Course curriculum

    1. Welcome from the CEO

    2. Student Guide: SMRI Advanced Programme in Sugarcane Processing

    3. Global trends in the Sugar Industry

    4. The recommended textbook

    1. Introducing Shaun Madho

    2. Introductory Course Notes- Essential Sugar Technology

    3. Introductory Lecture- From Stick to Crystal

    4. FS2C-Part 1-Sugar Industry overview

    5. FS2C Part 1- Quiz -Industry Overview

    6. FS2C Part 2 - Terminology And Basic Concepts

    7. FS2C Part 2 Quiz Terminology and concepts

    8. FS2C Part 3 - Harvesting and Cane Yard Operations

    9. FS2C Part 3 Quiz - Harvesting and Caneyard operations

    10. FS2C Part 4 Preparation and Extraction

    11. FS2C Part 4 Quiz - Cane Preparation and Extraction

    12. FS2C Part 5 Juice Preparation

    13. FS2C Part 5 Quiz - Juice preparation

    14. FS2C Part 6 Evaporation

    15. FS2C Part 6 Quiz Evaporation

    16. FS2C Part 7 Crystallisation

    17. FS2C Part 7 Quiz - Crystallisation

    18. FS2C Part 8 Centrifuging And Drying

    19. FS2C Part 8 Quiz- Centrifuging and Drying

    20. FS2C Part 9 Refining

    21. Part 9 Quiz - Refining

    1. The Chemistry of Cane and Juice

    2. Quiz- The chemistry of Cane and Juice

    3. Understanding pH

    4. Quiz - Understanding pH

    5. Inversion in Sugar Solutions.

    6. Quiz Inversion

    7. Methods of Analysis

    8. Quiz Methods of Analysis

    9. An introduction to Chromatography

    10. Quiz- Introduction to Chromatography

    11. NIRS

    12. Quiz- NIRS

    13. Quality

    14. Quiz - Sugar Quality

    1. Procedure for the Literature review Project.

    2. Literature Review Assignment Part 1

    3. Literature Review Assignment Part 2

    1. Sugarcane Agriculture Part 1

    2. Quiz Agriculture Part 1

    3. Sugarcane Agriculture Part 2

    4. Quiz Agriculture Part 2

    5. Sugarcane Agriculture Part 3

    6. Quiz- Agriculture Part 3

    1. Cane Supply & Handling

    2. Quiz- Cane Handling

    3. Conveyors

    4. Quiz- Conveyors

    5. Cane Preparation

    6. Quiz- Cane Preparation

    7. Mill Drives and Power

    8. Quiz Mill drives and Power

    9. The Mill Mass balance

    10. Mill Settings

    11. Quiz Mill Settings

    12. Diffusion Part 1

    13. Diffusion Part 2

    14. Diffusion Part 3

    15. Diffusion part 4

    16. Quiz Diffusion

    17. Tracer Testing Part 1

    18. Tracer testing Part 2

    19. Quiz Tracer Testing

About this course

  • 250 lessons
  • 71.5 hours of video content
  • One Week Practical session at the SMRI Required.
  • Written Tests and compulsory Tutorials
  • For Prices And Details Contact


R&D Manager Steve Davis

Steve Davis is the Research and Development Manager at the Sugar Milling Research Institute NPC (SMRI) in Durban. A Professional Chemical Engineer, he studied for his BSc and MSc in Engineering at the University of Natal in Durban, and is a member of SAIChE and IChemE. His research interests include clarification processes, colour removal from sugar juices and syrups (raw house and refinery), separation technologies and tracer testing. He is managing the Research and Development group at the SMRI in providing research outcomes to assist the processing industry to move towards and integrated biorefinery model to enhance sustainability. This includes the development of a general sugarcane biorefinery techno-economic model to advise research strategy and to provide intelligence to the industry on potential products and processes that the local industry could consider. He is responsible for development and effective implementation of the SMRI’s research strategy (currently based on transformation of the South African sugarcane processing industry towards a biorefinery-based approach), development of the SMRI’s annual Research Programme and delivery of approved targets against agreed milestones and timelines. He has written and presented numerous papers at local and international sugarcane and chemical engineering congresses and workshops.

