About Todd Swinderman

Prior Experience

Prior to joining Martin, Swinderman served as a Maintenance and Project Engineer focusing on plant maintenance, environmental controls, and production improvements for a Fortune 500 building materials company, Manville. Prior to joining Manville, he served as a Business Manager for Midwest Pipe Covering, Inc. where he was responsible for sales, design, and the manufacturing of low-temperature insulation systems for piping and vessels.

Career at Martin Engineering

Todd Swinderman has been instrumental in developing technologies to solve problems in bulk materials handling, and in positioning Martin Engineering as a leading global resource to help operate cleaner, safer, and more productive bulk materials handling systems. As an engineer and inventor, Swinderman has conceived and commercialized products that have been accepted in applications across industries and around the world. Swinderman led Martin Engineering through dynamic growth, and oversaw its entry into the international marketplace, with representatives and licensees around the world and overseas.

Technology Innovation

Swinderman has developed a number of proprietary systems that have achieved leading positions in Martin Engineering’s product offering and that have become the industry standard for design and performance. He has overseen applications in every basic industry that uses belt conveyors and worked on all continents except Antarctica. In recent years, his interest has focused on the challenges of wide, high-speed belt conveyors as seen in lignite mining and overland conveying.

Industry Leadership

He has played a vital role in the industry trade association Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA), and served as President of that organization in 2009. He served CEMA in many roles as an officer and chair of numerous CEMA standards writing committees, including chair of the Conveyor Components Section, chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice President. He was chair of the committees to re-write CEMA Standard 550: Bulk Materials, and to create CEMA Standard 575: Impact Beds. Swinderman served as chair, editor, and “driving force” behind the Sixth and Seventh Editions of the “CEMA Belt Book” – CEMA’s Belt Conveyors for Bulk Materials. Published in 2005, the sixth edition represented the first update to this industry conveyor design reference in 40 years. Currently he is Chair of CEMA’s Bulk Safety Committee, Chair of CEMA Standard 102, Terms and Definitions and is serving on several committees drafting the 8th edition of Belt Conveyors for Bulk Solids. Todd is also active in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B20.1 committee on conveyor safety.


After retiring from Martin in 2012, Swinderman formed RToddS™ Engineering, LLC, to provide consulting and training services around the world that helps engineers and operators design safer and more efficient conveyors. As a consultant Swinderman teaches Foundations™ courses, customized to the customer’s needs, on conveyor design and safety focusing on the advanced concepts in Martin Engineering’s FOUNDATIONS™ Book as well as writes technical articles and does R&D for Martin Engineering.

In addition to providing training, Todd consults on reducing the release of fugitive materials from bulk material handling conveyor belts as well as conveyor guarding and other safety concerns in the conveyor industry. Swinderman is available as an expert witness on these topics.

Business & Community Involvement

Past Officer of the Illini Chapter of The Young Presidents Organization, Board Member and President of the Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers, and Founder of the International Flow Aids Association. Secretary, Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Education Committee; Kewanee Schools Metal Fabrication Apprenticeship Program founding member; Vice President Kewanee School District 229 Foundation; State of Illinois Tech-Prep curriculum committee; Black Hawk College Foundation co-chair. Past Board Experience: Martin Engineering, Pap-R Products Co. and Thermo Products Inc. Current Board & Officer Experience: Hammock Thrift Shop and The Hammock Community Association.

Publications and Presentations

Swinderman has been a principal author for Martin Engineering’s FOUNDATIONS™ books, including FOUNDATIONS™, The Practical Resource for Cleaner, Safer, More Productive Dust and Material Control, Fourth Edition, published in 2009. Martin Engineering’s FOUNDATIONS™ books are a series of non-commercial books which discuss methods to improve belt conveyor efficiency through the control of fugitive material.  He has also published over 100 articles and technical papers on problems and solutions in bulk material handling, and made numerous technical presentations on subjects including conveyor design and methods to control fugitive material control at leading industry conferences. He is also the developer and instructor for the FOUNDATIONS™ Advanced Training Workshops to improve the engineering and management of belt conveyor systems.

Recently, Swinderman was instrumental in the conception, development, and publication of the First Edition of FOUNDATIONS™ For Conveyor Safety, The Global Best Practices Resources for Safer Bulk Material Handling.  This non-commercial book published by Martin Engineering focuses on the Return on Conveyor Safety™.

In his FOUNDATIONS™ Training Presentations, Swinderman offers a world of experience in control of fugitive material and improved conveyor design. His interest has been the improvement of conveyors—and hence improving the operating company’s performance—through the elimination of dust, carryback, and spillage. Swinderman’s vision and leadership have focused on developing innovative solutions for bulk-materials handling and expanding Martin Engineering’s presence and capabilities around the world.

