The highly qualified and experienced team at TUNRA Bulk Solids is committed to forming long term partnerships with your business to help overcome existing handling problems and assist with planning new projects to ensure trouble-free plant operation.

Our team of engineers have many years of experience problem solving in the bulk solids handling industry and are supported by our proficient technical staff.


E/Prof Alan Roberts – Founding Director of TUNRA Bulk Solids

​Emeritus Professor Alan Roberts AM has an outstanding international reputation as a world authority in the field of bulk solids handling. He has a proven international track record in fundamental and applied research,  and is highly respected by industry worldwide. He was the founder of TUNRA Bulk Solids in 1975. His contribution to research and consulting spans a period of 50 years and covers almost all aspects in the field of bulk solids handling.

+61 (2) 4033 9036

Prof Mark Jones – Director of TUNRA Bulk Solids and the Centre for Bulk Solids & Particulate Technologies

Professor Mark Jones is Director of the Centre for Bulk Solids & Particulate Technologies (Newcastle Node) and TUNRA Bulk Solids and is also the Head of the School of Engineering at the University of Newcastle. He has been an active researcher and international consultant in the field of bulk solids handling for over 20 years. His principal contributions are in the areas of pneumatic conveying and characterisation, however he has contributed a significant amount of work in a wide range of areas within bulk materials handling.

+61 (2) 4033 9035


Prof Craig Wheeler – Associate Director of TUNRA Bulk Solids and the Centre for Bulk Solids & Particulate Technologies

Professor Craig Wheeler is Associate Director of TUNRA Bulk Solids and a Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He worked for 10 years with BHP Billiton in Australia in a variety of engineering positions, including maintenance, production and design. Since joining the University he has worked as a consultant for TUNRA Bulk Solids for over 10 years. His particular interests include belt conveying, transfer chute design and mechanical conveying.

+61 (2) 4033 9037


Dr Tim Donohue – General Manager

Dr Tim Donohue is the General Manager of The University of Newcastle Research Associates Limited (TUNRA). In this role Tim has overall responsibility for the TUNRA business, with TUNRA Bulk Solids (TBS) being the longest running division of TUNRA.

Tim has many years of experience in the materials handling field and has been involved in many projects, with experience across all aspects of TBS including flow property testing, the provision of specialised testing services such as wear testing, along with general consulting projects. His expertise lies in transfer chute design, bin and hopper design and numerical modelling. Discrete Element Modelling (DEM) is being used more widely in the materials handling field with Tim having significant expertise in this field. Through both research and consulting projects Tim has built significant experience in the bulk materials field to deliver value to Clients through solving industry problems.

+61 (2) 4033 9031


Consultants & Engineers


Dr Bin Chen – Engineering Manager

Dr Bin Chen is the Engineering Manager at TUNRA Bulk Solids, he has over 10 years of research and consulting experience in the field of bulk solids handling, which has involved a combination of experimental measurement, theoretical modelling, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Discrete Element Method (DEM) simulation. His activities have covered a broad area of bulk materials handling design and consultancy in areas including transfer chutes, silos/hoppers, feeders, train loadout systems, stackers and reclaimers, ship loading/unloading systems, and prediction of silo wall loads and quaking. The focus of his current consultancy and research is to develop techniques to guide the design of these systems and ultimately solve industrial problems. Before joining TBS in 2008, he was employed as an engineer with Baosteel Group Corporation (Shanghai) for a period of two years. He has published 2 patents, 2 book chapters and over 40 research and technical papers.

+61 (2) 4033 9029


Mr Shaun Reid – Consulting Engineer

​Mr Shaun Reid joined TUNRA Bulk Solids as an industry scholar in 2013 and commenced as a consulting engineer in 2018. During his time with TBS he has contributed to a range of industry and research projects spanning the width of TBS capabilities. He completed his Honours thesis on the wear of conveyor belt covers and has held roles teaching mechanical design and bulk materials handling at the University of Newcastle. He currently specialises in discrete element modelling and flow properties testing.

+61 (2) 4033 9128


Dr David Bradney – Consulting Engineer

​​​Dr David Bradney is a Consulting Engineer at TUNRA Bulk Solids and has been working in research and industrial consultancy since 2011 on a broad range of projects in the mining, manufacturing, rail, and energy industries. David’s expertise lies in mechanical design, FEA, and CFD, he completed his PhD at the University of Newcastle in the area of wind power generation in 2016. His PhD focused on both experimental and computational modelling of turbulent wind condition.

+61 (2) 4033 9130

Dr Jens Plinke – Consulting Engineer

Dr Jens Plinke completed his engineering degree at the Leibniz University Hannover in Germany in 2014. During his studies he was hosted by TUNRA Bulk Solids for research projects on two occasions, gaining practical lab experience and an insight in a variety of materials handling issues. Jens completed his PhD at the University of Newcastle as part of the ARC Research Hub for Advanced Technologies for Australian Iron Ore in February 2019. His research is focused on solving industry related materials handling problems and the determination of the relationship of iron ore’s spectral responses to handling characteristics.

