Skip to Main Content - A + हिन्दी में
vikram UR RAO
Home : About Us : Directors : Shri P. Kunhikrishnan Last updated on: 10-Jan-2020

Shri P. Kunhikrishnan

[Tenure : 2018 onwards]

Shri P. Kunhikrishnan, Distinguished Scientist of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) assumed as Director of U.R. Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), the lead Centre in the country for design, development and realization of all the satellites of ISRO, on 1st August, 2018.

As Director of the Satellite Centre, he is spearheading the satellite fraternity in ISRO to realise various types satellites to meet the increasing national requirements in the areas like communication, navigation, remote sensing, meteorology and inter-planetary exploration.

Before assuming charge as Director, URSC, he was the Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC-SHAR), Sriharikota, the Spaceport of India, from 1st June, 2015 to 31st July, 2018. As Director, he was leading the entire operations of the Spaceport, and was instrumental in providing world class launch service facilities to meet the requirements of our country as well as commercial launches of other nations. Under his dynamic leadership, the team could professionally execute multiple launch campaigns of different missions in quick succession. Due to his excellent foresight and meticulous planning, the Spaceport had undergone a major transformation towards an international class launch base, through six major projects, known as SHAR Projects, in diversified areas, to meet the demands of future decades. He also conceived and initiated a project of establishing a modern visitor's complex to enable 10,000 visitors to witness the satellite launch at Sriharikota.

Prior to his taking over as the Director of SDSC-SHAR, he had played significant role as the Project Director of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV Project) from 1st June, 2010 to 31st March, 2015. During his tenure as Mission Director, 13 consecutive successful PSLV missions were accomplished, adding each of these to ISRO's cherished successes. These include the launch of India's prestigious Mars Orbiter(Mangalyaan) by PSLV-C25.

Shri P. Kunhikrishnan joined ISRO at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram in 1986. He has shouldered many responsible positions in ISRO such as Head of the Quality Division for Test & Evaluation in VSSC, Associate Project Director for PSLV-C12 & PSLV-C14, Project Director of PSLV-C15 to PSLV-C27 and Deputy Director, VSSC for Mechanisms, Vehicle Integration and Testing (MVIT).

Shri P. Kunhikrishnan is Member of Space Commission since February 2020.


  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU) and GITAM University in the year 2016 and 2019 respectively.

Key positions held in the International Bodies:

  • Chairman, Working Group of the Whole (WGW) in United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer space (UNCOPUOS) at Vienna.
  • Co-Chair, ISRO-DLR (German) working group on space subject.
  • Co-Chair, Indo-US Civil Space Joint Working Group (CSJWG)
  • Member, International Academy of Astronautics (IAA)


  • Swadesi Sastra Puraskar for the year 2015
  • Vigyan Pratibha Samman 2017 by the Government of Madhya Pradesh
  • ISRO Individual Merit Award for the year 2010
  • Astronautical Society of India (ASI) award for the year 2011
  • ISRO Performance Excellence Award in 2013
  • ISRO Team Excellence Award-2013 as Team Leader of PSLV C-25/Mars Orbiter Mission
  • ISRO Outstanding Achievement Award for the year 2018.

Affiliation to Professional Bodies:

  • National President, Indian Society of Systems for Science & Engineering - ISSE
  • Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineers - INAE
  • Fellow of AP Academy of Sciences
  • Fellow of Institution of Electronics & Telecom Engineering - IETE