8th International Conference on Discrete Element Methods

We invite everyone to propose mini-symposia for the upcoming DEM8 conference.

Please provide a title and brief description (approx. 5 lines) of your mini-symposium. Just send an email to

Please keep in mind the following guidelines when organising your mini-symposium:

    • Talk slots will be 20 minutes (with a recommendation of leaving 5 minutes for questions)
    • The mini-symposium should be at least 4 speakers
    • If you have 6 or more speakers, we recommend starting your mini-symposium with a double length (40 minutes) ‘keynote’. This keynote speaker should start with an introductory/overview talk, for those less familiar with the topic of your mini-symposium
    • The mini-symposium can last 1hr 20, 1hr 40, 2hrs, 2hrs 40, 3hrs, 4hrs 20 or 4 hrs 40
  • Your mini-symposium can be invite only or open registration, in both cases we will put the description online. In the case of open registration you will of course still be able to review the abstracts to see if they fit in your mini-symposium.

Current Mini-symposia

MS-01 Multiscale Modeling of Granular Media for Engineering Applications

Jidong Zhao, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong,

Thomas Weinhart, University of Twente, Netherlands,

Xikui Li, Dalian University of Technology, China, 

Keywords:  Granular Media, Cross-scale modeling, Engineering applications, Discrete-continuum bridging

This mini-symposium aims to provide a forum for active researchers to discuss recent advances in meso-scale and/or multi-scale modeling of dry or wet granular materials, based on either discrete or discrete-continuum coupling methods, to provide cross-scale understanding and solution to engineering scale boundary value problems.

The mini-symposium will cover (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Mesoscopic modeling and characterization of dry or wet granular materials to account for grain/pore scale characteristics including grain morphology, grain crushing, pore fluids and others.
  • Advanced multi-scale modeling methodologies to effectively link 
grain/pore scale mechanisms with continuum material responses for granular media;
  • New multi-scale techniques developed to address contingent engineering challenges including large deformation, crushing, multi-physics coupling.
  • Novel multi-scale insights derived from meso- and multi-scale modeling to help for developing physically based, rigorous continuum theories for granular media.
  • Latest progresses in discrete or coupled discrete-continuum modeling of granular media, including XFEM, mesh-free, MPM, SPH, Peridynamics and others.

MS-02 From particles to continuum theory and applications

Stefan Luding, University of Twente, Netherlands,

Keywords:  Granular Matter, Continuum Theory, Modeling

Particle systems are different from ‘classical’ atomistic systems; they are neither fluid nor solid, but often behave as both at the same time. There is no generally accepted continuum theory that can be used for industrial or geophysical applications on the large scale, only few promising first attempts have been recently proposed. Some of them are based on DEM simulations and multi-scale models, but too many rely on empirical considerations. Goal of this workshop is to present new approaches on how to bring particle scale information to the continuum theory level.

MS-03 Open-source development

Hongyang Cheng and Anthony Thornton
University of Twente, Netherlands,,

There are many open-source codes for simulating particles, all with their own unique features. This session will serve the dual purpose of bringing together the different developers of open-source codes and also be a one-stop-shop for potential new users. There will be a maximum of two speaker slots per code. The first talk should be a general overview of the code including main features, upcoming features, license, contribution rules, etc. The second talk can be more technical and explain the details of certain key features.

If the developers are willing, there will be a second drop-in session where anybody can come and try a given code. The codes that will be represented at this drop-in session will be finalised shortly.

MS-04 Theory and algorithms - CANCELLED

Fernando Alonso-Marroquin, University of Sydney, Australia, 

The purpose of this mini-symposium is to create a discussion platform on advanced numerical modelling of crushable and highly polydisperse granular materials. These materials encompass crushable coarse granulates mixed with fines such as clay, fine powders, or fly ashes. We welcome contributions on the coupling of different methods with DEM to achieve a reasonable compromise in accuracy and efficiency. Special topics of interest are theories and algorithms on hybrid continuum-discrete models, sub-particle stress calculation, non-smooth implicit algorithms, and new strategies for fragmentable discrete elements.

