PhD Council

About the Council

The PhD-council is the bridge between the PhD-students and the TRAIL-management. We act as an advisory board for the TRAIL-management regarding the TRAIL strategy, the course program and the TRAIL congress. Moreover, we organize PhD activities or social events every now and then for you to socialize or network with your peers.
If you have any questions, suggestions, ideas, problems or complaints, you can contact us by email or in person. And don’t forget to become a member of the TRAIL Members group on LinkedIn!

(in alphabetical order)

Mehrnaz Asadi

Mehrnaz Asadi

University representative of Twente University of Technology

Research Topic:

A majority of land use and transport policies aim to improve accessibility and road safety as separate goals but they fail a balanced treatment of accessibility and road safety concerns. The findings of this study may inform policies in which different externalities are optimized so that accessibility and road safety can both be improved along with other important issues such as public health, built environment designs, and the public life satisfaction. During my PhD studies, I am focusing on the shortcomings of the current transport and land use policy analysis measure (i.e., Accessibility analysis). The “Accessibility and Road Safety” Project is a collaboration with SWOV, the road safety research institute in the Netherlands. This research will comprise a spatial analysis of the impacts of built environment characteristics on road safety and accessibility. Also, I will examine how people trade-off between road safety and accessibility in their transport-related choices. Thereafter, as an attempt to better incorporate road safety in accessibility analysis we will develop accessibility models which incorporate road safety effects.

Background and interests:

I am graduated in Socioeconomic Systems Engineering- Transportation Planning (MSc.) and Industrial Engineering (BSc.). My research interests encompass combinations of different systems and I am willing to collect and analyze data to explore the interactions between individuals and transportation system components. In my spare time, I enjoy going gym, doing watercolor painting, gardening, and baking.

Mahdi Ghorashi Khalilabadi

Mahdi Ghorashi Khalilabadi

University representative of Erasmus University Rotterdam

Research topic:
In my Ph.D. project, I study robotized warehouses. Order picking – the process of retrieving products from storage to fulfill a specific customer request – is the most costly operation among others in warehouses. Advances in technologies have created many possibilities for companies to automate various parts of the order picking process. The evolution of automated guided vehicles (AGV) into autonomous mobile robots (AMR) is a major development in technologies that can improve the efficiency of material handling systems. In my Ph.D. project, I focus on systems in which robots collaborate with a human picker to pick the orders and reduce pickers’ unproductive walking time.

Background and interest:

I studied Industrial Engineering (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) at the Ferdowsi University and the Tarbiat Modares University of Iran. I started my Ph.D. in September 2020 at the Rotterdam School of Management. My main research interests are modeling (mathematical or queueing) and optimizing supply chains and material handling systems. In my free time, I play futsal and video games.

Camill Harter

Camill Harter

University representative of Erasmus University Rotterdam

Research topic:
In my PhD project I study complexity and emergent behaviour in port hinterland systems. Hinterland transport networks exhibit complexity due to growing transport volumes, infrastructural and capacity limitations, a scattered landscape of decision makers, and multiple heterogeneous transport modes. The aim of this research is to explain how emergent behaviour arises from distributed decision making in hinterland transportation, i.e. for a transportation system that today seems barely predictable or explicable, it should be able to derive behaviour patterns that describe how micro-level behaviour affects macro-level behaviour and vice versa. Furthermore, understanding emergent behaviour is crucial to understand network performance. With the knowledge about how emergent behaviour reacts to individual behaviour, improvement potential of network performance can be identified.

Background and interest:
I studied Business Mathematics (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) at the university of Mannheim, Germany. My major academic interest lies in modelling and simulation of complex transportation networks. In my leisure time I enjoy being in nature for running, mountain biking, or orienteering.

José Ignacio Hernández

José Ignacio Hernández

University representative of Delft University of Technology

I’m José Ignacio Hernández, a Chilean PhD candidate at the Delft University of Technology. My background and training is in environmental and resource economics, and in my PhD research I’m exploring the potential of data-driven methods / machine-learning to obtain insights from complex choice experiments, particularly with Participatory Value Evaluation, a novel method to elicit the citizen preferences for allocating resources in public policy options. Before starting my PhD, I made research on non-market valuation and consumer preferences, with applications in water demand, conservation areas and climate change.

Beside my researcher persona, I’m an amateur photographer, drummer, self-trained (i.e. internet-trained) baker, foodie and (specialty) coffee enthusiast.

