Full Professor

Erik van der Vleuten

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Research Profile

Erik van der Vleuten is Professor of History of Technology and Chair of the History Lab at the Eindhoven University of Technology. He studies the modern and contemporary history of socio-technical 'Grand Challenges' and transitions. Erik’s areas of expertise include transnatonal history of technology, sustainability transitions, transnational infrastructure, and critical infrastructure. Specifically, Erik has studied the dynamics of slowly evolving socio-technical systems such as energy or water supply, food provision, financial services, or ecological networks, and their societal implications in the 19th-21st centuries. Currently, Erik coordinates an explorative international research program on Technology and Societal Challenges 1800-Today. Erik also leads an NWO program on the long-term dynamics of global resource chains and their sustainability implications, and coordinates the TU/e team in the Horizon2020 program History of Nuclear Energy in Society HoNESt.

Academic Background

Erik van der Vleuten received his MSc in the Technology & Society program of the Eindhoven University of Technology in 1992, and his PhD in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine from the University of Aarhus, Denmark in 1998. He returned to Eindhoven in 1999, where he worked on the synthesis of the Dutch history of technology program and participated in the founding of the research network Tensions of Europe - Technology and the Making of Europe 1850-2000. He chaired this network from 2013 to 2015. In 2009-2018 he co-directed the NW Posthumus globalisation network.

Erik is also the scientific director of the Foundation for the History of Technology (SHT). He is a regular speaker and contributor to leading publications and conferences. His books include Engineering the Future, Understanding the Past: A Social History of Technology (2017); Europe’s Infrastructure Transition:Economy, War, Nature (2015); The Making of Europe’s Critical Infrastructure: Common Connections and Shared Vulnerabilities (2013); and Networking Europe. Transnational infrastructures and the shaping of Europe 1850-2000 (2006).

Educational Activities

  • Modern Societies in Transition
  • Sustainable Technology in Society: Introduction
  • USE basic: Ethics and history of technology
  • USE basic timeslot A
  • USE basic timeslot C
  • Solar team paper

Ancillary Activities

  • Wetenschappelijk directeur, Stichting Historie der Techniek/ Foundation for the History of Technology SHT