Mechanical Engineering Department is the second department of the Middle East Technical University (formerly the Middle East Institute of Technology) established in 1956. 24 students enrolled in the department through an entrance examination at the end of 1956. Instruction began in February 1957 in a 4-storey building in downtown Ankara. In the same year, the institute moved to barracks in the grounds of the Turkish Parliament.
The institute was legally accepted as a university in 1959 and its name changed to Middle East Technical University, METU. At the end of the 1959-60 academic year, 11 students graduated with B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering. The graduate program started in the same year, 5 students received M.S. degrees at the end of the 1960-61 academic year.
In 1961, the present campus grounds were acquired, the architectural project was completed and construction began. METU moved to its new campus for the 1963-64 academic year. Mechanical engineering students still received instruction in barracks. The present A, B and C Buildings of the department were completed between 1964 and 1968. Offices, lecture rooms and laboratories moved to the new buildings. Throughout the years, these buildings could not meet the needs of increasing student, academic and administrative staff numbers. The present D, E, F and G Buildings were therefore added and the department finally reached its present physical capacity.
The Mechanical Engineering B.S. Program of METU was accredited by ABET in 1996 and received a substantial equivalency status. The program was again successfully accredited by ABET in 2004 according to the ABET 2000 criteria.
The Mechanical Engineering Department of METU progressed through the years to become well known world wide with the quality of its graduates and scientific accomplishments of its staff. The department is proud to initiate and to lead many activities and it will successfully continue to pursue the three goals of its mission; education, research and public service.
You can read a more detailed version of the history of the department in Turkish here.