Postdoctoral Researchers

  • Shiwei Chen - Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Shiwei is working on theory and practice of facilitating social change. As a sociologist and field researcher her own research trajectory bridges the social and life sciences. Shiwei holds a PhD in Sociology from Nanyang Technological University Singapore (NTU) and studied migration, identity politics, formations of boundaries and categories with a focus on Northeast China, South Korea and North Korea. While working and living with migrants, she developed a keen interest in promoting health equity and conducted postdoctoral research in medical sociology and medical education at the Imperial College London-NTU joint medical school and Nanyang Centre for Public Administration at NTU.

    “I believe societies’ most pressing issues will not be solved by a single great mind, but by people of different background coming together and collaboratively finding ways forward. Diversity is a vital ingredient of innovation. I see myself as a traveler, connector and facilitator of knowledge exchange between different thought communities, and my ultimate goal is to build an inclusive research community fit for our challenges ahead.”

  • Kees Krul - Rotterdam School of Management

    Dr. Kees Krul holds a PhD in Institutional Economics from Delft University of Technology, where he studied the socioeconomic effects of Chinese land reform. During his PhD Kees was also a visiting research fellow at Lund University and National University of Singapore. Kees is currently working on inclusive economic growth models for Asian countries, together with the Rotterdam School of Management, Hanyang University, The Asia Foundation, the Economics of Mutuality Foundation and the Center for the Economics of Mutuality. Prior to his postdoc, Kees lived and worked in various places including China, Sweden, Korea, South Africa, Singapore and Taiwan.

    “In my postdoctoral research I develop an international knowledge base on conditions and models for inclusive economic growth in which considerations of environmental preservation and socioeconomic justice are central. The generated knowledge and models will be disseminated to companies, governments, and civil society, and are aimed at promoting social and environmental transformation in Asia and beyond.”

  • Wenting Ma - Rotterdam School of Management

    Wenting did her Ph.D. project at the Delft University of Technology to explore how Chinese cities apply city branding strategies to achieve sustainable urban transformation goals. Specifically, this research was carried out from conceptual distinction, strategy application, policy instrument configurations, and stakeholder involvement. Subsequently, she further cooperates with Prof. Martin de Jong in the Rotterdam School of Management to conduct the postdoctoral research on Zero-Waste City.

    “My research focuses on the policy implementation of Chinese Zero-Waste pilot cities. We want to know how policy measures are adopted to construct the Zero-Waste City and how different stakeholders participate in this process.”

  • Abby Muricho Onencan - Erasmus School of Law

    Abby has a first degree in law and a master’s in governance and development. She completed her Ph.D. in engineering of water-food-energy systems, at the Delft University of Technology. Her main research interest is the use of data analytics to assess emerging trends and catalyze societal change. At the Initiative she works with Lieselot Bisschop and Yogi Hendlin on industrial environmental harms, specifically those resulting from the production and use of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), in the Netherlands.

    “PFAS resist degradation, resulting in unprecedented persistence into the environment and in any living species. Health and environmental related costs of inaction to PFAS pollution, are substantial. Within the European Union, health-related costs are estimated at 52 – 84 billion, every year. My research combines green-critical criminological, environmental philosophical and public health approaches to examine the historical and contemporary drivers and dynamics of industrial environmental harms related to PFAS. My aim is to co-create innovative governance solutions, with the European Union, companies, governments, NGOs and communities, for a more inclusive and PFAS free society.”

    Abby Onencan
  • Negar Noori - Erasmus School of Law

    Joining a team of urban policy professionals in a ‘Smart City development’ research project, Negar is an intermediate between policymakers and practitioners using her background in innovation management and technology policy. During her PhD, she mapped the Smart City design variables, policies and its development process in a conceptual model through studying the Smart City good practices of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dubai, and Masdar. To develop practical solutions from the results, she formulated the lessons learned from the good practices into innovation policies to transfer to Smart City initiatives. Currently as a post-doc researcher, she investigates ‘How to turn a Smart City into an Inclusive Smart City’.

    “The evolution path of Smart City indicates that it will be located in a place that in addition to strong technological stimuli, the human factor is the core in its development. In this sense, many leading smart cities have already mentioned the ‘inclusive’ policy in their Smart City programs. Nonetheless, this transition appears to be an experimental pathway for them due to the ambiguity of the concept of Inclusive in the Smart City discourse. The primary objective of this research is to enhance an understanding of the concept of inclusion and its criteria in Smart City discourse. To apply the result, we aim to work with Dutch cities like The Hague, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam.”

  • Yun Song - Rotterdam School of Management

    Yun Song has a background in urban planning and architecture design in China. He did his PhD on the governance of urban growth, land politics, finance, and sustainable transition of Chinese cities at the Delft University of Technology. His research focuses on both the institutional context and systematic developmental mechanisms of rapid urban growth in general, and specific local level entrepreneurial strategies and behaviours of municipalities, as well as the interactions, interventions, and conflicts between central and local governments. His postdoctoral research focuses on the inclusiveness of transit-oriented development projects (especially the inclusiveness of transit infrastructure) in the background of rapid urban growth. As a collaborative project, he works in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, China with Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen) and will provide insights into the social inclusiveness of infrastructure and urban development.

    “The concept of sustainability in the developing economies is often used as a window-dressing and branding technique to attract investment and to promote urban growth. This is partly due to their ambitions to boost growth in the pro-growth context, partly due to the lack of awareness and knowledge in developing, implementing, and evaluating sustainability, especially regarding social inclusiveness in projects of sustainable development. Our research goal is to fill this knowledge gap by measuring the ‘inclusiveness performance’ of infrastructure that is branded for sustainable development.”

