Dr. ir. Silvester, S.

Sacha Silvester is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering.

Academic Background

Sacha Silvester was lucky to start the rather new Master Industrial Design Engineering at TU Delft in 1972. During his study the impact of technology and more specific design on the environment raised his attention. After finishing his study in Industrial Design Engineering at the Delft University of Technology (DUT), he worked as a musician at the Theatre Company Diskus and as a research associate at the faculties of Economics and Social Sciences at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He was co-founder of the Erasmus Centre of Environmental Studies (ESM) at the same university. As an assistant professor and member of the ESM management team he was involved in research programs on technology assessment, the adoption and diffusion of sustainable innovations, sustainable housing, pollution prevention and industrial ecology. The research was completely external funded and together with leading industrial and governmental organisations.
In 1996 he received a PhD in Social Sciences at the Erasmus University Rotterdam on a series of research projects, studying the effects of demonstration projects on the adoption & diffusion of energy efficient housing in the Netherlands.
In 1997 he joined the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering as an associate professor in the Design for Sustainability Program responsible for a number of large external funded research programs together with industry. His research focus was on system innovations and product service systems related to design for sustainability.
From 2006 until 2008 he was leading the Delft Design Institute aiming at showing and increasing the added value of doing design within a scientific context. During that same period he was responsible for the valorization policy of the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, In 2008 he was appointed in the Research Council, responsible for the application area Personal Mobility and joined the department of Industrial Design as Associate Professor.
In the 2009 was member of the jury of the television program Best Idea of the Netherlands broadcasted by SBS6. H e is also member of the board of D-Incert, a nationwide platform for electric mobility.


  • 1996
    Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
    PhD, Social Sciences
    PhD on the role of demonstration projects for the implementation of sustainable building in the Netherlands. Promtores Prof.dr. R.W.Hommes & Prof. Dr. W.F. van Raaij.
  • 1972 – 1980
    Delft University of Technology
    MSc., Industrial Design Engineering
  • 1978
    Erasmus University Rotterdam
    Propaedeutic Degree, Sociology


  • 2008 – Present (3 years)
    Associate Professor, Sustainable Mobility
    Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering
    Delft University of Technology
  • 2006 – 2008 (2 years)
    Director Delft Design Institute
    Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering
    Delft University of Technology
  • 2006 - 2008 (2 years)
    Technology Transfer Officer
    Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering
    Delft University of Technology 
  • 1997 - 2006 (9 years)
    Associate Professor, Design for Sustainability
    Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering
    Delft University of Technology 
  • 1984 - 1997 (13 years)
    Assistant Professor, Environmental Sciences
    Co-founder of the Erasmus Centre for Environmental Studies
    Faculty of Social Sciences
    Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • 1982 - 1984 (2 years)
    Research Associate Economic Psychology, Faculty of Economic Sciences and Empirical Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences
    Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • 1980 - 1982 (2 years)
    Musician, Theatre Company Diskus Rotterdam

Specialisation / field of research

  • Sustainable Mobility, Electric Mobility
  • Design Inclusive Research, Research by Design
  • Design for Sustainability,
  • System Innovations, Product Service Systems

Lectures and/or coaches students on

  • Graduation projects of MSc-students Industrial Design Engineering
  • PhD candidates in Sustainable Mobility and Design for Sustainability
  • Domestic appliances

REIL - Projects and analyses of urban ecologies and mobilities

Stephan van Dijk, Sacha Silvester, Satish Beella, Stella Boess
Available online

Published in 2013