Academic Staff

Prof Aubrey Mainza


BMinSc (Metallurgy and Mineral Processing), University of Zambia (1999), PhD Chemical Engineering), University of Cape Town (2006)

BackgroundAubrey Mainza is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cape Town (UCT). He graduated from UCT with a PhD in 2006. He has 18 years of collective experience in academia, research and industry. He is the Deputy Director and Head of Comminution and Classification Research in the Centre for Minerals Research, which is a large multi-disciplinary research centre. His research areas include comminution and classification and uses Discrete Element Method (DEM), Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), and Positron Emission Particle Tracking (PEPT) as tools in his modelling methods. He has participated in many local and international research projects and has worked on numerous comminution circuit design and optimisation projects. He is an active supervisor of postgraduate students and has published widely in the international mineral processing and aligned disciplines literature. He is the chairperson for the International Comminution Researchers Association African Chapter and committee member the Western Cape Branch of the Southern Africa Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Aubrey is on many advisory committees for international conferences. He is a founder member of PEPT Cape Town, a facility established in Cape Town for studying flow behaviour in different systems and also for medical research.


2016 – present Professor, Dept of Chemical Engineering, UCT
2013 – 2015 A/Professor, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, UCT
2008 – 2012 Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering, UCT
2002 – 2008 Research Officer/ Senior Research Officer, Department of Chemical Engineering, UCT
1998 – 1999 Graduate Engineer, ZCCM, Technical Services, Kitwe, Zambia


Research Interests

Comminution, Classification, Computational modelling (DEM, CFD, FEM, SPH); Positron Emission Particle Tracking)


Selected Publications

​​​​​​​I. Govender, M. C. Richter, A.N Mainza, and D. N De Klerk. A positron emission particle tracking investigation of the scaling law governing free surface flows in tumbling mills. AIChE journal, Volume 63, Issue 3, 2017, Pages 903 -913.

G.B Tupper, I. Govender, and A.N Mainza. Predicting flows from the dynamic Ergun Equation. Minerals Engineering, Volume 103-104, 2017, Pages 11 -13.

L. Little, A.N Mainza, M. Becker, and J. Wiese. Using Mineralogy and particle shape analysis to investigate enhanced mineral liberation through phase boundary fracture. Powder Technology, 2016. Volume 301, pages 794 - 804.

Y. Ghorbani, J. Petersen, M. Becker, A.N Mainza, and J-P Franzidis. Investigation and modelling of the progression of Zinc leaching from large. Hydrometallurgy, Volume 131-132, 2013, Pages 8-23.

M. Narasimha A.N. Mainza, P.N. Holtham, M.S. Powell and M.S Brennan. A Semi-mechanistic model of hydrocyclones – Developed from industrial data and inputs from CFD, International Journal of Mineral Processing 133 (2014) 1–12.

I. Govender, P.W. Cleary, and A.N Mainza. Comparisons of PEPT derived charge features in wet milling environments with friction-adjusted DEM model. Chemical Engineering Science, Volume 97, 2013, Pages 162 -175.