Call for Papers: Enduring Engineering

WORKING TITLE: Enduring Engineering: integrating new knowledge with old.

Structured Abstract due August 14 2020

 Editors: Cat Kutay; Tyson Yunkaporta; Elyssebeth Leigh; Kaya Prpic

Book Outline: 

This book will bring together the most recent thinking and practices incorporating engineering knowledge from the original Australian civilisations into modern practices of engineering with examples of similar experiences overseas.

Chapters will include lessons learned from successful integration of Indigenous knowledges and practices in specific contexts. Also it will include lessons learned from less successful attempts at integration, to advise educators and researchers interested in engaging in this process.

Engineering, as a discipline, has long been considered a marker of the value of a civilisation. Traditional societies choose engineering practices that more closely align social practices with natural conditions. While this differs markedly from civilisations that focused on controlling the environment it is evident that the engineering knowledge in both sets of practices are becoming more aligned as western methods realise the effect of the aspects they are missing in their training.

This book is to bring these knowledges together from practitioners and academics to enable a sustainable future with knowledge taught in an appropriate way that respects the approach of the culture that developed it.

Submission are to be posted to by August 14 2020

Call for Chapters:

You are invited to consider contributing to an original book on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Australian Engineering as a resource for educators and students to engage with Indigenous knowledge as part of developing 21st century engineering competencies. In regard to submissions on overseas examples, we are interested in those that show similar emphasis on sustainable technology and community engagement. 

Engineering education in Australia is being reshaped to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges in a way that benefits both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal communities, to: 

  • improve the development of technology appropriate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engineering as a contribution to present engineering knowledge and
  • redesign university engineering to include Indigenous engineering and approaches to knowledge and technology

Your contribution may be in the form of 

  • An historical report providing technically detailed examples linking contemporary innovation to uses of Indigenous approaches to knowledge, 
  • Descriptions of Indigenous processes as you incorporate them into your teaching. 
  • Reports of overseas applications of Indigenous engineering principles as an extension to the work, either as a separate chapter or as a section of your work.

The book will provide case studies and examples to support incorporation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island engineering knowledge into the general array of engineering practices and knowledge written in collaboration with Indigenous community members. We will also work with the Australasian Association of Engineering Education to share best practices in this area and develop usable teaching and research resources. 

The editors are from a range of disciplines and bring different knowledges and teaching approaches to Indigenous engineering, focusing on experiential forms to support Indigenous Knowledge sharing. We hope to include examples from both historical technical practises used by various Indigenous societies, current teaching approaches linking Indigenous and non-Indigenous engineers and innovative research arising from Indigenous design methods. The main focus is on Australia and the Torres Strait practices and knowledge, but also know of many examples from overseas which students will relate to and all submission on these themes will be included as expansion of the topics listed in the draft book index below.

The practice of teaching cross-cultural knowledge takes many different forms and the book will include contributions from many practitioners to ensure that all disciplines of engineering and all teaching approaches at university can find inspiration to link to sustainable and holistic knowledge sharing approaches of our Indigenous ancestors and colleagues.

Submission requirements:


We request that each chapter has at least one Indigenous author to ensure the material is written in a way that is relevant to at least one local community and incorporates relevant Indigenous techniques of knowledge sharing.


The book will include a range of themes relating to engineering practices and knowledge sharing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Indigenous contexts. 

For chapters with a specific focus on teaching practice we ask authors to briefly explain the mode/s of learning you are using in your teaching practice and – as far as possible – to frame your chapter in that style.

Digging Deeper

Each chapter will need to include a section on ‘digging deeper’ to provide readers with references and ideas that go beyond the core ideas and material covered, and provide scope for encouraging original research projects by readers in their own communities and/or relate to international Indigenous work in the relevant thematic area.

Web content

All accepted chapters will provide a short article, images and geo-location (e.g. a google map point) suitable for the accompanying website and contribute materials for an app that will include a summary of your project/engineering artefact/process. 

The location you choose for this purpose will depend on the community, it may be the location of the artefact, or of the place where you work (this will be the default) which may be where your project is taught. The editors will be able to help with this aspect of the project once your work is accepted for the book.

Submission process

We are seeking chapter abstracts in the first round using the structured format below.. 

Submission are to be posted to by August 14 2020

We will send out notifications by September 25 2020 on those selected for full submissions with feedback on where we see your work fitting into the book. Full submissions will be peer reviewed (see Draft Table of Content below).

Structured Abstract Format: Download here

Draft Table of Contents

Introduction – purpose – why we are writing this and who will it benefit

Indigenous Engineering as a resource – A positive approach to Indigenous engagement

Part 1 History of Engineering Approaches – both technology and processes

Likely to be arranged into engineering disciplines however we assume the content will also provide relationships across disciplines so that readers can understand the complexity and interrelationships among disciplines. Where possible we would like to follow a chapter on Australian experience with a chapter on an overseas example for students from different regions, or have a chapter covering both.

Part 2 Programs developed in teaching and research (Australia and overseas):

  1. Developments for training academics 
  2. Research using Indigneous perspectives eg sustainable biomimicry 
  3. Courses for students’ education in particular disciplines
  4. General community requested projects (not fitting above)

Part 3 Programs with/within community – pros and cons (Australia and overseas)

  1. Appropriate technology 
  2. Engineers without Borders 
  3. Pro-bono work in/with industry
  4. Community education and policy initiatives – how to engage community in authentic work

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