Tessy Thomas is an Indian scientist and Director General of Aeronautical Systems and the former Project Director for Agni-IV missile in Defence Research and Development Organisation.
She is the only woman scientist to head a missile project. She is known as the ‘Missile Woman of India’ and ‘Agniputri’.
She is an M.Tech graduate & Ph.D in guidance missile in addition to MBA in operations management. Since she joined DRDO, she played a vital role in India’s missile development programme, specifically in making of its long-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile, the Agni-V. She has worked under her esteemed inspiration, Sri APJ Abdul Kalam, who placed her in the Agni missile programme.
As an expert on solid propellant systems, Tessy’s contributions were crucial in developing the Agni-V’s multiple targetable re-entry vehicle that helped the intercontinental ballistic missile withstand tremendous velocity and temperature of 3,000 degrees Celsius on re-entering the atmosphere.
Today, Tessy is one of the India’s leading experts in ballistic missiles. The recipient of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from five different Universities, this brilliant woman is also a fellow of various professional institutes — Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), Institution of Engineers-India (IEI), Tata Administrative Service (TAS).