It hosts three departments, from the older to the younger:
It provides post-graduate education in fluid dynamics (the Diploma Course, Doctorate Program, Lecture Series) and encourages "training in research through research". Undergraduate education is also provided the form of a Short Training Programme for students of the supporting countries.
The Short Training Programme takes place during the summer months, whereby students engage in various research projects within one of the three departments listed above. Students typically finish their programmes by completing a report detailing the research that they conducted along with their main findings.
A Final Year Project programme for students of selected Belgian Institutions is also available.
Founded in 1956 following Theodore von Kármán's proposal to create a center of exchange between scientists coming from all over Europe, it is currently supported with subsidies from most of the member countries of NATO and with an income derived from contract research and the one granted by the Lecture Series.