The establishment of the Nondhaburi Telecommunication Training Center on August 24, 1960 with academic cooperation from the Government of Japan marked the origination of KMITL. The training center became the Nodhaburi Institute of Telecommunications under the Columbo Plan, later in 1964.
As specified by the 1971 King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Act, KMITL was originated by an amalgamation of three technical colleges: Nondhaburi Institute of Telecommunications, North Bangkok Technical College and Thonburi Technical College. In the same year, the Nondhaburi Institute of Telecommunications, or known as King Mongkut's Institute of Technology at Nondhaburi Campus, was relocated to the district of Ladkrabang in Bangkok. The new campus was called ''Chao Khun Taharn Ladkrabang Campus''. The Nondhaburi Institute of Telecommunications became the Faculty of Engineering in 1972. In the same year, the College of Design and Construction located at the Bangplad district was transformed into the Faculty of Architecture affiliated with KMITL.
In 1986, KMITL became a legitimate public university under a legislation called ''King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang Act'', which regulates its governance, administration and operation. Like other public universities in Thailand, KMITL is a government agency under the supervision of the former Ministry of University Affairs, which was merged with the Ministry of Education on July 7, 2003. At present, KMITL, like other public or autonomous universities, is under the supervision of the Commission on Higher Education affiliated with the Ministry of Education.
The name of the institute was derived from the name of King Rama IV. The royal grand crown seal has been graciously used as the emblem of the institute. The name "Chao Khun Taharn" has been used in honor of Chao Phya Surawong Waiyawat (Won Boonnak) of whom the heiress, Liam Prot Pitaya Payat, donated her own land to establish the institute. In 1977, the Faculty of Industrial Education and Science was established for offering fundamental courses for all faculties and for providing education and promoting research in science. In 1979, the Chao Khun Taharn Agricultural College, which was affiliated with the Department of Vocational Education, Ministry of Education, was transferred to KMITL, and became the Faculty of Agricultural Technology. The Computer Research and Service Center and the School of Graduate Studies were founded in 1981 and 1986, respectively. In 1988, the Faculty of Industrial Education and Science was separated into two faculties: the Faculty of Industrial Education and the Faculty of Science. In 1991, the Central Library was founded. In 1995, KMITL opened its first remote campus in Chumphon Province with 1,800 hectares of land in order to support the development of industry in the southern part of Thailand.
As information technology is of vital importance in our increasingly globalized and competitive world, in 1996, the Faculty of Information Technology was founded with the aim to provide higher education and research programs in information technology. In 2000, the department of Agricultural Industry within the Faculty of Agricultural Technology was endorsed to become the Faculty of Agroindustry.
Moreover, there are several academical collaborations between King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang and the Japanese government since the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 1960,such as the following examples;
Collaboration 1: December 12, 1978
The agreement of Japanese technical cooperation in the fields of computer, solid-state electronics and electrical engineering was signed. This is the initiation of establishment of Electronics Research Center in Faculty of Engineering today.
Collaboration 2: December 15, 1987
The agreement of Japanese technical cooperation in the fields of telecommunications, broadcasting, data communication and mechanical engineering in the period 1988 - 1993 was signed so thst many Japanese experts were dispatched to KMITL for the collaborative researches. This also becomes the initiation of faculty and students exchange program between KMITL and official/private organizations in Japan.
Collaboration 3: October 1, 1992
The agreement of cooperation for Pan-Pacific Regional Telecommunications Network Experiment and Research by Satellite between KMITL and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Japan (MPT), known as the 'PARTNERS' projec, was signed. This project carried out international experiments using satellite communications, organized by MPT, with the collaboration from Japan institutions such as National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) (formerly Communications Research Laboratory, CRL), National Space Development Agency (NASDA) and National Institute of Multimedia Education (NIME). The project was successfully concluded at the end of March 1996. The new POST-PARTNERS was soon to follow in order to promote international cooperation for space activities and to support scholars working in fields of education, health, and environment surveillance. Though the POST-PARTNERS project was successfully terminated in March 2002, but the networking of international linking on research and development in these areas is still active.
Collaboration 4: July 25, 1997
The agreement of technical cooperation for the establishment of the Research Center for Communications and Information Technology (ReCCIT) was signed. Through the collaboration from Japanese Government for ReCCIT was successfully terminated in September 2002, but ReCCIT becomes one of the research centers of excellence of KMITL today in major fields of information and communication technology.
In 2007, two new research centers of excellence, specifically on nanotechnology and data storage technology, have been founded with collaboration from National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of Thailand. The mission of the centers is to provide higher education and advance research and knowledge in their related technical areas.
Since the establishment of KMITL in 1960, the grand exhibitions of research and development of KMITL had been organized 5 times, in June 1976, June 1983, June 1987, July 1996 and November 2006. Their Majesties the King and Queen and Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn graciously opened these grand exhibitions and shown their most attention on the various research and develpoment results of KMITL.