May 8, 2017

2 Min Read
Joseph Marinelli Discusses the Future of Solids Handling

President of Solids Handling Technologies Joseph Marinelli has worked on concepts and technologies that solve solids flow problems for 45 years, but despite decades of advances the bulk solids expert believes there is still progress to be made in solids handling over the years ahead.

“I’m on a structural committee on concrete silos and stuff and we were talking about what’s new, what’s going on and there was absolutely nothing going on,” said Marinelli with a laugh during a recent interview with Powder & Bulk Solids. “The research projects have gone away, because of the economy I’m assuming. So, nobody’s spending any time or money on research.”

Many of the technologies and ideas that have improved solids handling, like cone-in-cone design, identification of segregation problems, and silo and bin load analysis, were developed during the 1980s and refined further over the decades.

As American firms have halted their research efforts on solids handling, research at U.S. universities on the topic has remained more or less stagnant over the years, said Marinelli, who will speak on addressing solids flow problems at the Toronto Powder & Bulk Solids Show, running from May 16-18, 2017 at the Toronto Congress Centre.

Click here for information about the PBS Toronto event, May 16-18, 2017

“The problem is that it’s not taught at the college level, so kids coming out of school have no concept of solids handling. I believe that the problem is that the schools don’t know what discipline to put it in,” the solids flow consultant said. “You could put it in civil engineering, you could put it in mechanical engineering, you could put it in chemical engineering.”

Marinelli said two notable exceptions are Purdue University, which offers a one semester course on bulk solids handling, and Kansas State University, the founder of the Bulk Solids Innovation Center in Salina, KS.

Industry not likely to invest internally to develop solids handling concepts and technologies for the time being, he said, but companies may play a role in influencing American universities to beef up solids handling-related education for engineers.

“The industry has to go to the schools and say look we need some help,” said Marinelli. “We need you guys to provide students to us that are interested in this kind of topic.”

At present, engineers working in the field have to develop knowledge of solids handling through work experiences and outside engineering services, consulting and design firms like Solids Handling Technologies.

Anyone involved with solids handling is encouraged to attend Marinelli’s presentation at 2:45 pm on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at the Toronto Powder & Bulk Solids Show’s Center Stage.

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