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Full Professor of System Innovation and Sustainability Transitions

Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands is inviting applicants to apply for a professor position in sustainable energy. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible.

The Technology, Innovation & Society group at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands seeks a full professor in System Innovation and Sustainability Transitions, with specific interests in the energy domain.

The transition towards a more sustainable energy system is broadly recognized as one of the key societal challenges. This transition entails the transformation of the whole socio-technical energy system. Not only the production and the consumption of energy, but also the storage of (renewable) energy will become more important. Smart technologies and complex, interoperable systems will play a central role, adding to the complexity. Although technological innovations are important for the transition to a more sustainable energy system, the key challenge is an institutional one: how are we going to organize a future system that is clean, reliable and affordable, but also acceptable, fair and inclusive? New stakeholders in the value chain (e.g., suppliers of domestic appliances and IoT connected devices, players in wind and solar energy, and car producers), but also new societal stakeholders will emerge. Users, individually or organised in collectives, are likely to play an increasingly important role. The transition to a more sustainable energy system needs to take into account this increasing complexity, both from a technological and a societal perspective.

These research issues require a broad, systems-oriented perspective to study the transformation of existing socio-technical systems. The research by the full professor should offer original, internationally recognized ways of addressing these issues, with good opportunities for acquiring external funding and establishing multi-disciplinary collaborations. Specifically, the full professor should have a track record of research in energy transitions and is expected to seek active research collaborations with other TU/e energy research groups, and other (inter)national groups.

The position is embedded in the Technology, Innovation & Society (TIS) group, which engages in research on the social and economic embedding of innovation. Technological innovations offer many opportunities to address key social challenges in areas like mobility, sustainable energy, globalization, and Europeanization. Change goes beyond mere development of such innovative technologies like cleaner cars and renewable energy technologies. Change also requires a transformation of existing socio-technical systems. This includes shifts in firm strategies, consumer behaviour, social practices, institutions, and regulations. The transition processes to a more sustainable future, in particular, cannot be studied in isolation: these require a broader, systems-oriented perspective. We understand the relationship between society and innovation as a mutually shaping process. Technologies intertwine with radical transformations in work, travel, communication, and private life.

Our group has a strong track record in studying transitions across the technical-social divide. Socio-technical perspectives are crucial in exploring, defining, and designing technology and policy interventions in the field of sustainable mobility transitions. The socio-technical dynamics of mobility systems involve path dependencies, technological momentum, pockets of persistence, as well as innovative niches and opportunities for change; analysis of these dynamics is crucial for designing the most appropriate policies and interventions for the present and future.

The TIS group is one of the founding groups of the sustainability transitions field and globally recognized for its theoretical and empirical contributions. The group is part of the School of Innovation Sciences, which is one of the two schools that comprises the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IEIS). This department forms the heart of the university's commitment to the social sciences and humanities in preparing future engineers for the challenges of tomorrow.

As one of the five full professor chairs in this group, the chair of System Innovation and Sustainability Transitions plays a pivotal role.

A document containing a more detailed description of this position, as well as information about the group and department, can be obtained from prof. Floor Alkemade (f.alkemade[at]tue.nl).

Information about terms of employment can be obtained from: Kim van Puijenbroek, HR Advisor, Department of IE&IS (pz.ieis[at]tue.nl). Further information about Eindhoven University of Technology can be found at www.tue.nl.


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