Researcher biography

Dr Susana Brito e Abreu’s research focuses on mineral processing chemistry (grinding/ flotation), mineral surface chemistry, particle hydrophobicity and novel reagent technologies, and she specialises in the application of advanced surface analytical techniques in mineral processing.

Susana’s research area is mineral processing chemistry, with particular focus on froth flotation. Her research focuses on the optimisation of flotation circuits in mineral processing with a focus on developing chemistry solutions as well as on the fundamental aspects of particle-bubble interactions in flotation. She is interested in the relationship and underlying mechanisms between ore mineralogy, mineral surface chemistry, particle hydrophobicity and flotation response. Susana’s research interests are also on the development of novel, selective reagents for mineral processing. She is a recipient of the UQ Early Career Research Grant 2019 for the research project Developing novel, highly selective reagents for mineral flotation.

In addition to her knowledge and experience in the chemistry area, Susana brings expertise in the application of surface analytical techniques to study the effects of mineral surface chemistry in mineral processing operations (e.g. grinding and flotation circuits). She completed her PhD at the Ian Wark Research Institute, University of South Australia, where she correlated mineral surface chemistry as measured by Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) - a powerful surface sensitive technique - with particle hydrophobicity (i.e. contact angle) and flotation recovery, within the AMIRA P260E series. She developed a new method of determining the contact angle of mineral surfaces at the micron scale using ToF-SIMS, with direct application to flotation studies. She was awarded the Norton Jackson Materials Science and Engineering Medal in 2013 in recognition for this research. Upon completing her PhD, she continued her research within the AMIRA P260F, assisting with the application of surface analytical techniques to solve problems in the minerals industry and providing support to PhD students. Prior to her PhD, Susana had various chemistry-related roles, both in industry and academia.

Susana is a Chief Investigator in the new ARC Centre of Excellence for Enabling Eco-Efficient Beneficiation of Minerals, a major partnership between seven Australian Universities, aiming to achieve a step-change in mineral processing by increasing energy and water efficiency and reducing metal loss during processing. She is involved in a number of research projects within the Centre and has collaborations with the University of Newcastle and University of South Australia.


  • Investigation of the Effects of Turbulence in Flotation (UQ), Associate Advisor
  • Restoring the recovery of oxidised pyrite in gold flotation (UniSA), Associate Advisor


  • UQ Early Career Research Grant 2019
  • Norton Jackson Materials Science and Engineering Medal 2013