Full Professor

Rinie van Est

Department / Institute
Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences


Rinie van Est (1964) Ph.D. has more than twenty-five years of experience at the intersection between academia, government, politics and civil society. He is a leading expert on technology assessment, governance and public engagement in the Netherlands and internationally. Van Est is a physicist and political scientist by training, who is specialized in the politics of innovation. He studied applied physics at Eindhoven University of Technology and political science at the University of Amsterdam. His PhD-thesis Winds of Change (1999) examined the interaction between politics, innovation and economics in the field of wind energy in California and Denmark.

Since 1997, Rinie van Est works at the Rathenau Instituut, which stimulates the public and political debate on societal and ethical issues related to science and technology and encourages policy makers to formulate adequate measures. He focuses on the energy transition and the digital transition. In doing so, he zooms in on the social significance of emerging technologies, such as geological disposal of radioactive waste, digitization of the energy supply, synthetic cells, artificial intelligence, and immersive technology. Translating and communicating the results of projects to parliamentary and governmental bodies, both on the national and international level, is at the core of his job. He has been involved in many projects for the Dutch and European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, UNESCO, Dutch ministries and the European Commission.

Since 2000, Rinie van Est has been working one a day a week at Eindhoven University of Technology, where he holds the chair of Technology Assessment and Governance since 2019. This is an unpaid professorship paid by the Rathenau Instituut. He is a member of the Ethics Committee of Eindhoven and Brainport Smart District that advises on the public values that play a role in digitization projects.

Ancillary Activities

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