Dr. Kota Harinarayana was born in Berhampur, Orissa, in 1943 and graduated from BHU in Mechanical Engineering. He did his post-graduation in Aero Engineering at IISc, Bangalore. He did his Ph.D. at IIT Bombay. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law.

He started his career in 1967 at HAL. He moved to DRDO HQ in 1970. He rejoined HAL in 1982 as Chief Designer in Nasik Division. He was deputed to DRDO in 1985 and assumed charge as Director, ADE, Bangalore. He was appointed as LCA Programme Director in December 1985. During 1995 he was elevated as Distinguished Scientist by DRDO. As Programme Director and Chief Designer of Light Combat Aircraft, he successfully directed the project leading to flight testing and clearance for limited series production. Thanks to his efforts, India succeeded in developing a state-of-art, high technology fighter aircraft of world class.

Widely honoured:

  • Padma Shri, 2002
  • Fellow of
    • Aeronautical Society of India (former President of the Society),
    • Indian National Academy of sciences,
    • National Academy of Sciences and
    • Indian National Academy of Engineering.
  • Distinguished Alumnus award from:
    • Indian Institute of Science
    • IIT Bombay.
  • Awards:
    • National Aeronautics Prize, 1996
    • FIE Foundation Award, 1996
    • SBI-Pragna Puraskar in 2001
    • Dr. Y. Nayudamma Memorial Award for 2001
    • DRDO Technology Leadership Award for 2001.
    • Gujar Mal Modi Science Foundation Award, 2006.
    • Lifetime Contribution Award in Engineering, Indian National Academy of Engineering, 2006.
    • Shri Om Prakash Bhasin award for Science & Technology, 2007 in the field of Engineering including Energy & Aerospace.
    • DRDO Lifetime Achievement Award, 2008.
    • Lokamanya Tilak Purashkar, 2011
    • Aryabhata award, 2014, from Astronautical Society of India
  • Honorary Doctorates conferred on him by the following Universities:
    • Berhampur University, 2008
    • Acharya Nagarjuna University, 2012
    • SOA, Bhubaneswar, 2013
    • Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, 2017

Science and Academic Responsibilities:

  • Vice-Chancellor of University of Hyderabad till 15th July, 2005.
  • Chairman of Research Councils of CSIO, Chandigarh (CSIR Lab)
  • Chairman of Centre for Wind energy Technology, CWET (MNRE Institution)
  • Director, MIDHANI,
  • Distinguished visiting professor at IIT, Bombay,
  • Pratt & Whitney Chair professor at University of Hyderabad,
  • Member of UGC empowered committee on Basic research in Science,
  • Dr. D S Kothari DRDO Chair at ADA, Bangalore,
  • Chairman, Board of Governors of IIITDM, Jabalpur,
  • INAE Satish Dhawan Chair professor at CSIR-NAL.

Present Responsibilities:

  • SERB Distinguished Fellow
  • Honorary advisor at CSIR-NAL
  • Chairman, General Aeronautics Pvt Ltd.