The Govt. Engineering College, Thrissur had a modest but epoch- making beginning in April 1958 in a building temporarily provided by the Maharaja's Technological Institute, Thrissur at its Chembukavu campus. It has now grown into one of the most prestigious institutions for technical education in Kerala. Its present campus at Ramavarmapuram, spread over an area of 75 acres is about 5 Km. from the heart of Thrissur town and about 6 Km. from Thrissur railway station.
The foundation stone of the College buildings at its present site was laid by the late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, on 26th April 1958. The work on the main buildings, two men's hostels, laboratories was taken up right away and subsequently on their completion the classes were shifted to the present campus in October 1960. The College was formally inaugurated by the late Mr. Pattom A Thanupillai, the then Chief Minister of Kerala on 2nd February 1962.
Prof. S. Rajaraman, a civil engineer of international repute and author of many engineering books was the first Principal. He along with Prof. MP Mathew and Prof. VS Nair (the then Professor and Head of the Departments of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering respectively) formed the triumvirate that gave it a strong footing and set the pace for the onward growth and development of the College
The College since then, had the opportunity to have the following distinguished and illustrious personalities at its helm in succession.
Dr. K. Neelakantan is the Principal at present.
The College, in the beginning, was affiliated to the University of Kerala. When the University of Calicut was formed in 1968, the college got affiliated to it. For a brief spell from 1977 to 1980, the College was under the academic and administrative control of the Cochin University of Science and Technology.
At the start, the College had only three branches of engineering, viz. Civil, Mechanical and Electrical with an intake of 40 students in each branch. Later, the College started offering various programs in Chemical Engineering (1962), Production Cum Plant Engineering (1979), Electronics and Communication Engineering (1983) and Computer Science and Engineering (1986). During this process of evolution the intake has grown from 120 to more than 500 every year.