IMechE Bulk Materials Handling Award for Innovation

Presented to the author of the best paper relating to bulk materials handling technology, presented in the preceding year.

The award aims to raise the profile of bulk materials handling technology and to reward instances of research, development or design which enhances the technology.


  • Open to members and non-members, worldwide
  • Engineers, scientists, students, researchers and academic staff, are all eligible for the award.

Award criteria

The work will be judged on the basis of a single publication submitted to the IMechE for consideration.

The publication will:

  • be in English and have been published either in the UK or in an international forum
  • have been published into the public domain within the specified timescale (the preceding year). 
  • preferably take the form of a refereed journal/conference paper, although a thesis may be considered, as may an un-refereed publication if it demonstrates a high level of quality and significance in its content
  • be on research, developments or design that enhances some aspect of the engineering of bulk materials handling equipment, or takes, in some way, the technology beyond previous limits
  • be original and be able to be demonstrated to be the work of the candidate submitting the work. The awarding body reserves the right to interview candidates to establish this is the case.

Sponsored by The Materials Handling Engineers Association MHEA

Award conditions

The submission must be accompanied by a letter of support from the candidate’s manager or supervisor stating that

  • it is the work of the candidate alone
  • ·or where there has been a significant input by others, identifying that part of the work which is the candidate’s alone.

Links to the United Kingdom:  There must be a strong relevance to UK practice. This will normally mean it meets any one or more of the following conditions, although work not fulfilling any of these criteria will be considered if it can be demonstrated that there is a strong relevance to UK practice:

  • The candidate to be a UK national, working anywhere in the world
  • The work will have been:
  • undertaken in the UK by a national of any country
  • performed for a UK on-shore application.
    • IMechE reserves the right to withhold the award in any year, if the awarding committee do not believe there is a worthy candidate amongst the submissions received in that year.
    • Candidates must be prepared to agree to IMechE publicising an extract of the content of the papers and the announcement of the names of the winner and runners up.
    • The Trustee Board Awards Committee reserves the right to relax or amend all or any of the terms of the Award without notice, where they consider it is in the interest of the Institution or the discipline to do so.

Value of award

  • Annual award of £250 plus certificate.

Application process

Closing date: 25 March 2024.

Award winners

2021 Hoverdale UK Ltd - Halo intelligent belt cleaner system

Awarded to Hoverdale UK Ltd for their Halo intelligent belt cleaner system. Upon the request of a renewable energy plant operator, Hoverdale UK Ltd, examined, researched and developed a bespoke solution which prevented significant and repeated conveyor line blockages resulting in:

  • An 80% reduction in cleaning resources
  • 23% decrease in downtime
  • 30% reduction in consumables spending
  • And a significant cutback in maintenance

2019 Lontra - A game changer in compression

Awarded to Lontra for their New Innovative Compressor. The LP2 Compressor is a new unique design that features Lontra's exceptional compressor geometry alongside exclusive high-value machine components. All within a robust sound-attenuating unit that delivers competitive energy and maintenance savings and reliable benefits for industry.

2017 Powder blending, Michele Marigo

For his paper on "Using a Freeman FT4 Rheometer and Electrical Capacitance Tomography to Assess Powder Blending". Michele’s expertise includes manufacturing science technology, materials science, particle engineering and powder processing, discrete element modelling and finite element modelling.

2016 GEMM database, Dr David Curry

Dr David Curry created a GEMM Database containing thousands of unique material models spanning a wide range of bulk material characteristics. Read more about Dr Curry's project and work.

2015 Graviload, Loadfast Systems

LoadFast Systems integrated several key aspects into the Graviload, including solids handling, material properties, FEA, DEM, controlling velocity and tackling dust generation.

Further information

Toggle Trust Fund conditions, award funding and number of awards

Get in touch

Have a question about this Award or Prize?

Contact our Member Engagement Team:

Join the IMechE conversation

IMechE Facebook IMechE Twitter IMechE LinkedIn IMechE Instagram IMechE YouTube

Discover how our
Scholarships and Awards can help your studies and career

Apply today