Professor & Principal Investigator

Floor Alkemade

About me

I live in Utrecht, in a beautiful place in the city center together with my partner and our children. Together we have 4 children, ages ranging from 2-15 years old. So I really enjoy quietly reading a fantasy novel. I am very bad at plants but I do like them. We do not own a car and I am actually not a very good driver. We have a solar heating system that shuts down when the sun shines too bright, but that we are otherwise quite happy with, as I really enjoy long showers. Away from home, the Dutch coast, the dunes and the ‘waddeneilanden’ are amongst my favorite places. After a masters in AI, and a PhD at CWI on agent-based simulation, I ended up working on sustainability transitions. First in Utrecht and since 2015 in Eindhoven. Working at the university is the best job in the world for me. Not only because I love the freedom we have to work on the problems that we find interesting and important – in my case sustainability – but also because I really quite like the people that work at the university.

Personal Motivation

A sustainability transition is a strange type of problem. I see why it is all very complicated and challenging, but at the same time we have all the building blocks available to address the problem. What I like about NEON is that we aim high and we include all relevant knowledge to do this. NEON goes beyond further analyzing and understanding the problem but really aims to solve it. The interdisciplinary and integrated approach of NEON, to me, is the only way we can do this. Our next challenge is to now build a team of young researchers who will do brilliant research and love doing it. For me, the Complex Systems Summer School at the Santa Fe Institute in 2002 was the moment I realized that this was the type of research I wanted to do. I hope NEON creates such an environment for our PhD students!

Agent-based models for zero emission energy and mobility & Local energy demand, storage and new market models

Agent-based models are the perfect method to make sense of wicked problems. Moreover, modeling is fun and you gain a lot of understanding when you have to model a complex system as it requires making the underlying processes explicit. The theses of my PhD students Mart van der Kam and Alexander van der Vooren (see pictures) provide some excellent examples!

In NEON, the models we will build together are not only an outcome, they are also a tool to communicate with researchers from other disciplines connecting engineering and social sciences, and to communicate with stakeholders from society.

Innovative about NEON is that we address the governance challenges that arise from upscaling renewables at the same time as the technical challenges. Here the biggest governance challenge I see is to not only enable and accelerate the transition but to do this in a fair and inclusive way.

Link to other neon research

The integral model (link) that I work on with Auke Hoekstra and Maarten Steinbuch, needs input from all the other work packages to make it’s scenarios better.