Dr. ir. Schifferstein, H.N.J.

Associate Professor (Design Aesthetics)
Industrial Design Engineering


In 1988 I obtained an MSc in Human Nutrition at Wageningen University, with majors in Sensory Evaluation, Food Chemistry, and Marketing. I continued my work on taste perception under the supervision of professor Jan E.R. Frijters, which resulted in my PhD thesis 'Sensory Integration in Mixtures of Tastants'. Since then, I have worked at Wageningen University, where I have taught courses on sensory evaluation, consumer behavior, an marketing research. I have also worked at TNO in Zeist, where I was a project leader for behavioral research.
In June 2000 I started to work at the Department of Industrial Design in Delft on a project investigating why people become attached to durable products. From 2002-2007, I have been working on a project investigating multi-modal product experience, funded by NWO.
My main research interests lie in the areas of multisensory perception and integration, taste and smell perception, product experience, and research methodology.
I have co-edited two scientific books: Food, People, and Society (Springer, 2001) and Product Experience (Elsevier, 2008).
In May 2007 I was appointed to coach young, talented employees who already have a PhD degree. My role as the faculty's first Talent Coach is to develop a career path for employees who are seen as particularly valuable for the faculty, and to make sure that their research skills are developed further to meet the highest international standards.


  • Principal Editor of academic journal: International Journal of Food Design (since October 2015)
  • Associate Professor on the Multisensory Product Experience, Delft University of Technology (since May 2006)
  • Senior Researcher on the project ‘Multimodal Experience: Implications for Product Design’, Delft University of Technology (2002-2007)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher on Consumer-Product Attachment at Delft University of Technology (2000-2002)
  • Assistant Professor in Consumer Behavior and Marketing Research at the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group, Wageningen University (1996-2000)
  • Consultant for sensory research in the foods area for Unilever Research in Vlaardingen (1997-2001)
  • Project manager at the TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute in Zeist. Main research areas: Sensory Evaluation and Consumer Research (1995-1996).
  • Assistant Professor in Sensory Evaluation at the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group, Wageningen University (1993-1995).
  • Investigator on the project 'Sustainable food consumption in the year 2010' for the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group (1993).
  • PhD research, 1988-1992, supervised by Prof. Dr. Jan E.R. Frijters, Department of Food Science, Wageningen Agricultural University. The research project was entitled 'Sensory integration in mixtures of tastants'.

Specialisation / Field of research

The education and the supervision that I provide, center around multi-sensory perception and experience (taste perception, smell perception, product experience): which role do the different senses play in the perception of durable products?

Lectures and/or coaches students on:

  • I coordinate the course Multisensory Design (ID5481);
    I participate in the courses: Mens en Product, Research & Design, Product Understanding, Use & Experience (ID4210);
  • In adition, I supervise projects (research projects, graduation projects, PhD projects) in which the perception through several senses is compared or in which various sensory inputs seem to result in conflicting impressions

From Floating Wheelchairs to Mobile Car Parks: A Collection of 35 Experience-Driven Design Projects

Pieter Desmet, Rick Schifferstein 
ISBN: 978 90 5931 612 6

Published in 2011

Product Experience

Hendrik N.J. Schifferstein, Paul Hekkert
ISBN: 987 00 8045 089 6

Published in 2007