Free & open for PhD candidates from all universities and universities of applied science in the Netherlands.

Safety is becoming increasingly relevant in various fields, particularly in designing products and processes. The renewed focus on Safe by Design (SbD) tries to identify and include safety (along with other important values such as sustainability, security, and circularity) at an early stage of design. This course offers a general outlook on SbD, then dives into different disciplinary perspectives on SbD and its industrial applications and ends with (ethical) reflections on SbD. Group assignments and networking are an important part of the set-up of this course. We offer an excellent overview of the extensiveness and importance of the integral approach of Safe by Design. The team of lecturers together represent both the broad academic as the more practice-oriented approach and represent TU Delft, WUR, VU, Leiden University and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in Safe by Design. Other knowledge institutes are to be confirmed soon. The provisional programme of this 3-day PhD course is as follows.

Program (might be subjected to last minute change)


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Morning session


A general outlook on SbD 

Disciplinary perspectives on SbD

Reflecting on SbD: ethics & governance


Sam Krouwel & Mirjam Schuijff from RIVM  

Behnam Taebi from a university perspective

09.30 – 10.45

Vitor Martins dos Santos

11.00 – 12.15

Pieter Bruijnincx

Bart Walhout (governance)

Lotte Asveld Britte Bouchaut (ethics)


Afternoon session


Disciplinary perspectives on SbD

Group assignment (see below)

Reflecting on SbD: Group assignment 2 continued (discussion + group presentations) led by Vrishali and broader reflection by Bart


Final exchange



13:15 - 14.45

Pieter van Gelder

15.15 – 16.30

Ruud van Ommen

13:15 – 14.30

Lecture & explanation group assignment by Vrishali Subramanian

14.30 – 16:30

Group assignment activity 1 and start  assignment 2 (discussion) led by Vrishali Subramanian and Pieter van Gelder

Vrishali Subramanian & Bart Walhout

Pieter van Gelder

Mirjam Schuijff

Lotte Asveld

Britte Bouchaut

Evening session


Networking evening SbD in Wijnhaven Building






In recent years, we have been witnessing an increased attention in research and innovation for society’s grand challenges. Think of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the large national and European mission-oriented research and innovation programs. Under labels such as Responsible Research and Innovation, Corporate Social Responsibility, or Science With & For Society, efforts are undertaken to engage in research and innovation in reflective, anticipative, forward-looking, and simultaneously responsive ways and incorporate this way work working into grand societal needs. SbD continues these academic traditions by proactively addressing potential risks and addressing ethical, legal, and societal issues early on in research and innovation.

SbD acknowledges the importance of safety in all phases of research and innovation trajectories and potentially looks at safety as integral to the entire chain of any research or innovation trajectory. What this precisely entails in terms of risk assessment, risk management, chain coordination and so on, will vary from one field to the next.

SbD aims to mitigate risks as much as possible during the design process rather than during manufacturing or customer use. The approach frontloads thinking about safety at an early stage of development. And of course, this preventive rationale gains even more force in the transition towards circularity. Think of the circular economy in which products and materials are intended to escape the linear pathway of ‘produce – consume – dispose ‘and are foreseen to remain to stay.


Course preparation:

It will be a highly interactive course consisting of three days. When you enrol, we expect you to participate for the full duration of the course. The workshop requires minimal preparation by watching this webinar, a number of animations online classes from RIVM and some relevant articles. The course material will be made available by the organizers.


Costs & Enrolment:

The course is free of charge. You can express your interest by sending an email to Then we will send you an enrolment form.

PhD course ‘Safe by Design’ program

When: 22-24 June 2022
Where: Building Wijnhaven, The Hague

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