Emeritus Professor Tim Napier-Munn specialises in Modelling and simulation of mineral processes, physical processing such as dense medium separation and hydrocyclones, comminution, diamond processing, statistical methods applied to mineral processing, technology transfer and research management.

His research interests lie principally in the modelling, simulation and analysis of mineral processes, in particular dense medium separation, classification and comminution, and in the application and development of statistical methods for mineral processing. He is also concerned with methodologies for the effective transfer of research results to operating practice in mineral processing. He has published strongly in the field of dense medium separation, both in fundamental process analysis and modelling, and in plant practice. He has also published in comminution, classification, flotation, slurry rheology, statistics, and the practice of R&D. He has supervised over 20 PhD and Masters students to completion. 

Dr Tim Napier-Munn is a mineral engineer with degrees from Imperial College, London and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He has had a 46 year career in mineral industry research, development and consulting in the public and private sectors in three countries, holding senior positions with De Beers in South Africa, and with the JKMRC (Director) and JKTech Pty Ltd (Managing Director) at the University of Queensland. He is now Emeritus Professor at UQ and works with graduate students at the JKMRC and consults through JKTech. Tim has published over 150 papers and articles, and was editor of the JKMRC ‘Blue Book’ on comminution (1996) and the 7th Edition of Wills’ Mineral Processing Technology (2006). He has delivered professional development courses on Statistics for Mineral Engineers around the world for over 20 years, and has recently published a book on the subject. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Minerals Engineering journal, founding board member of CEEC International, and a Fellow of the AusIMM. Tim is a recipient of the Consolidated Goldfields Silver Medal and Premium (IMM, London, 1986), the West Medal of the Institute of Cornish Engineers (1997), the IOM3 Futer Medal (London, 2009), the AusIMM President’s Award (2011), and the AusIMM Sir Willis Connolly Memorial Medal (2015). He was the AusIMM Delprat Distinguished Lecturer in 2016.

Industry Engagement

Tim worked for De Beers in South Africa for 11 years; his final role was as Manager, Mines Division, Diamond Research Laboratory. Since joining the JKMRC he has managed research sponsored by over 60 mineral industry companies including both producers and METS companies, and has actively collaborated with many of these companies.


Unis of Melbourne, South Australia, Tasmania, Newcastle, Cape Town among others, CSIRO, and other organisations including AMIRA International.

Key Publications

NAPIER-MUNN T.J., MORRELL S., MORRISON R.D. and KOJOVIC T, 1996. Mineral comminution circuits - their operation and optimisation. JKMRC, University of Queensland, Brisbane (series editor T.J. Napier-Munn) (reprinted three times).

NAPIER-MUNN T.J., 1998. Analysing plant trials by comparing recovery-grade regression lines. Minerals Eng., 11 (10), 949-958

NAPIER-MUNN T.J., 2014. Is progress in energy-efficient comminution doomed? (Keynote address), Comminution ’14, Cape Town, April. Minerals Eng., 73, March, 1-6.

SHI F.N. and NAPIER-MUNN T.J., 2002. Effects of slurry rheology on industrial grinding performance. Int. J. Miner. Proc., 65, 125-140.

NAPIER-MUNN T.J., 1990. The effect of dense medium viscosity on separation performance. Coal Prepn., 8, Nos. 3-4, 145-165.