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Research window Technology for Society

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    Research to make us smarter

    We are connected 24/7. The advent of smart technology makes producing, learning and working a lot easier. And that makes industries agile. Robotics have become an integral part of our society. And all sectors benefit from technological progress. The manufacturing industry can produce faster thanks to 3D printing. We are increasingly able to develop and assemble sustainable high-tech materials, as well as recycling them at the end of their useful life. The district nurse can keep his/her finger on the pulse online and a diabetes patient can operate his own insulin pump from home using an app. In education, serious gaming and digital literacy support the various learning needs of all pupils and students. In short, technology contributes to solving a wide range of industrial and social issues.

    Our view is wider

    Besides the opportunities this offers us, it is also important to map out the impact it has on our work and life and to create the right parameters for this. This requires new methodologies, adjustments in business operations and lifelong learning due to a (more) profoundly changing professional content. Keep in mind that in order to make the energy transition happen, we must first complete the technological infrastructure before we can shut off the gas tap once and for all. With information provided via social media, it is not always clear who the source of that information is. This forces us to stay focused and verify all the facts. Lecturers need additional knowledge of ICT and media literacy to be able to use digital learning materials effectively in education.

    Our research on technology for society

    Our research on technology for society

    The researchers at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences use their expertise and all kinds of knowledge products to support the professional field in addressing these issues. They conduct practice-based multidisciplinary research, focusing on the interdependence between technology, industrial development and human activity. The research is organized together with partners. And we then carry out this research with, about and for all our partners.

    The professorship of Human Movement, School and Sport conducts and supervises research into people's exercise and sports behaviour, particularly within the context of the school and sports associations. Our research is practice-oriented. This means that physical education teachers can directly apply the knowledge gained from research in their work. Examples of questions to be addressed are: How do children learn to move, and how do we improve motor learning with the use of new technologies? What is the social role and significance of sport? What is the relationship between the sports and physical education? What are the social effects of a certain sports policy?

    Some of our projects are:

    • Engaging socially vulnerable adults through sports: A study to understand and increase the societal impact of sport
    • The master's eye: a study of how to increase the perceptual competence of physical education teachers
    • Swimming lessons of the future

    Want to know more? Contact Professor Ivo van Hilvoorde via +31 88 469 9162 (phone) or email(opens in new tab).

    The professorship of Constructive Journalism conducts research on how journalism can contribute to important social issues in a changing society: stimulating inclusion, tolerance and understanding, depolarization, facilitating involvement and trust among citizens. Constructive journalism uses a solution-oriented, action-oriented and future-oriented approach to news that is relevant to individuals and society. Research focuses on challenges for the profession, features of and framing in the news product, and the impact news has on the public and society.

    Some of our projects are:

    • Inclusiveness in informative television programmes during elections
    • Effects of a constructive approach on the way millennials experience the news
    • Influence of inspiring and hopeful perspectives in news on people’s information processing and problem awareness

    Want to know more? Contact Professor Liesbeth Hermans via +31 88 469 7394 (phone) or email(opens in new tab).

    We must limit climate change to keep the earth liveable for ourselves and for future generations. To this end, the emission of greenhouse gases must be reduced by several dozen percent in the coming years. With the professorship of Energy Transition we want to accelerate the energy transition and contribute to the transformation to a C0₂-neutral living environment. We do this through practice-oriented research in cooperation with companies, organizations, governments, education and society. Our research is aimed at using measurably less energy within five years. It also examines what students need to learn and be able to do to play a role in the energy transition.

    Some of our projects are:

    • Twomes - Digital Twins for Heat Transition
    • Energy-transition-aware and -capable engineer 
    • Effective insulation value on flat roofs

    Want to know more? Contact our Professor: Dr Jeike Wallinga via email(opens in new tab)

    Although eHealth has been a promising development for a few decades, only few IT innovations are structurally embedded in healthcare practice. In projects and pilots with digital care solutions, healthcare professionals become enthusiastic about the opportunities offered by technologies like VR, serious games, data science, robotics, etc. However, these projects and pilots are temporarily funded and sustainable financing and embedding in care practice is not yet settled. Hence, our research group focuses on sustainable embedding of promising IT innovations in care practice by conducting multidisciplinary research from the perspective of care, technology and business. This results in applicable knowledge, for example useful tools that support healthcare providers in the use of eHealth or instruments for entrepreneurs in healthcare.

