Concepts of transdisciplinary engineering: A transdisciplinary landscape

S. Lattanzio*, A. Nassehi, G. Parry, L. B. Newnes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-312
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Agile Systems and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work reported in this paper was undertaken as part of the Designing the Future: Resilient Trans-Disciplinary Design Engineers Project, at the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Surrey. The project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Grant EP/R013179/1.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.


  • Definitions
  • Transdisciplinary
  • Transdisciplinary engineering
  • Transdisciplinary engineering landscape


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