A full overview of my research projects can be found on my Curriculum Vitae. Projects can also be found on my ResearchGate profile, where project updates are also available. This page contains a brief overview of my current and recent projects.

Boundary Spanners in Integrated Infrastructure Renewal

Project Period: 2020 – 2023 | Funding Volume: €270,000 | Funder: Rijkswaterstaat | Role: PhD Supervisor

This research project focuses on the interplay between institutional rules and structures (meso-level) – such as multi-year investment programs, public-public collaborations, and public-private partnerships – and boundary spanning behavior (micro-level) in integrated infrastructure renewal projects. The focus of planning and public administration is often on the design of organizational structures and rules involved in infrastructure planning and collaboration. However, in practice an often-heard explanation for successes and failures in infrastructure development and provision in general, and for the renewal of integrated infrastructures in particular, is that “success is largely dependent on the people involved.” This research project addresses this particular issue, using a framework focusing on boundary spanning and boundary spanning behavior. Boundary spanners are individuals who are proficient in working in cross-sectoral, collaborative environments. They co-ordinate, facilitate, and service the processes of collaboration between diverse sets of interests and agencies. Research questions include: (1) what are the opportunities for investments in the integrated renewal of infrastructure, (2) what opportunities do the institutional structures and rules provide for these investments and to what extent are they seized in practice, (3) and how can boundary spanners effectively facilitate and coordinate the seizing of existing opportunities and the creation of new ones? The research project is funded by Rijkswaterstaat, the executive arm of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

Evaluatie 15 Jaar DBFM-Contracten bij Infrastructuurprojecten Rijkswaterstaat

Project Period: 2019 – 2020 | Funding Volume: €88,800 | Funder: Bouwend Nederland en Rijkswaterstaat | Role: Researcher

Het doel van dit evaluatieonderzoek is het in kaart brengen van de ervaringen en resultaten van 15 jaar Design-Build-Finance-Maintain (DBFM) bij Rijkswaterstaat en het formuleren van aanbevelingen voor de toekomst. Specifiek wordt gekeken naar de opvattingen over de mate waarin aan de verwachtingen van DBFM – en dan met name de F-component – is voldaan en naar de factoren en mechanismen die daarbij een rol spelen. Het onderzoek resulteert in concrete aanbevelingen en levert een bijdrage aan het debat over de toekomst van DBFM in de realisatie van infrastructuurprojecten in Nederland.

Het onderzoeksproject is een samenwerking tussen het Departement Bestuurskunde en Sociologie van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en de Afdeling Planologie van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Het opdrachtgeverschap ligt bij Bouwend Nederland en Rijkswaterstaat.

In het onderzoek zal gebruik worden gemaakt van verschillende vormen van dataverzameling en -analyse, waaronder een literatuurstudie, analyse van projecten-data, vragenlijstonderzoek en een kwalitatieve analyse op basis van expert-interviews.

Responsive Infrastructure through Responsive Institutions (RITRI)

Project Period: 2018 – 2021 | Funding Volume: €500,000 | Funder: Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research | Role: Co-Applicant; PhD Supervisor

Infrastructure administrators have been confronted with considerable investment needs in their infrastructure networks that mainly stem from an increased demand encountering an aged and deteriorated infrastructure stock. Since these investment needs can overlap in time and geographically, they can become cross-sectoral investment opportunities for increasing the responsiveness of the infrastructure system as a whole. However, for investment opportunities to be seized, infrastructure administrators have to be able to align their individual decision-making processes: the institutional system has to be responsive as well. The research project “Responsive Infrastructure through Responsive Institutions (RITRI)” addresses this challenge. It is guided by the following research question:

What are investment opportunities to make infrastructure systems responsive now and in the future, and what institutional rules need to be adapted so that these investment opportunities can be seized?

In order to answer the question, the research adopts an engaged scholarship approach bringing together in-depth scientific and practical knowledge on infrastructure planning and management and institutional analysis and design. It deploys multiple methods including scenario building, institutional analysis, stress-testing, and serious gaming to gain insights into the infrastructural opportunities and institutional requirements for increasing infrastructure responsiveness. By introducing responsiveness as the capability of a system to anticipate and shape future societal and technological changes, the research is particularly interested in how infrastructure administrators can play a more constitutive role in change trajectories. With its focus on cross-sectoral decision-making, the research also studies how infrastructure administrators can take up such a role in a joint manner.

The research will be conducted in close cooperation with the following infrastructure administrators: Alliander, the Port of Rotterdam, Rijkswaterstaat, ProRail, and Schiphol.

Infrastructure as a Link between Network and Area: Added Value as a Driver for Public-Public and Public-Private Partnerships 

Project Period: 2016 – 2019 | Funding Volume: €600,000 | Funder: Rijkswaterstaat | Role: Postdoctoral Researcher

In this research project, we study how public-private partnerships in the development of infrastructure can be a driver for achieving added value or surplus value, i.e., how other goals and values can be achieved besides the regular mobility and transport goals and functions of infrastructure. At the same time, we are interested in how this prospect of added value can be a driver for the development of public-private partnerships. The project is funded by Rijkswaterstaat, the executive arm of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

Living Labs in Infrastructure and Spatial Planning

Project Period: 2016 – 2018 | Funding Volume: €40,088 | Funder: Rijkswaterstaat | Role: Project Leader

The goal of the first research project is to conduct a review of what living labs are, what types of living labs can be distinguished, and to study how living labs can be an effective approach for Rijkswaterstaat – which is the executive arm of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment – in infrastructure and spatial planning. In the second project, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (Rijkswaterstaat) asked us to reflect on the development of a Living Lab Circular Design. The goal of the project is to investigate the motivations, organization, goals, and expectations of the living lab.

Organizing Spatial Quality in Room for the River 

Project Period: 2016 – 2017 | Funding Volume: €60,000 | Funder: Rijkswaterstaat | Role: Researcher

The Dutch governmental program ‘Room for the River’ aims to give the rivers in the Netherlands more room to be able to manage higher water levels. A second goal of the program is to increase the spatial quality of the river areas. In this project, we evaluate the extent to which this spatial quality objective has been achieved, and the conditions that have contributed (or not) to this. We apply Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) in a first phase of the research project, followed by in-depth case studies of typical and deviant cases.