Chemist Stephen Walford

Stephen Walford manages the Analytical Quality & Development group at the Sugar Milling Research Institute NPC (SMRI). He has a research interest in analytical techniques and instrumentation, particularly in the analysis of sugars and sugar solutions. He was involved in the initial Near Infrared Spectroscopy research at SMRI more than 20 years ago and has devoted the last ten years to the development and implementation of NIRS technology within the mill environment. He has presented the NIRS technology at both local and international conferences, published in a number of journals co-supervised a MSc student using NIRS as the basis for their research work and has been asked to peer review articles for international scientific journals. Stephen has a research interest in analytical techniques and instrumentation, particularly in the analysis of sugars and sugar solutions using chromatographic methods. He has spent a considerable portion of his working life as a practicing chromatographer using gas, liquid and ion chromatographic techniques and training users of the technique. He has presented the technology at both local and international conferences, published in a number of journals and co-supervised more than five Master and PhD students using chromatography as the basis for their research work. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, a member of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists and a registered Professional Natural Scientist.


Mechanical Engineer design Consultant Leon Smith

Leon Smith graduated from Stellenbosch University in 1994 and has since worked in the sawmilling and sugar industries. He was involved in management and maintenance in both these industries. He has spent the last 20 years involved in equipment design and development including his time at Tongaat Hulett. Leon was the Plant engineer at Union Co-op sugar mill for 1 year. He joined Tongaat-Hulett Sugar in 1998 as Mechanical Design Engineer. At Tongaat Hulett he was involved in the development of the Rotary distribution apparatus, the double Headshaft diffuser and the cylindrical continuous vacuum pan. During his time at Tongaat Hulett he has presented and been involved in numerous SASTA papers and is also an author of several patents. In 2019 Leon left Tongaat Hulett to work as a consultant in his own company - Gidal Engineering, specializing in Mechanical Equipment design.

Consultant David Love

After graduating in 1975, David Love worked for 2 years as a Chemical Officer for the Durban City Council in sewage and water treatment. He joined Tongaat-Hulett Sugar in 1977 and has been involved in the sugar industry since that date. He completed a PhD from UKZN which studied sugar boiling. He has been involved in the design and commissioning of several sugar mills and is a specialist process design engineer. He has been the author of several patents over the years. He has considerable experience as a Chemical Engineer in many roles in the Industry including equipment design and control, factory production, research and development, lecturing and as a consultant. He has authored or co-authored over 20 published papers on Sugar Technology.

Agriculture Director Edgar Bruggemann

Edgar currently is the Agriculture Director at Illovo Sugar (South Africa) and has worked in the local sugar industry as a private grower, employee of SASA serving its grower and miller partners, and as a corporate miller. This career diversity has given him rich insights about the real needs and expectations of key stakeholders in the sugar production value chain. He successfully completed the SMRI Sugar Engineering course in 2011 and has lectured the agriculture module since 2012. Edgar is indebted to industry leaders who mentored him during his early career and generously shared their holistic understanding of the industry, always emphasizing the importance of the big-picture-system of our industry workings. This is why he seeks opportunities such as this lecturing to ‘pay it forward’ to the next generation of sugar technologists.


Consultant Dennis Walthew

Dennis Walthew is a registered professional chemical scientist. He studied at UKZN and began his career in the mining industry 1990. In 1993 moved to the sugar industry, taking up a position at SMRI as a senior research officer. He was at the SMRI for 5 years and specialized in evaporator fouling investigations in several of the Southern African Mills. He then joined Tongaat Hulett where he remained until he retired in 2019. During that time, he was involved in many projects and investigations in the raw mills and refineries. Dennis also managed the Technology sales function at Tongaat Hulett and gained extensive experience with sugar businesses outside of Southern Africa. He has published several papers both locally and internationally. Dennis is Currently an SMRI associate.

Energy and Fuels procurement specialist Paul Jensen

Paul graduated from UKZN as a Chemical Engineer in 2001. He completed his EIT with Tongaat Hulett while based at Maidstone Factory. In 2006 completed the SMRI 10 week course (top of the class). During his time with Tongaat Hulett he developed particular expertise with Chromatographic separations. Paul worked at the SMRI between 2011 and 2016, and much of his research was around the subject “Direct Clear Juice – The production of clear juice directly in a cane diffuser”. There are a number of SASTA and ISSCT publications on the topic. Paul returned to Tongaat Hulett in 2016 and was involved in the design, project management and commissioning of the Tongaat Hulett 14m wide double Headshaft diffuser built in Thailand. Interspersed in his career in the sugar industry, Paul worked in Norway (Oil and Fibreglass industries). His current position is as an Energy and Fuels procurement specialist for Illovo Sugar.

Research Scientist Kim Booysen

Kim Booysen joined the Sugar Milling Research Institute NPC (SMRI) in 2013 as a Research Officer. She obtained her PhD degree in Inorganic Chemistry at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2012. Her research interests at the SMRI include exploring potential biorefinery products for the South African sugarcane industry and the investigation of colourant types present in sugarcane processing streams.


