Anna Cain

PhD Candidate

Picture of Anna Cain


Bandalang Studio




Anna Cain is an interdisciplinary researcher based at the ANU College of Engineering, Computer Science and Cybernetics. She is broadly interested in the social and political dimensions of sustainability transitions, particularly as negotiated by policy makers, intermediaries and everyday people in energy systems. Anna is currently undertaking a multi-sited ethnography of electricity supply arrangements in First Nations communities in northern Australia in which she draws from feminist STS, critical development and decolonial theories to examine energy justice at the cultural interface of Indigenous – settler-state relations.

Anna’s research is strengthened by her experience working in renewable energy and community development in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. She held roles with Australian and international renewable energy companies and NGOs such as Engineers Without Borders Australia and Energy Lab Cambodia. Her experience includes dispatching wind farms into the Australia’s electricity markets, developing renewable and battery energy projects, securing ARENA grants for large-scale renewable energy deployment, supporting communities to engage in energy efficiency and generation projects and capability strengthening and advocacy towards the development of Cambodia’s renewable energy sector. She is committed to shaping engineering and renewable energy sectors to serve the needs of society in a just and inclusive way. She has contributed to the development of the industry through leadership roles including as Chair of the Clean Energy Council’s Utility Solar Directorate and Policy and Advocacy Committee member, founded UNSW’s WIRE – Women in Renewable Energy and Program Lead for Engineers Without Borders Australia’s school outreach program which reaches approximately 20,000 school students engineering workshops each year.

Anna is a non-Indigenous Australian. She grew up on Dunghatti Country and currently lives and works on the lands of the Ngunnawal, Ngambri and Arrernte Peoples in Canberra and Alice Springs.


  • Cain, A. (2024). “Energy justice of sociotechnical imaginaries of light and life in the bush”. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Transition;5:100073.

  • Cain, A., Hauge, E. and Rhodes-Dicker, L. (2023). “Embedding a strengths-based approach in humanitarian engineering research through reflexive practice”. Journal of Humanitarian Engineering.

  • Cain, A., MacGill, I. and Bruce, A. (2010). “Assessing the potential impacts of electric vehicles on the electricity distribution network”, Proceedings of the 48th AUSES Conference, Canberra, 1 - 3 Dec, 2010.

You are on Aboriginal land.

The Australian National University acknowledges, celebrates and pays our respects to the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people of the Canberra region and to all First Nations Australians on whose traditional lands we meet and work, and whose cultures are among the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

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