A. E. Muthunayagam

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A.E. Muthunayagam
Abraham .E. Muthunayagam

(1939-01-11) 11 January 1939 (age 80)
Nagercoil, India
Alma materUniversity of Madras
Indian Institute of Science
Purdue University
University of Kerala
Known forIndian Space program(also known as Father of Propulsion Technology in India)
AwardsNational Award for Ocean Science (27 July 2007)
Dr. V. M Ghatage Award by ASI(1989)
Scientific career
FieldsSpace Scientist
InstitutionsIndian Space Research Organisation
Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre
Department of Oceanography
IIT, Madras
Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment
Karunya University
Noorul Islam University, Kumarakovil

Dr. A.E. Muthunayagam[1] was born on 11 January 1939. He is a leading Space Scientist in Indian Space Research Organisation and the chief architect of Rocket Propulsion in India. He was responsible for the creation of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre. For his significant contributions to the development of Propulsion Technology in India, he is known as the Father of Propulsion Technology in India's Space program. He chose to return to India from NASA, United States for the development of Propulsion Technology in ISRO. He established the Test Stands and Assembly and Integration facilities in Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, Mahendragiri for testing Liquid Stages of PSLV and GSLV vehicles. He is the Founder Director of LPSC and held the position for 9 years from 30/11/1985 to 14/04/1994. He held the Secretary position in the Department of Ocean Development.[2] He worked as an Executive Vice-President in Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment.[3] He worked as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai from 2005 to 2008. He was appointed under Section 11 of the IIT Act of 1961, which lays down the composition of the Board of Governors for each of the seven IITs across the country.


He obtained his Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) Degree from the University of Madras in 1960 with First Class Honors. His master's degree was completed at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 1962 with distinction. He obtained his Doctorate from the school of Mechanical Engineering in Purdue University, USA in 1965. He also completed his law degree in the University of Kerala in 1975.

Professional Career in ISRO[edit]

  • Head, Propulsion Engg. Division, SSTC
  • Head, Mechanical Engg. Division, SSTC
  • Project Leader
    • Rohini 125 Rocket Project
    • Rohini Multi-stage Rocket Project
    • Strip Wound Motor Project
  • Project Engineer and Chairman, Board of Administration, Static Test & Evaluation Complex (STEX) at Sriharikotta, Andhra Pradesh
  • Member of Board of Management, Sriharikotta centre
  • Director, Propulsion Group, VSSC
  • Project Manager of Vikas Project (Technology Collaboration with French Aeronautical Company)
  • Chairman, Rocket Propulsion Board
  • Convener, ISRO-CNES (France) Launcher Working Grooup
  • Adviser, Static Test Facilities of ISRO
  • Programme Director, Auxiliary Propulsion Systems Unit (APSU), ISRO
  • Director, Liquid Propulsion Projects (LPP)
  • Chairman, LPP Management Board
  • Chairman, SRC on SLV-3 Rocket Motors
  • Chairman, Mission Readiness Review, ASLV D1 & D2 Launch

Other Official Positions[edit]

He was a member of Science and Technology Committee constituted by the Government of Kerala, Review Committee for Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi (Constituted by the Ministry of Social welfare, Government of India) and Scientific Advisory committee on propulsion, National Aeronautical Lab, Bangalore.

International and Intergovernmental organizations[edit]

  • Chairman of Regional Committee of Inter-governmental Oceanographic Commission for the Central Indian Ocean (IOCINDIO) (1996–2001)
  • Chairman, Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). For 2 years (1998–2000).
  • Vice chairman of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) for two years (1996–1998)

Academic Contribution[edit]

He was Co-ordinator for establishing ancillary Industrial units around the Space Centre in 1970, Referee to review papers for International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Pergamon Press, New York City and Examiner of Post graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, for Kerala University, California University, B.I.T., Ranchi and I.I.T., Madras.

Fellowship/ Membership[edit]

  • Fellow, Astronautical Society of India
  • Fellow, Aeronautical Society of India
  • Fellow, Indian National Academy of Engineering
  • Foreign Member of Academy of Cosmonautics, Moscow, Russia
  • Fellow, The Institution of Engineers (India)


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-27. Retrieved 2011-10-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Muthunayagam, Chairman, Chennai IIT". The Hindu. 22 May 2005. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2011-10-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)