N. (Neelke) Doorn


Neelke Doorn is distinguished Antoni van Leeuwenhoek professor ‘Ethics of Water Engineering’ at the Department Ethics and Philosophy of Technology and Director of Education of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management. Neelke holds master degrees in Civil Engineering (TU Delft 1997, cum laude), Philosophy (Leiden 2005, cum laude), and Law (Open University 2016, cum laude). In May 2011, she obtained her PhD degree from the TU Delft for her thesis on Moral Responsibility in R&D Networks.

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Neelkes primary research is dedicated to moral questions in water governance and engineering, particularly in relation to climate change and resilience policy. In 2013, Neelke received a personal NWO Veni grant for her project The Ethics of Flood Risk Management. In the past years, she also received multiple grants within the NWO Responsible Innovation scheme.

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  • Director of Education Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management
  • Water Ethics (TPM002a / TPM003a)
  • Philosophy, Technology Assessment, and Ethics for Civil Engineering (WM0312CIE)
  • Ethics of Technological Risks (WM0375TU)
  • MOOC: Responsible Innovation
  • ProfEd courses for KIVI Chartership


  • Doorn, N. (2018). ‘Distributing risks: Allocation principles for distributing reversible and irreversible losses’, Ethics, Policy & Environment. 21(1): 96-109.
  • Doorn, N., P. Gardoni, C. Murphy (2019). ‘A Multidisciplinary Definition and Evaluation of Resilience: The Role of Social Justice in Defining Resilience’, Sustainable and Resilience Infrastructures. DOI: 10.1080/23789689.2018.1428162.
  • Thaler, T., S. Fuchs, S. Priest, N. Doorn (2018). ‘Social justice in the context of adaptation to climate change—reflecting on different policy approaches to distribute and allocate flood risk management’, Regional Environmental Change. 18(2): 305-309.
  • Mouter, N., A. De Geest, and N. Doorn (2018). A values-based approach to energy controversies: Value-sensitive design applied to the Groningen gas controversy in the Netherlands. Energy Policy. 122: 639-648. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.08.020.
  • Doorn, N. and B. Taebi (2018). ‘Rawls’s Wide Reflective Equilibrium as a method for engaged interdisciplinary collaboration: Potentials and limitations for the context of technological risks’, Science, Technology & Human Values. 43(3): 487 – 517.
  • Doorn, N. (2017). ‘Allocating responsibility for environmental risks: A comparative analysis of examples from water governance’. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 13(2): 371-375.
  • Doorn, N. (2017). ‘Resilience indicators: Opportunities for including distributive justice concerns in disaster management’. Journal of Risk Research 20(6): 711-731.
  • Doorn, N. (2016). ‘Governance experiments in water management: From interests to building blocks’. Science and Engineering Ethics 22(3): 755-774.

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    • Veni-grant, Innovational Research Incentives Scheme, NWO - personal grant, 2014-2018 (250k)
      Objective: This research aims to develop a framework that reconciles demands from equity and efficiency in flood risk management.
    • Responsible Innovation (MVI) Scheme 2016, NWO – Crowd-based Innovations: Governing Transitions of Responsibilities, 2017-2021 (650k€)
      Objective: This research studies crowd-based innovations. It aims to design governance arrangements so that the power of mobilizing people and organizations can be combined with legitimacy and responsible innovation.
    • Responsible Innovation (MVI) Scheme 2014, NWO - Frugal Innovations and Responsible Entrepreneurship: Case Studies in the Water and Health Sectors in East Africa, 2015-2019 (500k€)
      Objective: This research aims to provide insight in how Dutch entrepreneurs can act as inspiring role models through implementing profitable and responsible business models that target the growing market segment of less poor and new middle class Kenyan consumers in the top sectors water, energy and health, with ‘good value for money’ frugal products, services and systems.
    • Responsible Innovation (MVI) Scheme 2014, NWO – Values4Water, 2015-2019 (500k€)
      Objective: This project aims to provide insight in how values play a role in water governance and to develop a framework that supports policy making in a multi-actor context.
    • 4TU.Federation 2018, DeSIRE project: Designing Systems for Informed Resilience Engineering, 2018-2021 (3460k€)
      Objective: This projects aims to connect advances in resilience engineering (RE) with adaptive principles of societal resilience, including its ethical aspects.

    H2020 projects:

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    • Editor-in-Chief of the peer reviewed journal Techne: Research in Philosophy and Technology (together with Diane P. Michelfelder) (2014 – present) 
    • Board member Society for Philosophy and Technology (SPT) (2014 – present)
    • Editor Philosophy of Engineering and Technology Springer book series (2016 - present)
    • Doorn, N. (2020). Water Ethics: An Introduction (monograph). Rowman & Littlefield (to be published in 2020)
    • Michelfelder, D.P. and N. Doorn (2019). The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Engineering (edited volume). Routledge (to be published in 2019)
    • Van den Hoven, M.J., N. Doorn, T. Swierstra, B.-J. Koops and H. Romijn (2014). Responsible Innovation: Innovative Solutions for Global Issues (edited volume). Dordrecht: Springer.
    • Doorn, N., D. Schuurbiers, I.R. van de Poel and M.E. Gorman (2013). Early Engagement and New Technologies: Opening up the Laboratory (edited volume). Dordrecht: Springer.
    • Doorn, N. (2011). Moral Responsibility in R&D Networks: A Procedural Approach to Distributing Responsibilities. Simon Stevin Series. PhD Thesis, Delft: 3TU.Centre of Ethics and Technology.
    • Doorn, N. (2009). Wilsbekwaamheid - weldoen, autonomie, identiteit (in Dutch). Amsterdam: Boom.
    • Podcast: Global Perspectives
    • Op-ed: Huffington Post: “Volkswagen Scandal Reveals Design Flaws: The Need for Value Conscious Design”, October 13, 2015 (together with Behnam Taebi).
    • Op-ed: Trouw (Dutch national news paper): “Volkswagendebacle is leerschool ontwerper”, September 29, 2015.
    • Op-ed: FluxEnergie: Maatschappelijk verantwoord innoveren vergroot de kans op een succesvolle (energie)transitie, Augustus 31, 2015.
    • Op-ed: Het Financieele Dagblad (Dutch national news paper): “Fossiele energie bestaat bij de gratie van wereldwijde miljardensubsidies”, July 28, 2015.
    • Op-ed: Thomson-Reuters: “Renewable poised to soar as 'game-changing' moment comes”, July 1, 2015.
    • Interview in “Verschillende perspectieven op de nieuwe waterveiligheidsnormen”, Eline Bötger and Aline te Linde (eds.); interviews with leading water safety experts on the occasion of the new water safety norms in the Netherlands; published by Kennis voor Klimaat/Twynstra Gudde, 2014.
    • Interview in Quest/ExperimentNL “Overstromingen verdelen” on the occasion of my Veni-research, Thematic issue on Science in the Netherlands, December 2014.
    • Interview for Dutch national radio “De ochtenden” (Radio 1) on the environmental implications of using scrap metal for strengthening flood defense structures in the Eastern Scheldt area, March 27, 2014.

    Neelke Doorn

    Full Professor

    Values, Technology and Innovation

    Ethics/Philosophy of Technology

    Secretary of Ethics and Philosophy of Technology

    Research interests:
    Design for Values
    Management of responsible innovation
    Responsible risk management
    Water governance
    Resilient cities

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