Go to the MEI Online homepage Sponsored by: International Mining CPD Certified
Search Site:

MEI Online: MEI Conferences: Computational Modelling '17: Introduction

Home General Introduction Conference Report Conference Programme Published Papers Delegate List Photos Contacts Computational Modelling '17  


This, the 6th International Computational Modelling Symposium (Computational Modelling '17) was organised by Minerals Engineering International (MEI). Media Sponsors were International Mining.



Computational modelling is the use of fundamental physical equations to predict the behaviour of complex systems. Techniques include Discrete Element Modelling (DEM), Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Finite Element Methods (FEM). Due to rapid increases in computing power, it is now possible to carry out highly sophisticated and realistic simulations of scientific and engineering processes. Computational modelling has become an indispensable adjunct to the traditional modes of investigation via theory and experiment, and is increasingly viewed as ‘a peer methodology to experiment and theory’.

Computational modelling provides engineers with the ability to study systems in ways that are often not possible with experiments. This can be because of the difficulty in carrying out measurements within the systems, an inability to change the experimental input parameter independently or simply because of the cost involved in building an experimental system. In order to be able to use computational modelling in this way we need to have robust models that we trust and which can be solved efficiently.

Delegates enjoy a drink after Barry's guided walk
Delegates enjoy a drink after Barry's guided walk

In minerals engineering, the typically complex multi-phase nature of the systems makes modelling particularly challenging. This has resulted in a wide range of different techniques being applied, ranging from Computational Fluid Dynamic methods such as Finite Element, Finite Volume, Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics to particle methods such as Discrete Element Methods, as well as many others. Given the interactions that occur in minerals processing systems, an increasing area of study is in coupling different methods.

In order to have confidence in these models, they need to be verified against experimental results. This has led to a complementary development and use of more advanced measurement techniques such as various forms of tomography, particle tracking techniques such Particle Image Velocimetry and Positron Emission Particle Tracking and many others.

The aim of this conference was to bring together both users and developers of computational modelling from academia and industry to share their knowledge and expertise. This conference was aimed at the full spectrum of people involved in computational modelling in minerals processing and materials handling, from model development, validation and all the way through to application.

The specific areas included:

  • Model development and computational techniques
  • Modelling of minerals processing and materials handling unit operations
  • Optimisation of plant and circuit operation and design
  • Experimental validation including novel experimental techniques



The keynote lecture "Modelling Multi-phase Minerals Processing Systems" was given by Stephen Neethling of Imperial College, UK.

Stephen Neethling is a Professor of Minerals Processing in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering (Royal School of Mines) at Imperial College London, where he has worked for the last 11 years. Prior to that he worked in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UMIST/University of Manchester, where he also obtained his PhD. He is originally from South Africa and did his undergraduate studies at the University of Cape Town. His main research area is in the modelling and simulation of minerals processing systems, with particular emphasis on flotation and heap leaching. He is particularly interested in how the models and results obtained from them can be applied in industry and to this end he has worked closely with a range of major mining and mining equipment companies including Rio Tinto, Weir Minerals, Imerys and Outotec.

Stephen Neethling



"Once again a well organised conference [Computational Modelling '13] by MEI. That's why I bring along doctoral students and fellow researchers to it."
Dr Bertil Pålsson, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden

"I enjoyed the conference [Computational Modelling 05]; it brought together some of the key players in DEM and CFD in mineral processing and gave me a good opportunity to bring the capability of our particle mechanics simulation software to their attention."
John Favier, CEO, DEM Solutions Ltd, UK


Click here to view the conference report, programme and delegate list from Computational Modelling '15 '11, '08 & '05:


"A great conference [Computational Modelling '11], very well organised and including a wide range of topics within modelling in mineral processing."
Pablo Brito-Parada, Imperial College, UK

"The conference [Computational Modelling 05] was very informative and provided me with an opportunity to interact with the experts in this growing field of mineral processing."
PK Banerjee, R&D, Tata Steel, India

More testimonials



Computational Modelling '17 was certified for Continuing Professional Development.



© 1998-2021, Minerals Engineering International

Email: amanda@min-eng.com