Our PhD students (K to Q)

Ingeborg Kluts

Project title: Integrated modelling framework for sustainable European land use change scenarios for the biobased economy, agriculture and economic development

Project summary: The environmental sustainability of bioenergy and biomaterials highly depends on the direct and indirect land use change (DLUC, ILUC) caused by the feedstock production. Intensification of food crop and livestock production could prevent ILUC effects, but intensified systems could even higher the overall environmental burdens. Existing models do not include the effect of agricultural intensification on ILUC and overall environmental sustainability. This PhD-research aims to assess the effect of changes in agricultural management towards highly productive agricultural systems on the environment and land availability for biomass production in Europe. A modelling framework integrating existing models will be developed and applied.

Related platform: Developing a bio-economy

Interesting links:

Staff page:

Research poster at the website of the Grounds, Schiphol: http://www.thegrounds.nl/renewablejetfuel/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Research-poster_Integrated-modelling-of-sustainable-European-land-use-scenarios-for-the-biobased-economy-and-agriculture_2.pdf

Philip Kraaijenbrink

Project title: IceSpy: drones as smart innovation technology in climate change impact monitoring of glaciers

Project summary: The relatively recent technological developments in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide great potential for the monitoring of glaciers. They can provide data on a medium to large scale with very high accuracies and, very importantly, can be flown quickly and on-demand. In this project the UAVs are used to survey glaciers in the Himalayas and the Alps to determine changes in their volume, flow velocities and surface features present. The results are put into a larger perspective by using advanced upscaling techniques and incorporation into hydrological models. By working closely together with UAV-related companies senseFly (CZ) and HiView (NL) the expertise gained with the scientific application of UAVs will be used to explore new commercial possibilities of this novel technique, also beyond glaciology.

Related platform:Land and water

Interesting links:

Staff page:

Website from our institution independent research group:

Documentary (8 min) made our research in Nepal (incl. UAV)

Altered version of the documentary made for Dutch NTR school television (in Dutch)

3D animation of a glacier derived from our UAV data:


Rob Lubberink

Project title: Responsible innovation for sustainable city systems:the role of social entrepreneurs

Project summary:The European Union started several initiatives for a transition towards improved sustainability of cities. Innovation, often initiated by entrepreneurs, is generally regarded as key to achieve transitions and initiate change. Social entrepreneurs might have a disposition to come up with the necessary innovations for sustainability, because these ‘transformational leaders’ or ‘social transformers’ manage to give higher priority to people and/or planet without neglecting the viability of their company. However, research regarding the innovation processes of social entrepreneurs is still scarce and many questions remain unanswered. In order to understand the contribution of social entrepreneurs to sustainable innovation in general, and sustainable city systems in particular, this research project focuses on the social entrepreneurial process from the perspective of the upcoming concept of responsible innovation. With this, the following research questions will be answered:    What is the contribution of social entrepreneurship to sustainable innovation in general and sustainable city systems in particular, seen from the perspective of responsible innovation? And which strategies can help social entrepreneurs to improve their responsible innovation processes to further sustainable city systems?

Related platform: Sustainable city systems

Dimitra Mamali

Project title: Autonomous Quantitative Vertical Atmospheric Profiling for Greenhouse gas monitoring and Climate Services

Project summary: Under current climate change, due to increased GHG concentrations and climate feedback mechanisms, the vulnerability of cities and society in general to changing conditions is likely to increase. Society needs more accurate atmospheric surveillance capabilities to better forecast, warn, and take appropriate decisions to face these situations. The emissions and concentrations of GHG need to be monitored, reported and verified as well as the resulting effects. Humidity, temperature and aerosols are atmospheric parameters of particular importance to be monitored precisely and at high temporal and spatial resolution as they trace the exchange processes of the GHG in the atmosphere. In this project we will develop a lidar system to measure these quantities with the required accuracy. The system will run autonomously, will have the ability to adapt to all weather conditions and will operate during day and night. It will be based on an existing advanced Raman lidar system operated by the KNMI, located at the CESAR Observatory in Cabauw and on the equipment under development at the Site Instrumental de Reserche par Téledétection Atmospherique (SIRTA) in France. In the second phase, data processing techniques will be developed that enable monitoring of the boundary layer exchange processes and thermodynamic data. Also, cloud-aerosol interaction processes will be examined.

Related platform: Greenhouse gas monitoring

Interesting links:

Luuk Maselink

Project title: Planning the future: tools and services for climate change adaptation planners

Project summary: Regional and local actors, especially spatial planners, play an important role in adapting to climate change and climate variability. Understanding climate change impacts is a prerequisite for effective adaptation. Current generating and disclosing climate knowledge fail to provide adaptation planners with relevant knowledge and does not link with current practices of spatial planners. This research develops and evaluates tools and guidelines to support regional and local adaptation planners with effective climate change adaptation.

Related platform: Adaptation services

Jorge Andres Moncada Escudero

Project title: Exploring effective and organisational structures for the emergence of renewable jet fuel supply chains

Project summary: This PhD is aimed at systematically exploring and testing the effects of multiple variables on the emergence of renewable jet fuel supply chains in a highly dynamic and institutionally fragmented environment, characterized by many uncertainties. This research combines state-of-the-art developments in agent-based modelling and simulation with regional innovation models to create a simulation model for understanding and shaping the emergence of renewable jet fuel supply chains based on regionally sourced renewable feedstocks. It is the first study to import deep knowledge of regional innovation systems and (the mechanisms driving) (inter)national biomass markets into the development of agent-based simulation models. It is also the first study to use the MAIA methodology (Modelling Agents based on Institutional Analysis) so that the simulation environment reflects the social and institutional structure in which the agents arrive at their decisions. The research’s purpose is to learn how to influence the emergence and development of sustainable bio-based systems, specifically renewable jet fuel supply chains, and to investigate which (constellation of) incentive system(s) is/are most likely effective to bring such systems into being.

Related platform:

Bio economy platform

Making transitions happen platform

Interesting links:


Panagiotis Moriatis

Project title: Controllable photovoltaic solar power facade elements (ConSolE)

Project summary: Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are low cost photovoltaic devices, which reduce the amount of necessary semiconductor material per unit area of a photovoltaic solar energy converter by means of concentration. The device is comprised of a thin plastic plate in which luminescent species (luminophores) have been incorporated. The luminophores absorb the solar light and radiatively reemit part of the absorbed amount of energy. Total internal reflection traps most of the emitted light inside the plate and wave-guides it to a narrow side facet with a solar cell attached, where conversion into electricity occurs. The main advantage of LSCs is the ability to work on both direct and diffuse light, making them ideal for areas with low irradiance conditions and for the building sector where they can be incorporated as façade elements using the complete building envelope as electricity generator to offer flexibility in matching demand and supply.  The main scope of this PhD project is to design, simulate and evaluate a number of LSC devices using different geometries and materials in order to assess the operational performance in the building sector.

Related platform: The built environment

Interesting links: