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Waman Dattatreya Patwardhan
WDPatwardhan 1961jpg.jpg
Born30 January 1917
Died27 July 2007(2007-07-27) (aged 90)
Pune, India
Alma materSir Parshurambhau College
University of Mumbai
Known forRocket Propellants
Indian Nuclear Program
Indian Space Program
Smiling Buddha
Development of Indian missile and rocket Program
research work in Military Explosives, their chemistry and applications
AwardsPadma Shri Award (1974)
Scientific career
FieldsExplosives Engineering and Nuclear Chemistry
InstitutionsIndian Ordnance Factories
Defence Research and Development Organisation
Indian Space Research Organisation
High Energy Materials Research Laboratory
Armament Research and Development Establishment
Doctoral advisorDr. Ambler
Other academic advisorsProf. Limaye
V. C. Bhide
InfluencedT. A. Kulkarni
An esteemed scientist personally respects by dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Waman Dattatreya Patwardhan (30 January 1917 – 27 July 2007) was an Indian nuclear chemist, defence scientist and an expert in the science of Explosives engineering. He was the founder director of the Explosives Research and Development Laboratory (now known as the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL)) of India. He is considered one of the distinguished scientists in India due to his contributions to Indian space program, Indian nuclear program and missile program in their early stages. He developed the solid propellant for India's first space rocket launched at Thumba. He was responsible for developing the detonation system of India's first nuclear device which was successfully tested in 1974,[1] an operation codenamed Smiling Buddha.

Other areas of work: Wrote a book on Hydroponics[2] and developed a cost-effective method for producing parabolic mirrors for astronomical telescopes.

He was awarded Padma Shri in 1974 by the Government of India for his contributions.[3]


  1. ^ India's Nuclear Weapons Program
  2. ^ National Library, Ministry of Culture, Government of India (Call no.E 631.585 P 278)[1]
  3. ^ Padma Awardees Archived 31 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine