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Personal profile

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).

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

infrastructure Social Sciences
vulnerability Social Sciences
sociotechnical system Social Sciences
electricity Earth & Environmental Sciences
European integration Social Sciences
divergence Earth & Environmental Sciences
energy Social Sciences
fragmentation Social Sciences

Research Output 1992 2019

Drawing (graphics)

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

12 Citations (Scopus)

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

Northern Germany
61 Citations (Scopus)
293 Downloads (Pure)

Toward a transnational history of technology : meanings, promises, pitfalls

Vleuten, van der, E. B. A., 2008, In : Technology and Culture. 49, 4, p. 974-994

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
History of Technology
Transnational History

Activities 2017 2019

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

Challenging Prometheus, Challenging Clio. Energy history in an Age of Global Challenges

Erik van der Vleuten (Speaker)
22 Feb 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesKeynote talkScientific

Connected Crises and Deep Transitions. Historical research perspectives on critical infrastructure.

Erik van der Vleuten (Speaker)
21 Nov 2017

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific

Prometheus and Clio challenged: A History of Science, Technology & Medicine for an Age of Global Challenges

Erik van der Vleuten (Speaker)
23 Sep 2017

Activity: Talk or presentation typesKeynote talkScientific

Press / Media

Interview: Responsive--open, maar soms juist gesloten internationale systemen

Erik van der Vleuten


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Student theses

A critical analysis of e-waste policies

Author: Celebi Kalk, B., 31 Aug 2012

Supervisor: van der Vleuten, E. (Supervisor 1) & Arora, S. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


A feasibility study of very large-scale photovoltaic (VLS-PV) power generation systems in China

Author: Wu, Z., 30 Apr 2009

Supervisor: van der Vleuten, E. (Supervisor 1) & Verbong, G. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

A monetary evaluation of the sustainability of GTL fuel production in South Africa

Author: van Erck, R., 31 Oct 2003

Supervisor: van der Vleuten, E. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master


Applying storage systems for the low-voltage network planning of future residential neighborhoods

Author: Coumans, D., 31 Aug 2014

Supervisor: Slootweg, J. (Supervisor 1), Coster, E. (Supervisor 2), Cobben, J. (Supervisor 2), van der Vleuten, E. (Supervisor 2) & Grond, M. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

De diffusie van stationaire brandstofcellen in de VS

Author: Ulutas, Ö., 30 Sep 2003

Supervisor: van der Vleuten, E. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master