Meet the team
The EMPOWER consortium is made up of research partners, municipalities and network leaders, domain experts, industrial and supplier partners, corporate third-parties and follower cities from across Europe and beyond. Discover some of the faces behind our team below!
Susan is co-ordinator for the EMPOWER project as a whole, also leading the University of Leeds team contribution with Frances Hodgson (co-investigator). Susan is Professor of Technologies and Informatics at the Institute for Transport Studies, with 30 years research experience at the interfaces of technologies, sustainability and informatics. When Susan isn’t EMPOWERing, she’s an enthusiastic wreck and night diver, and loves nothing better than hanging-out with the marine life.
Frances Hodgson, UNIVLEEDS
Frances has been a PI and Co-I on seven collaborative projects both national and international for a wide set of clients. She has over 25 years’ experience of transport research on the interaction between social equity, social organization and transport. A sociologist by training, she has an MSc in transport planning and is a Senior Research Fellow with a keen multi-disciplinary record. Within EMPOWER, Frances will be working directly with the Manchester Living Lab, undertaking primary research activities.
Rosie (on the right) is the Project Administrator for EMPOWER. Rosie acts as a principal point of contact for the EMPOWER project, is in charge of keeping the website up to date, managing the EMPOWER social media, producing marketing materials, and organising EMPOWER related events/meetings as well as day-to-day administrative duties. In her spare time, Rosie enjoys running, exploring new places, and going on long country walks.
Magda joined the EMPOWER Project in January 2017 as a Research Assistant. With a background in Sustainability and Transport, she is currently in the last year of her Ph.D. in Transport in ITS, University of Leeds. She is interested in the study of the factors that influence individuals’ travel choices and particularly focusing on the strategies to make travel choices more sustainable.
One of Magnus’ passions in life is sustainable development. As founder of Commute Greener, Magnus contributes to the EMPOWER project with advice and solutions primarily in the realm of technology, processes and business models. Dr Magnus Kuschel lives in Gothenburg, Sweden, and works with Alexander and others at PocketWeb to take innovative thinking from words to actions. Nature is a place where Magnus renews his energies in addition to interacting with people across the globe who share the same passion for making positive impact.
Tiago Fioreze is an Italian-Brazilian researcher at the University of Twente, The Netherlands. His research interest within the EMPOWER project includes smart cities and behavioural economics. In his spare time, Tiago is enthusiastic about sports, especially road cycling and running. He also enjoys travelling, going out, cooking and taking photographs.
Tom is the Project Manager for EMPOWER at the University of Twente. His topics of interest are travel behaviour, modelling traffic flows, and developing algorithms for the prediction of travel times. Tom cycles to work every day for around an hour, which keeps him feeling fit and healthy, and he would recommend cycling to work to everyone!
Benjamin is work package leader for the EMPOWER Living Labs. As an all-round expert who loves to be the intermediary between different fields of expertise, he tries to bring all different research aspects of EMPOWER to a practical implementation in the Living Lab cities. Living and working in Enschede, Benjamin uses his bicycle for all of his utilitarian trips. In his spare time he plays handball and loves to ride his racing bike.
Social marketing means using marketing methods and tools to motivate people to change their behaviour for social good. In EMPOWER Caroline supports the participating cities with her social marketing expertise and by facilitating the sharing of good marketing practices amongst each other. Caroline’s absolute passion is dancing: her preferable mode of transport would be to dance from A to B!
Prof. Marieke Martens is particularly interested in why people do what they do and how this can be affected. She firmly believes in a personalised approach, since not all people are the same, are looking for the same thing or are driven by the same motives. Only by offering smart services and options that are tuned to people’s personal preferences and needs, we can really create sustainable contributions to travel patterns. Outside work, Marieke likes to go for a hike or a run, preferably in the forest but more importantly she likes to spend time with her horse Black Jack, riding in the forest and jumping cross country fences.
Besides leading teams in the areas of human behaviour and technology innovation, Sharon likes to coach people on the job. Together with her husband Sharons love to take care of her kids and cats. She enjoys dancing and cycles 10 km to work (as a real Dutch Empower member should!). On the weekends Sharon likes to spend time in nature, such as going for walks or horseback riding. To keep it all in balance she practices yoga meditation a lot!
