Thermal engineering is generally a specialization pursued by mechanical or chemical engineers who wish to go more in depth and focused on thermal sciences. The thermal sciences on which thermal engineering is based has further branches and important specializations. In the vast ocean of technology, knowing these lesser known disciplines of thermal sciences will help you be clearer about what sector of the engineering industry you want to land up in.
Here are the few branches of thermal engineering-
Heat Transfer and Thermal Power
Heat transfer is a discipline of thermal engineering that concerns the generation, use, conversion, and exchange of thermal energy (heat) between physical systems. Heat transfer is classified into various mechanisms, such as thermal conduction, thermal convection, thermal radiation, and transfer of energy by phase changes. Heat transfer methods are used in numerous disciplines, such as automotive engineering, thermal management of electronic devices and systems, climate control, insulation, materials processing, and power station engineering.
Thermal System Design
The design of thermal systems requires an integrated approach that treats thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer as parts of one interconnected area, in which appropriate solutions to real-life design and analysis problems can be obtained only when all these aspects are considered simultaneously. It has applications in fluid flow and heat transfer, pumps, turbines and heat exchangers, basically any system that converts energy.
Combustion engineering concerns the science of combustion as it applies to industry. Combustion engineers plan and implement combustion equipment. They also test and design new energy-burning systems. Combustion engineering may very well be at the forefront of developing new technologies in fuel consumption. As the global need for energy efficiency intensifies and the search for new, environmentally sustainable fuels increases.
As subjects of Thermal engineering, these are either studied under the course or can be targeted for further specialization and a skill driven professional approach.