Will Robertson

Dr Will Robertson

Senior Lecturer

School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

As a mechatronics graduate with a PhD in magnetic levitation and vibration isolation, having taught biomechanics and sports engineering, my research areas of interest span a wide range. My primary research focus is to advance the modelling tools, understanding of, and use of electromagnetics to solve mechanical engineering problems. I created the AUMAG research group that supports a steady stream of honours, masters coursework, and PhD students. I am a strong support of "Open Science" and believe that sharing our tools, data, and results helps to accelerate the progress of our research fields.


The maglev research group (AUMAG) in The University of Adelaide has worked with industry partners from applications ranging from vibration control, to wave energy conversion, to novel actuator design. Our research ranges from exploring the fundamental relationships governing rare earth permanent magnets and electromagnet to applied investigations in applications such as quasi-zero stiffness magnetic springs, direct drive magnetic motors, energy harvesting devices, and high-rise maglev elevators.


My interests in biomechanics centre around the dynamic simulation of human movement, which encompasses a broad set of sub-disciplines including musculoskeletal modelling, inverse kinematics and dynamics optimisations, motor control, and body segment parameter estimation. We have developed a fast and low-cost method for 3D scanning the human body, which generates data for estimating properties such as mass, centroid, and moment of inertia for the individual segments of a participant in the lab.


Title Fund/Org Year
"A data fusion approach to biometrics for person identification" University of Adelaide Interdisciplinary Research Fund & DSTG 2017

"A new tool for improving and evaluating neck immobilisation devices and techniques: articulated, instrumented neck for paramedic training mannequin"

AOSpine 2017
"Validation of a full-body musculoskeletal model with detailed lumbar spine, for estimating spinal muscle and joint loads in bending and lifting tasks" AOSpine 2017
ECMS Future Research Support Scheme University of Adelaide 2016
ECMS Future Research Support Fellowship University of Adelaide 2015
Bursary to attend ANZORS conference, Auckland, NZ ANZORS 2015
ECMS Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award University of Adelaide 2014
e-Assessment by Design Grant University of Adelaide 2014
Engineering Engagement Award AAEE 2013
"Prosthetic attachment for transfemoral amputees" MDRG 2011
Bursary to attend TUG conference, San Francisco, USA TeX Users Group 2010
Bursary to attend ICSV conference, Cairns, Australia Australian Acoustical Society 2007


  • Mechanical Engineering Honours Projects coordinator (2012, 2014–present)
  • Advanced PID Control (2011–2012, 2015–present)
  • Dynamics and Control II — Automatic Control II (2012, 2015–2016)
  • Advanced Vibrations — Digital Signal Processing and Machine Condition Monitoring (2015–2016)
  • Biomechanical Engineering (2015)
  • Sports Engineering I (2010–2014)
  • Sports Engineering III (2013–2014)
  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2024 Principal Supervisor Autonomous swarms for detection of underwater objects using decentralised decision support systems and signal detection using machine learning Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Chung Fang
    2022 Co-Supervisor Developing a frictionless rig for skin friction drag measurement Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Yuxin Yang
    2022 Co-Supervisor Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries and Soccer stud configuration Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Danyon Loud
    2022 Principal Supervisor Prioritisation of Communications Bandwidth to Enable Mission Success Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Wui Kei Yung
    2021 Co-Supervisor Optimal control of global flow trajectories Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Sean McGowan
    2020 Co-Supervisor Development and validation of an integrated gait recognition system with a deep-learning architecture. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Kayne Andrew Duncanson
    2020 Co-Supervisor Cervical Spine Biomechanics with application to a novel Patient Simulator Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Mingyue Liu
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Nonlinear scale-dependent deformation behaviour of beam and plate structures Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Ali Farajpour Ouderji
    2018 - 2022 Principal Supervisor Interactions Between Polyhedral Permanent Magnets Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr James Lawrence Grady O'Connell
    2017 - 2021 Principal Supervisor Performance Enhancement of Submerged Ocean Wave Energy Converter using Nonlinear Stiffness Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Benjamin Wilhelm Schubert
    2016 - 2019 Co-Supervisor High-Order Robotic Joint Sensing with Multiple Accelerometer and Gyroscope Systems Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Laurence McLean
    2015 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Three-Dimensional Measurement of Spinal Kinematics and Whole-Body Activity Recognition Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Sammuel Aleck Sobey
    2015 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Optimisation of the Rugby Wheelchair for Performance Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr David Scott Haydon
    2015 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Performance Benefits of Customised Seating Interfaces for Elite Wheelchair Racing Athletes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Amy Rebecca Lewis
    2013 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Six Degree of Freedom Active Vibration Isolation Using Quasi-Zero Stiffness Magnetic Levitation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Tao Zhu
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2017 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Magnetically Levitating Slice Motor The University of Adelaide Bachelor of Engineering Honours Part Time Dominic Burnet, John Habis, Caleb McMahon, James O'Connell
  • Board Memberships

    Date Role Board name Institution name Country
    2017 - ongoing Board Member TeX Users Group - -
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2017 - ongoing Member Transmag 2018 Conference Programme Committee IEEE Transactions on Magnetics -
    2017 - ongoing Member Figshare reference group - -
    2017 - ongoing Member ACUR academic program committee - -
    2017 - ongoing Member PAF Tool Innovations Framework The University of Adelaide -
    2017 - 2017 Member Finance System Upgrade ECMS Champion The University of Adelaide -
    2017 - 2017 Member Interview panel – ECMS Outreach and Events Senior Officer, HEO6 The University of Adelaide -
    2017 - ongoing Member Finance and Procurement Manager's Choice Award Panel The University of Adelaide -
    2017 - ongoing Member Three Minute Thesis ECMS Judging Panel - -
    2015 - 2016 Member LMS Review - -
  • Consulting/Advisories

    Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country
    2014 - ongoing The University of Adelaide - - -
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83133599
  • Email: will.robertson@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 83134367
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Engineering South, floor 2
  • Org Unit: Mechanical Engineering

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