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Personal profile


“Small is beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered, the title of E.F. Schumacher book (1973) conveys how seemingly insignificant technologies may have enormous impact. Analyzing what is extraordinary about ordinary things and vice versa has been the leitmotive of my research.”

Research profile

Ruth Oldenziel is a Full Professor in The History of Technology—in particular the relationship between Europe and the United States, at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Her areas of expertise and numerous publications include History science and technology, American & European History, mobility studies, cultural studies, and gender studies.

Her research focuses on the mutual shaping and exchanging of technological knowledge and practices between Europe and the United States in a transnational context. She heads a research program on Sustainable Urban Mobility since the 1850s (SUM). She is program leader of Cycling Cities: The Global Experience (CC) research project at the TU/e in collaboration with the Foundation for the History of Technology that has received worldwide attention from policymakers and researchers alike.

Academic background

Ruth Oldenziel obtained her PhD in American History at Yale University, a MA in American History, University of Massachusetts, and a Graduate Diploma American Studies, Smith College. Before joining TU/e, Oldenziel was an Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam. Most recently, she was a senior research fellow at the Research Carson Center for the Environment and Society at LMU in Munich.

Oldenziel regularly acts as a media commentator on topical issues when the US is in the news. She is chair of TakeCareBnB and the John Adams Institute; board member of the Fulbright and Netherlands American Studies Association; advisor to the Ivy League Circle, and guest researcher and lecturer at various universities in the United States and Europe.

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

bicycle Social Sciences
hacker Social Sciences
women's organization Social Sciences
speaking Social Sciences
chaos Social Sciences
citizen Social Sciences
politics Social Sciences
book review Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2015 2021

Research Output 1997 2019

Cycling Cities: The Rotterdam Experience

Translated title of the contribution: Cycling Cities: Het verhaal van RotterdamBerkers, E., Schipper, F., Bek, P. & Oldenziel, R., Sep 2019, Eindhoven: Foundation for the History of Technology. 156 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookProfessional

Cycling Cities: The Hague Experience

Berkers, E. A. M., Botma, F. & Oldenziel, R., Jun 2018, Eindhoven: Foundation for the History of Technology. 68 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookProfessional

The Netherlands
Second World War

Cycling Cities : the Arnhem and Nijmegen Experience

Berkers, E. A. M. & Oldenziel, R., Jun 2017, Eindhoven: Foundation for the History of Technology. 64 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookProfessional

Drawing (graphics)
117 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
electronic commerce


Carson Alumni Fellowship

Ruth Oldenziel (Recipient), 2016

Prize: OtherFellowships & membershipsScientific

Carson Fellow (from August 2014 until January 2015)

Ruth Oldenziel (Recipient), 2014

Prize: OtherFellowships & membershipsScientific

Freeman Award

Ruth Oldenziel (Recipient), Sep 2014

Prize: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific

Activities 2005 2017

  • 4 Editorial activity
  • 4 Contributed talk
  • 3 Workshop, seminar, course or exhibition
  • 1 Keynote talk

International Technocrats, Transnational Script for the Future of Urban Mobility throughout the Twentieth Century

Pieter J.V. van Wesemael (Speaker), R. Oldenziel (Speaker), M.L. Sousa (Speaker)
4 Nov 2017

Activity: Talk or presentation typesKeynote talkScientific

CPSUM Göthenburg

Frank Veraart (Participant), J.P.H. Smits (Participant), R. Oldenziel (Organiser), B.A.M. Emanuel (Organiser)
5 Oct 20177 Oct 2017

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

LMU/RCC, Remnin University, Beijing, China

Ruth Oldenziel (Speaker)
30 May 2014

Activity: Talk or presentation typesContributed talkScientific

Contemporary European History (Journal)

Ruth Oldenziel (Guest editor)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activityScientific


Press / Media

Amsterdam undergoes a 21st-century transformation

Ruth Oldenziel


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Amsterdam, Revisited

Ruth Oldenziel


2 items of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Amsterdam: A 21st-century transformation

Ruth Oldenziel


2 items of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

2-wheeled ambassadors

Ruth Oldenziel


2 items of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Meet the two-wheeled ambassadors who patrol D.C.’s bike trails

Ruth Oldenziel


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Student theses

The sustainable university campus: an analysis of the transition process of universities in their endeavor to become more sustainable

Author: Branje, M., 30 Jun 2013

Supervisor: Raven, R. (Supervisor 1) & Oldenziel, R. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Transition experiment case-study: the Quinta Esencia Eco-Campus project

Author: de Vos, T., 31 Aug 2012

Supervisor: Raven, R. (Supervisor 1) & Oldenziel, R. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master