Profile image for Gavin Melles

Professor Gavin Melles

Adjunct Professor
MSc Sustainable Development, SOAS London Universty, United Kingdom; Ed.D, Deakin University, Australia; M. Linguistics (Research), University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica; B.Arts, Auckland University, New Zealand


Dr Gavin Melles is a Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health, Arts & Design.

  • Dr Melles has had researcher (CI) and PhD supervisor roles in several Collaborative Research Centre (Interdisciplinary Industry-Government-Academia) projects - including the CRC for Low Carbon Living, CRC for Bushfire and Natural Hazards, and the AutoCRC EV Bus Malaysia. The HERDC assigned grants total over AU $1 Million
  • He has been recipient of multiple international research exchange and fellowship grants from the German Government DAAD at TU Dresden (2010), the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF, 2011), RWTH Aachen, HCI Research Center (2012), a nominated fellowship at Edinburgh University Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities (IASH, 2016) in the UK. He also held a one year (2012-2013) Swedish Higher Education Research Collaboration Grant (STINT) with Associate Professor Stefan Holmild, Linköping University. Most recently he was awarded a GIAN (MHRD, India) teaching fellowshipto NIT Silchar (Assam, India) and has been Research Fellow in Department of Management, IIT Madras (2019).
  • He has had Government NCP and Asian Bound and industry funding totalling $100,000 (2015-2018) for Study Tour Mobility to India
  • He assesses for the Australian Research Council (ARC), Ministry of Education (MoE) Singapore Government Grant Assessor, EURIAS Fellowships, Schweizer Nationalfonds (SNF, Switzerland), Leverhulme Trust (UK), and is international examiner of PhDs in Germany Tu Dresden), Australia (James Cook University), Colombia (Universidad de Manizales), Canada (University of Montreal) and New Zealand (Auckland University of Technology)
  • He is affiliated with the Social Accounting Network & Centre for Social Inititaive and Management (CSIM, India), Centre for Design Innovation (CDI), and is member of Social and Environmental Sustainability in Organisations (SESIO) Research Group, Faculty of Business and Law, at Swinburne University. He is also theme leader on the circular economy in the Manufacturing Futures Research Institute.
  • His current PhD students and research projects address the process of designing innovations in various sustainability contexts
  • He consults to industry and community in various capacities and has worked for UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) on Gender & Diversity Review, as national assessor for the Athena SAGE Gender & Equity Awards, Social Business Mentor for the School of Social Entrepreneurs (SSE, Australia), Mentor on Human Centred Design for SRESTI UN Summer Camp (India), and as reviewer for WISE of the IDEO Report on Thinking and Acting Like A Designer: How Design Thinking Supports Innovation In K-12 Education.

Research interests

Public Good Design; Strategic & Transformative Design: Design Thinking and Complexity; Strategic & Transformative Design: Sustainability; Sociological Methodology and Research Methods

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Designing Social Innovation: Design methods and approaches are playing an increasing role in social innovation. What are the challenges for design in addressing such complex issues?

Sustainable Urban Regeneration: Globally there is increasing need for cities to regenerate neighbourhoods for sustainable development. How can human-centred design play a role in informing architecture and urban planning initiatives?

System Dynamics Approaches to Sustainability Transitions: System Dynamics approaches to sustainability transitions offer a way to experiment with the factors and parameters of change in urban and rural settings. Using causal loop diagrams (CLD) and stock and flow simulations you will demonstrate where points of leverage exist for intervention


Available to supervise honours students.

Honours topics and outlines

Postgraduate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Australia: The need for quality postgraduate ESD courses in Australia and globally is clear. To what extent do such courses address strong and weak approaches to sustainability?

Social Accounting and Audit: Social Accounting and Auditing aims to embed social impact assessment and organisational improvement into NGOs, social enterprises and other organisations. What theories of action (TOC) do such accounts reveal?

Fields of Research

  • Interaction And Experience Design - 330310
  • Other Built Environment And Design - 339900
  • Curriculum And Pedagogy Theory And Development - 390102

Teaching areas

Strategic & Transformative Design: Design Thinking and Complexity;Strategic & Transformative Design: Sustainability;Anthropology


  • 2019, International, Emerald Literati Award, Emerald Publishing
  • 2019, National, DFAT Cololmbo Plan Study Abroad. Sustainable Architecture in India. $49,500, DFAT
  • 2018, International, Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN) India. INR800,00 (AU$16,000), NIT Silchar and Indian Government
  • 2017, National, NCP Mobility Grant - Designing Social Innovation ($27,500) collaboration with IIT Madras, Swinburne University
  • 2016, International, Institue for Advanced Studies in Humanities (IASH) Nominated Fellowship, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh University
  • 2016, International, Chingari Small Grant Scheme ($2500) - Accounting for social impact in Indian social enterprise – a comparative case study of social accounting and audit in India, Australia-India Institue
  • 2014, Swinburne, Researcher Development Grant Scheme ($3000) , Swinburne University
  • 2014, National, Asia Bound Mobility Grant ($21,500), Australian Government
  • 2012, International, Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (STINT) Research Collaboration Initiation Grant ($22,000), Swedish Government
  • 2012, International, HCI Center, RWTH Aachen. Exploratory Research Space (ERS) Seed Fund Grant. Visiting Researcher (3955 Euros), RTWH Aachen
  • 2011, International, Schweizer National Fonds Project # 136303. Forschung als Design. Eine kritische Analyse eines Ansatzes der Designforschung (Research as Design. Critical analysis of a design research approach Visiting Professor. FHNW Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz ($10,04, Swiss National Research Fund
  • 2010, International, DAAD) Research Stays for University Academics and Scientists Program. A/09/11786 Referat 424. Amount EUR 4,428 ($AU 6,640) . Examining Design Research and Education in Germany, DAAD (German Government)

Further information



Also published as: Melles, Gavin; Melles, G.; Melles, G. B.; Melles, Gavin B.; Melles, Gavin Brett
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2021: Victorian Circular Activator (VCA) *; Sustainability Victoria
  • 2016: 2016 Visiting Fellowships Scheme- Professor Eva Maria-Jakobs *; Swinburne Research, DVCR&D - Internal contributions
  • 2014: Increasing knowledge and motiviating collaborative action on Low Carbon Living through team-based and game-based mobile learning *; CRC Low Carbon Living
  • 2014: Integrated Human-Centred Design approach in developing the modular EV Bus driveline system for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2020 (Student Agreement Postgrad) *; AutoCRC Ltd
  • 2014: Student research agreement: Construction industry reform using mobile technology *; CRC Low Carbon Living

* Chief Investigator