I’m interested in the role that technology can play in fighting poverty and sustainable international development

Henny Romijn, employee

The societal complexity of introducing new technologies like solar panels or prepaid water meters in poor countries is often greatly underestimated

I’m interested in the role that technology can play in fighting poverty and in sustainable international development. I focus particularly on sustainable energy and water supplies – both of which are vital for the quality of people’s lives. The societal complexity of introducing new technologies such as solar panels or pre-paid water meters in poor countries is often greatly underestimated. This is one of the main reasons for the failure of many well-intentioned projects. But fortunately there are also big successes that we can learn from.

As researcher into innovation, I think I have a very broad range of activities. I use all kinds of innovation theories, and I try to apply these in developing countries with the aim of addressing tough challengers. For example why innovations sometimes create great expectations which later can’t be fulfilled. Or into the possible social and environmental impact of the introduction of specific new technologies.

I’m primarily interested in nature and enjoy gardening, especially growing flowers from seeds. I also like music and I play the piano. My passion is locking after stray cats, right now I (only) have four. One of them faithfully follows all the snooker championships on TV, together with me. And of course I also travel for my work to the tropics, especially to Tanzania, where TU/e students carry out research as part of their internships or graduation projects.