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Research profile

Erik Laes is a postdoc researcher with the Philosophy & Ethics research group at the department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences. His research focusses on the philosophy and ethics of technology assessment methods and practices, including (but not limitied to) scenario analysis, sustainability assessment, cost-benefit analysis, ethical matrixes and participatory methods. He mainly draws upon the work of Michel Foucault to show the dynamics of power, knowledge and subjectivity at play in these methods and practices. His main empirical domain has so far been the energy system, in particular in the areas of nuclear energy, nuclear waste management and smart grids/smart energy behaviour. Currently, in the context of the Horizon 2020 project "SCALINGS" he studies the emergence of energy communities.

Academic background

Erik Laes holds a PhD in engineering sciences (2006) and additional degrees in environmental sciences (1999) and philosophy (MA, 2016). He is currently employed as a postdoctoral researcher working on the ethics of upscaling co-creation methods in the context of the EU H2020 project SCALINGS. Empirical fields of investigation include energy and robotics. From July 2009 – August 2018, he was employed at the Flemish research institute VITO where he was involved in projects concerning energy scenario analysis, sustainability evaluation of energy technology, transition management and smart grids/smart energy users. Over the years, he has engaged in several national or international research projects concerning end-user acceptance and engagement with smart grid technologies (FP7 project S3C, www.s3c-project.eu), public acceptance of renewable heating and cooling technologies (commissioned by the European RHC platform), barriers and opportunities for smart grid business models (commissioned by EASME), etc.

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Research Output

On the upscaling of community energy as an empowering dynamic

Laes, E. J. W., 22 Feb 2020.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

  • Reducing winter peaks in electricity consumption: a choice experiment to structure demand response programs

    Srivastava, A., van Passel, S., Kessels, R., Valkering, P. & Laes, E., Feb 2020, In : Energy Policy. 137, 9 p., 111183.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Transforming innovation for decarbonisation? Insights from combining complex systems and social practice perspectives

    Labanca, N., Pereira, Â. G., Watson, M., Krieger, K., Padovan, D., Watts, L., Moezzi, M., Wallenborn, G., Wright, R., Laes, E., Fath, B. D., Ruzzenenti, F., De Moor, T., Bauwens, T. & Mehta, L., 1 Jul 2020, In : Energy Research and Social Science. 65, 9 p., 101452.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    62 Downloads (Pure)

    What do energy modellers know? An ethnography of epistemic values and knowledge models

    Silvast, A., Laes, E. J. W., Abram, S. & Bombaerts, G., 13 Mar 2020, In : Energy Research and Social Science. 66, 8 p., 101495.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 9 Downloads (Pure)


    • 1 Workshop, seminar, course or exhibition

    Innovating Together: Responsible Scaling of Co-creation

    Mandi Astola (Organiser), Shelly Tsui (Organiser), Gunter Bombaerts (Organiser), Erik J.W. Laes (Organiser)
    13 May 202014 May 2020

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