The Ministry of Education and Social Welfare, as per the decision of Council of Indian Institute of Technology, established the Ocean Engineering Center of IIT Madras in 1977 based on the recommendation of the committee headed by Dr. Y. Nayudamma. The Department is to act as a Center of Excellence for advancing the frontiers of science and to provide Break-through Technology as well as to develop education and training programs in the field of Ocean Engineering. A national advisory Committee consisting of representatives of the then Ministry of Education, CSIR, UGC, DST, ONGC, EIL, other IITs and user industries with the Director, IIT Madras as the chairman monitored the progress of the Department over the years. A review committee headed by Prof. M.G.K. Menon also reviewed the progress of the Department in 1982 and its recommendation has since been implemented.
The Department has been functioning as an academic department since 1982.
The Department was created with the following objectives:
To create infrastructure and expertise in order to carry out R & D work in areas of Ocean Engineering and related fields, which have direct relevance in the national context.
To create educational and research opportunities at graduate and doctoral levels.
To extend educational facilities and train the manpower from industry, R & D organizations and other educational institutions in order to enable
them to carry out tasks in areas of Ocean Engineering.
To collaborate with user organizations on need based problems.
The last 26 years have seen a remarkable growth of the Department in terms of expertise and infrastructure facilities and there has been notable success in achieving the above mentioned objectives. The Department vigorously pursues activities in line with its objectives and remains committed to excellence in its endeavor in education, research and training programs as well as supporting developmental efforts of marine industries. The Department has laboratory are of 3000m2 and a highly specialized faculty numbering 20 with adequate support from technical and administrative staff.