was made the Director of the Integrated Launch Vehicle Programme, leading to the optimum deployment of resources and reuse of designs thereby achieving higher levels of quality and productivity. In that capacity, he significantly contributed to the development of GSLV and the indigenous cryogenic stage.
He became Director, SHAR in June 1994 and was instrumental in gearing up the facility for production of large solid rocket boosters, and launching vehicles with clockwork precision. After a short spell at SHAR, he became Director, VSSC in October 1994 and shouldered the responsibility of working in the direction of advanced technology.
Born on April 14, 1941 in Thanjavur District of Tamil Nadu, Dr Suryanarayana Srinivasan obtained BE(Honours) degree in Electrical Engineering from Annamalai University and ME degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. After a brief stint at the Hindustan Aeronautical Limited, he received his PhD in Engineering Mechanics from Ohio State University in 1970. Dr Srinivasan is a fellow of the Aeronautical Society of India and Indian National Academy of Engineering, and a member of the Astronautical Society of India and the Society of R&D Managers of India.
He has many awards to his credit, which includes the National Aeronautics Prize and the FIE Foundation National award. The nation honoured him awarding Padma Bhushan posthumously.
Dr Srinivasan passed away on September 01, 1999.