Title: Concepts of transdisciplinary engineering: a transdisciplinary landscape

Authors: S. Lattanzio; A. Nassehi; G. Parry; L.B. Newnes

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TH, UK ' Department of Digital Economy Entrepreneurship and Innovation, The University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7TE, UK ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK

Abstract: The term 'transdisciplinary' is receiving increased attention within engineering academic and research funding communities. We survey authors of papers presented at the 27th ISTE International Transdisciplinary Engineering Conference (TE2020) to answer two research questions: 1) How do authors define transdisciplinary engineering? 2) What do authors perceive differentiates interdisciplinary engineering research from transdisciplinary engineering research? Responses from thirty-four participants (50%), are qualitatively analysed. Results show that for the three characteristics commonly used in characterisations of transdisciplinarity (goal, collaboration and integration), multiple concepts exist. These range from generic expressions which overlap with how interdisciplinarity is defined within the general literature, to stronger, more definitive expressions. Conclusions find that rather than a single definition a transdisciplinary landscape exists. To enable users to define where they sit in the transdisciplinary landscape, we create a framework enabling users to map their position under the three key characteristics of goal, collaboration and integration.

Keywords: transdisciplinary; transdisciplinary engineering; definitions; transdisciplinary engineering landscape.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASM.2021.118072

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2021 Vol.14 No.2, pp.292 - 312

Received: 19 Oct 2020
Accepted: 15 Mar 2021

Published online: 11 Oct 2021 *

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