MS-05 Application of Discrete Element Methods in Powder Processing

Harish P. Cherukuri, UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA,

Ali Tabei, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA,

Miguel A. Pando, UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA,

Keywords: Discrete Element Method (DEM), Powder mixing, Powder flow, Powder screening

This mini-symposium is intended as a forum to discuss recent advances, challenges, and opportunities of using Discrete Element Methods (DEM) to model powder handling and  processing and related areas. Specific topics of relevance to this mini-symposium include:

  • Processes related to additive manufacturing such as powder spreading and powder bed fusion processes in additive manufacturing.
  • Segregation of powder mixtures.
  • Mechanical and thermal behavior of powder systems.
  • Flow of powders.
  • Compaction of powders (modeling, strength, and fracturing potential).
  • Optimization of powder processing operations (blending and screening).

We cordially invite you to share your research and participate in our symposium.

MS-06 Material Structure Interaction and Equipment Design

Dingena Schott and Rudy Helmons, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands,

This minisymposium aims to bring together the latest developments on granular materials in interaction with equipment or structures.

Papers typically include following aspects:

  • Performance indicators of mechanical equipment and material together.
  • Application simulation with coupled approaches, e.g. FEM and MBD
  • Calibration and validation with model-scale and industrial-scale tests
  • Equipment design approaches

MS-07 Discrete Element Methods in Multiphase Flow

Limin Wang and Wei Ge, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China,

The aim of this mini-symposium is to provide a forum for researchers from academic and engineering communities to share their progress and experience in coupling the discrete element methods with different fluid flow simulation methods for the study of particle-laden multiphase flow. This symposium welcomes any contribution on the models, numerical methods and algorithms, and applications in this area, and the multiphase systems include gas-solid, liquid-solid, gas-liquid-solid, liquid-liquid-solid systems and so on.

TOPICS OF INTEREST (not restricted to):

  • Fully Resolved Methods: FV-DEM, FE-DEM, LBM-DEM, SPH-DEM, etc.;
  • Unresolved Methods: CFD-DEM, LBM-DEM, MP-PIC, etc.;
  • Complicated Particle: Non-spherical, Cohesive, Deformable, Coarse-grained, etc.;
  • Multi-scale Modeling, Large-scale Simulation and HPC;
  • Engineering and Industrial Applications.

MS-08 Non-spherical particle shape and packing in DEM

Nicolin Govender, University of Surrey, UK,

John-Paul Latham, Imperial College London, UK,

Daniel Wilke, University of Pretoria, South Africa,

This mini-symposium provides a platform for academic and industrial researchers to share their contributions in the simulation of particle systems of complex natural and manufactured shapes, and to discuss needs in terms of accuracy versus computational cost.  Contributions from the diverse range of particle shape representations and related interaction modeling approaches are invited as are contributions that focus on applications with a particular shape or range of shapes. Granular packing as a function of shape and other variables of the packing process are therefore of great interest, as are dynamic systems that demonstrate shape dependencies.

MS-09 Achieving innovation in geomechanics applications using DEM

Catherine O’Sullivan, Imperial College London, UK,

This session aims to provide a forum to discuss the application of DEM in geomechanics applications. In particular it aims to showcase examples as to how DEM can drive progress, innovation, and best practice in geomechanics applications. It is envisaged that this session will consider topics including use of DEM to inform:

  1. Development of instrumentation and testing devices.
  2. Development of soil improvement techniques.
  3. Development of constitutive models for use in engineering practice.
  4. Design guidelines used in engineering practice.

The presentations will comprise a mixture of simulations of element tests and simulations of boundary value problems.

MS-10 Thermal Process Engineering of Granular Material

Bernhard Peters, University of Luxembourg,

Henrik Rusche, Wikki GmbH,

Hervoje Jasak, Wikki Ltd,

Keywords: Thermal conversion, reaction engineering, phase change, DEM; CFD, XDEM

The mini-symposium aims at bringing together engineers and researcher from the applied e.g. industry and scientific community and providing a lively exchange of ideas regarding state of the art and future needs for simulation technologies in thermal processing of granular material.

