Imperial College London

Professor Jan Cilliers

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Chair in Mineral Processing



+44 (0)20 7594 7360j.j.cilliers




RSM 1.46BRoyal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





Research Interests

Research interests in minerals processing, in particular froth flotation.
Focus on measuring and manipulating the froth structure to optimise the separation achieved.
Develop new techniques for measuring froth properties and particle motion in froths
Modelling of froth based on physical models for process design
Interests in mineral economics and the interaction between mineral processing and metal extraction. 

  • Flotation froth structure
  • Froth stability measures 
  • Froth models, including particle motion
  • Particle tracking in pulp and froth using PEPT (example of particle tracking - please be aware that this is a huge video file ~20MB)
  • Design of flotation vessels and flowsheets
  • Economics of metal recovery and waste disposal
  • Financial metal hedging 

Recent Measures of Esteem

  • Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, 2010 (Imperial College News)
  • Director: Rio Tinto Centre for Advanced Mineral Recovery.
  • Plenary address: IFACMMM 2010
  • Plenary Address: Procemin 2009 (Presentation)
  • Inaugural Lecture Imperial College February 2008 (presentation). Note: This is a very large file (~16MB).
  • 2005-10 Rio Tinto Professor with funding of two staff and further £6 million of associated industrial research support
  • 2006 Keynote speaker, CFD 2006, Melbourne
  • 2007 Keynote speaker, China Forum on Mineral Processing, Kunming
  • 2004 FIChemE; FIMMM


  • Professor, Imperial College London 2005-present
  • Professor, University of Manchester 2005
  • MBA, Manchester Business School, 2001
  • Reader, Senior Lecturer, Lecturer UMIST 1994-2005
  • Senior Lecturer and PhD University of Cape Town 1990-1994 
  • BSc (Eng), MSc University of the Witwatersrand 1981-1986


Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Vega-Garcia D, Brito Parada P, Cilliers JJ, 2018, Optimising small hydrocyclone design using 3D printing and CFD simulations, Chemical Engineering Journal, Vol:350, ISSN:1385-8947, Pages:653-659

Kermode JR, Ben-Bashat L, Atrash F, et al., 2013, Macroscopic scattering of cracks initiated at single impurity atoms, Nature Communications, Vol:4, ISSN:2041-1723

Morris GDM, Neethling SJ, Cilliers JJ, 2011, A Model for the Stability of Films Stabilized by Randomly Packed Spherical Particles, Langmuir, Vol:27, ISSN:0743-7463, Pages:11475-11480

Cole KE, Waters KE, Parker DJ, et al., 2010, PEPT combined with high speed digital imaging for particle tracking in dynamic foams, Chemical Engineering Science, Vol:65, ISSN:0009-2509, Pages:1887-1890

Neethling SJ, Cilliers JJ, 2009, The entrainment factor in froth flotation: Model for particle size and other operating parameter effects, International Journal of Mineral Processing, Vol:93, ISSN:0301-7516, Pages:141-148

More Publications