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Personal profile

Research profile

Johanna Höffken is an Assistant Professor in the group Technology, Innovation and Society at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Trained as a social scientist using qualitative research methods, her areas of expertise include sustainable development, science and technology studies, responsible innovation, energy communities and issues of social justice in rural and urban contexts.

She follows this interest both in her research and in her teaching activities. Her current research, funded under Europe’s H2020 program, revolves around responsible innovation, energy justice and energy communities in Europe and India. She is also engaged in work on responsible value propositions, circularity & repairability (especially in the rural energy context) and issues of engagement & empowerment. Much of her work takes place in contexts of the global South.

In her teaching activities questions around responsible and sustainable innovation play a central role. For example, in 2019 she designed a new course on “Responsible Innovation for the World”, which is open to all BSc students at TU/e. Students, co-supervised by external stakeholders, work in multi-disciplinary teams on innovations and that aim to make a difference in people’s lives- globally.

In 2019 Johanna became Best BSc teacher of TU/e and in 2020 she received the “Docent van het Jaar/Lecturer of the Year” price, a national recognition for her innovative teaching engagements. Since September 2020 Johanna is member of TU/e’s Eindhoven Young Academy of Engineering. She leads the subgroup on consumer and citizens engagement within the European Commission’s H2020 BRIDGE initiative and is a member of NWO’s “Young-MVI” team.

Academic background

Johanna Höffken holds an MSc of International Relations from Dresden University of Technology as well as a Master Degree in Science and Technology Studies at Maastricht University. She received her PhD at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Maastricht University in 2012, where she finished her dissertation “Power to the People? Civic Engagement with Small-scale Hydroelectric Plants in India”. During her time as PhD candidate she had the privilege to participate as fellow in the Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard University.  

Johanna also holds an MA in International Relations from Dresden University of Technology and an MA in European Programme on Science and Technology (ESST) from Maastricht University, after which she worked temporarily for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Provincial Government. Johanna joined TU/e in 2012 as a lecturer and became an Assistant Professor in 2015.

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 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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