A solution of thermal shock problem of generalized thermoelasticity of a non-homogeneous isotropic hollow cylinder using finite element method is developed. Lord–Shulman and Green–Lindsay for the generalized thermoelasticity model are selected for that purpose which reduces to the classical model by appropriate choice of the parameters. The problem has been solved numerically using a finite element method (FEM). Numerical results for the temperature distribution, displacement, radial stress and hoop stress are represented graphically. The results indicate that the effects of nonhomogeneity are very pronounced. The effects of nonhomogeneity is presented with the three theories.