Thermal Power Committee

The Thermal Power Committee is a sub group of the IMechE's Power Industries Division Board. We are a group of mechanical engineers concerned with and interested in all equipment which converts fossil fuel to energy in the form of power and thermal output.  We cover a wide range of plant, from conventional fired boiler and gas turbine utility power stations to industrial, commercial and institutional power houses, including CHP applications, of sizes ranging from less than 1 MW to over 1,000 MW.

Whilst this committee does not address the production of heat or power by nuclear power or by renewable energy systems, equipment such as steam and water pipework, steam turbines and heating equipment is common to nuclear, renewable and fossil power.    

We identify and highlight issues which are currently or likely to be of concern to Engineers involved with the power industry and with steam and power generation equipment.  We have the help of the staff of the Institution, to arrange seminars and conferences to enable these issues to be presented by the professionals directly involved and to be debated with others for the benefit of the industry as a whole.

Phillip Horner, Chair


  • Promote public awareness and understanding of fossil powerindustry activities and issues, particularly among young people
  • Recommend policy and advise UK Government and external organisations
  • Organise conferences, seminars, lectures, and discussion meetings
  • Encourage the training, development and involvement of young engineers
  • Represent the state of current knowledge through suitably qualified and experienced committee membership
  • Represent the Institution in discussions with other learned societies
  • Recommend Institution papers for prizes and awards
  • Liaise with fellow technical committees in the IMechE and other Institutions to assure a balanced informed perspective across the full range of power industry issues

Technical scope includes:

  • Legislation and regulation
  • Safety and codes of practice
  • Environment and pollution control
  • Specification and procurement
  • Design of processes and equipment
  • Manufacture
  • Construction
  • Control
  • Testing and commissioning
  • Operation
  • Engineering risk management
  • Fault diagnosis  / Forensic investigation
  • Maintenance
  • Refurbishment / Life extension
  • Decommissioning

Equipment and processes covered:

  • Fuel preparation and pre-processing
  • Gasification
  • Fuel firing
  • Gas turbine systems
  • Steam generation
  • Steam pipework and handling systems
  • Steam turbines and condensers
  • Feed water systems
  • Cooling water systems
  • Carbon capture technologies
  • Treatment and disposal of combustion products 
  • CHP systems
  • Combined cycle systems
  • Community heating and cooling
  • Balance of plant

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