Therefore, topics of the mini-symposium on “Thermal Process Engineering of Granular Material” in the broad sense will include:

    • Targeted industrial applications and their requirements
    • Multi-scale techniques
    • Coupling techniques for heat, mass and momentum transfer
    • Resolution of particle thermodynamics and solution algorithms
    • Palletisation and high performance computing
  • Coupling to external CFD modules

MS-11 DEM modelling in the field of railway track systems

Bettina Suhr, Nishant Kumar and Klaus Six, Virtual Vehicle Research Centre, Graz, Austria,,

Keywords:  Railways, Track, Subgrade, Ballast, Modeling

Railways are an important part of the worldwide transportation system. Regarding railway infrastructure, ballasted tracks are the commonly used track system with continuously growing demands for improved performance. In this context the behavior of the ballast and its interactions with the subgrade/soil and sleepers including additional elastic layers, etc. is crucial. Physical phenomena occurring within the track system – on microscopic particle scale – are complex and difficult to understand. DEM can be used to gain a better understanding for these phenomena building the basis for significant improvements.

This mini-symposium is a platform to present and discuss research regarding railway track systems based on DEM simulations including its parameterization and validation. The goal is to bring together the scientific community in this field.

MS-12 Calibration of DEM and CFD-DEM simulations in theory and practice

Christoph Kloss, DCS Computing,

Rouven Weiler, BASF,

Prashant Gupta, P&G,

Jose Magalhaes, John Deere,

Filip Francqui, Granutools,

Christoph Goniva, DCS Computing,

Calibration of DEM and CFD-DEM models of granular materials, i.e. finding the right set of material parameters for the model, is challenging. The inter-disciplinary challenge for experimentalists, engineers, physicists, mathematicians and programmers consists of:

  1. understanding the relevant qualitative behavior and flow regimes of the granular material in the context of the process in question,
  2. choosing the right experimental devices so that the behavior of the material is sufficiently characterized,
  3. choosing the right numerical model which is able to capture the material’s behavior,
  4. choosing the right objective function and optimization strategy for the calibration process.

We invite stakeholders from industry and academia, end users, experimental device manufacturers, software and optimization experts to discuss with us and to shed light on the state of the art and possible paths into the future.

Especially, success stories from practical applications and pragmatic approaches are highly welcome.

MS-13 GPU and High Performance Computing in DEM

Nicolin Govender, University of Surrey, UK,

Daniel Wilke, University of Pretoria, South Africa,

Patrick Pizette, IMT Lille Douai, France,

Wenjie Xu, Tsinghua University, Beijing,

Hermann Kureck, Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering, Austria,

This mini-symposium provides a platform for academic and industrial researchers to share their contributions on GPU and HPC computing in DEM and coupled simulations.

Contributions that include (out of interest) but not restricted to:

  1. Large scale industrial simulations,
  2. Spatial partitioning algorithms,
  3. Extensions over Multiple GPUs,
  4. Parallel SPH/CFD,
  5. DEM based artificial intelligence applications, and
  6. Interactive DEM simulations.

MS-14 Particle breakage and crushable granular materials

Jean-Yves Delenne, INRA, Université de Montpellier,
Gaël Combe, 3SR Lab, Université de Grenoble,
Vincent Richefeu, 3SR Lab, Université de Grenoble,
Farhang Radjai, CNRS, Université de Montpellier,

Keywords: Fracture, particle breakage, comminution, compressibility

Particle breakage and attrition are common in most applications involving shear flow, compaction or shaken granular media. 
This mini-symposium is devoted to discrete modeling of granular materials composed of breakable particles. It will cover different modeling approaches to particle fracture (DEM, FEM, LEM, Peridynamics…), evolution of size distribution during shear or compaction, influence of particle breakage on the rheological behavior, fracture of cemented and cohesive granular materials, rock/concrete fracture, experimental validation and numerical efficiency.

MS-15 Discrete approaches in cohesive geomaterials

Jianfu SHAO, University of Lille, France,

Qinghui JIANG, Wuhan University, China,

Chi YAO, Nanchang University, China,

During the last decades, significant advances have been achieved on various types of discrete approaches for modeling hydromechanical responses of cohesive rock-like materials. The objective of the mini-symposium is to provide a platform of exchange and to make a state-of-the-art of recent advances. The topics cover discrete numerical methods, discrete multiscale modeling, cracking and fracturing, hydromechanical coupling, discrete/continuum approaches coupling and engineering applications.

MS-16 Acoustic waves and effective mechanical properties in granular media - the micromechanical perspective - CANCELLED

Kianoosh Taghizadeh, University of Twente,

Vanessa Magnanimo, University of Twente,

Holger Steeb, University of Stuttgart,

Keywords: Granular Materials, Wave propagation, Bulk stiffness 

The mechanical behavior of granular materials is highly nonlinear and involves plastic deformations also for very small strain due to rearrangements of particles. On the other hand, the concept of an initial purely elastic regime at small strains for granular assemblies is an issue still under debate in the community of soil mechanics.

