Campaugn rhetoric and reality
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Keralite is first woman head of Agni missile project
Tessy Thomas, 45, has been named head of the crucial project to upgrade the Agni missile which is capable of carrying warheads. She is the first woman scientist to head a missile project.
In this capacity, she will supervise upgradation of the Agni missile, which now has a range of 2,000 km, to achieve a range of 5,000 km.
An expert on solid systems, Tessy Thomas entrusted with the task of analyzing the failure of the Agni III. Her study helped the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to identify and overcome the shortcomings and conduct a successful launch later on.
Tessy Thomas, who belongs to Alappuzha, joined DRDO in 1985 after taking the B Tech degree in Electrical Engineering from the Thrissur Engineering College. She later took the M Tech degree from the Institute of Armament Technology, Pune, and was a member of its faculty.
Since 1988, she has been involved in missile development activities as a staff member of the Defence Research and Development Laboratory, Hyderabad. Her primary area of responsibility was design of the complex guidance system.
She is married to Saroj Patel, an Orissa-born armament engineer working with the Indian Navy. They have a son Thejas.
DRDO has a number of women scientists working on the missile project as well as other projects like development of the main battle tank Arjun.
Photo: Malayala Manorama