Matheus Portela

Exchange at the Australian National University

One of the great experiences of my life was an international exchange. In 2012, I was selected to be part of the Science without Borders program, a major exchange program focused in science and technology. Sponsored by the Brazilian government, I spent a year at the Australian National University, one of the best universities in the world in Engineering and Computer Science. During this year, I wrote a blog (Living with kangaroos, only in Portuguese) where I reported all the great adventures I lived in this wonderland, such as being a volleyball coach, working at the CSIRO (a top class Australian research organization, where I published a scientific paper), and meeting professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte (an international reference in mobile robotics).


Scouting is a big part of my personality. Since 2004, I’ve spent a large amount of time in contact with nature, developing manual skills, learning knots, making bonfires, camping and, what I like the most, making friends. During this journey, I’ve earned the Golden Lis Award, the highest award in Brazilian Scouting, participated in national and international events and represented Brazil twice: in Sweden and in the United Arab Emirates.


Music is a passion of mine. Since always, I can remember listening to music in all sources of styles: rock, country, classical… In my free time, I enjoy playing acoustic guitar, specially Brazilian styles (MPB, Samba, and Bossa Nova). Also, I like to go to the theater and watch concerts of the Symphonic Orchestra of Brasília.


As a kid, I’ve enrolled in several sports: soccer, tennis, swimming. However, volleyball was the one that I became addicted. I’ve played in my high school team, in the Mechatronics Engineering team and in the Bruce Hall team (at the Australian National University) as a setter. Also in Bruce Hall, I was the coach of both male and female teams and could help the girls to get the 2nd place in the Interhall competition in 2013.

Martial Arts

Martial arts is my connection with my interior. Since 2006, I practise Aikido, a Japanese self-defence that deals with non-agression: the defensor conducts the attacker without conflicts, but harmoniously.