Abstract This paper deals with a two dimensional problem for a transversely isotropic thick plate having heat source. The upper surface of the plate is stress free with prescribed surface temperature while the lower surface of the plate rests on a rigid foundation and is thermally insulated. The study is carried out in the context of generalized thermoelasticity proposed by Green and Naghdi. The governing equations for displacement and temperature fields are obtained in Laplace–Fourier transform domain by applying Laplace and Fourier transform techniques. The inversion of double transform has been done numerically. The numerical inversion of Laplace transform is done by using a method based on Fourier Series expansion technique. Numerical computations have been done for magnesium (Mg) and the results are presented graphically. The results for an isotropic material (Cu) have been deduced numerically and presented graphically to compare with those of transversely isotropic material (Mg).