Profile

I am an academic based at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, with a doctorate from the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford.

My research examines sustainability transitions. Most of my current work investigates the circular economy concept as a vehicle for such transitions. For instance, I am the Principle Investigator (PI) of the NWO-funded research project Transitioning Towards a Circular Economy: The Role of Circular Start-up Hubs. I also supervise several PhD projects on the circular economy.

I believe that the core task of an academic is improving society, and links to practice are vital for this. Hence, three of my students and I have founded the Circular Economy Academy, a social enterprise that attempts to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy by translating academic research into actionable insights for businesses, NGOs and governments.

I am also the author of the book The Lean PhD which is about maximizing research's impact beyond academia. The book has been featured in news outlets such as The Guardian, Times Higher Education (THE) and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Prior to joining academia, I was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. I have also run a (rather unsuccessful) early stage start-up in London and Singapore and I have served as a City Councilor in Werl, Germany.

Please reach out if you are keen to collaborate.  

Involved in the following study programme(s)
Scientific expertise
sustainable development; circular economy; water; dams; environmental movements
Gegenereerd op 2018-09-18 23:41:14
All publications
  2018 - Scholarly publications
Fung, Zali, Pomun, Teerapong, Charles, Katrina J. & Kirchherr, J.W. (2018). Mapping the social impacts of small dams: The case of Thailand’s Ing River basin. Ambio
Kirchherr, J.W. (2018). Strategies of Successful Anti-Dam Movements: Evidence from Myanmar and Thailand. Society and Natural Resources, 31 (2), (pp. 166-182).
Kirchherr, Julian & Matthews, Nathanial (2018). Technology transfer in the hydropower industry: An analysis of Chinese dam developers’ undertakings in Europe and Latin America. Energy Policy, 113, (pp. 546-558) (13 p.).
Kirchherr, Julian, Piscicelli, Laura, Bour, Ruben, Kostense-Smit, Erica, Muller, Jennifer, Huibrechtse-Truijens, Anne & Hekkert, Marko (2018). Barriers to the Circular Economy - Evidence From the European Union (EU). Ecological Economics, 150, (pp. 264-272).
  2018 - Professional publications
Kirchherr, J.W., Repp, L., van Santen, Ralf, Verweij, P.A., Hu, Xi & Hall, Jim (2018). Greening the Belt and Road Initiative - WWF's Recommendations for the Finance Sector. WWF.
  2018 - Popularising publications
  2017 - Scholarly publications
Kirchherr, Julian (16.05.2017). Conceptualizing Chinese engagement in South-East Asian dam projects: evidence from Myanmar’s Salween River. International Journal of Water Resources Development, (pp. 1-17) (17 p.). doi: 10.1080/07900627.2017.1322942.
Kirchherr, Julian, J. Charles, Katrina & Walton, Matthew J. (2017). The interplay of activists and dam developers - the case of Myanmar’s mega-dams. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 33 (1), (pp. 111-131) (21 p.).
Kirchherr, Julian, Matthews, Nathanial, Charles, Katrina J. & Walton, Matthew J. (2017). “Learning it the Hard Way”: Social safeguards norms in Chinese-led dam projects in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. Energy Policy, 102, (pp. 529-539) (11 p.).
Kirchherr, Julian, Reike, Denise & Hekkert, Marko (2017). Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 127, (pp. 221-232) (12 p.).
  2017 - Professional publications
Kirchherr, J.W., Hekkert, M.P., Bour, Ruben, Huijbrechtse-Truijens, Anne, Kostense-Smit, Erica & Muller, Jennifer (06.11.2017). Breaking the Barriers to the Circular Economy. Deloitte.
  2017 - Popularising publications
Kirchherr, J.W. & Biswas, Asit K. (2017). Expensive academic conferences give us old ideas and no new faces. The Guardian
