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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 master's degree 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, listen to the podcast); 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).

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Erik B.A. van der Vleuten is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.


Research Output

Forum: History and Technology in an Age of 'Grand Challenges.’ Technology and Culture Vol. 61.1 (2020): 260-332

van der Vleuten, E. (ed.), Jan 2020, In : Technology and Culture. 61, 1, p. 260-332

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issueAcademicpeer-review

  • Europe’s infrastructure transition : economy, war, nature

    Högselius, P., Kaijser, A. & van der Vleuten, E., 2016, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. 454 p. (Making Europe : technology and transformations, 1850-2000)

    Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic

    The making of Europe's critical infrastructure : common connections and shared vulnerabilities

    Högselius, P. (ed.), Hommels, A. (ed.), Kaijser, A. (ed.) & van der Vleuten, E. (ed.), 2013, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. 313 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook editingAcademicpeer-review

  • 19 Citations (Scopus)


    ‘TENSIONS OF EUROPE: a new history of Europe and technology.’

    Erik van der Vleuten (Speaker)

    26 Nov 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesPlenary talkScientific

    TIS Seminar

    Erik van der Vleuten (Organiser)

    14 Nov 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesWorkshop, seminar, course or exhibitionScientific

    Introduction: Making Europe: Meet the authors

    Erik van der Vleuten (Speaker)

    24 Oct 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific

    Resources, Infrastructures and the Anthropocene: global North-South dialogues

    M. Luìsa Sousa (Organiser), , Maria Paula Diogo (Organiser), , Frank C.A. Veraart (Organiser), , Erik van der Vleuten (Organiser), & Matthias Heymann (Organiser)

    18 Sep 201920 Sep 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesWorkshop, seminar, course or exhibitionScientific

    Reflections on Europe’s infrastructure transition

    Erik van der Vleuten (Speaker)

    14 Aug 201916 Aug 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesPlenary talkScientific

    Press / Media