Dr. S. P. Aggarwal assumed the charge of Director, NESAC with effect from 17th September, 2021. He has taken important initiatives towards effective utilization of Space Technology for various development activities of NER such as Natural Resource Management, Disaster Risk Management, Weather forecasting, Satellite communication applications, ICT based and Geo-governance related applications. Prior to this assignment he was Group Head of Water Resources Department at Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), ISRO, Dehradun. Dr. Aggarwal is a highly accomplished scientist in the field of Remote Sensing and GIS applications in water resources management, disaster management and climate change impact assessment and at the same time he has immensely contributed in the capacity building and outreach program of ISRO.
He obtained his B.Tech. degree in Agricultural Engineering from Allahabad University, Post graduate and Ph.D. degree from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. He did his post doctoral research from ITC/IHE, The Netherlands in the field of hydrological modeling.
He started his career at IIRS in 1996 and has contributed significantly in the field of Remote Sensing and GIS applications in Water Resources management, Disaster management and climate change impact assessment on hydrological regime. He has successfully led several regional and national projects covering large-scale hydrological modelling, Irrigation water management, Soil erosion assessment, Snow, ice and glacier melt studies, flood mapping, monitoring and flood early warning system, Cryosphere research in Antarctica and Arctic region, etc. He demonstrated exemplary leadership in simultaneous progress of the group in research, applications, and capacity building arena.
As programme coordinator of the UN affiliated Centre for space science and technology education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP) during 2016-2021 periods, Dr Aggarwal played the pivotal role in strengthening the regional and international cooperation in capacity building in space science, technology and applications in the Asia-Pacific region. He interacted with different international organizations, UN agencies, foreign missions in India and Indian missions abroad to organize academic programme for participants from the Asia-Pacific region. These programmes included Remote Sensing and GIS, Satellite Communications, Satellite Meteorology and Global Climate, Space and Atmospheric Sciences and GNSS, conducted at IIRS, Dehradun and SAC and PRL Ahmadabad.
Dr. Aggarwal is well known for his teaching skills. He has extensively contributed in various capacity building programmes of IIRS, which includes training programmes for user departments, Ministries of Central and State Governments, University faculty, etc. He has been a major contributor in all IIRS academic programmes viz. M.Tech. (RS & GIS), M.Sc. (Geoinformatics), PG Diploma, and other certificate courses. He has supervised 26 M.Tech students, 38 PG diploma students and guided 5 Ph D students.
He received several awards and honours including the Institution of Engineers of India (Uttarakhand state) conferring him with the Eminent Engineers Award for 2014 for his outstanding contributions in the field. He received the President Appreciation medal by Indian Society of Remote Sensing (ISRS) for 2016 and prestigious National Geospatial Award for Excellence by ISRS for 2018. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers (India), Indian Society of Remote Sensing and Indian Association of Hydrologist.
Dr. Aggarwal is an active member of several scientific and professional societies. He is serving as Secretary of Technical Commission V of International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) on Education and outreach (2016-2021). He served Indian Society of Remote Sensing as Secretary for 4 years and treasurer for 2 years. He is currently contributing to the Journal of Indian Society of Remote Sensing as managing editor. He also had successfully organised Asian conference on Remote Sensing (ACRS-2017) on Space Applications: Touching Human Lives with about 1000 delegates from 53 countries as Organizing Secretary.
He has more than 150 research publications in peer reviewed International and National Journals and conference proceedings. He has also authored 4 book chapters and 19 technical reports. He has visited several countries to attend conferences and meetings that have helped strengthening international linkages and cooperation.