Dr S Ramakrishnan is a renowned aerospace engineer with accomplishments in the arena of launch vehicle engineering and development. He held many key positions in Indian Space Reseach Organisation (ISRO). He was Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, the lead Centre of ISRO for launch vehicle development, for the period 2013 to 2014. Prior to this, he was functioning as Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), one of the lead Centres of ISRO in the area of Liquid Propulsion Systems for Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft Programmes.
After graduation in Mechanical Engineering from Guindy Engineering College and M Tech in Aerospace Engineering with first rank from IIT, Madras, Shri Ramakrishnan joined ISRO in 1972. He started his career as a member of the SLV3 team vested with the responsibility to develop India’s first satellite launch vehicle, under the leadership of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Later he moved to the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Project, where he played a lead role in the liquid propulsion stages development, vehicle engineering and integration for the developmental flights of PSLV. He was Project Director for the PSLV continuation programme from 1996 to 2002, during which PSLV was operationalised and the payload capacity was enhanced from 900 kg to 1500 kg. He was the Mission Director for PSLV C1, C2, C3 and C4 flights.
In 2003, he took charge as Project Director, GSLV MkIII (also known as LVM3) and steered the Project during the crucial phase of design, engineering and realisation of the first off hardware. He later became Director (Projects), VSSC and as Chairman, Flight Readiness Review committee, played a key role in accomplishing the PSLV C11/Chandrayaan-1 mission of ISRO.
He is the recipient of various awards viz ASI Award (1998), Dr Biren Roy Award by AeSI (1999), ISRO Performance Excellence Award (2006) and National Design Award by Institute of Engineers (2010). The nation honoured him, presenting Padma Shri in the year 2003, for his contributions in the area of science and engineering.
He is recognized by several professional bodies. He is Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, Aeronautical Society of India and Systems Society of India, and a Membern of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).