Felix Pot - CHAIR

Felix Pot - CHAIR

University representative of University of Groningen

Research topic:
Rural areas are confronted with declining accessibility as a result of urbanisation and concentration forces. This could lead to constraints with respect to activity participation and social inclusion. However, the nature of the impacts of these higher needs for mobility in peripheral rural areas will depend on how accessibility is perceived. While some may experience major barriers with respect to reaching activities they desire and consequently with respect to inclusion in society, others may not experience any problems regarding accessibility depending on the ability to cope with declining accessibility and expectations regarding accessibility. My PhD project aims for an understanding of how perceptions of accessibility relate to activity and mobility patterns in peripheral rural areas in the Netherlands.

Background and interests:
I have a bachelor in Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning and a master in Economic Geography, both from the University of Groningen. During my bachelor I obtained a high school teaching degree in Geography and I also studied at TU Delft for a while (master Transport, Infrastructure and Logistics), prior to my PhD. I have also worked as an electronic music producer, which I still like to do from time to time.

Nagarjun Reddy

Nagarjun Reddy

University representative of Delft University of Technology

Research topic:
There has been an increase in the deployment of automated vehicles on roads, and is expected to keep increasing in the coming years. A transition period will resultantly take place where automated vehicles will be driving on existing infrastructure alongside human-driven vehicles. Such mixed traffic conditions could result in possible new interactions between the human-driven and automated vehicles that could cause changes in the human drivers’ driving behaviour, known as Behavioural Adaptation. My PhD research aims to develop a behavioural and mathematical theory that would be able to explain the nature of these interactions between automated vehicles and human-driven vehicles, and to predict the factors that could affect human driver behavioural adaptation. Developing such a theory would be valuable to predict the effects that automated vehicles would have on human-driven vehicles, and also to estimate the effects on traffic safety and performance.

Background and interests:
Completed my Bachelors in Civil Engineering in Bengaluru, India. I then moved to the Netherlands and completed my Masters in Civil Engineering (Transport & Planning) at TU Delft. Started my PhD from Nov 2019. My interests include playing the Bansuri (Indian flute), Yoga, horse riding, badminton, and pool/snooker.

Xueting Ren

Xueting Ren

University representative of Eindhoven University of Technology

Research topic:

Understanding citizens’ need and their decision mechanisms helps policy makers to advocate soft interventions in line with policies and plans’ objectives. In this manner, not only the gradual move towards a sustainable urban environment but also quality of life and people’s travel satisfaction can be guaranteed. My PhD project primarily focuses on examining consumer acceptance of e-bikes from the perspective of household portfolios of transportation modes under new marketing and environmental conditions through a stated choice experiment. Studies such as the current one can provide policy recommendations in order to keep the active modes sufficiently attractive and competitive in the market.

Background and interest:

After receiving my Master degree in Urban and Rural Planning from Beijing Jiaotong University, currently I’m a Ph.D. Candidate in the Urban Planning and Transportation Group of the Eindhoven University of Technology. My research interests include the areas of smart mobility, healthy cities and activity-travel behavior. In my spare time, I like photography, playing violin and various sports like tennis, horseback riding, swimming and fencing.

 

Jaap van der Waerden

Jaap van der Waerden

University representative of Radboud University of Nijmegen

Research topic:
In my PhD project I focus on the interactions between government and citizens in the decision-making process surrounding sustainable mobility. Aiming to deal with climate change and ever-growing populations of our cities, there is a need for mobility and transport systems to become more sustainable. However, formulating sustainable mobility policies is not easy; decision-makers, innovators, and citizens deal with many uncertainties in terms of future (inter)national guidelines, new technologies, and shifting public opinion. Within the On the Move program different kinds of these uncertainties are investigated, with my research focusing on structuring the interactions between government policy-makers and their citizens. Delving into methods of participative planning, I aim to investigate how the decision-making process can be structured so that robust and effective sustainable mobility policies can be achieved with the support of local communities.

Background and interest:
During my Bachelors in Psychology and Masters in Behavioral Science at the Radboud University Nijmegen, the intersection between human behavior and technology captured my interest. Branching out to the realm of technological design, I completed a PDEng traineeship (Smart Buildings & Cities) at Eindhoven University of Technology. In my free time I enjoy many kinds of games and puzzles, pictures of alpacas, and movies featuring Brad Pitt.

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