Distinguished Scientist & Chief Controller, Research & Development, DRDO, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi & Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, BrahMos Aerospace, New Delhi Born on 15 July 1947, Dr. A. Sivathanu Pillai did Electrical Engineering from Madras University, Management Programme at Harvard Business School, PhD from Pune University and D.Sc from Tumkur University. He is Distinguished Scientist and Chief Controller (Research & Development) of DRDO, and also Chief Executive and Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace – a unique Joint Venture for the development of BRAHMOS Supersonic Cruise Missile. Dr. Pillai’s four decades of experience in ISRO and DRDO under the great visionary leaders Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, Prof. Satish Dhawan and Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam made him a Technology Leader in the field of launch vehicles and guided missiles. His contributions to the successful development of SLV-3 as a core team member and evolution of PSLV configuration for ISRO have been remarkable.
His skills in networking multiple institutions for the development of critical missile technologies overcoming denial regimes enabled realization of Agni, Prithvi, Nag and Akash missiles under the IGMDP as Programme Director.
Dr. Pillai is regarded as the Father of BRAHMOS, the joint venture between India and Russia to design, develop, produce and market the supersonic cruise missile BRAHMOS. His outstanding leadership qualities made India proud to possess the fastest, highly precise and the most potent missile BRAHMOS which is now inducted in the Indian Armed Forces. BRAHMOS is a world leader in the family of Cruise Missiles surpassing those in the developed countries. Well-known as a defence technologist in the world, Dr. Pillai has been recognised by many prestigious engineering and management institutions with Fellowships. He is a certified Level ‘A’ Project Director of IPMA. He has received many Honorary Doctorates from reputed Universities of India and Russia. The Moscow University of “Security, Defence and Law Enforcement” honoured Dr. Pillai with the Order of the Peter the Great and the Academician of the University. Dr. Pillai has published many papers in the international and national journals and conferences. Dr. Pillai has written many books including Revolution in Leadership, Nano Science and Nano Technology for Engineering. He is the co-author with Dr. Kalam for the books (a) Envisioning an Empowered Nation and (b) the recently published ‘Thoughts for Change – we can do it’. Dr.Pillai is a recipient of various prestigious awards including Padma Shri (2002) & Padma Bhushan (2013) for his contribution to Aerospace and Missile Technologies.