The purpose of this mini-symposium is to improve the basic physical of mechanical properties in particle systems and to guide further developments for new constitutive models. In particular, we focus on the micromechanical approach to the topic.

MS-17 Coarse graining model of DEM

Shunying Ji, Dalian University of Technology, China,

Zongyan Zhou, Monash University, Australia,

Yuntian Feng, Swansea University, UK,

Mikio Sakai, The University of Tokyo, Japan,

Xikui Li, Dalian University of Technology, China,

This mini-symposium aims to discuss the theory of coarse graining model and its relative applications in engineering. In this model, one discrete element is presented with a group of original particles. Papers can include the following topics: Scale law and contact force in coarse graining model, Multi-level coarse graining model, Validation of coarse graining model with physical experiments, Application of coarse graining model in engineering scale.

MS-18 Constitutive relations and phase transitions in granular matter

Diego Berzi and Dalila Vescovi, Politecnico di Milano,,

The macroscopic, collective behaviour of discrete particles, which strongly depends on the interactions at the microscopic level, must be translated into constitutive expressions for the solution of continuum models of granular materials. Our understanding of the rheology of granular matter has greatly improved in the recent years. A key question is how to extend this rheology to deal with different phases/regimes that naturally occur in many granular processes. The aim of this mini-symposium is to introduce and discuss the latest advances in constitutive and numerical modeling of granular media, with particular emphasis on phase transitions.

MS-19 Application of the DEM to pharmaceutical engineering

Chuan-Yu Wu, University of Surrey, UK,

Mikio Sakai, The University of Tokyo, Japan,

Zongyan Zhou, Monash University, Australia,

Kun Luo, Zhejiang University, China,

Chiharu Tokoro, Waseda University, Japan,

Keywords: DEM, DEM-CFD, Die-filling, Fluidization, Mixing, Coarse graining method, Non-spherical particle modeling, Modeling of liquid bridge force and Modeling of van der Waals force

This mini-symposium aims to discuss state-of-the-art modeling on DEM for pharmaceutical engineering. The topics cover all the numerical technologies related to pharmaceutical engineering such as DEM, DEM-CFD, die-filling, fluidization, mixing, coarse graining method, non-spherical particle modeling, modeling of liquid bridge force and modeling of van der Waals force.

More Information


Conference hotel: U Parkhotel The rooms at the U Parkhotel are available at these discounted prices when booked via the link below by 19th June 2019. 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th & 25th July 2019: Comfort room € 84,50 per night Superior room € 99,50 per night Superior View room € 105,00 per night Panorama room…
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Best Talk First Prize Award Masahide OtsuboTalk title: Discrete element modelling of elastic wave propagation through granular materials for laboratory shear plate tests Second Prize Award Rémi ChassagneTalk title: DEM simulations and continuum modeling of size-segregation in bedload sediment transport. Best Poster First Prize Award Yuki MoriPoster title: Large-scale DEM-CFD method for a gas-solid flow…
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Please fill in your meal preference for the DEM8 Banquet here  

Book of abstracts

Please click here to download the book of abstract Please note there is NO NEED to print. You will receive a printed copy on arrival at the conference.


DEM8 is made possible by these people. Take a look who is part of these committees.


DEM8 is offering exhibition spaces to those wishing to showcase their products and services to both the academic and industrial sectors. Exhibition space An exhibition space of 6 m2 can be rented at EUR 500. Please contact us at to find out more about being a sponsor or exhibitor at DEM8.

Fun Activities

On Wednesday 24th July at 16:30, a series of fun activities are available for everyone (conference attendees and guests). Please note minimum and maximum numbers apply to each activity. If an activity does not reach the minimum it will be cancelled and your other preferences will be used. If the maximum is exceeded, allocation will…
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Important Dates

Here you can find the overview of the important and conference dates of DEM8.


Full Papers The organisers of DEM8 are inviting all participants whose abstract has been accepted for presentation to kindly submit the full paper to before 30th June 2019. The submission of the full paper is optional, but recommended. Papers will be invited for submission to special issues at the discretion of the journals. All…
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