Knight Piésold Brazil Opens Belo Horizonte Office
Knight Piésold Brazil Opens Belo Horizonte Office

Knight Piésold Brazil Opens Belo Horizonte Office

September 9, 2019, Belo Horizonte, Brazil – Knight Piésold Brazil is proud to announce that it has officially opened an office in the country, located in the city of Belo Horizonte, the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, in the southwest of Brazil. This is the company’s first formal office, which became fully operational in June 2019, having had a presence in the country since 2014.

Gustavo Vianna, director of operations, together with Octavio Vilas Boas,  technical director, leads the company’s five-strong team. Knight Piésold has been involved in major projects in Brazil in the past five years, such as providing design and Engineer of Record services for the country´s largest tailings storage facility, performing due diligence works for several relevant players in the mining industry, and contributing to governmental efforts to assess the condition of tailings dams across Minas Gerais.

Vilas Boas is a senior executive geotechnical engineer with more than 40 years of experience in feasibility studies, basic and detail (executive) designs, and construction supervision and management for dams, foundations, retaining structures, waste and tailings stockpiles, radioactive waste disposal systems, and mine waste disposal systems. He is a recognized tailings management expert in Brazil’s mining industry and is actively engaged in many mines in the country. He also has extensive experience with hydroelectric power plants, nuclear power plants, hydraulic structures, water supply systems, industrial facilities, and municipal solid waste landfills.

Vianna is a senior geotechnical engineer with more than 20 years of experience in geotechnical studies for deep foundations, mining structures, and infrastructure projects. He is a recognized leader in the engineering community in Brazil, currently serving as the president of the Brazilian Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering in Minas Gerais (ABMS) and the appointed Brazilian member of the Technical Committee on Interactive Geotechnical Design (TC206) of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). He  has taught geotechnical-related workshops, short courses, and graduate courses as an assistant professor and guest lecturer at the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, FUMEC University, and several industry associations, and has helped organize some of Brazil´s most relevant geotechnical conferences, such as the 2016 Brazilian Geotechnical Conference (COBRAMSEG 16) and GeoMin 2017.

Brazil is undergoing fundamental changes in the way the country deals with technical challenges in the mining industry. International consultants and technical expertise are in high demand, but the complexities involved in doing business in the country may present challenges for the unfamiliar practitioner.

“This is definitely not the easiest place in the world for doing business because of the intricacies and consequential implications of working with tailings storage facilities and mining geotechnical applications in the current climate,” said Vianna. “Together, Octavio and I have performed over 100 dam safety audits in the last few years and with our solid design and audit experience, we aim to provide local expertise on technical and legal aspects of practicing in Brazil. We are working on complementing Knight Piésold’s global resources to support existing clients and pursue prospective clients, as part of our strategy to continuously and thoughtfully increase our presence in the country.”

Knight Piésold Brazil is a proud member of the Belo Horizonte community and looks forward to helping clients navigate through this dynamically changing time in Brazil’s mining industry.

For more information, contact:

Gustavo Vianna
Director of Operations
Knight Piésold Consultoria Ltda.
T: +55 31 3286 3099