Since its foundation in 1934, Satbayev University has been actively involved in the research work of our country. From the first days it became clear that the university was destined to play a special role in the history of Kazakhstan. The university named long ago as the Kazakh Mining and Metallurgical Institute, in a short time had became the main base for providing engineering personnel to the mining, metallurgical, geological, construction and other industries of the republic.
The Institute played an important role in the formation and development of scientific and practical activities in the field of geology, mining, metallurgy in Kazakhstan. The scientific schools of the university, such as Baikonur, have made a great contribution to the development of the ore resource base of the republic and the organization of new technologies for mining and metallurgical production. Formation of the university is associated with the names of such well-known scientists as O.A. Baikonurov, H.K. Avetisyan, I.I. Bok, A.V. Brichkin, L.G. Kushev, V.D. Ponomarev, A. S. Popov, V.V. Stender, A.A. Tseft, E.D. Shlygin, heroes of the Soviet Union M. Baymuhanov, V.A. Zasyadko.
Academician K.I. Satpaev played a great role in the formation and development of the Kazakh Mining and Metallurgical Institute. Starting from the first issue of mining geological engineers in 1937-1938, Kanysh Imantayevich had been a chairman of the State Examination Commission. During the Great Patriotic War he had been a member of the Academic Council of the Institute.
In the postwar period, the restoration and development of the country was practically impossible without the further development of engineering science and education. It required intensive scientific research, development of energy, oil production and other industries. By the 1960s, the Kazakh Mining and Metallurgical Institute had become a diversified university and the largest scientific organization of a technical profile in the country.
KazMMI, renamed in 1960 into the Kazakh Polytechnic Institute, became the birthplace of scientific schools, which later became the pride and glory of the domestic engineering science. A group of scientists of the Institute under the leadership of K.I.Satpaev, I.I. Bok and G.T. Medoyev created a new geological discipline - metallogeny, as well as predicted metallogenic maps of Kazakhstan. Laureates of state awards E.A. Ankinovich became the authors of the discovery of minerals not known until then. In 1978, according to its scientific and pedagogical potential, the institute was recognized as one of the leading higher educational institutions of the Soviet Union and rightfully became the leader in the sphere of higher technical education of the country. In 1984, for merits in the training of qualified specialists and the development of scientific research, the Kazakh Polytechnic Institute named after V.I. Lenin was awarded with the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.
In January 1994, the institute was transformed into the Kazakh National Technical University, it was entrusted with the functions of training the country for a multilevel structure adopted in the world practice, as well as the development of curricula and training programs. On September 22, 1999 the Kazakh National Technical University was named after the outstanding Kazakh scientist, academician Kanysh Imantaevich Satpaev by the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan for special merits in the training of engineering and technical personnel of the country and in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of K.I. Satpaev.
At the moment, the main tasks of the university's scientific work are the implementation of the principle of “learning through research” and close cooperation with production. The university conducts contract research on production problems and conducts extensive work on the commercialization of scientific discoveries in cooperation with such well-known private and public enterprises as “Kazzinc”, “Kazchrome”, “Petro Kazakhstan Kumkol Resources”, “Tospa Su”, “Kazatomprom”, “Parasat” , “Pavlodar Petrochemical Factory”. University, conducts search and selection of ideas, promotes the formation and implementation of innovative projects, the creation and development of start-up companies, the attraction of grants and investments. Organizes and provides legal protection of the results of intellectual activity.