Tineke Hof MSc is working at TNO as a research scientist in traffic and mobility. Her research activities are in the field of developing, evaluating and improving behaviour change programmes and tailoring interventions, services and products to individual or group needs. She is currently leading the research work on positive incentives within the H2020 EMPOWER project. In her spare time she likes to run, read and follow Bodypump™ classes.
Sigma Dolins joined Viktoria Swedish ICT and the EMPOWER project at the end of September, armed with a background in sustainable transportation innovation and urban planning. She works with Dirk van Amelsfort (one of the masterminds behind SUNSET and EMPOWER) and is currently running the Gothenburg Living Lab recruitment efforts, managing partnerships, challenges and outreach. When Sigma grows up she would like to be as awesome as her dog, Athena.
Marcel Bijlsma is the Co-founder of Mobidot, innovative ICT specialist in measuring and analysing personal travel behaviour via the Smartphone. Within EMPOWER Marcel is responsible for the application and maintenance of the Mobidot tools that are part of the EMPOWER mobility services infrastructure. Marcel is driven by his interest in new information and communication technologies to help individuals make smarter choices in their everyday travel while revealing societal mobility challenges in the area of sustainability, congestion reduction and well-being. Like most Dutch, Marcel is a happy cyclist!
Marcel is an enthusiastic mobility expert within the Municipality of Enschede, working as a senior advisor for traffic and transport. Within EMPOWER, Marcel supports the Living Lab operation in Enschede, and works directly on a range of work packages. When Marcel isn’t working, he loves to cook, grow fruit and vegetables in his garden and travel. When travelling, Marcel enjoys meeting new people, looking for other ways to live, experiencing new cultures and walking through mountains and deserts (with the occasional nice hotel!). When it comes to sport, Marcel takes the bike to work, and plans on going to the gym and start running again!
Kain is an engineer and political scientist, who works on research projects on sustainable urban transport, policy assessment, climate change adaptation and science-policy interface. He is co-leader of EMPOWER’s work package on impact assessment, working to show the effectiveness of the positive incentive schemes. He is an avid cyclist and especially mountain biker.
Oliver Lah works at the Wuppertal Institute where he focuses on sustainable mobility and international cooperation issues. Oliver supports the EMPOWER team in the impact assessment work, where he brings in experiences from transferability assessments of sustainable urban mobility measures from around the world. When not working on plans to make cities more liveable and sustainable, Oliver likes to spend time with his family, playing table tennis or visiting one of the many museums and theaters in Berlin where he lives.
Hande is Strategic Communications Coordinator at WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities where she supports EMPOWER through dissemination activities. She shares the latest news and updates from EMPOWER with Turkish audience, as well as within WRI Sustainable Cities network through various platforms. She loves horse riding, scuba diving and yoga.
Stefanie Holzwarth is working as an Associate Human Settlements Officer in the Urban Mobility Unit at UN-Habitat, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Previously, she has worked in Urban Development Projects in Cairo, Egypt and Cape Town, South Africa. In EMPOWER, Stefanie – being part of the UN-Habitat team – will participate in the project mainly with respect to the elements of Impact, External Case Studies and Dissemination.
Disregarding of the bike-unfriendliness of many big cities around the globe that she lived in, Stefanie has discovered her enthusiasm for cycling. Not only for commuting-to-office purposes – but also by joining Critical Mass Events to create awareness of the cyclists’ rights to shared urban roads. If she is not working, you find her mountain biking around Nairobi on the weekends.
Marie-Claire is a brand new trainee within the Municipality of Enschede, working on projects to promote the use of sustainable energy. She tries to involve various stakeholders to enable an energy-neutral future for the city of Enschede. Within EMPOWER, Marie-Claire supports the ENSCHEDE tasks, mainly on the dissemination and impact activities and the cooperation with the Take-Up Cities. When Marie-Claire is not at the office she’s probably in the water, preferably with a water polo bal. If there’s no swimming pool nearby, she is busy to keep alive her ‘plant asylum’ and loves to ride her racing bike. When crossing borders, Marie-Claire likes to work as a volunteer in different projects all over the world.