  • Dominika Alexa Teigiserova – TU Delft (collaborative project)

    Dominika has a degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Southern Denmark and a PhD from Aarhus University (Denmark) in Environmental Technology and Circular economy. In her Ph.D. she interconnected all three levels of sustainability to create and update the current framework used in food waste valorization, with a focus on biorefinery potential for bioeconomy. Her postdoctoral research concentrates on the circularity of the construction sector. The first year contributes to the TU Delft project Circular Road (De Circulaire Weg), which aims to provide insights into how Infrastructure as a Service models work and uncover the key factors to achieve successful implementation in the circular infrastructure. In the same context, as part of Inclusive Wise Waste Cities and Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity (DoIP) she will provide insights into circularity and sustainability of infrastructure to shape more inclusive cities.

     “I believe that we, as a humanity, cannot reach a sustainable future unless we create inclusive cities that integrate strong sustainability principles. We can no longer afford to look at the system separately and choose which level we evaluate now (social, environmental, economic). We need to use glasses with all lenses of sustainability at the same time. It is a complex task, interconnecting how we manage and valorize waste, integrating it as a secondary resource in the city, ensuring it is environmentally safe, economically feasible, and socially just, while looking into how the system is governed. Governance is an overreaching umbrella under which all sustainability levels exist. My ambition is to look at the system in a holistic way to create an integrated solution to reach inclusivity in a way that moves away from weak sustainability and obsolete systems.”

  • Susana Toboso Chavero - Rotterdam School of Management

    Susana holds a BSc in Environmental Science and MSc in Interdisciplinary Studies in Environmental, Economic and Social Sustainability with a specialisation in Urban and Industrial Ecology and a PhD in Environmental Science and Technology from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Her expertise includes the integrated analysis of urban systems from an environmental and social perspective using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), social analysis and socio-ecosystem metabolism assessment. Her previous research was focused on the implementation of urban agriculture, energy systems, rainwater harvesting on underutilized rooftops in cities. Especially, in urban areas where these resources are most needed and demanded. More recently, she has focused on the recovery of resources in cities aiming to transform urban settings into more circular, healthy and self-sufficient places.

    Within the Inclusive Wise Waste Cities project, she will be focused on the development of an innovative analytical-design-evaluation tools package to simulate the various waste recycling behaviors and the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of the effects of wise-waste cities.

    “Cities are hubs of human activity, where vast numbers of people generate a correspondingly large amount of waste. In order to foster more circular and inclusive urban environments, it is essential to implement new strategies for urban development, and to encourage environmentally conscious behavior among citizens. My personal goal has always been to provide practical solutions that specifically address the challenges of urban living, which is where most people reside and where such interventions are most urgently required. To achieve this, it is crucial to engage all relevant stakeholders in a paradigm shift where cities are not just passive consumers, but active producers of their resources.”

  • Erwin van Tuijl - International Institute of Social Studies

    Erwin is interested in the geography of innovation, digitalisation, and urban development. He combines insights from the fields of economic geography, development studies, economics and management. He has wide experience in comparative urban research and has conducted case studies in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States of America. His current research focuses on the platform economy, digitalisation, (frugal) innovation, and sustainable development challenges. Prior to his post-doc Erwin worked as researcher and lecturer at the European Institute for Comparative Urban Research (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Business Metropole Ruhr (Essen, Germany), and HafenCity University Hamburg. At the initiative Erwin works on a project on digital inclusion of installers in energy transitions.

    “Firms that install and maintain energy devices (e.g., heat pumps, gas boilers or smart meters) and infrastructures play a key role in energy transitions as they act as intermediary between technology providers and end-users. Nevertheless, such installers have received limited attention among academia as well as policy makers. We attempt to fill that gap by exploring how digitalisation and frugality affect installers’ practices through a comparative case study of installers in the post-industrial cities of Gothenburg, Rotterdam and Tampere. We also analyse urban policies and -assets, and aim to provide future scenarios and recommendations on how cities can support energy transitions and installers’ business.”

  • Melissa Vergara Fernández - Erasmus School of Philosophy

    Melissa has a degree in Economics from Universidad de Los Andes, in Bogotá, Colombia and a PhD in Philosophy from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her main research interests are in modelling as a scientific practice, particularly in macroeconomics. At the Initiative she is working with Marta Szymanowska and Conrad Heilmann on the philosophy of science of financial economics. Specifically, she is working on understanding the methodological choices made in the use of financial economics models and the epistemic and practical consequences thereof.

    “Model users often make methodological choices without being fully aware of their underlying assumptions or their implications. Elucidating these is crucial for a more reliable scientific practice. This is my aim. A reliable scientific practice goes a long way towards achieving inclusive prosperity, if that’s what we’re ultimately aiming for.”

  • Filippos Konstantinos Zisopoulos – Rotterdam School of Management 

    Filippos has a background on the resource-use efficient design of industrial food production chains (PhD from Wageningen University and Research), on communication and valorization activities on climate change mitigation and adaptation (former member of the Secretariat of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security & Climate Change), and more recently, on impact analysis of humanitarian aid projects (former member of the non-governmental organization Movement on the Ground).  
    Within the Inclusive Wise Waste Cities project he will be working together with his colleagues and project partners to explore how urban waste management systems can become more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient. His work will focus on developing a theoretical framework to map the “inclusive wise-waste system”. The framework will be translated into a dynamic model to study different governance systems and the consequences of various policy interventions. 

    “Considering that designing out waste is one of the three key principles of a circular economy, an inclusive approach towards value creation from urban waste does not only make sense but it is necessary for addressing the Sustainable Development Goals such as poverty reduction and reduced inequalities, efficiently and effectively. My ambition is to contribute with my research to the advancement of knowledge that accelerates the transition towards inclusive prosperity.”

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