Ir. Smulders, M.

Maxim is a PhD candidate on ‘sleeping and seating comfort in transit’ at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. His main research interests are sleep, comfort, seating, safety and ergonomics, and their applications in mobility and healthcare.

Academic Background

During his master Integrated Product Design at the Delft University of Technology, Maxim specialised on human factors and ergonomics. During his studies he conducted a multitude of design and research projects in the aviation and furniture industry on seating, comfort, user-friendliness and safety. As a student assistant he was involved in various comfort studies under the supervision of prof. Peter Vink. He was also involved in setting up the EurErg@IDE education program for master students at IDE under the supervision of dr. Marijke Melles and in collaboration with Human Factors NL and the SRe. This program helps IPD/DfI students to specialise on ergonomics and obtain a certificate that proofs that their education complies with the training requirements for the CREE registration as an European Ergonomist.

Right after his graduation, Maxim started as a lecturer and researcher on ‘Technical Ergonomics’. In this position he supervised and supported MSc students and PhD candidates on design and research projects, with a special interest in vehicle interior comfort, ergonomics and sleep. He was also course coordinator for ‘Technology for Concept Design’. After his three-year term he focussed his attention on his own research; as a PhD candidate he is now specialising on the topic of 'Sleeping and seating comfort in transit'. Since the summer of 2021 he is also editor at the Dutch ergonomics association Human Factors NL.


  • 2021 – present
    PhD candidate 'Sleeping and seating comfort in transit', Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft
  • 2014 – 2018 
    Integrated Product Design (MSc), TU Delft 
  • 2010 – 2014
    Industrial Design Engineering (BSc), TU Delft  


  • ​​​​​​2021 – present
    Editor for magazine ‘Human Factors’, Human Factors NL
  • 2018 – 2021
    Teacher & researcher 'Technical Ergonomics', Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft
  • 2017
    Research & teaching assistant on ergonomics & comfort, Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft
  • 2016
    R&D trainee, Human Factors & Ergonomics, Zodiac Seats US LLC, Texas, USA
  • 2015 – 2016
    R&D intern, Research & Technology, Zodiac AirCatering Equipment Europe BV, NL
  • 2011 – 2015
    Freelance graphic and industrial designer

Lectures and/or coaches students on

  • Advanced Embodiment Design (lecturer)
  • Graduation projects (mentor)