    Some of our projects are:

    • Methods and design principles for evaluating serious games for health
    • Virtual Reality for rehabilitation
    • Access to music for people with dementia

    Want to know more? Contact Professor Marike Hettinga via +31 88 469 7762 (phone) or    email(opens in new tab).

    The Industrial Automation & Robotics (IA&R) chair was established over two years ago. But in a world where we are connected 24/7, developments in this field do not stand still. In fact, they are moving fast and are interrelated. After all, how future-proof are you if you use a robot to optimize production processes without really thinking about digital data management? That's why we have decided to broaden our focus. The possibilities for a new professorship of Digital Business & Society are being explored, in which IA&R will be included as a research line. This new professorship wants to strengthen the connection between research, education and the regional area and focuses on Industrial Automation & Robotics, Digitalization in SMEs and Digital Society.

    Some of our projects are:

    • Development of automated flexible Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) demonstrator facility
    • Integral robotization
    • Prototyping, Researching and Innovating vision technology for Smart Manufacturing Applications

    Want to know more? Contact our Pioneering professor: Dr ir Erik Fledderus via email (opens in new tab)

    The living environment of children has changed rapidly in recent years due to all kinds of new media and technologies. As a result, many parents and professional co-educators have all kinds of concerns. When is media good or bad, and how can you best monitor this as an educator? And what is the best way for a professional to support children or parents with questions about media? Our Youth & Media research group, together with practitioners, searches for possible answers to such topical questions. As such, we want to contribute to a healthy, safe and conscious use of media by children and youth. Our research group mainly aims at vulnerable situations like youth with intellectual disabilities or families with special needs. 

    Our projects focus on media literacy in:

    • Youth care (Improving media use among clients with mild intellectual disability)
    • Special Needs Education (Improving media use among pupils at schools and child care)
    • Home settings (Empowering digital skills of parents with young children)

    Want to know more? Contact our Professor: Prof. Dr Peter Nikken via email (opens in new tab)

    The professorship of Polymer Engineering was founded in 2008 in cooperation with the Plastics federation NRK to bridge the knowledge gap between industry and education through research. The team focuses on sustainable use of raw materials and sustainable production processes. Recycling, environmental impact and energy saving are important areas of research. With our focus on Industrial Additive Manufacturing and Smart Industry 4.0, our professorship contributes to keeping the national manufacturing industry competitive. Our research group won prestigious awards like the Delta Award for their entire portfolio, and the RAAK Award and the JEC Innovation Award for their innovative method to create new construction material from end-of-life composite materials, such as wind turbine blades.

    Our programme lines:

    • Sustainable Production, comprising simulations, fluid and thermo-dynamics within the plastics processing industry
    • Hybrid design with composites, plastics and rubbers for civil engineering purposes
    • Industrial Additive Manufacturing  focusing on both plastics printing and metal printing techniques
    • Circular Economy, e.g. tyre devulcanization and structural reuse of end-of-life composites

    Our Professor: Dr Margie Topp

    Want to know more? Click here for our page about Polymer Engineering or mail us(opens in new tab).  

    Currently the former Professorship of Leadership in Education and Development, with a focus on primary and secondary education, is undergoing a revision of its research agenda. With a new name, the Professorship of Urban Care & Innovation strives to broaden its horizon to also include child and youth care within its current research programme. The research topics of the past eight years (talent development with science and technology, pre-elementary education, reinforcement of language teaching, and leadership practices and school development) will be the starting point for a new research agenda which corresponds better with the current issues within the regional educational context. The professorship focuses mainly on the Flevoland area and the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

    Current issues within the regional educational context that we might focus on include:

    • Solutions to teacher shortages to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education
    • Improvement of the cooperation between (tailored) education and child and youth care
    • Improving the quality of basic skills, including language skills
    • Involving neighbourhoods in the unhindered talent development of all learners, young and old

    Want to know more? Contact our Director of Research: Dr Chiel van der Veen via email(opens in new tab) 

    This professorship focuses on creating and realising inclusive learning environments that offer good education to all pupils and students. Inclusive learning environments are embedded in educational settings, in which all learners have the opportunity to learn and develop - doing justice to all goals of education, with a positive attitude towards learners' ambitions and respect for differences between learners. Our hallmark is to do this via purposefully designing inclusive teaching and learning activities and by researching the implementation of these via practice-based action research with all stakeholders involved, be it administrators, teachers, educational and care professionals, parents, and students. 

