Dr. C.N. (Natalie) van der Wal


Dr. Natalie van der Wal is an Associate Professor at the Department of Multi-Actor Systems, section Systems Engineering and Simulation. She holds a PhD in both Psychology and Artificial Intelligence from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2012). Before this position, dr. Van der Wal was a Senior Research Fellow at Leeds University Business School (2015 & 2018-2020) and Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2012-2018).


Dr. van der Wal is an expert in agent-based modelling and simulation of group decision making and cognitive and social psychology of group dynamics. Dr. van der Wal received a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (2018-2020), was a Work Package Leader for EU H2020 project IMPACT (2015-2017), has won a best paper award (ICCCI conference 2017) and co-authored over 40 articles in the areas of agent-based modelling, evacuation research, positive psychology, behavioural informatics, socio-technical systems and group decision making.

  • van der Wal, C.N., Robinson, M. A., Bruine de Bruin, W., Gwynne, S. (2021). Evacuation Behaviors and Emergency Communications: An Analaysis of Real-World Incident Videos. Safety Science, 136, 105121.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2020.105121.
  • van der Wal, C.N., Formolo, D., Robinson, M. A., Gwynne, S. (2021). Examining Evacuee Response to Emergency Communications with Agent-based Simulations. Sustainability, 13(9), 4623, https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094623.
  • van der Wal, C.N., Formolo, D., Robinson, M.A., Minkov, M., Bosse, T. (2017). Simulating Crowd Evacuation with Socio-Cultural, Cognitive, and Emotional Elements. Transactions on Computational Collective Intelligence XXVII, pp. 139-177. Springer, Cham. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-70647-4_11
  • Bosse, T., Hoogendoorn, M., Klein, M.C.A., Treur, J.,van der Wal, C.N., and van Wissen, A. (2013). Modelling Collective Decision Making in Groups and Crowds: Integrating Social Contagion and Interacting Emotions, Beliefs and Intentions. Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems Journal, Vol. 27, 52-84. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10458-012-9201-1
  • Bosse, T., Duell, R., Memon, Z.A., Treur, J., and van der Wal, C.N. (2015). Agent-Based Modelling of Emotion Contagion in Groups. Cognitive Computation Journal, vol. 7, pp. 111-136. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12559-014-9277-9
  • van der Wal, C.N., Kok, R.N. (2019). Laughter-Inducing Therapies: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Social Science and Medicine, 232, 473-488, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.02.018

PROJECT TUDEP (2021-2022)

Role: Project Leader
Link to project overview 

EU Project EVACUATION (2018-2020)
Role: Project Leader
Link to project results
Link to project overview

EU Project IMPACT (2015-2017)
Role: Work Package Leader
Link to project overview


Module Manager of:

  • TB233B – Systeemmodellering 4 – project simulatiemethoden (Q3)

Teacher in:

  • SEN1211 –Agent-based Modelling (Q2)
  1. Project Repository Journal. (2020, October), “Project EVACUATION: Testing communication strategies to save lives in emergency evacuation”. 
  2. ABC Radio National, Australia, (2020, July), Is laughter really the best medicine?” – on my meta-analysis of the effectiveness of laughter therapies 
  3. Leeds University Business School (2020, May), “Podcast: Form laughter therapy to testing communication strategies for emergency evacuations
  4. ITV News, United Kingdom. (2020, January). “Is blue Monday real’?” - on predicting emotions and preventing depression.
  5. Research Blog Event Safety Institute, The Netherlands. (2019, December). “Possible solutions to prevent dangerous behaviours during evacuations’.

Natalie van der Wal

Associate Professor

Multi-Actor Systems

Systems Engineering

Esther Holten-Miedema & Wendela Nooteboom

Research interests:
Socio-technical systems
Group decision making
Crowd behaviour
Agent-based modelling

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