The Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics was founded in 1957 by an outstanding scientist, academician S.A. Khristianovich,, who was appointed the director of the Institute by the Presidium of USSR Academy of Sciences. The main research activities were established: highspeed aerodynamics; combustion, kinetics and turbulence; strength of materials and constructions; and mechanics of soils and rocks as applied to mining problems.

Later, in different years, the Institute was headed by academician M.F. Zhukov (1965-1966), academician V.V. Struminsky (1966-1971), corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences R.I. Soloukhin (1971-1976), academician N.N. Yanenko (1976-1984), and corresponding member of RAS V.G. Dulov (1984-1989). Since 1990 the Institute is headed by academician V.M. Fomin.

Academicians M.F. Zhukov, V.V. Struminsky, V.M. Fomin

The Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics is an academic research organization, which successfully works in the field of advance problems of mechanics. The main research activities of the Institute deal with fundamental investigations in the field of aerohydrodynamics of super- and hypersonic flows: hydrodynamic stability, boundary layer, theory of fuel mixing and combustion in supersonic flows, mechanics of multiphase media with regard for physico-chemical transformations, plasma dynamics, and strength.

To promote the integration of Russian scientists into the international scientific community, the International Center of Aerophysical Research (ICAR) was founded at the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in 1991. In 1998 the Tyumen' Department joined the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics SB RAS as an independent budget division. Since May, 1997, ITAM SB RAS is a member of Supersonic Tunnels Association, International (STAI).