Founded within the “Programa Ciência”, IDMEC is a private non-profit association of science, technology and training whose founding members are Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) and Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (FEUP).
The Mechanical Engineering Institute (IDMEC – Instituto de Engenharia Mecânica) was established in April 10th 1992 as a private rights association between IST (Instituto Superior Técnico), and FEUP (Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto), and in April 11th 1997 the IDMEC non-profit research institute was granted the title of Public Useful Entity (Entidade de Utilidade Pública). IDMEC resulted from a joint application from the departments of mechanical engineering (DEM) from IST and Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management (DEMGI) from FEUP to the Ciência program.
In July 2008 the Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and high education, approved the creation of a new associate laboratory LAETA (Laboratório Associado em Energia, Transportes e Aeronáutica), which gathers around 230 PhD holders working in several areas of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. 4 units of IDMEC lead the new entity and its mission is the creation of a network of research and development encompassing all the domains of Aerospace, Energy, and Transportation science. Specifically, LAETA promotes partnerships with companies, European consortiums, national and international entities (both public and private) to foster R&D with the aim to implement and improve engineering processes e.g. conception, design, fabrication, testing, regulation, as well as in the dissemination of knowledge, and in the education of technicians and engineers in Aerospace, Energy and Transportation sciences.