In his FOUNDATIONS™ Workshops, the mission is to improve bulk materials handling safety by promoting creative designs and enlightening managers to the relationships between safety, cleanliness and productivity. His practical experience in both design and management provides unmatched actionable content for attendees in his FOUNDATIONS™ Seminars.

Education & Personal

Education & Personal: Swinderman achieved a Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Illinois, 1971; emphasis in Machine Design. He holds Professional Engineer [PE] licenses in Florida and Illinois and has been previously licensed in Idaho, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. He is also a current member of the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Todd resides in Palm Coast, Florida. Contact him at rtodds.eng@gmail.com

Granted Patents

Todd holds over 60 U.S. patents and 140 active patents in 12 countries related to systems to improve bulk material handling, including conveyor belt cleaners, conveyor sealing systems, conveyor impact systems, industrial vibration mounting systems, and air cannons. Below is the full list. 

4573567 — Conveyor housing access port  

4917231 — Constant angle conveyor belt cleaner  

6401911 — Differential wear conveyor belt scraper blade  

8006830 — Exteriorly mounted wear liner for bulk material conveyor belt systems  

4598823 — Conveyor belt cleaner  

6439373 — Constant angle and pressure conveyor belt cleaner and tensioning arrangement  

5378202 — Tensioning device   

7967129 — Conveyor belt training idler with a locking mechanism

7367443 — Conveyor belt cleaner system and method of manufacturing same  

8408385 — Bracket for bulk material transfer systems and method of using the same  

5704167 — Removable access door with multiple pivot axes

6374990 — Conveyor belt cleaner scraper blade with sensor 

7779987 — Device for and method of sampling the amount of carryback material transferred by a bulk material belt conveyor system

6374991 — Conveyor belt cleaner and tensioner assembly  

5467866 — Conveyor impact pillow  

4643293 — Conveyor belt cleaner  

8028819 — Constant pressure and variable cleaning angle scraper blade and method for designing same  

D617521 — Stringer of a belt conveyor system  

7735620 — Dust buildup resistant access door and door frame of a bulk material handling system  

6575292 — Conveyor belt cleaner and tensioner assembly  

6695131 — Catenary conveyor belt support apparatus  

4874082 — Conveyor skirt board, clamp and mounting arrangement  

6457575 — Self-locking pin mounting arrangement for conveyor belt cleaner scraper blades   

7216756 — Constant angle and pressure conveyor belt cleaner and tensioner  

7424945 — Conveyor belt cleaner replaceable scraper blade tip and pocket and method of manufacturing same  

4944386 — Scraper for conveyor belts  

5048669 — Modular conveyor belt sealing system  

D608519 — Dust cap for a support column of a bulk material belt conveyor  

D543670 — Scraper blade for a conveyor belt cleaner  

7370750 — Conveyor belt cleaner system and method of manufacturing same  

D547523 — Arm for a conveyor belt cleaner  

7556140 — Bulk material handling system  

8037997 — Bulk material handling system and control  

7775341 — Bulk material handling system  

8069971 — Bulk material handling system and control  

5088965 — Radial tensioner  

7669708 — Bulk material handling system and control  

8205741 — Method of adjusting conveyor belt scrapers and open loop control system for conveyor belt scrapers  

7740127 — Bulk material handling system  

7740126 — Bulk material handling system  

5799918 — Vibrator mounting arrangement  

8474608 — Conveyor belt guard panel blank having integrally formed handles and method of forming a conveyor belt guard panel      

8267239 — Conveyor belt cleaner scraper blade with sensor and control system therefore

7308980 — Method for distributing a conveyor belt cleaner

7971705 — Apparatus for and method of servicing conveyor belt return rollers during belt operation  

4925434 — Torsiconal tensioning device  

8573384 — Bulk material conveyor belt scraper having a dust skirt and method of using the same  

4927003 — Heated conveyor belt cleaner  

7837030 — Apparatus for and method of mounting and locking devices to conveyor belt systems  

6575294 — Conveyor belt skirt assembly  

4898272 — Conveyor belt support mechanism  

4953689 — Conveyor belt cleaner  

9139367 — Conveyor belt idler assembly  

7131525 — Conveyor belt cleaner scraper blade with sensor and control system therefore  

7472784 — Conveyor belt cleaner scraper blade with sensor and control system therefore  

7866457 — Conveyor belt cleaner scraper blade with sensor and control system therefore  

6966430 — Air supported conveyor with multi-pressure plenum system  

4359150 — Conveyor belt cleaner  

6986418 — Conveyor belt cleaner scraper blade with sensor and control system therefore 

6591969 — Conveyor belt cleaner scraper blade with sensor and method of manufacture