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Organizing Committee

Current executive committee:

The organization of the International Research Project 2021 is in hands of the following executive committee:

F.l.t.r.: Matthijs Wolf, Simone van der Velden, Romy Olislagers, Colette van Happen, Brian Willems.

Romy Olislagers, Chairman 

Colette van Happen, Financial Manager 

Simone van der Velden, Coordinator Contract Research 

Brian Willems, Coordinator External Relations & Program

Matthijs Wolf, Coordinator Culture, Accommodation & Transportation 

Former executive committees:

IRP 2019

f.l.t.r.: Ward de Kleijn, Harm van Duijnhoven, Thijs Canjels, Niek Segers, Mick Berkhout.

IRP 2018

f.l.t.r.: Jorg van Heesch, Saskia Keet, Frank Hoepel, Renate Maresch and Thomas Relou.

Frank Hoepel, Chairman 
Saskia Keet, Financial Manager
Jorg van Heesch, Coordinator Contract Research
Renate Maresch, Coordinator External Relations
Thomas Relou, Coordinator Culture, Accommodation & Transportation

IRP 2017

f.l.t.r.: Niels Hovens, Tim d’Hondt, Koen Pijnappels, Jef van den Buijs and Sebastiaan Keijsers.

Tim d’Hondt, Chairman
Sebastiaan Keijsers, Financial Manager
Koen Pijnappels, Coordinator Contract Research
Niels Hovens, Coordinator External Relations & Program
Jef van den Buijs, Coordinator Culture, Accommodation & Transportation

IRP 2016

f.l.t.r.: Brian Beckers, Gabrielle van Nes, Kasper Bossink, Vivian Verhaert and Wouter Boersma.

Kasper Bossink, Chairman
Brian Beckers, Financial Manager
Gabrielle van Nes, Coordinator Contract Research
Wouter Boersma, Coordinator External Relations & Program
Vivian Verhaert, Coordinator Culture, Accommodation & Transportation

IRP 2015

f.l.t.r.: Lorenzo Engelen, Isabelle van Wely, