Wind and Solar Farm

Efficient use of thermal energy is an increasingly popular area of interest for UW–Madison engineering students and employers. The objective of the certificate in engineering thermal energy systems program is to provide students in the College of Engineering with an organized set of courses that will improve their capacity to analyze and design innovative thermal energy systems. These systems include, but are not limited to, energy conversion systems and their fuels, refrigeration, combustion, and solar energy. Thermal energy systems either employ thermal energy directly or convert thermal energy to other energy forms.

Students who wish to apply for admission into this certificate program will need to complete a major/certificate declaration form obtained from the student services office. Once approved by the student services office and the student’s faculty advisor, the form will be forwarded to the Dean's Office to be added to the student record. The student services office will, in conjunction with the student’s advisor and curriculum committee chair, assist the student in selecting appropriate courses that fulfill certificate requirements. If a Special student does not have a home department in the College of Engineering, the Department of Mechanical Engineering will advise and sponsor the student in this program. To receive the certificate, the applicant must achieve a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the proposed courses listed on the completed form.

Submit the completed Declaration of Intent Form to student services.  

The certificate, geared toward UW–Madison undergraduate students, requires a total of 18 completed credits. Up to 9 of the credits can be thermal-energy-related courses that are required in the student’s undergraduate major. The additional 9 credits must be selected from an assortment of approved elective courses in the College of Engineering.


Courses not on this list must be specifically approved by the certificate curriculum committee.

Mechanical Engineering
M E 460 Applied Thermal / Structural Finite Element Analysis3
M E 461 Thermal Systems Modeling3
M E 466 Air Pollution Effects, Measurements and Control3
M E 469 Internal Combustion Engines3
M E 471 Gas Turbine and Jet Propulsion3
M E/​N E  520 Two-Phase Flow and Heat Transfer3
M E 561 Intermediate Thermodynamics3
M E 563 Intermediate Fluid Dynamics3
M E 564 Heat Transfer3
M E/​N E  565 Power Plant Technology3
M E/​E P  566 Cryogenics3
M E/​CBE  567 Solar Energy Technology3
M E 569 Applied Combustion3
M E 572 Intermediate Gas Dynamics3
M E 573 Computational Fluid Dynamics3
Chemical and Biological Engineering
CBE 320 Introductory Transport Phenomena4
CBE 430 Chemical Kinetics and Reactor Design3
CBE 440 Chemical Engineering Materials3
CBE/​M E  567 Solar Energy Technology3
CBE 535 Heterogeneous Catalysis: Principles and Applications3
Civil and Environmental Engineering
CIV ENGR 423 Air Pollution Effects, Measurement and Control3
Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics
E M A 521 Aerodynamics3
E M A 522 Aerodynamics Lab3
E M A 524 Rocket Propulsion3
Nuclear Engineering
N E 411 Nuclear Reactor Engineering3
N E/​M E  520 Two-Phase Flow and Heat Transfer3
N E 550 Advanced Nuclear Power Engineering3
N E/​M E  565 Power Plant Technology3
E P/​M E  566 Cryogenics3
Biological Systems Engineering
BSE 460 Biorefining: Energy and Products from Renewable Resources3
Materials Science and Engineering
M S & E 463 Materials for Elevated Temperature Service3


This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

  1. Follow a directed sequence of technical elective courses specializing in thermal energy systems.
  2. Synthesize knowledge gained from a curriculum that focuses on applying fundamentals of engineering to the analysis of thermal energy systems.
  3. Be prepared for the job market with a solid background in the energy field.