About the Institute
The Indian Institute of Science was founded in 1909, by Mr. J.N. Tata (visionary founder of the well known Tata group) to conduct research and provide advanced training in selected branches of Science and Engineering. The Institute started functioning from July 1911 with the Departments of General & Applied Chemistry and Electrical Technology. A few months later, the Department of Organic Chemistry was opened. The department of Physics was started in 1933 with the appointment of Nobel Laureate Sir C.V. Raman as the head of the department and Director of the Institute.
Start of Aeronautics
When World War II started, the factory set up in 1940 by Walchand Hirachand, primarily for automobiles, was transformed into Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) for assembly and repair of aircraft. There was a great need to create manpower trained in aeronautics in the country. This necessitated the establishment of a Department of Aeronautical Engineering-in the country, preferably in Bangalore, to meet the trained man power requirements. Perceiving this, the court of the Institute, presided over by Sir M. Visveswariah, adopted the following resolution in 1941.
“That in view of the scientific and practical importance of advanced instruction and research in aeronautical engineering and metallurgical sciences and of research in automobile engineering, the Court recommends to the Council that the Government of India, the Provincial governments, the Indian States and the Industrialists be approached for funds which will enable the Institute to equip itself with facilities for such work”.
About the Department
The department of Aeronautical Engineering was started in December 1942. Thus, after the department of Electrical Technology, the Department of Aeronautical Engineering is the oldest engineering department at the Institute. The services of Dr. V.M. Ghatage, one of the few trained aeronautical engineers in the country at that time and who was working in HAL, were lent to the Institute during 1942-1947. He was the head of the department till 1945. During 1945-48, Dr. R.G. Harris of the Royal Aircraft Establishment U.K. was professor and Head of the Department. Prof. O.G. Tietjens was appointed as the Head of the department in 1949 and continued till 1954. After 1955, induction of foreigners to head, the department was discontinued and one of the professors acted as Head or Chairman of the department.