PhD Candidate

Sophie Buchel

About me

Lovely to meet you! I am very curious to meet you all, as I love to exchange ideas and collaborate. I am a deeply curious person, which drives me to explore many fields, interests, different people’s points of view and, of course, futures. Much of life is a celebration to me: I can walk around my neighborhood and marvel at the plants, graffiti and people I encounter. In normal times I love festivals, (live) music, dancing, art and food – though there has been less of that lately…  I believe all people are storytellers – and I love a good story. You can find me curled up with a book many evenings and all holidays.

Personal Motivation

My work on sustainability transitions comes from a deeply personal place. I want to contribute to a better future, which comes from a place of deep empathy with others and a drive to create a life of meaning and hope. During the past few years, my anxiety about climate change and increasing inequality has been growing. It motivates me further to dedicate my time to accelerating the transition(s) to renewable energy and sustainable mobility – in a way that is not just clean, but also accessible to everyone. The picture in the next slide is from a mobility experiment in Rotterdam, that reimagined public space. This picture to me shines with joy, and represents a playful and rebellious approach to mobility and urban space. I’d like to bring this to the NEON project.

Justice and inclusivity in the mobility transition

DRIFT is a leading research institute in the field of sustainability transitions. We develop and share transformative knowledge to support people, cities, sectors and organisations to engage proactively with transitions. DRIFT has four main activities that complement, ground and inspire each other: academic research, consultancy,  education and public dialogue & debate. The strong link between all of our activities allows us to combine theory-development with critical feedback and various ways of testing and validating our insights. It also enables us to keep our research relevant to a wide variety of actors.

My specific areas of research are:

  • Mobility as a complex system that is unsustainable.
  • The mobility transition: sustainable & just
  • Beyond technical substitution

Or see my blog (in Dutch) about my work on the Rotterdam cycling strategy: De Fietskoers 2025: fietsend de mobiliteitstransitie in Rotterdam versnellen

Link to other neon research

There are clear linkages between working packages 7 and 8 that we want to collaboratively explore and where the cross-disciplinary connections are obvious to us.

However we want to be more ambitious than that and aim to create some true cross-disciplinary potential with some other more engineering focused work packages.

Promising other candidates are:

Other candidates are:

  •  work package 4 (electric mobility) and 2 (energy transportation using electricity grids) have some potential for cross-disciplinary research and definitely should be explored further but are not the most obvious candidates