Interesting facts about IIT Roorkee:
- Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee was formerly known as University of Roorkee (1949-2001) and the Thomason College of Civil Engineering (1853-1948). IIT, Roorkee Established in 1847 in British India by the then lieutenant governor, Sir James Thomason, it was given university status in 1949 and was converted into an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in 2001. IIIT, Roorkee is among the oldest engineering colleges of Asia.
- The Department of Civil Engineering was established in 1847 and is the oldest engineering department in India. The Electrical Engineering department of the IIT, Roorkee was established in the year 1897, and was one of the earliest such specializations in the world.
- The reputation of the college was so high that the engineers' class (engineering degree) of the college was only for Europeans, upper subordinate class for Europeans and Indians and lower subordinate class for Indians only. The recruitment of the Engineering students was directly controlled by the Public Works Departments (PWD).
- From 1934 to 1943, officers of the Indian Army Corps of Engineers received training at the Thomason College of Engineering. Even after the establishment of the School of Military Engineering (SME) at Roorkee in 1943, the Army Engineers continued to receive technical training at the college.
- IIIT, Roorkee has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Universities like: National University of Singapore (NUS); Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Switzerland; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland; Technische Universität München (TUM), Germany; Institut National des Télécommunications, France; University of Texas at Dallas, USA; New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), USA; University of Waterloo, Canada; University of Western Ontario, Canada. Every year students from more than 50 countries join IIT Roorkee for full-time or short-term training courses.
- In 1955 the department of Water Resources Development and Management (WRDM) was established as an Asian African Centre to honour India's commitment at the Asian African Conference held in Bandung.
- IIT Roorkee has a very famous alumnus. Ten alumni have won the Padma Bhushan awards, two have won the Padma Vibhushan awards and twenty five alumni have won the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology. The institute has produced seven chairmen of the Indian Railway Board, chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, more than a hundred secretary-level officers in the Government of India, two presidents of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Governors of states of India, Members of Parliament, chairmen of University Grants Commission (India), six Directors of the Indian Institutes of Technology, Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors of prominent Indian Universities, and presidents of Engineering and Scientific organizations like the Indian Institution of Engineers, the Indian National Science Academy and the Indian National Academy of Engineering.
- Mangu Singh: Managing Director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited.
- Narendra Patni: founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Patni Computer Systems.
- Frederic Oscar Oertel: Indian art historian and archaeologist
- Lawrence Samuel Durrell: Chief Engineer of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway:
- Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan: founder of the Dar ul Islam Movement and the Dar ul Islam Trust in South Asia and the Dar ul Islam Trust Institutes in Pathankot, India and Jauharabad, Pakistan
- John Underwood Bateman-Champain: British army officer and engineer in India, who was instrumental in laying the first electric, telegraph line from Britain to India by way of the Persian Gulf.
- Sir John Aird: 1st Baronet, English civil engineering contractor of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He also served as Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Paddington North from 1887 to 1906, was the first Mayor of Paddington in 1900
- Ravi Sharma: CEO of Adani Power Limited & Former CEO of Videocon
- Amit Singhal: Google Fellow who rewrote the Google search algorithm in 2000.
- Dr. Rakesh Agrawal: A Microsoft Fellow and ex-IBM fellow widely known as the 'Father of Data Mining'.