Master's degree in Energy Engineering and PhD in Thermal Engineering
Postgraduate activities:

The professors and researchers of the CTTC UPC (previously Laboratory of Thermal Engineering and Energetics, LABTIE) together with the members of the Heat Engines Department (MMT) of the UPC have been promoting since the eighties the postgraduate education in Thermal  Mechanical Engineering,  particularly in Heat and Mass Transfer and Fluid Dynamics and their application to design and optimization of the thermal systems.

At present, this academic activity is organized within the framework of the Thermal Specialization of the Master's degree in Energy Engineering and the PhD program in Thermal Engineering of the UPC.

The objectives of these programs are in accordance with the academic objectives of the CTTC.

The students can take courses and seminars, and carry out research in the following areas:

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer (CFD&HT)
  • Wind Energy
  • Solar Thermal Energy (low and medium temperature applications)
  • Concentrated Solar Power (CSP, high temperature applications)
  • Thermal and Thermochemical Storage
  • Heat Exchangers
  • HVAC & Refrigeration
  • Energy Efficiency in Buildings and/or Districts
  • Turbulence & Aerodynamics
  • Heat Engines and Combustion

The following courses and seminars are offered:



1. Numerical Methods in Heat and Mass Transfer

The course exposes the mathematical formulation of the heat and mass transfer phenomena: transport equations (mass, momentum and energy conservation) and the constitutive laws for the molecular transport flow formulation (Stokes's, Fourier's and Fick's laws). Different techniques for their numerical resolution are introduced: definition of a numerical model and resolution. Emphasis is put on the governing equations discretization methods using Finite Differences and Finite Volumes techniques (discretization meshes, numerical schemes,...), solution algorithm (coupled or segregated methods), resolution of the algebraic equations (direct methods, iterative methods and introduction to multi-grid techniques). The student is introduced to the concepts of code verification (asserting an error free code) and numerical solution verification (computational errors estimation). The acquired knowledge is consolidated with the development of a self-made code for the resolution of combined problems (conduction, convection and radiation in non-participating media) verifying the implemented code and the numerical solutions of the solved problems.

2.Thermal and Thermochemical Energy Storage

The course aims at describing the new energy paradigm of distributed generation, where the thermal/thermochemical energy storage plays an important role in decoupling power generation and energy consumption. The course also aims at giving a detailed description of most of the technologies that are used in thermal and thermochemical energy storage such as thermal energy storage tanks for sensitive and/or latent heat, fuel cells and adsorption and absorption refrigeration systems.

3.Solar Thermal Energy

The course aims at introducing the heat transfer phenomena present in solar thermal systems and equipment, studying the materials used in solar thermal applications such as selective treatments, accumulating materials for phase change, transparent insulating surfaces, among others. Different methodologies that allow the design and calculation of solar thermal systems and equipment will be studied. Lab sessions to test solar collectors and solar thermal systems will be held to reinforce the concepts.

4.Heat Exchangers

Different techniques and methods used in the calculation and design of heat exchangers are studied in this course. The first part of the course has fundamentally a basic content. The different types of heat exchangers and their applications in thermal system and equipment are discussed. Starting from an analysis of the different design restrictions, the mathematical formulation of the different flow configurations is stated in detail. The resolution of the previously simplified equations is performed analytically leading to the conventional calculation procedures for heat exchangers: F-factor method,
ε-NTU. Nevertheless, the course focuses  its attention on the general resolution of mathematical formulations that only assume one-dimensional behavior of the fluid flow. More general methods to simulate heat exchangers considering multi dimensional flows are also presented. The second part of the course deals with specific configurations: double tube heat exchangers, tube and shell heat exchangers, evaporators, condensers, compact exchangers, regenerators, heat generators by combustion, among others.

5.Thermal Conditioning of the Buildings. Bioclimatic Architecture.

The bioclimatic architectural solutions are studied from a point of view based on the systematic and consistent application of the methodologies used in contemporary heat transfer (formulation of the governing equations, numeric or analytic integration, etc). In the first part, models for the heat transfer and fluid dynamics in different components of a building are formulated, and different methods for its numerical integration are presented. The influence of the quality of the empiric information used for the models is stressed.  Experimental results obtained in different test cells are presented and compared with numeric simulation results. In the second part, different bioclimatic architecture techniques are presented (ventilated facades, facades with vegetation covers, shadowing elements, night cooling, etc). Real buildings are described.

