Postgraduates --> Course Outlines

Belt Conveying of Bulk Solids (MECN7035)

Lecturers: Prof. Gabriel Lodewijks, Dr Craig Wheeler

Course Description

The University of the Witwatersrand is proud of its track record in staying in touch with industry. Many of our courses, both formal and non-formal, have been designed in such a way as to address particular needs of industry.

It is against this background, and after extensive consultations with industry partners, that the Wits School for Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering designed a postgraduate-level course on belt conveying of bulk solids. This course is aimed at managers, engineers, technologists and other personnel in the resources industries who would benefit from a better understanding of the design and operation of belt conveyors.

Among the topics to be covered in class are:

  • an overview of open and closed belt conveying systems
  • static design principles
  • design of horizontal and vertical curves
  • conveyor belt manufacturing considerations
  • dynamic analysis
  • high speed belt conveyor design and considerations
  • bulk solid and conveyor belt interactions
  • belt conveyor maintenance strategies

Course Objectives

The course will provide a comprehensive overview of the subject of belt conveying. It will present the fundamental concepts related to the static and dynamic design of belt conveyor systems. It will provide the understanding necessary for designing and selecting suitable equipment for reliable bulk solids handling and transportation, and for the efficient operation of belt conveyors.

Course Schedule

The course is offered over 5 consecutive days. Participants have a choice of either attending the full 5 day course and completing a subsequent assignment and writing an examination which will enable them to achieve a full Wits Certificate of Competence, or just to attend for the 5 days (or the first 3 days) to receive respective Wits Certificates of Attendance.


Students will be required to complete an assignment. The aim of this assignment will be to enhance the knowledge that they have gained on the course. They will also write an examination after the course. Students will be informed of this date on commencement of the course.


The University regards this course as NQF level 8. The course has been accredited by ECSA for CPD purposes as follows:

  • 3 day attendance = 2 points
  • 5 day attendance = 4 points
  • 5 day attendance and satisfactory completion of assignment and examination = 6 points

Fees & Registration

To register, please fill in the registration form and return it by fax or email to Sam Moolla. The indicated fees include; lectures, lunches and refreshments, course notes, examination and certification costs.

Please note: Employees of MineMech Founding Sponsors (African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo Platinum, De Beers, Gold Fields, Joy Mining Machinery, Lonmin and Sandvik) receive a 50% reduction in course fees.

Recommended Additional Course

The course on Storage and Handling of Bulk Solids has been scheduled for 28 September ? 2 October 2009. This is an associated course that previous or current participants in the belt conveying course will also find valuable. Further information can be obtained from Sam Moolla.

Resum?of Course Lecturers

Prof. Gabriel Lodewijks
is a Professor of Transport Engineering and Logistics in the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. He is Chairman of the Department of Marine and Transport Engineering in the same faculty, and President of Conveyer Experts B.V. Professor Lodewijks has extensive international industrial consulting experience in the area of belt conveying and has participated in many international conferences in this field. He is a Fellow of the South African Institute of Materials Handling.

Dr Craig Wheeler is a Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He worked for 10 years with BHP Billiton in Australia in a variety of engineering positions, including maintenance, production and design. Since joining the University he has worked as a Research Fellow at the Center for Bulk Solids and Particulate Technologies, a Consultant for TUNRA Bulk Solids and more recently as a Senior Lecture in the School of Engineering.

Contact Details

Sam Moolla is available to answer any issues related to the course and can be contacted as follows:

Work: 011 717 7329
Fax: 011 717 7364

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