Richard Farnish HND, BEng, MPhil, CEng, MIMechE

Principal Research Fellow

Richard Farnish has been employed at The Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology since January 1996. During this period he has generated substantial consultancy income, in conjunction with support of the School of Engineering, in the delivery of final year degree subjects and to the School of Science for MSc students. 

Richard teaches the science of and technologies for handling powders and granular materials in the process industry sector. In conjunction with these academic lecturing duties, he teaches a large number of industrial short courses at the Medway Campus and at clients’ premises.

Over the past 10 years, Richard has written 79 articles for trade journals, delivered 31 presentations at conferences and seminars and co-authored 40 conference papers.  Guest lectures have also been given at universities and institutes in Europe and North America. 

He has participated in pan-European programmes under Marie Curie Framework 6 and Framework 7 and has co-ordinated multiple placements of European students within ERASMUS and Leonardo programmes. Successful bids have also been obtained in the UK for industrial research through regional SEEDA and Emerald funds. 

Richard’s research interests are related to topics such improvements in powder feed control within processes (i.e. sachet, bag or tanker filling), and optimisation of vessel designs for reliable and consistent discharge performance.

Responsibilities within the university

  • Teaching and supervision support on degree and MSc level courses
  • Providing consultancy services to external organisations
  • PhD supervision and support
  • Co-ordination of internships for EU students


  • Member, IChemE Particle Special Interest Group
  • Member, IMechE
  • Steering group member, YCF Manufacturing Network
  • Editorial panel: Powder & Bulk Engineering magazine

Research / Scholarly interests

Richard's research interests relate to the optimisation of process equipment to reflect the specific requirements of the powders being handled through them, and the process requirements (in terms of consistency and repeatability of operational performance) with the objective of increasing accuracy. Through improvements in the fundamentals of handling equipment, substantial reduction in waste or out of specification product can be achieved. As a result, energy consumed by processes can be directly balanced in an efficient way against the plant (saleable) output instead of being wasted on unnecessary landfill or reprocessing.

Over the last five years, 150 industrial jobs have been undertaken by the Wolfson Centre consultancy staff, generating £1 million of income.

Key funded projects

Framework 7, Marie Curie ITN, POWTECH – 2010

A consortia of 13 European universities and industrial companies investigated the application of research and innovation into manufacturing processes associated with the formation or subsequent processing of bulk particulates. The research undertaken by The Wolfson Centre developed a methodology for understanding powder behaviour during low feed rate dosing of cohesive powders into processes. Many fine cohesive powders cannot be accurately or reliably dosed into processes due to the lack of understanding of powder behavior. Inefficiency at the dosing stage of many processes leads to substantial wastage and downtime. The researcher worked with the newly developed Brookfield Powder Flow Tester. It is anticipated that the outcome of the work could lead to the commercialisation of a novel powder handling equipment.

Recent publications


Gilvari, Hamid , van Battum, H, Farnish, Richard, Pang, Yusong , de Jong, Wiebren , Schott, Digena (2021), Fragmentation of fuel pellets during transport via a belt conveyor: a design of experiment study. Elsevier - Institute of Process Engineering - Chinese Society of Particuology - Science Press. In: , , , . Elsevier - Institute of Process Engineering - Chinese Society of Particuology - Science Press, Particuology, 66 . pp. 29-37 ISSN: 1674-2001 (Print), 1674-2001 (Online) (doi:

Salehi, Hamid , Berry, Robert, Farnish, Richard, Bradley, Mike (2019), Temperature and time consolidation effect on the bulk flow properties and arching tendency of a detergent powder. Wiley. In: , , , . Wiley, Chemical Engineering & Technology, 43 (1) . pp. 150-156 ISSN: 0930-7516 (Print), 1521-4125 (Online) (doi: NB Item availability restricted.

Salehi, Hamid , Berry, Robert, Farnish, Richard, Bradley, Mike (2019), A new uniaxial compression tester: development and application. The Italian Association of Chemical Engineering (AIDIC). In: , , , . The Italian Association of Chemical Engineering (AIDIC), Chemical Engineering Transactions, 74 . pp. 463-468 ISSN: 2283-9216 (Print), (doi: NB Item availability restricted.

