Start main page content

Bulk solids storage and handling


This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the subject of bulk solids storage and handling. It covers the basic concepts related to bulk solids with particular emphasis on the application of bulk solids properties to the design of equipment. It demonstrates the importance of the measurement of the basic flow-related properties of bulk solids and particulates and the application of this information to the design of storage bins and feeding and handling equipment. 

The course provides the understanding necessary for designing and selecting suitable equipment for reliable bulk solids storage, handling and transportation.

This course is complementary to the course on ‘Belt Conveying of Bulk Solids’, which was held earlier in the year. 

Course Structure

The course is offered over five consecutive days. Participants have a choice of either attending the full five-day course and completing a subsequent assignment and writing an examination, which will enable them to achieve a full Wits Certificate of Competence (recognised for postgraduate study purposes), or only attending the five-day course to receive a Wits Certificate of Attendance.

Course Content

The content of this course is based largely on the principles of granular mechanics.

The following topics are studied in the course:
• Characterisation of bulk solids
• Basic properties of particulates
• Property variation of bulk solids
• Basic concepts in mass, funnel and expanded flow-bin design
• Application of flow properties to the determination of bin-wall loads and draw-down loads
• Interfacing of feeders with storage vessels
• Determination of draw-down flow characteristics and live capacity of gravity reclaim stockpiles
• Introduction to discrete element modelling (DEM) and associated calibration requirements

Course Lecturers


Dr Tobias Krull is the General Manager of TUNRA Bulk Solids in Newcastle, Australia. He graduated with a Dipl.-Ing. (ME equivalent) from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany in 2000 and completed an Engineering Doctorate with a focus on bulk solids handling in 2005. In his more than 10 years of research and consultancy experience, he has been involved in over 500 projects in bulk solids handling, involving contract R&D, troubleshooting, conceptual equipment design, design and plant audits for most major mining and engineering companies in Australia and internationally, including multi-nationals such as BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Newmont, Xstrata, WorleyParsons, SKM, Hatch as well as Indonesian companies such as PT Adaro, PT Atlas & PT Indo Rac. 


Dr Kenneth Williams is the General Manager for Research at TUNRA Bulk Solids. He co-ordinates a wide spectrum of research projects and has been a part of the TBS team for over 10 years. Additionally, he is also the TBS Africa co-ordinator, working closely with the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg on developing services and solutions for the African mining, minerals processing and power industries. His main areas of expertise include the application of stress based analysis for the design of bulk material handling systems, the prediction and design of pneumatic conveying, fluidisation and air slide systems for dense and dilute phase flow, the prediction of wear in bulk material handling systems with focus on wear mechanisms as well as the investigation of DEM-CFD applications and their applicability and limitations for design. 

Dr Krull and Dr Williams are members of the senior management and consultants team at TBS. They have presented numerous seminars and professional development courses in Australia, Canada, South Africa, China, Singapore and Indonesia.

Project and examination

Students will be informed of the examination date on commencement of the course.


This is a formal course (MECN7034) in the postgraduate programme of the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering.

The University regards this course as NQF level 8.

The course has been accredited by ECSA for CPD purposes as follows: five-day attendance only = 4 points, five-day attendance and satisfactory completion of assignment and examination = 6 points.


Professional Development Hub (PDH) Building

Book here



Giving to Wits

School of Public Health Building

Whether you invest in a promising young student, or contribute towards vital research or new buildings and facilities – giving to Wits brings great personal satisfaction and lasting results you can be proud of for years to come.

Give to Wits