Process Manager Reza Essop

Reza Essop was previously a Sugar Process Consultant at the Sugar Milling Research Institute (NPC). He holds a BSc degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry and an MBA. He has 25 years industrial experience having worked in Manufacturing, Research and Development and Quality Assurance. He now works for Maragra Mill in Mozambique.

Consultant Narain Dairam

Narain has worked as a sugar Technologist and Chemical Engineer in the sugar Industry at various sugar mills for 42 years and has extensive experience in Laboratory, rawhouse and refinery operations. By virtue of the extensive experience he has specialized on evaporator cleaning , Pan boiling ,crystallization and centrifugal operation. He has worked on many projects and also authored several SASTA papers .He was a Production Manager for a few sugar mills. retired in 2018 but still actively involved as a Process Consultant in and out of South Africa.

Thermal Systems Engineer Neil Anderson

Neil Anderson was employed for three years by IWC in South Africa as a Thermal applications (Project) engineer before which he was a system engineer at Matla Power station working for Eskom. He is currently in the Netherlands employed by Carrier. Neil has a Master's graduate in Mechanical Engineering at Stellenbosch University where the focus of the study was to improve the performance of air cooled condensers with a hybrid dephlegmator to yield increased performance during adverse weather conditions. This is the base on which his passion for thermal systems developed to contribute to a greener and a more energy conscious future. During his tenure at IWC he was a lecturer on the SMRI sugar Engineering courses


Director at Mzukulu Technologies Paul Sikhakhane

Experienced Automation Engineer with a demonstrated history of working in the industrial automation industry. Strong engineering professional skilled in Process Control, Process Engineering, Engineering, Control Systems Design, and Process Automation.

Consultant Peter Rein

Dr Peter Rein spent 31 years working for Tongaat Hulett Sugar in South Africa, where he became Technical Director and Head of the Technical Management Department. He served in various capacities in the South African Sugar Millers Association and the Sugar Association. He subsequently spent seven years at the Audubon Sugar Institute, Louisiana State University as a full professor and Head of the Institute. He was the Principal Investigator for large DOE grants aimed at producing fuel and chemicals from sugarcane fiber. He has served as President of the South African Sugar Technologists’ Association, Executive Committee member for Sugar Industry Technologists Inc, and Chairman of the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (ISSCT). He won the Sugar Industry Technologists Crystal Award, he was the first recipient of the SPRI Technology Award, and received the South African Sugar Technologists Gold Medal. He was made an Honorary Life Member of ISSCT in February 2005 and awarded the Bonsucro Sustainability Award in 2014. He has published more than one hundred technical papers and several patents. He is best known as the author of the book "Cane Sugar Engineering", which has subsequently been translated into Spanish and Portuguese. He is a member of the American, British and South African Institutions of Chemical Engineers and is a Chartered Engineer in the UK and a registered Professional Engineer in South Africa. For the past 12 years he was based in the UK and worked as a consultant to the sugar industry around the world.

Chief research officer Richard Loubser

Dr Richard Loubser is a chief research officer at the Sugar Milling Research Institute (SMRI). Prior to joining the SMRI and the sugar industry in 2000 he was in the transport industry. His PhD was related to the mathemetical modelling of the dynamic and vibration interactions between vehicle and freight. He now does original research and provides engineering input into projects aimed at cutting production costs and improving profitability within the sugar industry.


Water Treatment Specialist Marc Du Toit

Marc is currently the water treatment specialist for Tongaat Hulett sugar. He has been working in the filed of water treatment since 1988, and during that time has developed a solid reputation as a consultant . Marc specializes in the treatment of aluminium smelting cooling water and in the treatment of Boiler water in the sugar industry.

Process Engineer Gavin Smith

A specialist in sugarcane processing and by-products with operational, technical and project management experience. Experience in the sugar industry, ethanol production, project management and key account management. Past work experience includes both practical and theoretical work in sugar, fermentation, distillation, renewable energy and process control, as well as research in energy efficiency. This includes customer service, consulting and training, including HAZOPS workshops. Has worked for THS, Illovo and RCL Foods as well as the SMRI .

Chemical Engineer Leon Naiker

Leon is a Senior Chemical Engineer (BSc Chem. Eng.) with over 14 years of experience in Chemical Industries. He has specialist knowledge of Ethanol Distillation and Fermentation processes with 10 years of experience spanning across 3 Distilleries. Previously he worked in the Pulp and Paper, Auto-catalyst Industry and Breweries.