Thermal Energy and Process Engineering, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English
The Aalborg University offers this MSc specialisation in Thermal Energy and Process Engineering (TEPE), that is primarily focused on thermal energy technologies and systems, and it covers advanced aspects of energy system modelling, heat- and mass transfer, control engineering and experimental work with focus on different components and energy system aspects.


The incessant exhaustion of fossil fuel reserves and the environmental issues associated with the utilisation of these energy resources necessitate the development, not only of new conversion technologies, but also new, non-fossil fuels. These may e.g. be derived from biomass, waste, from by-products of different industrial processes or from atmospheric sources, such as the sun, the wind and the oceans.

The ability to design new, innovative energy technologies and systems will be decisive in the future, where competitiveness both in terms of efficiency and environmental issues will be fierce in order to meet market and society requirements.

The themes for the three semesters are particularly focused on Thermal Energy and Process Engineering and in-depth understanding of the technologies and scientific disciplines involved in energy conversion, utilisation and transport. The education is multidisciplinary and covers the integration of general engineering disciplines, such as thermal systems, fluid- and aerodynamics, control engineering and electrical engineering.

The Aalborg University's programme in Thermal Energy and Process Engineering is a specialisation in the MSc programme Energy Engineering.

The objectives of the Thermal Energy and Process Engineering MSc syllabus are:
  • General understanding of the design, modelling and optimisation of energy systems used in various energy production applications
  • Understanding the detailed operation, functionality and interaction between the various components of key thermal energy conversion technologies
  • Detailed insight into system integration with respect to both system efficiency and control engineering aspects of energy systems
  • Developing, constructing and operating thermal energy conversion technologies in the laboratory and in real applications, and
  • insight into the topics related to the practical realisation and implementation of thermal energy technologies and systems concerning both innovative aspects, business planning and economical considerations.
Topics you will study
  • Can we develop efficient and sustainable methods for production of bio fuels and bio materials?
  • How can we develop energy efficient processes for production of heat and power?
  • Can we develop energy harvesting systems using thermal and mechanical energy to run e.g. sensors and surveillance systems?
  • Can we design small, efficient and silent vertical- axis wind turbines for use in an urban environment?
  • How do we develop efficient methods for energy storage applications for transport systems for humans and goods?
  • How do we estimate the energy potential of a wind turbine?
  • How can we develop models for wind simulation in complex landscapes such as forests and hills?
  • How do we design cyclic processes for exploitation of solar energy to produce electricity?

Programme Structure

During the MSc programme in Thermal Energy and Process Engineering (TEPE), you will study advanced processes and technologies which will ensure future supplies of energy, e.g. derived from biomass, waste, from by-products of various industrial processes or from natural sources, such as the sun, the wind and the sea. The programme includes system design and optimisation, thermal and chemical processes, aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics.

The teaching of the programme is carried out in an innovative, dynamic and challenging environment through a combination of research-based courses, team-based project work and a high degree of interaction with industrial partners and energy supply companies.

The companies take an active part in providing project proposals for the problem-oriented project work, guest lectures and visits to the companies. The teaching is carried out in English because many international students are enrolled in the study programme.

1st Semester

This semester is common for the two thermal specialisations in energy engineering: Thermal Energy and Process Engineering (TEPE) and Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Technology (HYTEC). For students with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree from Aalborg University the credit of the project work is 15 ECTS, whereas it is 10 ECTS (INTRO project) for students with a BSc degree from another university.

The project technical topics are the same, but the students from another university have one extra course which includes theory of Problem Based Learning (PBL). This method is the primary teaching method used at Aalborg University, and it is applied in all projects. The documentation of the project work is also different:

Students with a BSc degree from Aalborg University should:

  • Document the project work by a paper, a poster and a presentation at an internal conference (CES) together with an appendix report, all in English.

Students with a BSc degree from another university should:

  • Document the project by a project report written in English.
1st Semester Project for Students with a BSc from Aalborg University: Thermo-Mechanical Analysis Methods

On this semester, focus is on a thermal/fluid flow problem. The problem may consider a process or a typical thermal engineering component which, when applied or in use, is exposed to thermal and/or fluid mechanical effects of a steady-state or a transient nature. The project may be to study the stress and strain conditions imposed, or to study the design requirements. Often, neither of these can be calculated in advance with certainty. Numerical methods will be applied in order to investigate the effects of changes in various coefficients. An optimum design of the process or component must be determined. Finally, some experimental verification of the model must be carried out.

Project examples:

  • Numerical investigation of 2-dimensional flow
  • Aerodynamic design of AAU Eco-Marathon Racer
  • Cooling of electrical components
  • Transient studies of a boundary layer
1st Semester INTRO Project for Students with a BSc Degree from Another University than Aalborg University

Problem-based Project-organised Learning in Thermo-Mechanical Analysis Methods

The purpose of this semester is to give the students a comprehension of the Problem-Based Learning method (PBL), as it is applied at Aalborg University. Focus is to give the students experience in carrying out project work in connection with problems in the subject area of thermal energy engineering. The students will write a project report documenting their project work. Knowledge will be given to students in subject areas related to their chosen specialisation. The technical focus is on a thermal/fluid problem where steady-state or transients analyses are performed e.g. to study stress and strain conditions or to study design requirements. Numerical methods are to be applied to investigate the effect of changes in various coefficients. The design must be optimised, and experimental verification of the setup models is to be carried out.

