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Associate Professor Kurt Seemann

Stream Leader, Smart Cities Research Institute; Formally Founding Director - Centre for Design Innovation 2013/14 - 2018.
PhD, UNSW, Australia; BSc/Dip.Ed (Hons), UNSW, Australia


Passionate transdisciplinary educator with a keen interest in initial teacher education, teacher confidence, creativity, cross-cultural and Indigenous Technologies education, and strategic leadership in fostering highly successful and collegial research outcomes. Personal areas of curriculum-method expertise include STEM education, with a sub-interest in design thinking in K-12 child development for fostering innovation and entrepreneurial capabilities.

National and international reputation of excellence in the role schools
play for building regional community resilience and fostering technological comprehension through technacy education strategies in the classroom, online or in the maker-space learning environment (holistic approaches to achieving developmental milestones in technology education inclusive use of play-based guided discovery, through to extension and enrichment via design thinking strategies and learning-innovations). I move easily between flipped classrooms, blended learning and wholly online learning using engaging technologies. I place a high value on scaffolding innovative capabilities among pre-service undergraduates, in-school professional development, and in-service-Masters and Doctoral candidates.

I have presented as a visiting scholar in Norway (Primary School teachers), England (STEM and Design ITE), Canada (Technology Education Academics), HongKong(Designthinkingpresentation), NewZealand(Technologyeducation), India (community resilience and design thinking), Denmark (Design thinking), Sweden (STEM and Design Thinking) and Finland (STEM and Design Thinking). I was invited, and presented to, the United Nations Habitat III Symposium in Ecuador in Oct 2016, including to give a statement to the UN Habitat Secretariat. UN Habitat only occurs every 20 years since 1976 to collate and develop global directional agreements on sustainable and fulfilling human, economic and ecological futures related to rural, regional and urban community needs and development in balance with ecology.

Research and leadership: Exceptional track record in establishing, leading and developing new high income and impact research centres, programs and PhD teacher-cohorts. I am an ARC assessor, was expert advisor to COAG (2010-2011) and have led as Lead Chief Investigator over $5.8 million in research grants (HERDC) in all four research categories the most recent being Cat 3 in 2020 for the Victorian Government's Digital Strategy for Teachers. I am a listed Mentor for fellow Swinburne colleagues called upon annually by the Research Office to lead and guide workshops on scholarship especially linked to education, innovation and cultures. I currently (2020) supervise 11 PhDs, eight of which are in-Service Teachers investigating learning through Digital and Design Innovation Technologies. I have supervised nine PhDs and 24 Honours (1 and 2A) thesis in education to completion, and a further 110 Final year undergraduate teacher research projects that met quality requirements to be cataloged and hard bound in the SCU Coffs Harbour Campus Library. I have examined 4 PhDs and 1 EdD.

As Chair of Ethics and member of the high risk Human Research Ethics Committee, I have reviewed over 1,500 Research Ethics applications since 2014 resulting in me having developed substantial insight into a diverse range of research methods to guide, teach, and lead colleagues, and higher degree research candidates. I have senior level governance expertise having been elected to the University Senate (2015-2016), the Governing Board of a K-12 College (current: 2020-2023) and previously (2011-2013) as an ASIC registered Board Director to an Aboriginal Aged Care organisation (to support their adult education strategies).

I have successfully established and led high growth research centres (as founding Centre Director), and CRC centres (as national Core Program/Theme Manager-Lead Investigator) that engaged regional and international communities and partnerships. I am particularly interested in the link between regional schools and the contributions they can make to strengthening community resilience through science, technology and key aspect of design-thinking education.

Teaching and Curriculum: I have extensive experience in developing innovative and award winning curriculum, supporting and assessing professional-experience placements, and writing and checking the integrity of year 12 exam papers for State authorities . Having taught secondary and TAFE in New South Wales (1 year part-time) and the Northern Territory (13 years Full-time): I created the award winning National Post Compulsory VET Program for Remote and Regional Aboriginal Communities known as the Certificates in Applied Design and Technology that graduated over 3000 Aboriginal Youth and Adults (as at 2013) in Central Australia to progress to further studies or employment.

I possess significant insight into mentoring early- and mid-career academics and the professional expectations demanded for K-12 schools. My trans-disciplinary background informs my passion for teaching in a diverse set of career contexts, the demands placed on new and career mobile teachers and ideas to support their professional aspirations within and beyond the 'classroom'.

