Our PhD students (A to F)

Merijn de Bakker

Project title: Meta modelling of sustainable city systems

Project summary: Manipulation and modelling of heterogeneous data are important in making city systems more sustainable. The PhD project supports this goal by addressing two objectives. The first is to develop a generic data model and language for field-based and agent-based models required for storage and modelling of heterogeneous data in urban environments. The second objective is to show how the representation can be used with parameterization in forward modelling of integrated urban systems.

Related platform: Sustainable city systems

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Debora de Block

Project title: Opportunities for entrepreneurs in ecosystem-based adaptation

Project summary: My PhD research focuses on opportunities for entrepreneurs in a specific type of climate change adaptation: ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA). EbA uses ecosystem services to adapt to climate change. Actors from the private sector are becoming increasingly important for adaptation, but little is known about their role. I study the involvement of entrepreneurs in EbA and more specifically, the opportunities that are present for entrepreneurs. In the first step I address the genesis of EbA. The second step addresses the development of opportunities for entrepreneurs in EbA; are they discovered or created, and how? In the third step I am applying a Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) to find out which factors entrepreneurs need to exploit opportunities in EbA. The fourth step is composed of an in-depth case study in the Netherlands where I will test and apply my previous findings to a practical EbA case. 

Related platform: Land and water


Colette Bos

Project title: Articulations of large societal challenges in nanotechnologies

Project summary: Emerging technologies, like nanotechnology, are often surrounded by large expectation on how they might contribute to societal progress. This is reflected in science policy which increasingly steers research to goals like solving sustainability, addressing responsible innovation or finding solutions for an ageing society. It is however unclear how such broad and unarticulated ambitions relate to the actual development of new technologies. 
This study intends to study how the different articulations of broad societal challenges are used by many different actors to specify, justify and legitimate different directions of research within nanotechnologies. Understanding the dynamics of these processes helps to benefit from the potential of nanotechnology and can help see how steering of science is taking place.

Related platform: Making transitions happen

Interesting links:

Elvira Bozileva

Project title: Real-time accounting and simulation of dynamic energy-water-material balances for achieving liveable and sustainable cities of the future

Project summary:Wasteful use of resources practiced today has dire consequences not only for environmental, but also for economic and political systems. Unsustainable resource use is especially prominent in cities – hotspots of resource conversion. As this issue attracted a lot of attention from scientific community, a vast amount of technological concepts has been proposed that address specific aspects of sustainability. Implementing certain technological concept is associated with altering the resource flows (water, energy and materials) in urban system (household, district or city). These resource flows are essentially coupled. Therefore, predicting combined effects associated with implementing a number of technologies requires a holistic approach that takes into account the interconnected nature of these flows. In this light, selecting technological solutions that would be more suitable for specific conditions becomes a non-trivial task. The goal of this project is to develop a modelling framework to facilitate the decision making when selecting from a number of technological solutions at a household, district or city scale. The model used in this project describes dynamic water-energy-materials nexus in urban systems.

Related platform: Sustainable city systems

Congli Dong

Project title: Probabilistic scenario-based decision making for water resources planning and management

Project summary: My PhD project is to develop scenario-based methods to explore the uncertainty of climate change and socio-economic development, and quantify their impact on future water supply and demand in the river basin and cities. Climate change together with population growth, urbanization and agriculture is likely to increase water stress. Water management measures can be compared economically against the developed water scenarios, and support decision making process to adapt climate change in the long-term proactively. The challenge is that climate change and its impact cannot be understood perfectly and predicted accurately with any single model. My main research is to build scenarios to combine climate prediction ensembles with statistical methods, and run a hydrological model to simulate future water supply. My case study area is in the Yellow River Delta, China. I graduated in September 2014.

Related platform: Land and water

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Chris Eveleens

Project title: The impact of incubation programs on the business performance of clean-tech entrepreneurs 

Project summary: A prime activity of the Climate-KIC entrepreneurship pillar is to generate and support new climate related companies through incubation and acceleration programs. These programs aim to prepare start-ups to become viable enterprises and change agents. It is however, not clear what the precise added value of these incubators is and their impact on the start-ups. This research evaluates the effectiveness of such incubation programs by posing the following research question: What is the impact of incubation programs on the performance and networks of incubated entrepreneurs, in comparison to non-incubated entrepreneurs? We compare the performance of entrepreneurs that followed an incubation program with those that did not. Previous research in strategic management and incubator literature showed that abilities to build up, maintain and effectively use a network are crucial to the success of new ventures. Most incubation programs train network skills and provide entrepreneurs with access to a network of knowledge institutes, companies, providers of capital, legal advisors, or other organizations. This study tests the influence of network in and around incubators on the performance of the start-up.

Related platform: Making transitions happen

Interesting links: