Dr Ehsan Nabavi

Research Fellow, 3A Institute
PhD (Sociology), MEng (Civil Engineering), BEng (Civil Engineering)
+61 2 6125 8121

Ehsan Nabavi is a Research Fellow in Autonomy, Agency and Assurance innovation (3Ai) Institute. He completed his PhD at The Australian National University (ANU) School of Sociology in 2017. He was a Visiting Research Fellow with the Program on Science, Technology and Society (STS) at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2016-17, where his research mainly focused on socio-technical imaginaries of sustainability.

He originally trained as a Civil Engineer with the majority of his training, research, publications, and work experience focused on using System Dynamics, complex systems simulation, and decision-making modelling as analytical tools in the public policy domain. In his transdisciplinary research program, Ehsan explores how emerging engineering tools can reshape the ways in which government reaches decisions, and society makes choices, as well as how they can reshape both government and society themselves. He is particularly interested in working on the agency of non-human intelligence and its impact on the future of public policy and sustainability.

He was also a visiting scholar at Centre for Water and Development, School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) at University of London and Center for Development Research (ZEF) at University of Bonn. Ehsan is also Associate Fellow in the ANU's Centre for European Studies and ANU Energy Change Institute. Ehsan has received many awards and honours for his work including Inspiring the ACT Award 2018, Research Fellowship from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, full scholarship from Institute of Development Studies (IDS)-STEPS summer school in 2015, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Fellowship 2014, and ANU PhD Scholarship.

Co-production of engineering and governance

Sustainable Development; Sustainability Imaginaries

Conflict Analysis and Transformation

Actor-Network Theory

Interactive Theatre

Cybersystems and System Dynamics Modelling

Book chapters

“Politics of Innovation and The Spirit of Justice”

Daniell, K., Nabavi,E. Benham, C. In: Lukasiewicz et al, (eds.) Natural Resources and Environmental Justice: Australian perspectives. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, VIC, Australia (2017), pp. 185-203. [Link]

“Integrated Water Resource Management and Sustainability”

Najafi, H., Tavakoli-Nabavi, E., In S. Eslamian (Ed.), Handbook of Engineering Hydrology. Environmental Hydrology and Water Management: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis (2014), pp. 365-386. [Link]


Published journal papers

“(Ground)Water Governance and Legal Development in Iran, 1906-2016”

Nabavi, E. Middle East Law and Governance (2017), 9(1), 43-70. [Link]

“Boundary Matters: The Potential of System Dynamics to Support Sustainability?”

Nabavi,E., Daniell, K., Najafi, H. Journal of Cleaner Production (2017), 140, 312-323. [Link]

“Rediscovering Social–Ecological Systems: Taking Inspiration from Actor-Networks”

Nabavi, E., Daniell, K., Journal of Sustainability Science (2017),1-9. [Link]

“System Dynamic Approach to Hydropolitics in Hirmand Transboundary River Basin from Sustainability Perspective”

Bazrkar, M. H., Tavakoli-Nabavi, E., Zamani, N., Eslamian, S., International Journal of Hydrology Science and Technology (IJHST), Vol. 3, No. 4, 2013. [Link]


Selected conference papers

From Model to Nougat: Understanding Mundane Governance of Urban Water Conflict

Nabavi, E., Mundane Governance Conference, ANU, 22-24 Nov. 2017 (Oral Presentation)

The End of Paradox? Stop Looking in the Wrong Place for Achieving Sustainability

Nabavi, E., Systems Modelling Conference, UNSW, 28 September 2017 (Oral Presentation) [Link]

 Investigating the Challenges of Water Governance in Oceania

Daniell, K.,.., Nabavi, E.,  37th Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium (HWRS), 28 November – 2 December, 2016, Queenstown, New Zealand (Oral Presentation) [Link]

The Omelette Paradox: On Using Fear and Urgency As Strategies to Stop Environmental Challenges

Nabavi, E.; 6th Annual Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference, University of Kentucky, Feb 2016 (Oral Presentation) [Link]

Walking the Tightrope: The Challenge of Sustainability for the City of Isfahan

Tavakoli-Nabavi, E., Dresden Nexus Conference 2015, Dresden, Germany, March 2015

Routes and Roots: Setting Navigational Indicators as Sustainability Indicators

  Tavakoli-Nabavi, E., XVth IWRA World Water Congress, Edinburg, Scotland, 25-29 May 2015 (poster presentation).

Towards Process-Based Sustainability Indicators for Water Management and Planning: Developing Viable Paths through Strategic Systemic Innovations

Tavakoli-Nabavi, E.,Daniell, K.A.; Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering (SSEE) 2013 Conference; National Convention Centre, Canberra, Australia; 2013. (Oral presentation) 

Toward Sustainable Zayandeh-Rood: Resolving Inter-Provincial Water Dispute Using Archetypes

Tavakoli-Nabavi, E., Safavi, H.R., Bagheri, A,. 4th American Society of Civil Engineering. International Perspective on Water Resources. NUS, Singapore. Jan, 2011. (Oral presentation)

Updated:  1 June 2019/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing