School of Mechanical Engineering

National Technical University of Athens

The National Technical University was founded in 1837 under the name Polytechnic School as an elementary technical educational institution operating on Sundays and holidays only. In 1840 its operation became continuous, offering more courses. By that year, it moved to its own building in Piraeus Street. The zeal of both its student body and teaching staff raised the standards of the School. The offered courses were given in winter and summer terms, and included mathematics, chemistry, design and mechanics. Between 1844-1862, apart from the Sunday and weekday School, a Higher School for architecture and the fine arts was established. During the same period, a course for machinists was also introduced. Courses on magnetics and static electricity were introduced in January 1856, and in June 1860 the first telegraph operators were trained. 

Between 1862-1864 and 1864-1873, the Polytechnion was reorganized and new more technical courses were added. A machine shop and a telegraphic laboratory were then organized. In 1873, the Polytechnion was moved to its present Patission Street buildings, and was renamed Metsovion Polytechnion in honour of its benefactors from the town of Metsovon, Eripus. Polytechnion operated in this form till after 1873. In 1881, a one-year course in Telegraphy was introduced. In 1887, the faculties for Civil Engineers, Machinists and Foremen were established, and the bylaws and the curriculum were compiled. 

The operation of the faculties continued until 1914. Then the School fell under the Ministry of Public Works and adopted the name National Technical University of Athens. By then, the faculties included Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Architecture, Electrical Engineering, and Telegraphic Engineering, all of them being four-year courses at the highest educational level. In accordance to a 1914 law, lower level courses were transferred to elementary technical schools. In accordance to a 1917 legislation, the National Technical University of Athens included the Highest School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and the Highest Schools for Architects, Chemical Engineers and Surveyors. New courses in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering were introduced and new laboratories were established. All courses offered were obligatory. In 1960 and thereafter the School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering was divided into the Mechanical and Electrical Divisions. In 1963, Production Engineering was established as a subdivision in Mechanical Engineering, while in 1968 the division of Naval Engineering was founded.

In 1975, the School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering was divided into two independent Schools. The School of Mechanical Engineering included the divisions of Production Engineering and Naval Engineering. In 1982, the Department of Mechanical Engineering included the following six Sections:

- Industrial Management & Operational Research.
- Thermal Engineering.
- Mechanical Design & Automatic Control.
- Nuclear Engineering.
- Fluids.
- Manufacturing Technology.

The division of Naval Engineering was separated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, forming an independent Department. In 1986, the following two cycles of courses were created: 

- The cycle for Energy Mechanical Engineers.
- The cycle for Construction Mechanical Engineers.

In 1990, a cycle for Aircraft-Mechanical Engineers has been introduced. The above three cycles, with a fourth cycle for Production Engineers, allow the students to choose a main thrust for their studies and select courses of interest to them. The School Laboratories complement the engineering education offered with (a) laboratory training, seminars and assistance for Diploma Theses, (b) advanced research and assistance for research related to PhD work, (c) applied research and development in cooperation with industrial, public and private institutions.