James Trevelyan

James Trevelyan is an engineer, educator, researcher and start-up entrepreneur. As founder and inventor of Close Comfort, he is introducing new energy-saving, low emissions air conditioning technology for a global market. His research on engineering practice helped define the Engineers Australia professional competencies for chartered engineers. His books “The Making of an Expert Engineer” and “Learning Engineering Practice” are influencing the future of engineering education in universities and workplaces. He is best known internationally for pioneering research on sheep shearing robots from 1975 till 1993 and for the first industrial robot that could be remotely operated via the internet in 1994. He has worked as an expert witness on several significant intellectual property matters in Australia and internationally. He has also managed his family investment portfolio for several decades and has advised family investment companies in the UK and Australia.

Pitch your business to a complete stranger who knows nothing about your industry.

James Trevelyan

Energy-efficient personal cooling is one of the most attractive growth prospects in a carbon-constrained world with a warming climate and cities warming even faster. Our patented personal air conditioners provide cooling comfort with as little as 100 Watts per person, compared with 1,700 Watts for the average split air conditioner. …

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Which entrepreneur, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with and why?

James Trevelyan

I would decline the invitation. I am fortunate to know, personally or through friends, several famous entrepreneurs, more than just their name and their business success. None of these people attract me in the least. One example: I nominated this entrepreneur for a prestigious award. My nomination propelled him into …

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What skill have you developed since leaving formal education that has been most useful in your career?

James Trevelyan

Unquestionably, the most useful skill for me has been accurate listening. I read the superb little book “People Skills” by Robert Bolton, and learned the crucial difference between listening and hearing. Like me, most young engineers have appalling listening skills and little awareness about how transformative the ability to listen …

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What are your clients really buying? (the feeling beyond the product or service you provide)

James Trevelyan

In Indonesia and Pakistan our customers are buying peace of mind: they need no longer fear the monthly electricity bill for air conditioning. In Singapore and Australia, our customers are buying the feeling of comfort without compromising convenience or the environment. Our retailers are buying a product that they can …

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