IIT Kanpur was founded in 1959 at the Harcourt Butler Technological Institute in Kanpur. One of the founding departments of the Institute, the department of Mechanical Engineering came into existence within a year of establishment of IIT Kanpur. The department has played a leading role in defining a unique engineering science curriculum that has served as a model for academic programs across the country by setting standards in teaching while creating new interdisciplinary programs in industrial engineering, mechatronics, and nuclear technology.

Early Days

The mechanical engineering department started its journey in the year of 1960 with only three faculty members and twenty three undergraduate students. Professor G. S. Kainth was the first to join the mechanical engineering department as a faculty member. Later, Professors J. Prasad and H. C. Radhakrishnan also took part in. The first batch of B. Tech. graduated in 1965. Also, in the same year, the first PhD student graduated. Subsequently, in the year of 1967, the M. Tech. program in mechanical engineering started with only four students. Gradually with the course of time, several faculty members joined and the number of both undergraduate and postgraduate students increased several times. In the year of 1963, the department shifted to the present Northern Laboratory building.

Journey & Growth

The department’s journey for expansion continued, and many teaching laboratories and advanced research facilities came up over the years. Much later, in the year of 2000, the department started its B. Tech. - M. Tech. degree program and the first dual degree batch graduated in 2005. Every year, the department graduates around 100 undergraduates, 80 – 100 Master’s, and 10 – 15 PhD students. From its very inception, the department of mechanical engineering has been striving to develop itself into a hallmark of excellence in education and research in consonance with the contemporary and future needs of India. The combined record of its past and present faculty and students along with the alumni spread across the world is awe-inspiring.