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Padmashri Vasagam's career has been symbiotic with India's progress and self-reliance in Space Technology.

Details of Academic Qualifications :

Present Position

  •  Vice President (Admin)
    Dr. M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute
    Maduravoyal, Chennai - 600 095

    (From Apr. 20, 2006 onwards)
    Dr. M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute
    Maduravoyal, Chennai – 600 095

  • VICE-CHANCELLOR (June 11, 2003 to Apr. 19, 2006)
    Dr. M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute
    Maduravoyal, Chennai - 600 095

  • DIRECTOR (Information Technology)
    Karunya Institute of Technology & Sciences

    Tamilnadu Institute of Information Technology
    June 1999 – Oct. 2001

  • VICE-CHANCELLOR, Anna University, Chennai (1996 – 99)
    (Outstanding Scientist, ISRO)

  • Director, Directorate of Advanced Technology and Planning
    ISRO Headquarters, Bangalore

  • Deputy Director, VSSC (Avionics) and Director, Advanced Technology & Planning Office, ISRO Headquarters, Bangalore from 1987-1994

  • Deputy Director, ISRO Satellite Centre during 1984-87

  • Project Director, APPLE & Head, Attitude & Orbit Control Systems, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore during 1977-84

  • Head, Programme Planning and Evaluation Group, VSSC during 1974-77

  • Team Leader, Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle SLV-SYN Study 1972-74

  • Control Guidance Systems Engineer during 1965-72

  • B.E.(Hons.) from University of Madras, 1963
    M.Tech. from IIT, Madras, 1965

  • Working for Indian Space Programme since its inception in early 60’s.

  • Professional training / background in Avionics, Navigation, Guidance, Control and Systems Engineering areas.

  • Served as Project Director for APPLE, India’s first experimental geostationary communication satellite project during 1977 - 83 time frame.


  • Vikram Sarabhai Award (1981)

  • Padmashri Award (1982)

  • Distinguished Alumnus Award-PSG College of Technology (1982)

  • IEEE Centennial Medal (1984)

  • Biren Roy Award for Space (1988)

  • Om Prakash Bhashin Award (1988)

  • C-DAC PARAM Award (1991)

  • Distinguished Alumnus Award-IIT, Madras (1996)

  • Systems Gold Medal – Systems Society of India (1999)

  • Vivekananda National Award for Excellence in Science, Technology and Related Education on the occasion of Platinum Jubilee of Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Coimbatore.

Served as Visiting Scientist at

  • Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences, University of Tokyo 1967

  • Centre for Space Research/Lincoin Lab, MIT, Boston, 1970

  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre, Maryland, USA, 1971

  • Fellow of International Academy of Astronautics, Paris

  • Fellow of National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad

  • Fellow of Aeronautical Society of India

  • Fellow of Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers

  • Fellow Member of Astronautical Society of India

  • Senior Member of IEEE

  • Member / Convener in the Steering Committee on Science and Technology, State Planning Commission, Tamil Nadu.

  • Member in the Standing Committee of the Department of Ocean Development, Govt. of India.

  • Member of the Natural Sciences Sub-Commission of Indian National Commission for UNESCO, Ministry of Science & Technology, New Delhi.

  • Member of the 10th Five Year Plan Working Group for Department of Space.

  1. Professional Contributions / Achievements in Aerospace

With over 30 years of experience in realizing Space Craft and Space Launch Vehicle Systems in India provided outstanding technical and managerial leadership for successfully realizing APPLE – India’s First three axis stabilized Geostationary Experimental Communication Satellite in 1977-84 time frame. APPLE incorporated state-of the-art space craft technologies which paved the way for fully indigenous state-of the-art INSAT AND IRS satellites to be built for communication, remote sensing and meteorological missions. Also contributed technically and managerially for creating a technology base for indigenous Inertial Navigation Guidance and Control Systems for launch vehicles and Electro Optical Sensors, electro mechanical actuators and programmable fault tolerant controllers for satellites. The efforts have fructified in creating a dedicated ISRO Inertial Systems unit and a Laboratory for Electro Optical System in late 80’s for catering to the increasing and more demanding requirements of current and future satellites, launch vehicles as well as to service international market. Played a key role in planning modular high capacity space launch vehicles for India and currently planning for advanced technology development to realize space systems of relevance to India in 2000 and beyond. Has been professionally high active and served as Member of various Committees for other national organisation engaged in Aerospace and Electronics tasks and as an Expert on Space Systems for UN. Currently, serving as a Member of Review Committees for Department of Electronics, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Ocean Development and Human Resources Development Ministry.

  1. Professional Ambition

To conduct research and development and lead major International and Transnational Programmes in Aerospace field for harnessing the benefits of space applications, to direct development of advanced technologies for reusable space transportation systems and serviceable long life satellite systems and to make routine, economic access and use of space systems possible on a global scale.

To enhance the engineering and technology education in India to world class.

  1. Achievements

  • Laying the foundation for Indigenous Satellite Communication Technology and Applications

  • Achieving the self relevance in Space Launch Vehicle and Satellite Technology 

  • Establishing the Indigenous based Space for Navigation, guidance and control for space applications

  • Bringing Indian Industry as partner for advanced technologies partnering programme for space missions.

  • The Recognition by Government and Professional Bodies for the Contribution to Aerospace field

Project Handled

  •  Apple - India’s First Communication (1977-83) Satellite, ISRO

  •  Multipurpose Space Launch Vehicles Planning (1972-85)

  •  PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle)

  •  GSLV (Geo Satellite Launch Vehicle)

  •  ISRO

  •  Establishing Indigenous Technology base for Inertial Navigation Systems and Electro Optical Sensors for Space Missions (1977-88) 

  •  ISRO Chairman, Systems Panel (1982-87) 
    Aeronautical Research and Development Board, DRDO

  •  Mission Rev for Chandrayan-I Mission, ISRO (2008) 

  •  Commencing M.Tech (Avionics) Programme at Madras Institute of Technology at Anna University, Chennai   as Vice Chancellor (1996-97)  

  •  Space Technology Cell at IIT Madras and IISc, Bangalore (1975-85) 

  •  Standing Committee for Ocean Mining for Management Nodules for Ministry of Earth Sciences (1994-2006)

  •  Micro Miniaturization of Avionics for Space Launch Vehicles and Satellites.


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