• 91 Citations
1983 …2019
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Personal profile


“Being able to reach into the bright minds of young people has been my most rewarding experience.”

Research profile

Jan Smits is a Full Professor and Chair of Law and Technology in the Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences department at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His areas of expertise include telecommunication engineering, interdisciplinary branches of law and political science.  

During the first fifteen years of his appointment, Jan Smits’ research mainly focused on (mobile) telecommunication and digital TV. In the last decade, the focus has been on privacy protection and information security. He found that non-technical disciplines have a difficult time at a Technical University, because they are not core disciplines for an engineer. However, it is precisely the humanities and social sciences that can provide colour and richness to the engineering programs. Technology and Law touch each other in many places in society: self-driving cars, smartphones, cloud services and medical equipment, for example. But in the area of technical standardization that not lawyers, but engineers make 'laws'.

Academic background

Jan Smits received his law degree from the University of Tiburg in 1982. After working as an assistant professor at the Legal Faculty of the University of Nijmegen for three years, he joined the faculty of Legal Informatics at the Utrecht University as a lecturer. In Utrecht, he was a member of a research group, which developed a methodology for the construction of legal knowledge systems, using techniques from artificial intelligence (various publications resulted from this research). At this time, he became involved in both national and international telecommunication law. This resulted in his PhD thesis in 1990, entitled ‘Legal aspects of implementing international telecommunication links; institutions, regulations and instruments’. 

In the Eindhoven Brainport region municipalities, Jan built fibre optic networks for all citizens. He also co-founded Brainport Center for Technology and Law, in order to show engineers that where the law is often perceived as an obstacle, it is also possible to see it as a design tool. Jan is a member of a foundation that regulates premium rate numbers Stichting Informatiediensten code (Stic). He has been a member of the SURF Foundation Scientific Technical Council (WTR). He is also an independent telecom consultant and (co-)founder of 2knowit BV and has published several books.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Jan M. Smits is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Data privacy Engineering & Materials Science
Enterprise resource planning Engineering & Materials Science
Information systems Engineering & Materials Science
Taxation Engineering & Materials Science
Enterprise software Engineering & Materials Science
Disasters Engineering & Materials Science
Management information systems Engineering & Materials Science
incident Social Sciences

Research Output 1983 2019

Standardisation and Technology (MOOC)

Smits, J. M., 2019, Coursera.

Research output: Other contributionPopular

Innovation: less jurisdiction and human dignity?

Smits, J. M., 15 Jun 2018, Eindhoven: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. 24 p.

Research output: Book/ReportInaugural speechAcademic

Open Access


Smits, J. M. & Wertheim, R. S., Oct 2018, Privacy- en telecommunicatierecht: inclusief AVG en UAVG. Knol, P. C. & Zwenne, G. J. (eds.). 6e ed. Deventer: Kluwer, 40 p. (Tekst & Commentaar).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

21 ideeen voor een beter internet: 13: grondrechten

Smits, J. M., Apr 2017, In : De Volkskrant.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlePopular

Government involvement and learning in business model experimentation: NGA deployment in rural areas in the Netherlands

Lelie, T., Sadowski, B. M., Brennenraedts, R. M. F. & Smits, J. M., 2017.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

The Netherlands
Business model
Rural areas

Activities 1986 2018

Law on Intelligence and Security

Jan M. Smits (Speaker)
20 Mar 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkProfessional

Delete de sleepwet; maar waarom precies?

Jan M. Smits (Speaker)
23 Feb 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkProfessional

SNiC Syposium: AutonomIT

Jan Smits (Speaker)
23 Nov 2015

Activity: Talk or presentation typesContributed talkScientific

Lunchlezing TU/e Innovation Lab, Eindhoven 11 september 2014

Jan Smits (Keynote speaker)
11 Sep 2014

Activity: Talk or presentation typesKeynote talkScientific

Workshop on Municipal Fiber Networks, Ghent, Belgium

Jan Smits (Speaker)
24 Oct 2011

Activity: Talk or presentation typesContributed talkScientific

Press / Media

ECsens from University of Twente wins 4TU Impact Challenge

Jan M. Smits


2 items of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

PSV and TU/e to collaborate on talent and innovation

Jan M. Smits


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Student theses

3G introduction in China

Author: van Etten, J., 30 Jun 2006

Supervisor: Smits, J. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master


A new wireless radio system for Refineria ISLA S.A.

Author: Eustatius, R., 30 Nov 2004

Supervisor: Smits, J. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master


Cognitive radio: the key to a new radio spectrum paradigm

Author: van Dorst, M., 31 Oct 2016

Supervisor: Smits, J. (Supervisor 1) & Fledderus, E. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


De introductie van aardse digitale televisie in Nederland

Author: Deleu, A. A., 31 Jan 1998

Supervisor: Smits, J. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master