    Some of our projects are:

    • Multi-tiered Systems of Support using School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support as a vehicle towards inclusion
    • Teacher professional development focusing on inclusive teaching using Lesson Study
    • Inclusive teaching in higher education institutes

    Want to know more? Contact our Professor Dr Sui Lin Goei via +31 88 469 8949 (phone) or email(opens in new tab).
    Read more about the professorship 

    More and more companies recognize that the current linear method of production and consumption will not be sustainable in the long term. In a circular economy, cycles are organized in which raw materials are used efficiently, while limiting harmful side effects. The goal of our professorship is to help companies and other relevant organizations in the Zwolle area to make the transition to the circular economy. The emphasis is on achieving changes in chain collaboration required for a circular economy.

    Some of our projects are:

    • Circular purchasing and procurement
    • Towards circular design teams
    • Born Circular

    Want to know more? Contact our Professor: Dr Liesbeth Rijsdijk via +31 88 469 7767 (phone) or email(opens in new tab).

    This professorship focuses on educational innovations that lead to sustainable and meaningful development and learning processes. In doing so, it is crucial to (re)design educational innovation in such a way as to optimize the opportunities of all pupils and students, with a special emphasis on situations where opportunities are at risk, such as low self-control, low levels of education of the parents, poverty, low prior knowledge and disabilities and impairments. Our research is divided into four lines of research: educational innovation for sustainable learning, E-didactics, digital (professional) agency and literacy and collaboration between schools and teacher education.

    Some of our projects are:

    • Teaching for digital literacy in primary education
    • Computational thinking skills of young children working on programming tasks
    • Design guidelines for part-time (online) bachelor curricula

    Want to know more? Contact Professor Anneke Smits via +31 88 469 9933 (phone) or email(opens in new tab).

    In a continuously changing world, with growing uncertainties due to climate change, geopolitics and health crises, it is a challenge for private and public organizations to operate in global production and supply chains. In this light, this professorship is increasingly focusing on issues around sustainability (e.g. circular economy and material passports), inclusion (e.g. access to financing or favourable contracts with large buyers), and digitalization (e.g. data interoperability and block chain applications). Our researchers support organizations in how to respond proactively to logistical and financial challenges that come their way. 

    Some of our projects are:

    • Supply Chain Risk Management during the COVID-19 pandemic 
    • Order-to-cash (O2C) optimization for SMEs 
    • Blockchain Living Lab

    Want to know more? Check out our page on Supply Chain Finance or contact our Professor: Dr Michiel Steeman via email(opens in new tab)

    Creating opportunities and increasing innovative strength in collaboration with high-tech companies: that's the goal of TechForFuture. A collaboration between universities of applied sciences Saxion and Windesheim.

    TechForFuture incentivizes mission policy and key technologies by conducting practice-oriented research. The knowledge developed directly benefits education and the regional area. Each project involves companies, professors, researchers, lecturers and students. Collaboration between the two universities of applied sciences Saxion and Windesheim and the broad scope of the research ensures interesting synergy. This is how we contribute to the innovative power and growth of the regional area. 

    Want to know more? Take a look at our website (opens in new tab)

    Good education in science and technology starts with good teachers. That is what TechYouFuture stands for. 

    TechYourFuture makes young people aware of the role and impact of technology in our society. As a Centre of Expertise, we support technical (vocational) education in order to train more and better technicians in the future and to optimize the connection between education, training and technical companies. Together with the professional field, the Centre of Expertise carries out plenty of practice-based research and develops practical tools and methods for education and the technical labour market. 

