The University of Newcastle, Australia

P17 – Computer Modelling Investigation of a Novel Granular Separation Mechanism

Closing Date: 31 December 2020Apply Now

PhD Scholarship

Supervisor: Dr Roberto Moreno-Atanasio and Laureate Professor Kevin Galvin - The ARC Centre of Excellence for Enabling Eco-Efficient Beneficiation of Minerals is seeking creative and innovative PhD applicants to join our national collaborative Centre, to develop transformational technologies to reduce energy and water consumption and increase metals recovery. This project will develop a computer model to describe a novel method for dry separation of minerals.

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The Centre’s inclusive and equitable culture is supported by specific equity and diversity initiatives, which will support all members to achieve their career goals.

There are major advantages in mineral processing if we can achieve separations through waterless processing, with significant savings in water consumption, elimination of tailings dams, and reduction in energy consumption. This project aims to develop a Discrete Element Model (DEM) to describe the essential granular physics of a novel dry separation mechanism, the Sink-Hole fluidiser, to achieve early gangue rejection of particles larger than 2 mm.

The project, which is based as the University of Newcastle, is supervised by Dr Moreno-Atanasio and Laureate Professor Kevin Galvin, and involves researchers from Melbourne University and Curtin University, with direct connections to the minerals industry. The Sink-Hole Fluidiser system consists of a dry fluidised bed subjected to vibration. The physical arrangement includes an upper screen that contains a relatively large hole, creating a sink-hole condition for sorting particles according to density. Particles of a high density fall through, while lower density particles pass across the hole.

Discrete Element Model (DEM) is the most common technique used in Chemical Engineering to investigate the behaviour of particulate solids in the presence and absence of fluid. DEM will be used to understand the principles of the sink-hole approach and to improve its performance.

This project helps to address Thematic Objective 1, using dry processing of coarse particles to help achieve massive reductions in energy and water consumption in minerals processing, and a reduction in the volume of tailings to be managed. The project will also help establish new insights into a novel separation mechanism that underpins what could become a major new technology for the industry.

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PhD Scholarship details

Funding: $33,092 per annum (2020 rate). For a PhD candidate, the living allowance scholarship is for 3.5 years and the tuition fee scholarship is for four years. Scholarships also include up to $1,500 relocation allowance and Overseas Student Health Cover at single rate, for an international candidate.

Supervisor: Dr Roberto Moreno-Atanasio

Available to: Domestic and International students


Eligibility Criteria

The applicant will need to meet the minimum eligibility criteria for admission.

Application Procedure

Interested applicants should send an email expressing their interest along with scanned copies of their academic transcripts, CV, a brief statement of their research interests and a proposal that specifically links them to the research project.

Please send the email expressing interest to by 5pm on 31 December 2020.

Applications Close 31 December 2020 Apply Now

Contact Dr Roberto Moreno-Atanasio
Phone +61 2 4033 9064

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