Ir. Dekker, M.C.

Marijke Dekker is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering.

Academic Background

I studied Industrial Design at the Delft University of Technology and graduated in 1990 with the design of personal protection equipment (breathing apparatus) within TNO Industry and in cooperation with the Rotterdam fire brigade. After this I worked for the design office NPK in Leiden and the company GE Plastics in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands. Subsequently, I worked as an independent design consultant and later as a partner in the design consultancy SOLÉ design services, working on designs varying from consumer products such as computer housing or baby buggies, until professional products such as the interior of a research flight simulator, roller coaster coaches, and rescue equipment.

Currently I'm appointed as assistant professor Industrial Design Engineering within the section Applied Ergonomics and Design (AED) of Delft University of Technology, concerned with design education and research.

Together with my colleague Johan Molenbroek I coordinated the European GENIE project on Gerontechnology (running from 1998-2001), established to improve the awareness that the developments in technology offer an opportunity to increase the participation, integration and independence of all citizens, including the ageing and the aged. 42 European institutions of higher learning (social sciences, design, ergonomics, engineering, medicine, nursing and physiotherapy) participated in the GENIE network and worked together to improve the education in gerontechnology.

Specialisation / Field of research

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI), also known as Work-Related Upper Limb Disorders (WRULD), surged in the early years of this millennium due to computer work. In this thesis, the magnitude, causes and consequences of this phenomenon for the student population of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) are investigated and described. Longitudinal surveys on RSI amongst IDE students over a 15-year period (2000-2014) show the trend in prevalence and severity of the complaints. From the year 2000 to the present, a multidisciplinary RSI prevention group is active to create awareness, provide information and practical sessions. The organised prevention activities and their scientific basis are introduced and discussed. Furthermore, ideas for products and product-service systems, aimed at preventing or reducing RSI and based on medical insights and understanding of RSI risk factors, are presented. These ideas, developed in IDE master graduation projects and one from industry, are evaluated in user tests and physiological experiments with potential users.

The knowledge and insights gained in this thesis are not only valuable for design students to realise healthy computer working, but also for other educational and professional computer workers.

You can find her thesis (July 2022) on Healthy computer working here:  https://doi.org/10.4233/uuid:e92cbc11-2a04-4b66-bff8-c021a4260347

Lectures and/or coaches students on

  • Mentoring students Industrial Design Engineering in graduation projects.
  • Coordinating the bridging course Elementary Ergonomics, an OpenCourseWare based online introduction to basic physical ergonomics theory and practice for students of other – than Industrial Design Engineering of TU Delft – institutes for higher learning, such as Dutch universities, universities of EU and non-EU countries, and universities of applied sciences.
  • Coordinating the 21 EC IPD master course Advanced Concept Design (ACD).
  • Coordinating the IDE RSI prevention programme. 

Involved in the research project(s):

Worked on making anthropometric data accessible via the DINED website (www.dined.nl). DINED is an application enabling users to browse through anthropometric datasets to obtain insight in variation of human body dimensions and shapes.In 2014 received together with Johan Molenbroek The Dutch Data Prize issued by Research Data Netherlands (RDNL) because of the website’s accessibility for a wide audience and the care taken in collecting, describing and unlocking the set.

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