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Tessy Thomas

Tessy Thomas
  • Thomas was born in April 1963 in Alappuzha, Kerala, to a Christian family. When Thomas was 13 her father suffered from a stroke which left his right side paralyzed. Her mother remained a home maker to look after the family in such dire condition.
  • She grew up near Thumba Rocket Launching Station and says her fascination with rockets and missiles began then.
  • Thomas has four other sisters and one brother.
  • Tessy Thomas studied in St. Michael’s Higher Secondary School and St. Joseph’s Girl’s Higher Secondary School in Alleppey (Alappzuha).
  • She had a natural flair for mathematics and physics. She scored one hundred percent in mathematics during her 11th and 12th years in school. In the same years she had also scored more than ninety five percent in science.
  • 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 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 MISSILE
  • In 1988 Dr Tessy Thomans joined DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) where she worked under Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. So, while Dr APJ Adbul Kalam is the “Missile Man of India,” Dr. Tessy Thomas is the “Missile Woman of India.
  • She was placed in the department of design and development of the new generation ballistic missile, Agni. For the Agni Programme, she had been appointed by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. MISSILE
  • Tessy was 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.
  • Tessy was appointed as the Project Director for 5,000 km range Agni-V in 2009. The missile was successfully tested on 19 April 2012. She was appointed as Director-General, Aeronautical Systems of DRDO in 2018.
  • A former researcher at the government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation’s has complained that her accusation of sexual harassment against a senior scientist. The woman said she had been intimidated into withdrawing the original complaint by Tessy Thomas, The researcher, who was on contract with DRDO, was terminated from service on September 30 The woman said in her letter that her supervisor had been harassing her by making advances over several months. This included numerous late night messages and phone calls. The researcher, who belongs to Hyderabad, raised objections against the manner in which Thomas handled the matter.
  • She is married to Saroj Kumar, a commander in the Indian Navy and they have a son, Tejas.
  • Tessy has also received several prestigious awards — including the DRDO Scientist of the year in 2008, DRDO Performance Excellence Award for 2011 and 2012, India Today Women of the year in 2009, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration in 2012, CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2012, Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya Award in 2016 and Outstanding Woman Achiever Award by Women in Science and Engineering (WISE).