Salehi, Hamid , Berry, Robert, Deng, Tong, Larsson, Sylvia H. , Farnish, Richard , Bradley, Mike (2019), Development and application of a novel cake strength tester. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, Powder Technology, 350 . pp. 36-42 ISSN: 0032-5910 (Print), 1873-328X (Online) (doi:

Ilic, Dusan , Williams, Kenneth, Farnish, Richard, Webb, Erin , Liu, Gary (2018), On the challenges facing the handling of solid biomass feedstocks. Wiley. In: , , , . Wiley, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, 12 (2) . pp. 187-202 ISSN: 1932-104X (Print), 1932-1031 (Online) (doi:

Kotzur, Benjamin A. , Bradley, Michael S.A., Berry, Robert J., Farnish, Richard J. (2016), Breakage characteristics of granulated food products for prediction of attrition during lean-phase pneumatic conveying. Walter de Gruyter GmbH. In: , , , . Walter de Gruyter GmbH, International Journal of Food Engineering, 12 (9) ISSN: 1556-3758 (Print), 2194-5764 (Online) (doi: NB Item availability restricted.

Bianchini, A. , Farnish, R.J., Gambuti, M., Saccani, C. (2016), Predictive model for corn flour discharge rates through an aerated hopper. Elsevier Science. In: , , , . Elsevier Science, Powder Technology, 298 . pp. 84-89 ISSN: 0032-5910 (Print), (doi: NB Item availability restricted.

Maniruzzaman, Mohammed , Nair, Arun, Renault, Maxcene, Nandi, Uttom , Scoutaris, Nicholaos , Farnish, Richard , Bradley, Mike , Snowden, Martin J. , Douroumis, Dennis (2015), Continuous twin-screw granulation for enhancing the dissolution of poorly water soluble drug. Elsevier B.V.. In: , , , . Elsevier B.V., International Journal of Pharmaceutics Special Issue on "Continuous Manufacturing and Process Analytical Tools”, 496 (1) ISSN: 0378-5173 (Print), 1873-3476 (Online) (doi:

Conference item

Ribeiro, Kandice Suane Barros , Farnish, Richard J., Coelho, Reginaldo Teixeira (2019), Evaluation of the Restricted Air Entry on the Discharge Rate from Silos. In: 25th ABCM International Congress of Mechanical Engineering, 20-25 October 2019, Uberlandia, MG, Brazil , . , (doi: ).

Sparrow, R. D. , Adekunle, Andrew, Berry, Robert, Farnish, Richard (2015), Study of two security constructs on throughput for wireless sensor multi-hop networks. In: 38th International Convention on Information and Communication Technology, Electronics and Microelectronics (MIPRO), 2015, 25-29th May, Opatija , 2015 38th International Convention on Information and Communication Technology, Electronics and Microelectronics (MIPRO). , . pp. 1302-1307 (doi: NB Item availability restricted.

Conference proceedings

Farnish, Richard , Beladi, Abdelhafid, Zigan, Stefan (2019), Investigation into the effects of cyclic particle loading onto filter media. University of Newcastle, Australia. In: , , , ICBMH 2019. University of Newcastle, Australia, (doi: ).

Farnish, Richard , Belaidi, Hafid, Zigan, Stefan (2019), The effects of reverse jet pulse over-pressurisation on dust filter performance. University of Newcastle, Australia. In: , , , ICBMH 2019. University of Newcastle, Australia, (doi: ).

Sparrow, R. D , Adekunle, A. A., Berry, R. J., Farnish, R. J. (2016), A novel block cipher design paradigm for secured communication. IEEE. In: , , , 2016 Annual IEEE 10th International Systems Conference (SysCon). IEEE, Florida, United States of America . pp. 1-6 . ISBN: 9781467395199 (doi:

Sparrow, R. D. , Adekunle, A. A., Berry, R. J., Farnish, R. J. (2016), The affect of two cryptographic constructs on QoS and QoE for unmanned control vehicles. IEEE. In: , , , 2015 9th International Conference on Next Generation Mobile Applications, Services and Technologies. IEEE, . pp. 265-269 . ISBN: 9781479986606 (doi:

Sparrow, R. D. , Adekunle, Andrew, Berry, Robert, Farnish, Richard (2015), Simulating and modelling the impact of secure communication latency for closed loop control. IEEE. In: , , , Internet Technologies and Applications (ITA), 2015. IEEE, Wrexham, UK . pp. 138-143 ISSN: 9781479980369 (Print), (doi:

Sparrow, R.D. , Adekunle, A.A., Berry, R.J., Farnish, R.J. (2015), Balancing throughput and latency for an aerial robot over a wireless secure communication link. IEEE. In: Cybernetics (CYBCONF), 2015 IEEE 2nd International Conference on, , , 2015 IEEE 2nd International Conference on Cybernetics (CYBCONF). IEEE, . pp. 184-189 . ISBN: 9781479983209 (doi:

Ton, Bram T. , Farnish, Richard J., Zigan, Stefan (2015), Resolving lateral segregation effects of static blenders. International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE). In: , , , IV International Conference on Particle-Based Methods (PARTICLES 2015). International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE), Barcelona, Spain . pp. 714-721 . ISBN: 9788494424472 (doi: ) NB Item availability restricted.