The "Institut für Thermodynamik" emerged from the "Wärmetechnisches Institut" and the "Maschinenlaboratorium". Teaching covers the broad field of technical thermodynamics and heat and mass transfer. In the course of time, research interests changed with the different heads of the laboratory:
1945-1952 headed by Prof. Dr. Ernst Schmidt. Heat and mass transfer. The Schmidt number (Sc) is named after him. Studies on liquid and solid fuels.
1953-1961 headed by Prof. Dr. Fran Bošnjaković. Combustion and gasification, material and transport properties, thermal plasmas, heat transfer in ionising and dissociating gases.
1961-1968 headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans Dieter Baehr. Thermal systems, material data (fluids), heat and mass transfer.
1968-1995 headed by Prof. Dr. Hans Jürgen Löffler. Studies on refrigeration and cryogenics.
1995-1998 headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Werner Klenke. Heat and mass transfer in cooling towers and evaporative coolers.
Since 1998 headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Köhler. Alternative refrigeration technologies and natural refrigerants. Energy systems (TE, ORC, FC, electric storage), transport processes and thermophysical properties.