Shri. S Somanath is a 'Distinguished Scientist' grade engineer in ISRO and is the 10th Director of LPSC. Prior to this assignment, he has been the Associate Director (Projects) of VSSC and also the Project Director of GSLV Mk-III. Under his leadership, the first experimental LVM3-X/CARE mission was successfully accomplished on 18th December, 2014.
He is an expert in the area of system engineering of launch vehicles. He has made contributions in PSLV and LVM3 in its overall architecture, structural designs, structural dynamics, separation systems designs, vehicle integration designs and integration procedures development. He has been the Deputy Project Director of GSLV Mk-III project, responsible for the vehicle engineering & mission design, structural design and integration. He became the Project Director of GSLV Mk-III from June 2010.
He has been the Deputy Director of the 'Structures' Entity during 2012-13 as well as the Deputy Director of 'Propulsion and Space Ordinance Entity' of VSSC till November, 2014.
He joined the PSLV Project in 1985 during the early development phase. He was responsible for the system integration design and subassembly realisation and testing for stages of PSLV during the development phase. He has been the Project Manager, 'Vehicle Engineering and Launch Services Management' in PSLV Project, and was responsible for the mechanisms and pyro-technique systems in the vehicle. As the satellite launch service manager, he conceived and executed the first time launches of commercial mini satellites in PSLV-C2 & C3, and development of small satellite accommodation systems and separation systems for mini satellites.
Shri. S Somanath took his B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from TKM College of Engineering, Kollam, Kerala University and Masters in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore with specialization in Dynamics and Control.
He is the recipient of the 'Space Gold Medal' from Astronautical Society of India and a Gold Medal from IISc, Bangalore for his Master's Programme. He has also received the 'Performance Excellence award' from ISRO in the year 2009 and a 'Team excellence award' for GSLV Mk-III realization in 2012.
He has published papers in journals & seminars in the area of structural dynamics and control, dynamic analysis of separation mechanisms, vibration & acoustic testing, launch vehicle design and launch services management.