The Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Bombay was started in 1958, with assistance from the Soviet Union under a UNESCO aid scheme. It was initially organized on the basis of specializations with distinct laboratories and academic programmes: Unit Operations (Heat transfer, Mass transfer and Fluid mechanics), Automation in Chemical Industries, Processes (Inorganic and Organic) and Technologies (Fuel, Silicate, Cellulose and Electrochemical). Over time, the Department has evolved into a more homogeneous entity, with an emphasis on Chemical Engineering fundamentals. The general academic programme reflects this evolution; however, specialization in particular technologies is possible by research projects and through streamed electives.

Chemical Engineering at IIT Bombay is today recognized as a leading department in India primarily because of its strong academic programme, large faculty strength and diverse range of research areas. The academic programmes of the Department are the B.Tech. (60 students/year, duration 4 years), the M.Tech (40 students/year, duration 1.5 years), 5 year Dual Degree (15 students/year) and Ph.D. programme (8 students/year). Several faculty members of the Department also actively participate in teaching and research activities of various interdisciplinary programmes of the Institute.

The Department has built up good experimental and computational facilities, through funding from the Ministry of Human Resources Development, and research projects from Government Agencies and Industry. The Department has good interaction with Industry and provides service by way of consultancy projects and continuing education courses in many of areas.