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.

Dr. van der Wal is teaching Agent-based Modelling (SEN1211, Nov – Feb) and supervising MSc and BSc projects.

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

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

  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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