Trevor Pearcey graduated in physics from Imperial College, London in 1940.

He joined a radar research group in the UK and worked on the theory of microwave optics for the design of antennas, shaped disks, waveguide structures, scattering of targets and other similar projects. Many of these studies required large scale calculations and in early 1945 he discussed the possibility of using electronics for fast computation with Douglas Hartree.

In late 1945 he joined CSIR Radiophysics in Sydney and in 1947 he collaborated with Maston Beard in the design, construction and operation of the CSIR Mk1 computer (later renamed CSIRAC).

Following the termination of the Mk1 project he returned to the UK but in 1959 came back to Australia and worked on the CIRRUS computer and the development of CSIRONET.

In 1972, after a period as a consultant with Control Data Corporation, he joined Caulfield Institute of Technology as Head of the Electronic Data Processing Department and retired as Dean of Technology in 1985.

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