Research interests

Technacy; Technology Education and curriculum; Rural and Remote Communities; Research mentorship and leadership development; Ekistics

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Citizen Capabilities and Habitat Futures: How humans are entangled in the world they make; from products to human settllements, the smart citizen is a new field of interest.

Ekistics Research: The methods and theory behind the problems and science of human settlement systems

How children develop their design led innovation/STEM capabilities K-12: I have a background in K-12 edcuation research related to abstraction and spatial inferential reasoning (Technolgical comprenhion) for K-12 education.

Regional and rural education research: I am keen to support a PhD applicants interested in regional  and rural education, especially if also linked to innovation capability development

Technacy Genre Thoery: Teahcing and learning of technologies education K-12 and Initial teacher education.Cognitive, motor and affective developmental learning in Design Technologies.


Available to supervise honours students.

Honours topics and outlines

Ekistics Research: The methods and theory behind the problems and science of human settlement systems

Technacy Education: Applying Technacy Education Thoery into K-12 classroom practice.  Technolgies education for technolgical comprehension.

Technology transfer: Understanding technology transfer and cultures

Fields of Research

  • Comparative And Cross-cultural Education - 130302
  • Regional Analysis And Development - 120505

Teaching areas

Education;Culture and Technologies;Ekistics;Innovation education;Strategic Design Research;Design Anthropology


  • 2011, National, State Thinker: Thinker on-hand/Thinker online, Design and Technology Teachers Association of Victoria
  • 2010, National, State Thinker: Thinker on-hand/Thinker online, Design and Technology Teachers Association of Victoria
  • 1998, Other, ACM: Australian Competent Manager Accrediation, AIM: Australian Institute of Management

Professional memberships

  • 2014 - 2018: Chair, Centre for Design Innovation, Australia
  • 2017 - 2018: Chair, SUHREC (Acting), Australia
  • 2017 - 2018: Board Member, Academic Senate (Swinburne University), Australia
  • 2017 - 2027: Editor, Ekistics and the new habitat: the problems and science of human settlements, International
  • 2014 - 2021: Chair, SHESC Ethics Chair, Australia
  • 2019 - 2020: Committee Member, Stream Leader: Smart Cities Research Institute, Australia
  • 2010 - 2013: Board Member, Jagun Aboriginal Ages Care Services Pty Ltd (Coffs Habour City Council Appointment) , Australia
  • 2017 - 2020: Committee Member, Australian Council for International Development: Research Development Impact (peer elected), Australia
  • 2017 - 2018: Board Member, Australian Living Lab Innovation Network (ALLIN), Australia
  • 2014 - 2020: Board Member, Design and Technology Teachers Association of Australia, Australia
  • 2018 - 2020: Committee Member, Bachelor of Fashion Design Course Advisory Committee - Holmesglen, Select Country/Region
  • 2020 - 2023: Board Member, Billanook College, Australia
  • 2010 - 2011: Expert Witness, Council of Australian Governments (COAG), Australia
  • 2009 - 2012: Honorary Member, Design and Technology Teachers Association of Victoria, Australia
  • 2012 (current): Life Member, Design and Technology Teachers Association of Victoria, Australia
  • 2014 - 2020: Senior Member, Design and Technology teachers Association of Australia, Australia

Further information

  • Academia


Also published as: Seemann, Kurt; Seemann, K.; Seemann, Kurt W.; Seemann, Kurt Walter
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2019: Victorian Teachers use of an Integrated Digital Resources: Stage One - Strategic Thinking & Co-Design *; VIC Department of Education and Training
  • 2017: Early prototyping of automotive mobility apps and services around health, wellbeing, safety for human-computer interactions with autonomous cars *; Gerenwa GmbH
  • 2017: Telescope Stage 2: Parasite Image Recognition, Filter enhancement, Visualisation of Design *; All Farm Animal Health Trust FS
  • 2017: Visualising Community Experiences: Boroondara Customer Journey Mapping Co-design Research Project *; Boroondara City Council
  • 2016: Shaping Change Stage *; Besen Foundation
  • 2016: Telescope: service and industrial design stage 1 *; GRETALS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD
  • 2016: Waste Management and Wellbeing in Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities *; Waste Aid
  • 2015: The Dusted Community (Phase 2) *; Slater and Gordon Asbestos Research Fund
  • 2013: Indigenous Participation in a Low-Carbon Economy *; ARC Linkage Projects Scheme
  • 2012: Modelling the benefits of Swarm Planning: a dynamic way of planning for future adaptation to climate change impacts *; Rubicon Research Grant

* Chief Investigator