Thermal Engineering is the study of heating and cooling processes in open and closed environments. As an academic discipline, it involves the science of fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer. Thermal engineers are employed in thermal power plants, hydroelectric plants, the manufacturing sector (AC, Heat exchangers etc.) both in India and abroad. They are hired in capacities such as Plant Engineer, Lecturer, Executive Engineer, Researcher, and Chief Engineer in thermal plants. Thermal Engineers are generally professionally involved in the manufacturing of Aerospace components, boilers, military and defense equipment, electronics and electrical components etc.
- PG Courses leading to Master of Technology in Thermal Engineering (Tech) degree – 2 years duration
- Post Graduate Diploma in Thermal Power Plant Engineering – 1-year duration
- Doctor of Philosophy in Thermal Engineering – 3 Years duration
Specialized fields of thermal engineering are as follows:
- Heat Transfer and Thermal Power
- Thermal Science and Energy Systems
- Thermal System Design
- Thermodynamics & Combustion Engineering
- Refrigeration & Air Conditioning
- Thermal Turbomachines
- C. Engines
The B. Tech or B.E course in thermal engineering is about two years, while the M. Tech course is for two years.
For admission to M.Tech programme, B.Tech in a relevant discipline is required. Candidate’s holding master’s degree in thermal engineering can apply for the doctoral courses for advancement in studies. Admission to the B.Tech/B.E programme is carried out through JEE Main 2019. Aspirants seeking admission to the M.E./M.Tech programme is required to appear the postgraduate level entrance examination. Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE 2019) is the largest national level examination conducted by the joint committee of IIT’s and IISc. Admission to the M.Tech programme will be done on the basis of merit scored by the candidate in GATE.
Eligible students upon clearing the 10+2 qualification in Physics, Chemistry, and Maths with the minimum eligible score, are needed to qualify a relevant national- level entrance exam such as JEE Main, JEE Advanced or other State-level exams. Based on performance in such tests, and in rounds of group discussion and personal interview, students are admitted to the course.
Upon clearing the JEE Advanced, students are admitted to IITs and upon clearing the JEE Main exam, they are admitted to other State-level engineering colleges. The exam pattern of almost all the entrance exams held for admission to engineering colleges is similar, with the 3 main sections included, viz. Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.
Most institutes accept GATE scores and many of them conduct their own entrance tests, based on performance in which, candidates are selected.
Some popular engineering entrance exams are listed below:
- JEE Advanced 2019
- BITSAT 2019
- AP EAMCET 2019(Andhra Pradesh Engineering, Agriculture and Medical Common Entrance Test)
- TS EAMCET 2019(Telangana Engineering, Agriculture and Medical Common Entrance Test)
- Post-Graduate Engineering Common Entrance Test (TS PGECET 2019)
- VIT University Master’s Entrance Examination (VITMEE 2019)
- Central University Common Entrance Test (CUCET 2019)
Top engineering colleges offer courses in thermal engineering are listed below:
- National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra
- National Institute of Technology, Raipur
- National Institute of Technology, Rourkela
- Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
- Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
- Amity University, Gurgaon
- BITS Pilani
Some institutes also allow candidates who are in the final year of graduation to apply for admission to the course on a provisional basis.
Jobs and Career Opportunities
After pursuing a degree in this field, you can easily find job opportunities in various areas like Engineering Equipment Industries, Nuclear Power Stations, Pollution Control Agencies, Space Research Organization, Oil Exploration and Refining, Thermal Power Stations, Energy Conservation Department, etc.
Roles of Thermal Engineer:
- They design and constructions of systems for heating and cooling.
- To pay attention to every aspect of heat generation and its solution in the electronic systems.
- Design and analyze project reports.
- Develop and test spacecraft, thermal control systems, etc.
- Chief Design Engineer – Thermal Layout
- Safety Engineer – Thermal Systems
- Design Manager – Thermal
- Project Engineer – Solar Thermal Power Plant
- Lead Engineer – Generator Design (Thermal Power)
- Piping Designer
- Maintenance Engineer
- Thermography Programme Manager
- Stress/ Finite Element Analyst
- Boiler Thermal Performance Engineer
Salary depends upon the factors like experience, job profile, and location. Salary offers to entry-level candidates is lower than experienced ones.
In India, Candidate can expect the annual salary of around 3 lacs in the field of thermal engineering. The figure for salary is different in abroad.
In the US, the average salary of a thermal engineer is $81824.