    Want to know more? Take a look at our website(opens in new tab)

    The professorship of Urban Innovation focuses on inclusive and sustainable urban development. Its goal is to strengthen the economic, social and ecological connections between all those involved in urban environments (such as residents, administrators, entrepreneurs and civil society organizations). After all, the city and the urban area are where the great challenges of the future lie. There are economic and social issues at stake, and at the same time cities face major challenges in the fields of construction, sustainability and energy transition. Researchers and students work in field labs together with companies, regional organizations and residents. A field lab is also called a 'real-life testing ground'; innovative applications are tested directly in practice.

    Some of our projects are:

    • Minor and field labs
    • New Almere Campus
    • Waste hackathon for students

    Want to know more? Contact Professor Dr. Evert-Jan Velzing via email(opens in new tab).


    Would you like to know more about our research, our researchers or projects? All you have to do is call or mail our information centre.

    Meet our professors

    Meet our professors

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    Dr. Sui Lin Goei

    As a professor, Dr Sui Lin Goei conducts research on the design of inclusive learning environments. She also works as a university lecturer at the VU and at LEARN! Learning Sciences.

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    Dr. Judith van Helvert-Beugels, professor

    Judith van Helvert-Beugels is professor in Family Businesses at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences since June 2021.

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    Dr. Liesbeth Hermans, professor

    Dr. Liesbeth Hermans researches the effects of constructive journalism on the public, on the news and on professional practice in general.

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    Dr. ir. Marike Hettinga, professor

    The multidisciplinary (research) background of our professor Marike Hettinga is valuable to help realize structural embedding of IT innovations in healthcare.

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    Dr. Ivo van Hilvoorde, professor

    Dr. Ivo van Hilvoorde is a sports philosopher and professor of Human Movement, School and Sport. His research includes the quality of physical education and its relationship with (organized) sports.

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    Dr. Peter Nikken, professor

    Peter Nikken's research focuses on the media use of children and young people in the digitized society and the role their parents and professionals play in this.

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    Dr. Anneke Smits, professor

    Dr. Anneke Smits is professor of Educational Innovation and ICT and engaged in practice-based research on educational innovation in connection with all kinds of relevant technologies.

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    Dr. Michiel Steeman, professor

    The aim of Supply Chain Finance professor Michiel Steeman and his team is to do as much research as possible in collaboration with all companies, banks and logistics service providers.

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    Dr. Margie Topp, professor

    Margie Topp is professor in Polymer Engineering at Windesheim and specializes in research in the field of composites and polymer technology.

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    Dr. Jeike Wallinga, professor

    Jeike Wallinga combines personal passion as a physicist with technical expertise on energy transition and ample programme management experience gained in corporate positions.

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    Research news

    Research news

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    Very high student satisfaction rate at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences

    Tuesday 28 May 2024
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    Ten Clarenwater Thesis Award

    Monday 22 January 2024
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    The winner of the Ten Clarenwater Thesis Award 2022

    Wednesday 13 December 2023
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    European Award for Research Group Living Well with Dementia

    Wednesday 18 October 2023
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    Together on Our Way to a Circular Economy

    Monday 16 October 2023
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    Windesheim and Saxion help municipalities to be circular transition brokers

    Wednesday 20 September 2023
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    From automation to digitization: new professorship of Digital Business & Society connects and integrates three programme lines

    Wednesday 12 April 2023
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    New professor of Networks in a Circular Economy

    Friday 10 February 2023
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    3 million for dementia research: Windesheim closes gap between theory and practice

    Thursday 10 November 2022
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    Chiel van der Veen appointed professor of Urban Care and Education

    Friday 4 November 2022
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    Enable-dem: learning communities to speed up innovations in dementia care

    Wednesday 22 June 2022
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    Urgency of media education hardly felt by parents of children aged 0-6

    Friday 25 March 2022
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    Opportunities for data and collaboration in SMEs

    Thursday 2 December 2021
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    Getting students to brainstorm about your marketing or sales?

    Thursday 8 July 2021
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    Parents more positive about influence of media on upbringing since corona crisis

    Friday 26 March 2021