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Personal profile


No human should be an island: A passion for connection.

Research profile

Gerrit Rooks is an Assistant Professor of Human Technology Interaction (IE&IS, TU/e). He is interested in how humans are embedded in a social context, consisting of networks of relations and institutions, and how this social embeddedness affects their innovative and general performance. Previous work involved conducting large-scale surveys, particularly in developing countries, to study how people are connected and how this shapes their behavior and beliefs. Being well connected is a form of “social capital”, however, how to connect to others is difficult, and science offers only scant advice. Therefore, Gerrit plans to continue his work by studying how technology can help humans, particularly lonely humans and the elderly, to connect to others in a meaningful way. He is currently collaborating with a business firm to develop an online " connection coach".

Academic background

Gerrit Rooks obtained an MSc at Groningen University in Social Psychology & Statistics and Measurement Theory. His MSc thesis was entitled “A poisson regression model of the effect of absenteeism culture on individual absenteeism”. He obtained a PhD in Sociology at Utrecht University with a thesis entitled Strategic Management of Purchasing Transactions”He is working at a visiting professor at Makerere University Business School in Uganda since 2006, providing workshops to local staff twice a year, and supervising PhD students.  

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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