Jens Plinke from TUNRA Bulk Solids and Jiahe Shen from The Centre for Bulk Solids have both recently graduated from The University of Newcastle receiving a degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering.

Jens completed his PhD research titled ‘The Integration of Reflectance Spectroscopy and Bulk Flow Characterisation to Evaluate the Handleability of Cohesive Iron Ore’ The research project was conducted as part of the ARC Research Hub for Advanced Technologies for Australian Iron Ore. The University of Newcastle and the Iron Ore Hub’s industry partners identified a need to expand on existing methods for the characterisation of cohesive ores as well as the opportunity to implement real-time handleability assessments in the conveying chain. As a result, models for the prediction of handleability based on optical reflectance spectroscopy were developed.

Jiahe completed his PhD research titled “The Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Dynamic Belt and Bulk Material Interaction in Belt Conveyor Systems in February 2019. In his study, he developed a coupled model of the Finite Element Method (FEM) and Discrete Element Method (DEM) to describe the dynamic interaction and the resultant flexure of belts and bulk materials with variable operation conditions. Furthermore, he also provided an innovative method to experimentally measure the dynamic belt flexure and validate the developed model. His research work enabled accurate predictions of the flexure resistance and offered a high potential for improvement in belt conveyor designs.