Academic Staff

Prof Indresan Govender

BSc(UDW), HDE (UNISA), Physics-Hons(UCT), PhD (UCT)

Indresan Govender graduated with a PhD from the University of Cape Town where he worked for the last 15 years. He is presently Professor of Particle Technology and Mineral Processing in Chemical Engineering at UKZN and honorary Professor in the Centre for Minerals Research. Indresan’s research focusses on the modelling of complex flows with a strong emphasis on granular systems. The expedience of continuum modelling frameworks are favoured in describing the rheological character of the flow, with nuclear imaging techniques like Positron Emission Particle Tracking (PEPT) and Bi-planar X-ray Imaging that uniquely measure, in-situ, the trajectory of individual representative particles within realistic flow systems found in industry (mining, pharmaceuticals, food), medicine (blood and air flow) and nature (avalanches, landslides, etc). Computational modelling via the Discrete Element Method (DEM) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) also captures the microscale information that are typically difficult to measure but crucial to better understanding the stress/strain relations governing the flow system. Our nuclear imaging measurements via PEPT and X-rays provide unique data for unravelling the scaling laws that underpin the constitutive behaviour of the flow. We use the experimentally derived scaling laws in combination with the microscale simulation data to fully realise the underlying rheological character of the flow. The resulting insights then allow us to make meaningful predictions for complex industrial, natural and biological systems.


2016 – present Professor in Chemical Engineering (UKZN and UCT)
2007 – 2015 Senior Lecturer in Physics, UCT
2004 – 2007 Research Officer, Centre for Minerals Research and the Centre for Research in Computational and Applied Mechanics (CERECAM), UCT
2002 – 2004 Lecturer, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Research Interests

Computational modelling (DEM, CFD, FEM, SPH); nuclear imaging (PEPT, X-rays); Granular flow modelling


Selected Publications

​​​​​​​I. Govender and T. Pathmathas (2017). A positron emission particle tracking investigation of the flow regimes in tumbling mills. J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. Vol. 50, 035601 (10pp).

I. Govender, M.C. Richter, A.N. Mainza, D.N. De Klerk (2017). A positron emission particle tracking investigation of the scaling law governing free surface flows in tumbling mills. AIChE J. Vol. 63 (3), pp. 903-913.

G.B. Tupper, I. Govender, A.N. Mainza (2017). Predicting flows from the dynamic Ergun equation. Minerals Engineering. Vol. 103-104, pp. 11-13.

O. Ogunmodimu, I. Govender, A Mainza, J-P Franzidis (2017). The development of a simplified system for measuring the passage of particles on and through moving screen surfaces using DEM. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Discrete Element Methods, Springer proceedings in Physics 188, DOI 10.1007/978-981-10-1926-5_73, pp. 709-721.