Field: Missilie Technology
Known as the missile woman of India ,Tessy Thomas is a scientist at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). She served as the Project Director for the Agni IV and V missiles, making her the first woman to lead missile teams in India.
Dr. Thomas’ expertise on the solid propellent systems were critical in the development of the re-entry system of the missile, which helped it withstand great velocities and temperatures of 3,000° Celsius on re-entering the atmosphere. She is the first ever woman to lead the missile project in India.
She was born in Kerala and had a tough childhood as she lost her father early. However her fascination for rockets was from the fact that she grew up near to the Thumba Rocket Launching Station .
Including her, they were six siblings and her mother was not allowed to work. But she made it a point to provide quality education to her kids and she eventually did that and made sure all her kids completed their education. Tessy Thomas was a brilliant student and had a special inclination towards Maths & Physics.
She took an education loan of Rs. 100 per month from State Bank of India to study engineering from Government Engineering College, Thrissur. She also received a scholarship that covered her tuition fees having been entered into the first ten students of the merit list during her admissions. The loan gave her the courage to live in a hostel while pursuing her B. Tech. She also has an M.Tech in Guided Missile from the Institute of Armament Technology, Pune (now known as the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology). She also pursued MBA in Operations Management and Ph.D. in guidance missile under DRDO.
Tessy Thomas joined DRDO in 1988, where she worked on the design and developments of the new generation ballistic missile, Agni. She was appointed by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam for the Agni Project.In addition, Tessy was the associate project director of the 3,000 km range Agni-III missile project.She was the project director for mission Agni IV which was successfully tested in 2011
Ms. Thomas received the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for her contribution for making India self-reliant in the field of missile technology apart from many other accolades.
My one line takeaway- To soar in the sky, one must have the courage to look up and keep on trying to prove one’s mettle.
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PS: I have planned to take up non-fiction this year as my theme for the A2Z challenge, where every day in the month of April ( except Sundays) I will be writing about women in the stream of science and their contributions. Disclaimer -The information collected is from different sources available online.
The main objective is to draw inspiration and share information about such great lives who did it, despite all difficulties in their life.
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2 Comments Add yours
despite her tough beginnings she still rose high
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Amazing. I believe her mother’s determination to educate her children well played a major role in Tessy Thomas being able to soar to her full potential.
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