6.Turbulence: Phenomenology, Simulation, Aerodynamics

The Navier-Stokes (NS) equations describe the motion of viscous fluids. Starting from a brief review of the NS equations, the course will introduce all the basic concepts of turbulent flows and their numerical simulation. The first part of the course focuses on the mathematical analysis of the NS and its implications of the phenomenology of turbulent flows. Fundamental aspects such as the differences between 2D and 3D turbulence will be analyzed. Moreover, the basic concepts such as the energy cascade, the inertial range or the turbulence modeling will be introduced through the solution of the 1D Burgers' equation. Then, the second part of the course focuses on all those aspects related with the numerical solution of the NS equations in the turbulent regime. Namely, the proper discretization of the equations, the verification of the simulation and the statistical analysis of the results will be addressed. Moreover, some issues related with the numerical solution on modern supercomputers will be also discussed.

7.Experimental Techniques and Data Acquisition in Thermal Engineering

The course aims at the exposition of the experimental methodology, not only involving the most used instrumentation, but also the latest and more present techniques in the Thermal Engineering area. After the introduction to basic aspects (calibration, integrated measurement systems, dynamic behavior measurement, etc), the analysis of experimental data (analysis of errors, uncertainty, accuracy, repeatibility, statistical analysis, etc.) will be addressed. Electrical measurements (amplifiers, transformers, signal conditioners, voltimeters, oscilloscope, etc.) and measurement techniques for  temperature, pressure, flux, velocity, position will be studied. Thermal and transport measurement techniques (thermal conductivity, radiation, analysis of gases, etc.), specific measurement techniques in thermal machines and equipments,  control, acquisition and process data, limitations on A/D conversion and multiplexer, noise and filtering techniques will be dealt throughout the course. Experimentation on vapour compression refrigeration units, solar energy and absorption refrigeration will be presented, introducing the specific software  used in data acquisition and control of these experiments.

8. Advanced Course on Heat and Mass Transfer

Starting with an introductory description of the phenomena that is present in heat transfer by conduction, convection and radiation, the basic mathematical formulation in fluid dynamics and heat transfer (Navier-Stokes equations) is reviewed and deepened, considering turbulence modelization and radiation with participating media. Finite Differences (FD) and Finite Volumes (FV) numerical methods are introduced, beginning with heat transfer by conduction with orthogonal or generalized meshes and fixed in a given space or dynamical. The extension of these formulations to non-structured meshes is also presented. The convection treatment is based on segregated algorithms where the pressure-velocity-density coupling is solved with general pressure correction methods. The treatment of radiation, considering its directional and spectral nature, starts with DOM (Discrete Ordinary Methods) techniques, although priority is given to more general techniques like Finite Volume methods.

9.Heat Engines and Combustion

The objective of this course is to present advanced methodologies (semi-analytic and numerical) for the simulation of internal combustion engines, both turbomachinery and reciprocating thermal engines. Starting from a detailed description of the thermal and fluid dynamic phenomena which are present in these thermal systems, their mathematical formulation, together with the main resolution techniques at different levels, will be presented. The main topics included in the course are: thermodynamic analysis of gas turbines; thermodynamic analysis of power cycles considering both design and prediction approaches; detailed analysis of cycle components: compressible flow in ducts, nozzles and diffusers, heat exchangers, combustion chambers, compressors, turbines, reciprocating engines (Otto and Diesel).

10.Thermal Equipment for Heat and Cold Generation

Starting from the fundamentals of the different techniques of cooling production, (vapour compression cycle, absorption cycle, thermoelectric effect, etc.), different calculation levels are exposed (modelling) for the different constituent elements, as its implementation in the whole conception of different systems and equipment. These models are based on a basic treatment of the heat and mass transfer phenomenology involved.

For more information or contact please send an email to:

Assensi Oliva or Deniz Kizildag

Quality indicators about the program of PhD in Thermal Engineering can be found here)