The Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM) studies urgent societal and academic challenges related to technology. What makes TPM unique is its integrated approach to studying and shaping sociotechnical systems by bringing together perspectives from the fields of engineering, social sciences and humanities. We have been doing pioneering work ever since our establishment as a faculty, and our goal is to solidify and extend our position as a frontrunner in exploring academic and societal challenges related to technological developments in complex settings.
In today's world, where societal challenges can no longer be solved with a single approach or from a single perspective, we research the interplay between society and technology. At TPM we have a strong tradition of analysing and modelling the structure and functioning of these complex sociotechnical systems, and of designing solutions to solve major societal challenges.
Our focus is on the societal issues found in fields such as digital society, climate action & energy transition, urbanisation, transport, safety & security, and health & well-being. We combine insights from the engineering sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. In so doing, we use our three perspectives: systems, values and governance.
Reading time: 4 min
Can walking and cycling make us healthy and happy?Do walking and cycling make people healthier, or are healthier people more inclined to travel actively? And how does the coronavirus affect our travel behaviour? These are the kinds of questions that scientist Maarten Kroesen is investigating. In his view, situations are often not as simple as they might seem at first glance. He is nevertheless convinced of one thing: we should be walking and cycling more.
reading time: 4 min
More grip on the unpredictable energy transition with GridMasterWhat kind of investments are needed in the Port of Rotterdam’s energy infrastructure to ensure a successful energy transition? A consortium of grid operators, government bodies, port companies and research organisations have joined forces to launch the GridMaster HIC (port industrial cluster) project. “GridMaster is a multi-model method that supports the exploration of robust investments, regret minimisation and various perspectives. Organisations can use it in their decision-making processes, thereby ensuring that the energy transition can take place in the best, most effective and most acceptable way possible,” says Igor Nikolic, a researcher at TU Delft.
reading time: 4 min
Creating a tolerant society with games and classical musicOpenness and tolerance are essential public values in our democratic society. Being prepared to actively listen to each other is a fundamental aspect of an inclusive and sustainable society. But whether we are all such good listeners is questionable; in fact we often overestimate our ability to truly listen to other people and therefore understand them.
reading time: 4 min
How to guarantee public values in crowd-based innovations?In today’s society, citizens are increasingly taking on a new role relative to the government and business community in the supply of products and services such as energy and transport. Examples include initiatives such as neighbours who join forces to purchase wind turbines, house swaps via Airbnb and transport using Uber. This can present challenges for the existing public structures, creating tension between the public sector and these initiatives. Who is actually responsible for what? How can you ensure that public values, such as equality, justice and privacy, can be guaranteed in these unregulated initiatives? “Questions like these take centre stage in the NWO Responsible Innovation project ‘Governing Crowd-based Innovation (CBI)”, says project leader Eefje Cuppen. “Although there has been previous research into these kinds of initiatives from an economic and innovation perspective, this approach is unique.”
reading time: 6 min
Working proactively for safe gas networks in the NetherlandsDutch gas network operators increasingly face factors that affect the safety of the gas network, such as different qualities of gas that cannot simply be mixed, pipes that have to be replaced, new technologies and changes in the tasks and responsibilities of partners in the chain. Netbeheer Nederland, the sector organisation for all electricity and gas distribution network operators, wants to be able to respond proactively to these challenges, which is why Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) has been working since 2014 with Netbeheer Nederland and other stakeholders to exchange knowledge and identify issues. TPM researchers Genserik Reniers and Rolf Künneke are working on safety and regulation models, respectively, in order to guarantee the safety of gas distribution networks even under changing institutional and technological conditions.
InDetail: how algorithms work up to their use in societyHow can a computer drive a car or write a news story? What will the impact of all these new techniques be on our lives? And how can we steer those techniques in the right direction? At InDetail, researcher Stefan Buijsman looks at all these questions, from the functioning of algorithms to their use in society.
reading time: 3 min
Using persuasive games to improve work atmosphereCultural diversity and a mixture of people with different specialisations in a workplace can boost creativity and effectiveness. It can also lead to misunderstandings, stereotyping and misconception. TU Delft researcher Rens Kortmann studies what persuasive games can do to change that.
reading time: 9 min