+61 (2) 4033 9635


Dr Jayne O’Shea – Consulting Engineer

Dr Jayne O’Shea is a Consulting Engineer at TUNRA Bulk Solids. She has been involved with TBS since 2005 as a lab technician, researcher and now engineer. Jayne completed her PhD at the University of Newcastle in the area of belt conveying in 2014 as part of an ARC Linkage grant. Her PhD focused on the numerical modelling of the indentation rolling resistance associated with overland belt conveying. Jayne has worked on numerous research and consulting projects involving numerical modelling, discrete element methods, scale modelling and design.

+61 (2) 4033 9127


Dr Thomas Bunn – Consulting Engineer

Dr Thomas Bunn has been a Senior Consulting Engineer with TUNRA Bulk Solids for more the 15 years. Thomas completed his PhD and Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Newcastle and has authored over 30 national and international publications.  His principal research interest is in the field of the pumping and disposal of power station ash and coal washery reject as a high concentration paste for disposal in tailing dams and open cut and underground coal mines. Whilst employed by Pacific Power he was responsible for the original concept design and research into dense phase slurry pumping systems, allowing this environmentally progressive technology to be transferred to power stations worldwide.

+61 (2) 4033 9634

Mr Yusuf Badat – Engineer

Yusuf Badat has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering with extensive experience in chemical and process engineering. He worked at the BHP Research Centre as a mineralogist for 4 years, and also managed reporting for a geological consultancy company focusing on gas content measurement in the coal seam gas industry. In 2015 Yusuf joined the University of Newcastle where he worked as research officer in the Priority Research Centre for Frontier Energy Technologies.  Yusuf was responsible for the management of the experimental rig and testing regime for the multi-million dollar Ventilation Air Methane Abatement Safety Project. He then went onto work for the Centre for Bulk Solids as a research assistant conducting a variety of tests in the bulk solids sector. These tests included uniaxial, wall and interparticle adhesion, hyperspectral testing of iron ore and coal self-heating tests. Yusuf joined the TUNRA Bulk Solids team in March 2020 where he is mostly responsible for the belt and idler testing services, including interface with clients in the belt conveying sector, proposals and reporting.

+61 (2) 4033 9032

Ms Priscilla Freire – Business Development Engineer

Ms Priscilla Freire obtained her Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering 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 on large mining and port infrastructure projects. After that, she worked as a Business Development Officer for TUNRA Bulk Solids in Brazil, respon­sible for the technical and commercial interface between Brazilian clients and TUNRA’s specialists. 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.

+61 (2) 4033 9055


Mr Kudzai Beta – Engineer

Kudzai Beta graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from the University of Newcastle in 2019. During the last six months of his degree, he did his work experience with TUNRA Bulk Solids, later moving to a casual engineering role. As a casual engineer, Kudzai was responsible for conducting performance tests on conveyor idlers including rim drag and impact tests, as well as working in the flow properties laboratory. Kudzai also gained experience with Discrete Element Modelling (DEM) with regards to bulk material flow optimization, wear reduction and belt loading, along with DEM calibration. In March 2021, he was employed as a Plant Engineer  with MCi and was responsible for general plant maintenance and operation including preparation of plant equipment for research experiments. In July 2021, Kudzai returned to the TUNRA Bulk Solids Engineering Team.

+61 (2) 4033 9055

Technical Staff

Mr Joshua Burg – Workshop Manager

Mr Joshua Burg joined TUNRA in 2018 and has recently been employed as the Workshop Manager. He has over 18 years’ experience across the Mining, Industrial, Research, Medical and Defence industries. Joshua completed an Electrical Trade while working for NEPEAN Power and later completed a second trade as an Electronics Technician with the Royal Australian Air Force. Joshua’s main focus at TUNRA Bulk Solids is to maintain the laboratory/workshop facility and coordinate the ongoing compliance with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001.

+61 (2) 4033 9022


Mr Eric Brooker – Laboratory Manager

Mr Eric Brooker has been leading TUNRA Bulk Solids’ laboratory team since 2011, working as a Laboratory Manager. Eric joined TUNRA Bulk Solids in 1995 as a Laboratory Technician, progressing in his career as a Senior Laboratory Technician from 2004 to 2011. Eric is responsible for all lab work, overseeing in excess of one hundred projects a year. His main activities include supervising and training technicians to perform the highly specialised services offered by TBS including flow properties testing, Transportable Moisture Limit testing and sample preparation, all of which with a special focus on safety. Eric is also responsible for the liaison with TBS Engineering team, ensuring that tests are conducted to the highest standards and in timely manner for the completion of projects.

+61 (2) 4033 9017

TUNRA Bulk Solids Engineering Team