ME 346 — Heat Transfer


This course is an introductory course on Heat Transfer and covers the basics of the three modes of heat transfer—conduction, convection and radiation. Only knowledge of Thermodynamics and basic Fluid Dynamics is assumed; the rest of the material is developed almost from scratch. The course starts with 1-D conduction, then moves on to Fins, continuing with 2-D and transient conduction. Fluid mechanics fundamentals are used to derive the convection relations, followed by heat transfer in internal and external flows. After a discussion of Heat Exchangers, the course then moves on to Radiation, on which sufficient time is spent. The last topic in the course is heat transfer between bodies, including the concept of view factors. Heat Transfer may appear to be just differential equations and empirical correlations, but the real-world importance of this subject is immense. Once you do this course, you look at many things from a totally different perspective.

Course Contents:

  • Energy Conservation Laws
  • Conduction:1D steady state
  • Transient conduction, fins
  • Convection: Internal flow, external flow, natural convection
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Radiation


  • This course is a fundamental course and is relevant to all sub-fields of Mechanical Engineering, while being indispensable for those studying anything related to Thermal and Fluids engineering
  • A conceptual clarity in this course is essential for:
    • Design: Heat transfer is useful in designing thermal equipment. If, say one wants to design an insulating screen or a heat exchanger or even your home cooling system.
    • Plant/Process Engineering: If you harbour dreams of running any manufacturing site, you would inevitably require fluid and thermal equipment. Most such equipments are based on the simple basics of these courses and a thorough understanding of the same would prove to be extremely beneficial
    • Safety: Heat transfer is a field that has immense applicability in fire fighting and safe systems design. In fact one of the teachers of this course is actually working on modeling fire so as to analyse the proper safety equipment required in life.
    • CFD: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a very important field in TFE and allows one to solve numerically problems of a very broad variety. This requires an in-depth understanding of the concepts and equations of heat transfer and fluid mechanics.
  • Most courses in TFE have this course as a an official or unofficial pre-requisite:
    • ME 306- Applied Thermodynamics
    • ME 350- Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
    • ME 403- IC Engines
    • ME 406- Steam and Gas Turbines
    • ME 415: Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer
    • ME 623/683- Cryogenic Engineering I and II
    • ME 662: Convective Heat and Mass Transfer
    • ME 663: Advanced Heat Transfer
    • ME 665: Conduction and Radiation

Useful resources:
While it is a good practice to refer to textbooks or video lectures besides your class notes, it is also important to remember that these sources may not be flawless. Reference material should only be used as a tool to strengthen concepts and not as a substitute for your class notes.


  • Incropera F. P and Dewitt, Fundamentals of heat transfer, Fifth Edition, John Wiley and Sons (Asia) private Limited, Indian edition (can be used as a course text book)
  • Cengel Y.A, Heat transfer –A practical approach, second edition, Tata McGrawhill, New Delhi
  • Sukhatme S.P., A textbook on Heat Transfer, Orient Blackswan, 2006
  • Lienhard, J.H. IV and V, A Heat Transfer Textbook, 3rd edition –(Download here )

Internet Resources:

Heat Transfer:

Heat Exchangers (from API):

Interesting Trivia:

2 Responses to ME 346 — Heat Transfer

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