MSE Master of Science in Engineering

The Swiss engineering master's degree

Each module contains 3 ECTS. You choose a total of 10 modules/30 ECTS in the following module categories: 

  • 12-15 ECTS in technical scientific modules (TSM)
    TSM modules teach profile-specific specialist skills and supplement the decentralised specialisation modules.
  • 9-12 ECTS in fundamental theoretical principles modules (FTP)
    FTP modules deal with theoretical fundamentals such as higher mathematics, physics, information theory, chemistry, etc. They will teach more detailed, abstract scientific knowledge and help you to bridge the gap between abstraction and application that is so important for innovation.
  • 6-9 ECTS in context modules (CM)
    CM modules will impart additional skills in areas such as technology management, business administration, communication, project management, patent law, contract law, etc.

In the module description (download pdf) you find the entire language information per module divided into the following categories:

  • instruction
  • documentation
  • examination 
Process integration and pinch analysis (TSM_ProcInt)

Against the background of rising energy prices, incentive taxes and ecological requirements, increasing importance is being attached to reducing the energy requirements of industry. The key to higher energy efficiency and cost-efficiency in thermal processes is the energy integration of processes with the aid of pinch analysis. This is characterized by a systematic approach which can be applied to establish the best system design and the optimum energy input from the economic viewpoint. From the results of the analysis, it is possible to derive measures for heat recovery and an improved energy supply in the context of strategic planning.
In this module, students learn the fundamental methods of the energy integration of processes with the aid of pinch analysis. After completing the module, they are in a position to conduct pinch analyses by themselves for "straightforward" industrial processes and to answer the following questions: how large is the energy requirement if an existing plant were to be fully-optimized? Where is the economic optimum for the investment and energy costs? How can this optimum state be achieved? They can then support industrial companies in sustainable development and in the reduction of CO2 emissions, since reducing energy requirements goes hand in hand with increasing profitability. 


Students should have a keen interest in process engineering and energy engineering issues. Attendance of the module requires prior knowledge of engineering thermodynamics. This includes, in particular: 

  • the first law (and ideally also the second law) of thermodynamics and its application to flow processes and energy conversion systems such as heat engines, heat pumps or cooling systems 
  • a good understanding of the concept of enthalpy for pure substances 
  • the theory of heat transfer: fundamental laws of heat transfer; mean logarithmic temperature difference of co-current and counter-current heat exchangers, operating characteristics of heat exchangers (NTU-E) 
  • the calculation of mass, component and energy balances for common industrial unit operations, processes and energy conversion systems 

Prior knowledge of thermal process engineering and the energy integration of processes is desirable but not absolutely essential for attending the module. 

Learning Objectives

The student

  • understands the "nature/philosophy" of process design as well as the energy integration of processes and pinch analysis (onion model, targets before design). 
  • can complete the mass, component and energy balance for industrial processes with several components and phases and masters the fundamental laws of the thermodynamics for ideal two-component systems (e.g. humid air). 
  • masters the thermodynamically correct assessment of energy conversion systems and the fundamentals of heat transfer with regard to the energy integration of processes and pinch analysis. 
  • is in a position to determine the energy targets, heat transfer area targets and cost targets of processes (continuous and non-continuous) using the fundamental methods of pinch analysis (problem table algorithm, composite curves, grand composite curve and cost curves, etc.). 
  • is familiar with and understands the "golden rules" of pinch analysis plus the rules for the design of heat exchanger networks, and is able to apply these for practical cases. He/she can, additionally, optimize heat exchanger networks. 
  • is able to correctly place utilities such as steam and cooling water systems and also energy conversion systems like heat pumps, combined heat and power generation systems, etc. in a process. 
  • can also optimize non-continuous processes (e.g. multiple operating cases and batch processes) using indirect heat recovery through the integration of thermal energy storages. 
  • after completing the module, is in a position to correctly perform the energy modeling of a process and conduct the pinch analysis independently with the aid of software, and to work out measures for increasing efficiency. 

Contents of Module

 The module contents are divided up as follows (14 semester weeks):

  1. Introduction: Energy and Resource Requirements of Industrial Processes, Nature of Process Design and Integration, Mass, Component and Energy Balances 
  2. Refresher Energy Conversion Units (ECUs): 1st and 2nd Law of Thermodynamics Analysis in Relation to Pinch Analysis, Heat Engines, Heat Pumps (HP), Mechanical and Thermal Vapour Recompression (MVR/TVR), Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Generation Systems, Utility Systems 
  3. Heat Transfer and Heat Transfer Equipment: Overall Heat Transfer Coefficients, Temperature Differences in Heat Exchangers (HEXs), Different Types of HEXs, Operating Characteristics of HEXs (NTU-E Method) 
  4. Energy and Cost Targets: Composite Curves (CC), Heat Recovery Pinch, “Golden Rules” of Pinch Analysis, Energy Targets
  5. Energy and Cost Targets: Process Economics, HEX Area Targets, Number of HEX Units, Cost Targets, Trade-off Between Annualized Capital and Operating Costs (Supertargeting), Introduction to Process Analysis and Design Tool PinCH 
  6. Heat Exchanger Network (HEN) Design: Design of Minimum Energy Requirement or Maximum Energy Recovery (MER) HEN, The Pinch Design Method, HEN Design Grid, Heuristic HEN Design Rules 
  7. Stream Data: Basic Principles of Data Extraction for Pinch Analysis, Definition of Process Requirements 
  8. Optimization of Energy Supply Systems: Shifted Composite Curves, Grand Composite Curve (GCC), Utility Selection and Placement (Steam Systems, Furnaces, Cooling Water Systems), Problem Table Algorithm 
  9. Integration of ECUs: Integration of Heat Pumps and Refrigeration Systems, MVR, TVR 
  10. Integration of ECUs: Integration of CHP Systems: Internal Combustion Engines, Steam Turbines, Gas Turbines, Reciprocating Engines 
  11. Optimization of HEN Design: Design for Threshold Problems, Design for Multiple Pinches, Network Optimization (relaxed HEN, Loops, Paths) 
  12. Multiple Operating Case (MOC) Analysis: Challenges and Approach for MOC-Problems, Conventional Design Type, Resequence Design Type, Split Grand Composite Curve (Split GCC) and Indirect Heat Recovery (IHR) 
  13. Batch Process Analysis: Time Averaged Models (TAM) and Time Slice Models (TSM), Supertargeting Optimization, Scheduling, Indirect Source and Sink Profile (ISSP) 
  14. Batch Process Analysis: Approach for Batch Process Analysis, Types of Thermal Energy Storage (TES) and Integration 

Teaching and Learning Methods

  • Classroom Instruction (2 lecture periods per week)
  • Exercises/tutorials (1 period per week)
  • Individual study from the course script and papers
  • Homework (weekly) with subsequent discussion
  • Solving case studies with the PinCH software (see


A script and additional documents will be made available to students. The following books are recommended for reading:

  • Robin Smith: Chemical Process Design and Integration, Wiley, 2007, ISBN 978-0-471-48681-7 
  • Ian C. Kemp: Pinch Analysis and Process Integration: a User Guide on Process Integration for the efficient Use of Energy, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 2007, ISBN 978-0-7506-8260-2 
  • Florian Brunner, Pierre Krummenacher: Einführung in die Prozessintegration mit der Pinch-Methode – Handbuch für die Analyse von kontinuierlichen Prozessen und Batch-Prozessen. Swiss Federal Office of Energy SFOE, 2017 (available from 

Download full module description