Thrissur (Kerala): K Radhakrishnan, director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, was on Saturday named the next chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Armed with a fax copy of his appointment Radhakrishnan, who takes over from G Madhavan Nair, visited the famed Sree Krishna Temple Guruvayoor in Thrissur on Saturday evening.
Radhakrishnan said he was told of his appointment by phone from New Delhi. He then gave the number of the temple board office in Thrissur where his appointment copy was faxed.
"Religion and science go hand-in-hand. And when the two join it is nice," said Radhakrishnan, when asked about the official communication reaching him at the temple.
Radhakrishnan takes over from Nair on October 31.
Radhakrishnan did his electrical engineering degree from Kerala University in 1970. He also holds an MBA from Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore and a doctorate from Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur.
He said that his first priority would be to see that the first indigenously developed cryogenic engine be made ready for the launch of the GSLV.
"A huge responsibility has been placed on me and at this moment I would like to thank all my gurus (teachers) and among them are Nair and other former ISRO chairmen like Kasturi Rangan and UR Rao," Radhakrishnan told reporters.
Starting his career with the ISRO as an avionics engineer in 1971, he went on to hold key positions such as director of Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres under the umbrella of National Natural Resources Management System (1989-97).
In 2000-2005, Radhakrishnan was with Department of Ocean Development (presently Ministry of Earth Sciences) as the founder director of the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and the project director of the Early Warning System for Tsunami and Storm Surges.
He was also the vice chairman of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of Unesco 2001-05.
Radhakrishnan is a member of the Indian delegation to the UN Committee on Peaceful Use of Outer Space since June 2006.