Science in India is still a highly male-dominated profession. The nominal representation of women in various fields of science substantiates this argument. But Tessy Thomas, 54 year old engineer from Alappuzha has earned several achievements against the hegemonies. She is the major brain behind India’s latest Agni missiles (IV & V). In his inaugural speech at the Indian Science Congress in 2012, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh commented on Tessy Thomas as “the woman making her mark in a traditionally male bastion and decisively breaking the glass ceiling”.
Tessy is known as the ‘Missile Woman’ of India for her invaluable contributions to the field of strategic weapons over the last few decades. By working as the project director for Agni IV missile, she became the first woman to head a missile project in India. Further she worked on developing the long range nuclear-capable ballistic missile, Agni V which was first successfully test launched on April 2012. She is currently working as a scientist at India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).