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Most famous Indian women scientists: Dr Tessy Thomas- ‘The missile women of India’

India has produced a long list of renowned scientists. Among them there several women. Several women like Ritu Karidhal, Chandrima Saha and others were did key roles in several premium institutions like ISRO and even in NASA.

One of the most important name among them is Dr. Tessy Thomas. Dr Tessy Thomas is the Director General (Aero Systems) at Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). She is also known as the ‘Missile women of India’.

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She was the first women to lead the prestigious missile programme of India. She served as the Project Director for the Agni IV and V missiles. She considered as an expert in the solid propellant systems of these missiles.


Dr.Tessy Thomas was born in April 1963 in Alappuzha district in Kerala state. She completed her BTech  from Government Engineering College, Thrissur and then did her  M.Tech in Guided Missile from the Institute of Armament Technology, Pune. She also  have a MBA in Operations Management and Ph.D. in guidance missile under DRDO.

Dr.Tessy Thomas joined DRDO in 1988. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam appointed her in the Agni missile team. Tessy was the associate project director of the 3,000 km range Agni-III missile project. She was the project director for  mission Agni project.  In 2018, she became the Director-General, Aeronautical Systems of DRDO.


Dr. Thomas has received several prestigious awards for her work, including the ‘DRDO Scientist of the Year’, in 2008, DRDO Performance Excellence Award for 2011 and 2012, India Today Women of the Year award in 2009, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration in 2012, CNN-IBN Indian of the Year in 2012, Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya Award in 2016, and Outstanding Woman Achiever Award by Women in Science and Engineering (WISE).


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