INDIAN INSTITUTE OF
TECHNOLOGY, KHARAGPUR

From Head's Desk


The department came into existence in 1965 as the Department of Aeronautical Engineering. Later in 1988, it was renamed as the Department of Aerospace Engineering. Since its inception the department is engaged in imparting education in various aspects of aircraft and space technology. It offers B.Tech, Dual degree and M.Tech programmes in Aerospace Engineering. In addition, research programmes lead to MS, joint M. Tech-PhD and PhD degrees also exists.

At the present, the faculty strength is 21. The department has 224 UG (including Dual Degree), 36 M. Tech, and 2 MS students and 55 PhD scholars. The research students are working in different major areas of Aerospace Engineering and interdisciplinary areas.

The Department aspires to be among the top 20 departments of Aerospace Engineering of the world. It aims is create an ambience in which new ideas and creativity flourish and from which research and scholarship and leaders and innovators of tomorrow emerge. It is actively working towards achieving its aspiration and has prepared a roadmap for this purpose.

The Department has a large number of well-equipped laboratories in the areas of Aerodynamics, Structures, Propulsion, System and Control, Intelligent Systems, Aeromodeling, Computational Fluid Dynamics and Computational Structure Mechanics. Facilities in the Aerodynamics Laboratory include an airflow bench, subsonic wind tunnel, supersonic tunnel, cascade tunnel and smoke tunnel, etc. The other major wind tunnels include an industrial tunnel for studying wind effect on structures and a gust tunnel for studying unsteady flow problems. The Structures Laboratory is equipped with electrodynamic vibration shakers, Multi-axis Shake table, a ten ton capacity universal testing machine, a torsion testing machine, computerized experiments related to deflection of curved bars, shear centre apparatus and buckling of struts having Interface for digital display of force, strain, deflection and angle with Experiment Software for each experiment, vibration fundamental kits(VFT). The Instron 1342 (upgraded model), servo-hydraulic materials testing machine with HP-300 High Speed Data Acquisition System for static, dynamic and fatigue testing of structural elements and Vibration Shake Table are excellent facilities in this department. The laboratory also possesses photo elasticity unit with artificial vision system used for quality measurement in any point and suitable for the introduction and study of photo elasticity, pin jointed frameworks, virtual work and forces in truss (Resolution) with computerized digital display of force, strain, deflection etc. Uni-axial and Bi-axial test rigs for Plate Experiments incorporating parametric excitations and measurements are unique features of the Structures Laboratory. Application of Follower forces are also depicted in the laboratory experiments. Major Propulsion Laboratory facilities include Axial Flow Fan Test Set, Centrifugal Fan Test Unit, Ram Jet and Pulse Jet facility, Reaction Turbine Test facility, Nozzle Pressure Distribution Unit, Flame Propagation and Stabilization Unit, Nozzle Performance and Jet Reaction Unit and Droplet Combustion Test Rig. Major Flight Mechanics laboratory facilities include 2DOF Rotor System, Inverted Pendulum system, Magnetic Levitator System, Servo system, etc. The department also has excellent computational laboratories equipped with high performance computational facilities besides a large number of workstations and high end PCs. It also offers adequate facilities to the students to design, build and fly remotely controlled/auto-controlled model aircrafts including UAVs and MAVs.

Recently, the department has taken several major initiatives to meet the current demand of quality research. In this direction, firstly the department has identified five major Thrust Areas of Research. These are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and related Technologies, Smart and Composite Structures, Experimental and Computational Research on Turbulent Flows, Propulsion & Combustion and Flight Dynamics & Control. Secondly, the department has also identified top 10 journals in Aerospace Engineering and interdisciplinary areas and top 10 conferences of the world where the faculty and students are encouraged to publish their research work. And finally, it has also indentified challenge problems for undergraduate students of the Institute.

The department has the unique distinction of having centre of excellence in composites and Computational fluid dynamics and undertaking a large number of sponsored R & D projects and consultancies in different areas of Aerospace Engineering. It is currently running several sponsored research projects from different sponsoring agencies such as Aeronautics R & D Board, DRDO, DRDL, DST, Aeronautical Development Agency, Indian Space Research Organization, Indian Railway and others. The department has also organised several academic training programmes for industry such as HAL, etc and academic training programme for Korean Students in the past. These projects and collaborations have helped the department in a number of ways as follows:

1. Motivating a large number of talented young graduates to work on various important national defense projects like LCA for example.
2. Helping faculty members to develop expertise on research in new areas and ensure better accountability.
3. Developing fruitful interaction with various R & D and other organizations like AR&DB, ADA, CSIR, NAL, ADE, DST, ISRO, BARC, MHRD, HAL, DRDL, etc.
4. Developing a team spirit among the faculty, students and research staff to carry out research work on the basis of mutual help and trust.
5. Developing new experimental facilities involving large fund that cannot be met out of Institute grants.

The department regularly organizes national and international seminars, conferences, workshops and short term courses. Faculty members of the department have large number of publications in national and international journals and proceedings of conferences of international repute. Recently, the department went through a rigorous peer review in MHRD format done by external experts. The peer review committee has clearly mentioned in its report that the department has done exceedingly well in terms in terms of UG and PG courses, research and publications and sponsored research. Their publications rank is excellent, comparable with national and international averages. A few universally accepted parameters, as on Feb. 28, 2014 which indicate the performance of the department in terms of research etc. are worth sharing. Scopus h- index of the department in last five years (2008-2013) is 23 which is considered to be high and comparable with any top class Aerospace Engineering department of the world. This h-index is in fact better than many national and international peers of the repute. The average citation per research paper is around 9.2 during 2008-2013. The average publication per faculty is around 14.8 during the last five years. The department’s contribution towards the h-index 54 of the Institute during 2008-13 is around 15 percent. The collaborations in terms of research and students exchange with national and international peers are good and are being accelerated.

The Department would like to look back at its inception, growth and development and the role it has played in the field of aerospace over the years. The alumni of this department have occupied important positions in various aerospace organizations and have played key roles in the advancement of aerospace education in this country. Many of the graduates have acclaimed international recognition in their field of specialization. This has helped the department to attain an international status. The growth of aerospace technology is linked with the parallel development of mechanical, electrical, electronics, computer science and basic sciences and thus developments in the aerospace field find application in many allied fields of science and technology. This is reflected in the large numbers of our graduates excelling in the related engineering and scientific professions.


Dipak K Maiti
Head of department





Name of the HODFromTo
Prof. S. N. Chaudhuri1965-1984
Prof. B. C. Basu
Prof. C. N. Lakshminarayana
Prof. B. G. GhoshApril, 1984August, 1985
Prof. B .N. SreedharAugust, 1985September, 1987
Prof. B. K. ParidaSeptember, 1987September, 1989
Prof. B. C. BasuSeptember, 1989June, 1990
Prof. B .N. SreedharJuly, 1990June, 1993
Prof. P. K. DuttaJuly, 1993June, 1996
Prof. P. K. SinhaJuly, 1996May, 1999
Prof. A. K. GhoshJuly, 1999August, 2002
Prof. G. BandyopadhyaySeptember, 2002August, 2005
Prof. P. K. DuttaSeptember, 2005September, 2007
Prof. Navtej SinghOctober, 2007January, 2010
Prof. A. K. GhoshJanuary, 2010August, 2010
Prof. K. P. SinhamahapatraSeptermber, 2010September, 2013
Prof. B. N. SinghSeptember, 2013September, 2016
Prof. D. K. MaitiSeptember, 2016