Sri Ranbir Chand Sethi, Sci G, has been appointed Director , Vehicles Research & Development Establishment, Ahmednagar, w.e.f. 1 July 2003. He is a Graduate in Mechanical Engineering from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi and has a Post-graduate Diploma in Design Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai. Before taking over as Director, he was the Programme Director for Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) code named Abhay.

Shri Sethi joined DRDO in 1969 at Institute of Armament Technology (IAT), Pune. He has all along been working in the field of Automotive Vehicles holding different assignments and positions at VRDE. He has been heading National Centre for Automotive Testing-a unique facility of its own type in the country for testing the road worthiness and homologation of vehicles. He also did a tenure at Directorate of Vehicles, R&D HQrs, New Delhi. He was deputed to Vehicle Factory Jabalpur for assisting in setting up of in- house R&D facilities.

Several DRDO scientists have been promoted from Sci F to Sci G w.e.f from 1 July 2003. The biodata of some of the promotees highlighting their contributions in DRDO were reported in previous issues and some of the remaining ones are being covered here.

LRDE, Bangalore

Shri S Karthikeyan obtained his BE (Electronics) from Viswesvaraya College of Eneering, Bangalore ( in 1970 and joined (LRDE) in November 1970. His major service has been at LRDE except for about three years in CASSA during 1976-1978, where he was involved in the design and development of energy and energy rate meters for combat aircraft. He designed and developed IF subsystem, frequency synthesiser , digital MTI and FFT processor at the Signal Processing Laboratory at LRDE. After returning to LRDE in 1978, he contributed to the design and development of multimicroprocessor-based data reduction and centroiding sub-system and display processor sub- system of Indra Radar.

His major achievement is in the area of Radio Local System (RLS) and Radio Trunk System (RTS). He also contributed to the successful completion of Packet Radio Network (PRAN), Fiber Optic Control and Communication System (FCCS) for T-72 Tank, Data Loggers and Data Link for NBC equipment, Drive system for Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher and the indigenisation of GMS for MBT Arjun. He is the recipient of DRDO Cash Award-1992.


 Sri TR Natarajan, obtained his MSc from Madras University,DIIT in Rubber Technology from Kharagpur, and MBA from IGNOU, New Delhi. He joined DRDO  in 1968 at Defence Laboratory (DL), Jodhpur and joined Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam in 1969. As head of the Rubber Technology Group, he achieved break-through in design of rubber recipes and successfully developed rubber components for underwater weapons AET, WGT, mines and flexible fuel tank for thermal propulsion system. He also developed shock and vibration mounts for various IN ships and electrical locomotives hitherto imported.

He has been responsible for establishing, implementing and maintaining quality systems standards at NSTL leading to ISO 9001 certification. He is an associate member of the Indian Institute of Metals, Kolkata and Lead Assessor for ISO 9001 from BSI (UK) . He is the recipient of Technology Group Award- 2002.

 Shri K Kondal Rao joined DRDO in 1968 at Defence Electronics Research Laboratory (DLRL), Hyderabad. Later, he joined Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL) , Visakhapatnam in 1971 to work in the field of Underwater Missiles viz. Torpedoes. In 1984, he led a full-fledged system design and engineering team to convert a non-homing torpedo into a homing torpedo which has been successfully demonstrated.

A state-of-the-art anti-submarine light weight torpedo was designed, integrated and successfully evaluated which culminated in users placing atrial production order for five numbers of D&E models. The technology was transferred to the private sector by the team led by Shri Kondal Rao. The production models have been successfully proven and the AET Team has bagged the prestigious Agni Award.

VRDE, Ahmednagar

Shri BS Mohan joined DRDO at Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (CVRDE), Avadi, in 1966 and later joined Vehicles & Development Establishment (VRDE), as Sci B in 1974. He also completed the Military Vehicle Technology Course at IAT, Pune during 1983-85.

At VRDE he worked on design and development of Amphibian Vehicles, Bridge Laying Vehicles (Sarvatra) and Electronic Warfare Vehicles (Samyukta). He was heading Tracked Vehicle Division and contributed towards design and development of Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle code named Abhay. He is a Fellow of Institute of Automotive Engineers and Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Ahmednagar Chapter. He was awARDEd DRDO Excellent Performance Award 2001-2002.

DRDL, Hyderabad

 Shri N Prabhakar obtained his ME (Aeronautics) in 1978 from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He joined DRDL in 1980 and since has been working in areas of trajectory optimisation, missile system design, modeling and simulation. His main areas of interest are distributed simula- tion, genetic algorithms and system design. One of his major contributions has been in the area of trajectory optimisation for Prithvi and its variants. At present, he is Dy Project Director, Weapon Systems, Program AD and System Manager, Prithvi. He is also the Associate Technology Director (Strategic Systems), DRDL. He is the recipient of the DRDO Scientist of the Year Award -2001 and DRDO Cash Awards.

Dr RR Panyam obtained his ME in Aerospace Engineering in 1978 from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and his PhD in Aerospace from Georgia Institute Technology, Atlanta in 1983. He DRDL, Hyderabad in 1983 as C and has been working in the area of design and development of Ramjet propulsion systems for tactical missiles. He has contributed in the design and development of solid fuel integrated rocket Ramjet for Akash. He has also worked towards the development of a solid rocket-based propulsion system for surface-to-air missile and compact liquid fuel Ramjet propulsion, which is proposed for air-to-air missile. At present, he is Project Director of Akash Weapon System. He has about 20 papers to his credit.

Sri SS Mishra obtained BE (Electrical Engg) from the University of Indore, and M Tech (Aeronautical Engg) from the Institute of Technology , Bombay in 1975.

He worked on design and development of control systems for guided missiles at the Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad during 1976-1994. He then joined Project Nag team at DRDL as Dy Project Director and took over as Project Director in December 2000. He has since led the team to the successful development of the third- generation Anti Tank Guided Missile System.

GTRE, Bangalore

Shri T Venkatakrishniah obtained BE (Mechanical) from University of Mysore and MTech (Aerospace) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He started his career as Research Fellow at NAL during 1970 and then worked as Aeronautical Engineer at HAL (Engines) from 1971- 77 before joining DRDO as Senior Scientific Officer-1.

His area of interest is aero-thermodynamics of turbo-machines, particularly axial flow turbines. He is responsible for setting full- scale turbine test rig at GTRE and developed analytical tools for the design and analysis of axial flow turbines which have been used extensively in the design of Kaveri engine turbines. He has taken active part in the analysis of turbines and exhaust system for PTAE and GTSU engines of HAL. He is recipient of Technology Award as a team member.

Shri N Nanjunda Rao is a BE (Mech) from Bangalore University and ME in Turbomachinery from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He joined GTRE as Sci Bin 1978 and since then has been working in the field of Rotor-Support and Internal Flow Systems ofGas Turbines. He is responsible for development of lubrication system, secondary air system and rotor support system for Kaveri and Kaveri (Marine) engines at GTRE.

His main association is with combined pressure and scavenge pump unit, fuel cooled oil cooler, two stage filter assembly, bearing chamber seal, and inter shaft seals for Kaveri engine. He is also associated with development of plasma spray coatings for the Kaveri engine. He is a member of Project Steering Committee for development of synthetic aviation lubricants jointly being developed by DRDO, CSIR & IOC. He is a life member of Tribology Society of India and Associate Member of AeSI.