Imperial College London

Dr Diego Mesa Peña

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Research Associate



+44 (0)20 7594 7144d.mesa16 Website CV




2.58DRoyal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus




Research Interests

My research focuses on the optimisation of froth flotation by combining novel experimental techniques, state-of-the-art equipment design and in-depth statistical analysis. I am also interested in fundamental aspects of bubble-particle interaction phenomena and the interconnected effect of reagents and complex ores on froth stability and flotation performance.

Flotation equipment design

I have published several peer-reviewed papers on the effects that different retrofit design modifications have on froth stability and flotation performance. My review on flotation scale-up has been particularly well received by the academic community, establishing a common nomenclature for different scale-up approaches and paving the way for future research needs. 

Multiphase Hydrodynamics

I have specialised in the use of Positron Emission Particle Tracking (PEPT) for the measurement of flotation hydrodynamics for multiphase, opaque, turbulent and complex flotation systems. My recent publications in collaboration with The University of Cape Town have been the first to quantify the hydrodynamics generated by different impeller designs.

Bubble size distribution measurement

I have co-created and published, as an independent collaboration, the first open-source software for bubble size image analysis - Bubble Analyser. This software is aimed to facilitate the bubble size measurement for researchers and practitioners, as well as to foster collaboration and benchmarking of algorithms between researchers focused on bubble image analysis.

Complex ores and clays

During my MSc and as an independent consultant I have worked on the characterisation and understanding of the behaviour that complex and clay-rich ores have in the flotation process. I have co-supervised a couple of MSci and UROP projects focused on this topic.

Teaching and Supervision

show research
  • I have designed two MSci projects, being heavily involved in the training and co-supervision of the students. Their projects studied the effect of mineral clays on froth stability and flotation performance, as well as the effect of new retrofit design modifications for a mechanical flotation cell.
  • I have designed and imparted the Undergraduate Academic Tutorial titled "A Mining Debate" for two years (2020 - 2021). The debate, carried out online due to the pandemic, consisted of discussing the economic, social, ethical and environmental impacts of mining activity. I used different debate dynamics and methodologies each time, to enhance the learning and teaching process.
  • I was chosen by the ESE student's Chapter of the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) to lead them as an academic guide on a field trip to Peru, where we visited 8 different mining operations. The students also organised a Symposium in Lima, Peru, where I was a Guest Speaker, showcasing the research we carry out in the Advanced Mineral Processing Research Group.