Full Professor of System Innovation & Sustainability Transitions

Full Professor of System Innovation & Sustainability Transitions

Published Deadline Location
1 Apr 5 Apr Eindhoven

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Job description

The Technology, Innovation & Society group at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands seeks a full professor in System Innovation and Sustainability Transitions, with specific interests in the energy domain.


The transition towards a more sustainable energy system is broadly recognized as one of the key societal challenges. This transition entails the transformation of the whole socio-technical energy system. Not only the production and the consumption of energy, but also the storage of (renewable) energy will become more important. Smart technologies and complex, interoperable systems will play a central role, adding to the complexity. Although technological innovations are important for the transition to a more sustainable energy system, the key challenge is an institutional one: how are we going to organize a future system that is clean, reliable and affordable, but also acceptable, fair and inclusive? New stakeholders in the value chain (e.g., suppliers of domestic appliances and IoT connected devices, players in wind and solar energy, and car producers), but also new societal stakeholders will emerge. Users, individually or organised in collectives, are likely to play an increasingly important role. The transition to a more sustainable energy system needs to take into account this increasing complexity, both from a technological and a societal perspective.

Important research issues include:
  • The design and exploration of institutional arrangements (e.g., organizational and market models) and transition pathways, leading to scenarios for a future sustainable energy system.
  • The design and exploration of new forms of governance on multiple levels (local, community, regional, (inter)national) for a future sustainable energy system, taking into account the increasing technological and societal complexity.
  • The design and exploration of sustainable business models, focusing on user-centered business models and shared value or multiple value creation.
  • The societal impact, on all stakeholders, of energy technologies - including storage technologies and conversion routes, but also smart digital technologies and electric mobility.
  • The design of the transition process: the energy transition should be a participative (co-creation) and inclusive process with a focus on the role of users.

  • These research issues require a broad, systems-oriented perspective to study the transformation of existing socio-technical systems. The research by the full professor should offer original, internationally recognized ways of addressing these issues, with good opportunities for acquiring external funding and establishing multi-disciplinary collaborations. Specifically, the full professor should have a track record of research in energy transitions and is expected to seek active research collaborations with other TU/e energy research groups, and other (inter)national groups.

    Institutional Setting  

    The position is embedded in the Technology, Innovation & Society (TIS) group, which engages in research on the social and economic embedding of innovation. Technological innovations offer many opportunities to address key social challenges in areas like mobility, sustainable energy, globalization, and Europeanization. Change goes beyond mere development of such innovative technologies like cleaner cars and renewable energy technologies. Change also requires a transformation of existing socio-technical systems. This includes shifts in firm strategies, consumer behaviour, social practices, institutions, and regulations. The transition processes to a more sustainable future, in particular, cannot be studied in isolation: these require a broader, systems-oriented perspective. We understand the relationship between society and innovation as a mutually shaping process. Technologies intertwine with radical transformations in work, travel, communication, and private life.

    Our group has a strong track record in studying transitions across the technical-social divide. Socio-technical perspectives are crucial in exploring, defining, and designing technology and policy interventions in the field of sustainable mobility transitions. The socio-technical dynamics of mobility systems involve path dependencies, technological momentum, pockets of persistence, as well as innovative niches and opportunities for change; analysis of these dynamics is crucial for designing the most appropriate policies and interventions for the present and future.

    The TIS group is one of the founding groups of the sustainability transitions field and globally recognized for its theoretical and empirical contributions. The group is part of the School of Innovation Sciences, which is one of the two schools that comprises the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IEIS). This department forms the heart of the university's commitment to the social sciences and humanities in preparing future engineers for the challenges of tomorrow.

    As one of the five full professor chairs in this group, the chair of System Innovation and Sustainability Transitions plays a pivotal role. 

    Job description 

    The tasks of the full professor will include the following:
  • Conducts internationally leading research in innovation and sustainability transitions;
  • Contributes actively to strengthening TU/e's research on energy transitions;
  • Initiates, acquires funding for, and leads (multidisciplinary) research projects;
  • Engages in collaborations, both within the TU/e (e.g. research by technical departments in the field of energy), as well as with external partners;
  • Engages with societal stakeholders and communicates to the general public about TIS research;
  • Teaches courses in the Bachelor program Sustainable Innovation, the master program Innovation Sciences and master Sustainable Energy Technologies;
  • Initiates and participates in course development;
  • Serves in management of TIS and our educational programs.

  • Specifications

    Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • PhD in a relevant discipline;
  • Strong track record of research in innovation and sustainability transitions;
  • Affinity with application areas relevant to the TIS group (energy, mobility);
  • Strong academic reputation, demonstrated by high-quality publications, keynote lectures, editorial-board memberships, etc.;
  • Proven ability to cross disciplinary boundaries between the social sciences, and engineering sciences;
  • Proven ability to acquire and manage externally funded research projects;
  • Proven ability to supervise PhD students;
  • Strong track record in designing, coordinating and teaching courses at Bachelor and Master level;
  • Experience in management of professionals, characterized by an inspiring, collegial, and effective style, aimed at developing people and creating synergy;
  • Proven ability to reach out to the general public and to societal stakeholders;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communicative skills.
  • Conditions of employment

    We offer:
  • a challenging job in a dynamic and ambitious university;
  • a gross monthly salary in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities (CAO NU), depending on experience and knowledge;
  • a yearly holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary;
  • a yearly end year allowance of 8.3% of the yearly salary;
  • a broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, savings schemes and excellent sports facilities).
  • Specifications

    • Professors, associate professors, assistant professors and lecturers
    • Engineering
    • max. 38 hours per week
    • Doctorate
    • V39.3690


    Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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    De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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