Prof. Satish Dhawan (25 September 1920–3 January 2002) was an Indian rocket scientist who was born in Srinagar, India and educated in India and the United States. He is considered by the Indian scientific community to be the father of experimental fluid dynamics research in India and one of the most eminent researchers in the field of turbulence and boundary layers.
He succeeded Vikram Sarabhai, the founder of the Indian space programme, as Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1972. He was also the Chairman of the Space Commission and Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Space. In the decade following his appointment he directed the Indian space programme through a period of extraordinary growth and spectacular achievement..
Prof. Satish Dhawan carried out pioneering experiments in rural education, remote sensing and satellite communications. His efforts led to operational systems like INSAT- a telecommunications satellite, IRS - the Indian Remote Sensing satellite and the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) that placed India in the league of space faring nations.
Following his death in 2002, the Indian satellite launch centre at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, located about 100 km north of Chennai in South India was renamed as the Prof. Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
Padma Vibhushan, (India's second highest civilian honour), 1981
Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration, 1999
Distinguished Alumnus Award, Indian Institute of Science
Distinguished Alumnus Award, California Insititute of Technology, 1969