The assessment of the INTRO semester project is a stop-test. It is a precondition that this project is passed to be able to continue on the 2nd semester of the MSc study.

Project examples:

  • Simulation of a domestic refrigerator
  • Characterisation and design of fuel cell system for a Shell Eco-Marathon vehicle
  • Modelling of a fuel cell system for domestic combined heat and power plant (CHP)
  • Theoretical and experimental investigation of thermoelectric power generation devices and their applications
2nd Semester: Modelling and Optimisation of Energy Systems

The 2nd semester project focuses on modelling and optimisation of a physical energy system, e.g. a power plant, cooling plant or industrial process system. The chosen system is to be modelled, analysed and optimised. The power plant should be simulated to achieve an optimum plant design. In the design of the plant analytical tools are to be applied, such as numerical optimisation, non-linear dynamical modelling or process integration. The semester project serves to give the students advanced knowledge of complex systems as well as modelling and optimisation techniques. The fundamental competences of thermodynamics and control engineering within these systems are established.

Project examples:

  • Optimisation of a bio-fuel production process plant
  • Modelling Nordjyllandsværket - the world's most efficient power plant
  • Design of ejector for fuel cell anode and cathode gases recirculation
  • Modelling of solid oxide fuel cell
3rd Semester: Optimisation, Diagnosis and Control of Thermal Energy and Processing Systems

The project work should be based upon a thermal energy and process engineering system to which an optimisation, control- or diagnostic system is to be set up. First, the system is to be modelled, and different system identification methods can be applied to determine the parameters of the system. The system model is verified by simulations and data time series from either a real system or a laboratory set-up. Based on the model, the optimisation, control- or diagnostic system is set up to improve the performance of the system, with regard to power output, energy efficiency, life time extraction, fault detections, etc. The system is to be implemented and verified experimentally.

To practice scientific communication skills, the project result, or parts of it, must be published in an article written in English. This article is to be presented at an internal seminar (CES).

Courses are offered of which 10 ECTS are to be chosen. The courses may vary from year to year, depending on the number of students of the various specialisations, the on-going projects and research performed at the Department of Energy Technology. Further, courses from other universities might be used as electable courses. However, the following two courses are always available:

  • Neural network and Fuzzy logic
  • System identification and diagnosis

Project examples:

  • Simulation of wind profiles in complex terrain using computational fluid dynamics and laser-based experimental techniques
  • Design optimisation of a vortex pump
  • Design and analysis of a micro-heat management system for power electronics cooling
4th Semester: Masters Thesis in Thermal Energy and Process Engineering

The Master's Thesis may study new subjects or be an extension of the project work of previous semesters. It will normally be carried out in collaboration with an industrial partner or an energy supply company assuming the character of industrial research or development work. Alternatively, it may support one or more research projects at the Department of Energy Technology, or another research facility assuming the character of research. Often, students write scientific papers reporting the work of their Master's Thesis. The project can be of either theoretical or experimental nature, or a combination of both. As courses are not normally offered on this semester, the entire semester is dedicated to the thesis work.

Example of a Master's Theses:

  • Innovative methods for designing efficient concentrated solar power (CSP) systems for steam, electricity or desalination
  • Aerodynamic optimisation of vertical axis wind turbine rotors for urban sites
  • Microchannel heat transfer analysis using CFD and laser techniques
  • CFD analysis of plasma-aided combustion device for fuel flexibility
Energy laboratories

At the Department of Energy Technology, you will find a lot of well-equipped and modern test laboratories enabling you to carry out exciting laboratory experiments. These tests will verify the theoretical analysis, which you apply during the project work.

The laboratories make it possible to perform realistic tests within the thermal area for instance with regard to combustion processes and flow systems, and they include advanced computer-based measurement and control facilities.

Furthermore, the majority of the project work is carried out in cooperation with the industry, giving you the possibility to do some of the project work in a company. The companies will come up with project proposals and provide equipment or data for the project work.

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test
  • Minimum required score: 560

    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score: 88

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Admission to the MSc programme in Thermal Energy and Process Engineering presupposes a BSc degree in Thermal Energy Engineering, Combustion Technology, or similar.

Please make sure you send your application form and further documentation via post to the International Office by the required deadline.

Furthermore please note the official language requirements for international students applying to Aalborg University are:

  • IELTS (academic test): 6.5
  • TOEFL (paper-based): 560
  • TOEFL (internet-based): 88
  • Cambridge First Certificate with the grade B

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 12402 International
  • Free EU/EEA

92,200 DKK


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.