James Trevelyan

Professor, BE MEngSc W.Aust., FIEAust, CPEng, MASME

  • The University of Western Australia (M050), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Crawley


  • 526 Citations
  • 10 h-Index
1992 …2019
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Personal profile


James Trevelyan practices as a mechatronics and mechanical engineer developing new air conditioning technology, and is a fellow of Engineers Australia. He is well known internationally for pioneering research on sheep shearing robots (1975-1993), remote access laboratories and robots (1994-2002), landmine clearance methods (1996-2004) and engineering practice (2002-2015).
He was presented with the 1993 Engelberger Science and Technology Award in Tokyo, the world’s pre-eminent award for robotics research, and has twice been presented with the Japan Industrial Robot Association award for best papers at robotics conferences.
His teaching has also been well recognised with a national and several UWA distinguished teaching awards, and also awards for papers at international conferences on engineering education.
His most recent work is research on engineering practice that aims to understand how engineering work is actually performed, an aspect of engineering that has not been researched before. This research helps to explain why services in low-income countries such as safe drinking water usually cost much more than in industrialised countries, helping to explain continuing poverty in many countries. His new book, The Making of an Expert Engineer, provides solutions that could help eliminate most of the poverty we see today.

Roles and responsibilities

Teaching focus on design, project management and sustainability

Future research

http://www.mech.uwa.edu.au/jpt/pes.html/ - Engineering practice and engineering education

Funding overview

Approximately $0.75 million for work on engineering practice since 2003 (through grants, scholarships for graduate students, and company donations.)

Current projects

http://www.mech.uwa.edu.au/jpt/pes.html - Engineering Learning and Practice Research Group

Industrial relevance

Australia is experiencing a long-term skills shortage in engineering, yet we have little idea of what is actually meant by engineering skill. In 2006, there were around 65,000 engineering graduates working in Australia in unrelated occupations. James’ research explains how engineering companies could significantly boost their productivity and earnings, and help restore Australia’s reputation for delivering promised engineering outcomes. Individual engineers can boost their earnings by following the results of James’ research.

Teaching overview

Mechanical design (MECH5551, MECH5552)


Engineering practice, learning and engineering education. Also, part-time, on landmines, robotics and unexploded ordnance.


some Urdu
French & German


  • Engineering practice, organisation
  • Engineering education
  • Patents
  • Intellectual property
  • Human factors engineering, ergonomics
  • Landmine and unexploded ordnance clearance methods
  • Mechatronics
  • Robotics
  • Expert witness

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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research practice Social Sciences
self-assessment Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 1997 2019

Research Output 1992 2018

Value creation in the engineering enterprise: an educational perspective

Trevelyan, J. & Williams, B. 21 Feb 2018 In : European Journal of Engineering Education. p. 1-23 23 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Value engineering

Extending engineering practice research with shared qualitative data

Trevelyan, J. 2016 In : Advances in Engineering Education. 5, 2, p. 1-31 31 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

research practice
South Asia

Incremental self-assessment rubrics for capstone design courses

Trevelyan, J. 2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings. Washington D.C.: American Society for Engineering Education, Vol. 2015-January, p. 1-17

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


Observations of South Asian Engineering Practice

Trevelyan, J. 2014 Engineering Practice in a Global Context: Understanding the Technical and the Social. Williams, B., Figueiredo, J. & Trevelyan, J. (eds.). Leiden: CRC Press/Balkema, p. 223-243

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

South Asia
telecommunication engineering