Imperial College London

Reuben Cruise

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Research Postgraduate



r.cruise19 Website




2.58MRoyal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus






I investigate fundamental electrostatic charging mechanisms. In particular, the mechanisms behind triboelectric charging and how they depend on environmental conditions, contact mode and material.

Lunar In Situ Resource Utilisation

Triboelectric charging can be harnessed to impart differing charges on different minerals which allows to separate these minerals in an electrostatic field. This can be used to separate ilmenite (from which oxygen can be extracted) from Lunar regolith. 

Dust Mitigation

Due to the absence of an atmosphere or magnetic field, the Lunar surface is exposed to solar and cosmic rays which impart charge on the fine surface regolith. As such, the highly charged dust tends to stick to surfaces. Any processes that move the Lunar regolith such as excavation or beneficiation will further increase charging of the regolith due to the triboelectric effect. Using knowledge of electrostatic charging mechanisms, I will be investigating methods to mitigate dust adhesion to surfaces and the buildup of electrostatic charge in granular processes. This will have spin-out applications in the powder pharmaceutical industry and in the operation of fluidised bed and pneumatic conveyor processes.


  • 2019 - present: PhD - Lunar In Situ Resource Utilisation, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London
  • 2018 - 2019: Research assistant, Energy Policy Research Group, Judge Business School, Cambridge University
  • 2017 - 2018: MPhil - Nuclear Energy, Cambridge University
  • 2013 - 2017: BA - Theoretical Physics, Trinity College Dublin



Cruise RD, Hadler K, Starr SO, et al., 2022, The effect of particle size and relative humidity on triboelectric charge saturation, Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Vol:55, ISSN:0022-3727, Pages:1-14

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