Planes, boats, and clean energy – society is moving, and we’re the ones making it flow.

What is Thermofluids?

Thermofluids is the combined study of heat transfer, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, and combustion. The applications of Thermofluids range from efficient engine design to heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC). Engineers in the field of Thermofluids will find themselves well prepared for almost any challenge in a variety of industries.

Why Choose the Thermofluids Option in Mechanical Engineering?

Thermofluids is a dynamic field of research and development that is applicable to almost all energy generation and implementation applications in our energy-hungry world today. Whether it is in the pulp and paper industry, fuel cell and hydrogen research, or the aerospace industry, developments in Thermofluids allow the world to more sustainably use energy to meet our growing demands.

What are some unique opportunities students at UBC have?

Upon completion of Mech 2, students accepted into the Thermofluids Option will begin taking a modified curriculum of mechanical engineering courses that focus on advanced fluid dynamics. In addition, to customize their option, students will have to complete three technical electives of their choice. Thermofluids technical electives cover topics such as Aerodynamics, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning), and Naval Architecture. The modified curriculum is designed to not only help develop the student’s specialization in Thermofluids, but also develop fundamental design and analytical skills required by any mechanical engineer.

Where can I work?

Those interested in Thermofluids are able to work in a variety of fields. Ships, aircraft, processes, pipelines, heating and air-conditioning: the Thermofluids Option helps you get ready for a career in these areas. Some companies that hire Thermofluids graduates are listed below:

Company Headquarters Industry
AirBus SAS Blagnac, France Aerospace
Ballard Burnaby, BC Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Encana Calgary, Alberta Natural Gas Production
General Motors Detroit, USA Automotive
Pratt and Whitney East Hartford, USA Turbine Engines
Royal Dutch Shell The Hague, Netherlands Oil and Gas
Westport Innovations Vancouver, BC Natural Gas Combustion Engines
Yamaha Motor Iwata, Japan Automotive and Marine
Zodiac Paris, France Marine Technologies

Graduate Programs


Our MASc and PhD programs provide research opportunities for students interested in Thermofluids. Some areas of interest are:

  • Acoustics
  • Clean Energy
  • Combustion
  • Computational Fluid Mechanics
  • Naval Architecture
  • Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics
  • Papermaking

For more information on our graduate programs, visit

Professional Programs

UBC also offers professional programs in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and in Clean Energy.

Master of Engineering in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering (MEng NAME)

  • Designed primarily (but not exclusively) for recent BASc graduates, this 1-year program combines 8 months of technical, interdisciplinary coursework with a 4 month internship, and prepares students for immediate work in the ship design, construction, and maintenance industries.

Master of Engineering Leadership in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering (MEL NAME)

  • This program is for professionals with 3+ years of industry experience, and is designed to give students basic technical training in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, complemented by intensive business and leadership training through the Sauder School of Business

Master of Engineering Leadership in Clean Energy Engineering (MEL CEEN)

  • Also for professionals with 3+ years of industry experience, this program gives students advanced technical training in Clean Energy Engineering alongside intensive business and leadership training through Sauder

Program Coordinator

Dr. Patrick Kirchen
Coordinator, Thermofluids Option
(604) 822-8256