Prof. dr. Balkenende, A.R.

Ruud Balkenende is professor of Circular Product Design at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. His research focuses on design for a circular economy, specifically design approaches for reuse, repair, remanufacturing and recycling of products and materials. Key aspects are the use of advanced technologies (3D-printing, internet-of-things) and materials (composites, electronics) as well as factors determining actual business implementation.

Academic Background

Educated in chemistry  (PhD in catalysis, University of Utrecht), Ruud Balkenende started working at Philips Research in 1990, where he has been active at the interface of technological innovation and business applications. In Over the course of 25 years he dealt with a wide diversity of products, usually from a materials and technology perspective. Examples includeare magnetic tapes, television displays, steam irons, ICs, automotive lighting, laser diodes and LED lamps. Since 2009 he has been mainly involved in research and development related to materials scarcity and product recyclability. After 2012 his activities extended to circular economy, i.e. focusing on product integrity instead of recovery of materials.


  • 1986-1990
    PhD, University of Utrecht
    Title thesis: Copper Catalysed Reduction of Nitric Oxide
  • 1981-1986
    MSc in Chemistry,
    University of Utrecht, the Netherlands


  • 2015-present
    Professor of Circular product Design,
    faculty of Industrial Design, department of Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology
  • 1998-2015
    Principal scientist, Photonic materials and devices,
    Philips Research, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
  • 1990-1998
    Senior scientist, Physical Chemistry / Inorganic materials,
    Philips Research, Eindhoven, the Netherlands

Specialisation / field of research

  • Circular product design
  • Design for Sustainability
  • Lifecycle management