André Faaij appointed Professor of Energy System Analysis

André Faaij has been appointed to the position of Professor of Energy System Analysis as of March 1st, 2021. The chair was created by TNO and embedded in the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development’s Energy & Resources section at the Faculty of Geosciences.

The climate challenges facing the world today make a transition to another energy system absolutely essential. Prof. Faaij will therefore study the full breadth of the energy system. His research questions will focus on issues such as identifying optimal processes and accelerating the energy transition. This will require new models, databases and interdisciplinary methods. The development and application of these tools should eventually lead to well-founded decisions at every level, from the local scale (such as the built environment) and regional (such as industrial clusters), to the national and international levels (for example in the North Sea region). It will also help avoid major social conflicts while maximising the potential benefits of the energy transition.

Utrecht alumnus

André Faaij is no stranger to Utrecht. He studied Chemistry and Environmental Sciences and earned his PhD here. He worked as Professor and Scientific Director of the Copernicus Institute until 2014, when he was appointed as Distinguished Professor of Energy System Analysis and as Scientific Director of the New Energy Coalition at the University of Groningen. In 2018, Faaij was named Scientific Director of TNO Energy Transition.

Strategic theme Pathways to Sustainability

André Faaij’s research falls under the university’s strategic theme Pathways to Sustainability, and specifically within the hubs ‘Towards negative emission industry’ and ‘Transforming infrastructures for sustainable cities’. This provides a link to TNO’s Energy Transition department, the Netherlands’ largest research institution in the field of energy. The new chair therefore guarantees a more thorough integration of the expertise present at TNO and Utrecht University. “The energy transition is extremely urgent and affects all of society”, explains Wilco Hazeleger, Dean of the Faculty of Geosciences. “André Faaij is the absolute best person to link our knowledge with TNO’s applied research. His appointment will allow us to make a major contribution to innovations that facilitate the energy transition.”

Sustainable development

The Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development studies processes and opportunities for innovative change towards sustainability. Within the institute, the Energy & Resources group focuses on the question of how a sustainable energy system can be realised and accelerated in a world faced with climate change and increasing scarcity of resources (such as water, raw materials and land).