Kirchherr, J.W. & van Santen, Ralf (2017). Learning From Singapore’s Circular Water Economy. China Water Risk
Kirchherr, J.W. & Walton, Matthew J. (2017). It’s time to renegotiate hydro contracts on the Thanlwin. Frontier Myanmar
Kirchherr, J.W. & Walton, Matthew J. (03.01.2017). The NLD should start 2017 by scrapping the Myitsone dam. Myanmar Times
  2016 - Scholarly publications
Kirchherr, J.W., Disselhoff, Tim & Charles, Katrina J. (2016). Safeguards, financing, and employment in Chinese infrastructure projects in Africa: the case of Ghana’s Bui Dam. Waterlines, 35 (1), (pp. 37-58).
Kirchherr, Julian & Charles, Katrina J. (2016). The social impacts of dams - A new framework for scholarly analysis. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 60, (pp. 99-114) (16 p.).
Kirchherr, Julian, Charles, Katrina J. & Walton, Matthew J. (2016). Multi-causal pathways of public opposition to dam projects in Asia: A fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). Global Environmental Change, 41, (pp. 33-45).
Kirchherr, Julian, Pohlner, Huw & Charles, Katrina J. (2016). Cleaning up the big muddy: A meta-synthesis of the research on the social impact of dams. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 60, (pp. 115-125).
Kirchherr, Julian, Pomun, Teerapong & Walton, Matthew J. (2016). Mapping the Social Impacts of 'Damocles Projects' - The Case of Thailand's (as yet Unbuilt) Kaeng Suea Ten Dam. Journal of International Development
  2016 - Professional publications
Kirchherr, J.W., Denruyter, J.-P. & So Oo, Shoon (2016). Myanmar’s Energy Challenge: Drivers, Outlook and Policy Options. The Oxford-Myanmar Policy Brief Series, 1.1.
  2016 - Popularising publications
Biswas, Asit K. & Kirchherr, J.W. (03.05.2016). Higher education that helps young land jobs. The Straits Times
Kirchherr, J.W. (12.09.2016). How to avoid anti-dam-protests. Global Water Forum
Kirchherr, J.W. (06.06.2016). Why we urgently need more research on the social impacts of dams. Global Water Forum
Kirchherr, J.W. & Biswas, Asit K. (03.03.2016). The Tough Life of an Academic Entrepreneur. The Straits Times
  2015 - Professional publications
Kirchherr, J.W., Klier, Julia & Stern, Sebastian (2015). Europe's E-Government Opportunity. McKinsey Insights
Muschter, Sebastian, Klier, Julia, Kirchherr, J.W., Saß, Björn & Momburg, Nicolas (2015). E-Government in Deutschland – Eine Bürgerperspektive. McKinsey & Company
  2015 - Popularising publications
Biswas, Asit K. & Kirchherr, J.W. (2015). Europe’s Airpocalypse. Project Syndicate
Biswas, Asit K. & Kirchherr, J.W. (2015). India's 'Airpocalypse'. The Diplomat
Biswas, Asit K. & Kirchherr, J.W. (2015). Prof, no one is reading you. The Straits Times
  2014 - Scholarly publications
Suder, Katrin, Thiel, Lea & Kirchherr, Julian (2014). Enhancing Capital Availability for Startups - A Toolkit for Policy Makers. Global Policy, 5 (2), (pp. 253-255) (3 p.).
  2014 - Professional publications
Kirchherr, J.W., Scherf, Gundbert & Suder, Katrin (2014). Creating Growth Clusters: What Role for Local Government?. McKinsey Insights
Suder, Katrin, Schröder, Jürgen & Kirchherr, J.W. (2014). Start-up-Förderung durch Städte und Gemeinden in NRW. Städte- und Gemeinderat
  2013 - Popularising publications
Biswas, Asit K. & Kirchherr, J.W. (2013). Pros and Cons of Shale Gas for China. China Daily
Biswas, Asit K. & Kirchherr, J.W. (2013). Raising Water Awareness: The Case of Singapore. Global Policy
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Gegenereerd op 2018-09-18 23:41:14
Full name
dr. J.W. Kirchherr Contact details
Willem C. van Unnikgebouw

Heidelberglaan 2
Room 0
3584 CS  UTRECHT
The Netherlands


Willem C. van Unnikgebouw

Heidelberglaan 2
Room 1016
3584 CS  UTRECHT
The Netherlands


Vening Meineszgebouw A

Princetonlaan 8a
Room 7.70
3584 CB  UTRECHT
The Netherlands


Phone number (direct) +31 30 253 0000
Vening Meineszgebouw A

Princetonlaan 8a
Room 0
3584 CB  UTRECHT
The Netherlands


Gegenereerd op 2018-09-18 23:41:14
Last updated 01.09.2018