Ms Priscilla Grassi Freire

Ms Priscilla Grassi Freire

Research student

Career Summary


Ms Priscilla Freire obtained her Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering (with a focus on Mechatronics) from Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 2011. She also holds a post-graduation degree in Business and Project Management and started her career as a graduate engineer in a consulting company in Brazil, where she worked in large mining, materials handling and port infrastructure projects and acquired experience in the development of technical documents and reports, belt conveyor load calculations, expediting and purchasing of mining equipment, components and materials. 

After that, she worked as a Business Development Officer for TUNRA Bulk Solids, responsible for the technical and commercial interface between Brazilian clients and TUNRA's specialists. She also coordinated marketing activities, including participation and promotion of exhibitions and technical events, coordination of national and international trips and management of the Brazilian projects which the company was awarded during this time.

Ms Freire is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Newcastle and her thesis topic involves the development of an economic model for complex materials handling systems. While doing her PhD, she also works as Research Development Engineer for the Centre for Bulk Solids and Particulate Technologies and is responsible for the research collaborations and projects involving Brazilian universities and research institutions/clients. Since 2017, when Priscilla started her role as Research Development Engineer, she has played a major role in the coordination of the research collaboration with the University of São Paulo in Brazil, including establishing a Memorandum of Understanding under which 3 University of Newcastle Scholars have gone to Brazil to teach in their Master's program. This collaboration also entails the establishment of a research lab in USP and coordination of visiting professors and students.

Priscilla has also assisted in the coordination of the 13th International Conference on Bulk Materials Storage, Handling and Transportation, which took place at the Gold Coast in 2019. This conference attracted a record number of participants from all over the world, including 6 participants from Brazil, and consisted of 100 technical papers in various fields of materials handling. Priscilla's role involved contacting and negotiating with sponsoring companies, contacting specialists from Australia and from Brazil to participate with technical papers and assisting the Conference Manager with various activities.

In 2018, Priscilla was appointed Student Representative of the Advanced METS Doctoral Training Centre, responsible for providing support to the fellow students and voicing their needs in the Steering Committee.


  • Bulk Materials Handling
  • Business development
  • Economic modelling


  • Portuguese (Mother)
  • English (Fluent)

Professional Experience

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
22/5/2017 -  Research Development Engineer

Research Development Engineer responsible for the interface between CBSPT and Brazilian research institutions and universities for the development of joint research projects. Main activities include: promoting CBSPT in Brazil and finding potential research partners; working on proposals for research projects; arranging meetings and site visits in Brazil for CBSPT researchers; organising and promoting courses.

Centre for Bulk Solids and Particulate Technologies
1/5/2014 - 31/12/2017 Business Development Officer

Responsible for business development and marketing activities and acting as interface between Brazilian/Latin American clients and technical experts in Australia. Main activities included: trips across the country to visit offices and plants (mining operations, steel mills and ports) to introduce TUNRA Bulk Solids' services and bulk handling solutions and identify potential handling problems; coordination and participation in technical events (conferences and exhibitions); translation of reports and marketing documents from Portuguese to English and from English to Portuguese. Also responsible for identifying and contacting potential partners and acting as interface between Brazilian universities and research institutions and the University of Newcastle (Australia) for bulk solids handling research and education activities, including two MoUs (with USP – University of São Paulo and FIEMG – Trade Department of Minas Gerais state).

TUNRA Bulk Solids
1/8/2011 - 25/7/2013 Graduate Mechanical Engineer

Graduate mechanical engineer responsible for developing technical documents such as mechanical equipment datasheets, technical specifications and reports; belt conveyor loads estimates; drawings and mechanical arrangements review; translation of technical documents from Portuguese to English and from English to Portuguese. Experience in large mining, mineral processing and port infrastructure projects from pre-feasibility phase to EPCM.

1/8/2011 - 20/3/2014 Language Teacher

Official English language teacher for the company's employees divided in five different levels (from beginners to advanced). Planning and implementation of an in-company language course for over 80 employees, including choice of textbooks and elaboration of leveling tests and revision tests.

8/2/2010 - 30/7/2011 Engineering Intern

Engineering intern in consulting company, responsible for quality control documents and development of technical documents for mechanical and coastal engineering both in English and Portuguese.

Ausenco Sandwell
1/2/2008 - 1/6/2012 Language Teacher

English language teacher for children, teenagers and adults from beginners to advanced, including preparation for ESOL examinations (English for Speakers of Other Languages).

Cultura Inglesa BH


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Conference (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2019 Grassi Freire P, Williams K, O'Shea J, Orozovic O, 'A Stochastic Framework for Predicting Transfer Chute Blockages Based on Materials Properties', International Conference on Bulk Materials Storage, Handling and Transportation ICBMH 2019. Conference Proceedings, Gold Coast, Australia (2019) [E1]
Co-authors Jayne Oshea, Ken Williams, Ognjen Orozovic

Ms Priscilla Grassi Freire

Contact Details