Associate Professor Robbie Napper

Associate Professor Robbie Napper

Associate Professor Robbie Napper

Director, Mobility Design Lab
Associate Professor, Industrial Design

Department of Design

Monash University Research Portal

Graduate research supervisor

Robbie Napper is an Industrial Designer, Researcher and Associate Professor with the Department of Design at Monash University. Robbie’s aim is to make sustainable transport the easiest choice to make. He pursues this goal by designing innovative vehicles and transport systems, studying a cross section of the built environment including bicycles, buses, the road rules, and how people use mobility systems.

Robbie's research outputs span practice and theory, from innovative vehicles and parking, to novel studies on the transition to sustainable modes of transport. He has created novel ways of studying bicycle use and guiding industry through the transition to renewables. See his full research profile here.

Examples of Robbie’s work include his leadership of a partnership with Volgren Australia Pty Ltd to develop the Optimus route bus - Australia’s top selling route bus. He developed The Wheelie bike parking device in response to a need for new bike parking hardware, and the Napper Cycling Typology to better understand, and represent, the different uses of bicycles.

Robbie is an active member of the Australasian College of Road Safety; US National Academy of Science’s Transportation Research Board: Bus Transit Systems and an Associate of Monash University's Public Transport Research Group. He rides all kinds of bicycles.

News & events

Recent news

Upcoming events

Winners of the Brian M Davis Charitable Foundation Shaping the Future of Industrial Design Student Awards 2022/23

Congratulations to the winners of the Brian M Davis Charitable Foundation Shaping the Future of Industrial Design Student Awards 2022/23.


Parked bicycles in Australia

Understanding the bikes people park, and how they park them.

The Wheelie

Easier bike parking means easier bike transport.

Volgren EV roof design

A new look for Australia’s transition to electric route buses.

Urban Mobility Design

A comprehensive review of cutting-edge design work addressing key contemporary themes in mobility.

Live, Drive, Ride like a local

Improving road sharing in the Alpine Shire through human stories.

Advancing a Design Approach to Enriching Public Mobility

A collection of design related research projects from around the world.

Hobart Smarter Bus Stop and Shelter Competition

Design for a modular bus stop and shelter that promotes connection, reducing waiting anxiety and enhancing the overall travel experience.

Characterising Bicycle Types: Towards a taxonomy

This study proposes to differentiate bicycles to provide a clear language for further research. It introduces differentiation by wheel count as a distinguishing variable.

Study: the new bicycles

Field work in the Mobility Design Lab has revealed that there are bicycle types not represented in AS2890.3. This document provides information about these new vehicles.


Improving Volgren’s route bus manufacturing, performance and user experience using holistic design.

PTUX – Public Transport User Experience

Creating a practical working knowledge of the user experience in public transport.