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Personal profile

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“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.

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

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