James Trevelyan

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

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 accurately can be. This is so important for young engineers, as I have emphasised in my new book “Learning Engineering Practice”.

About 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.

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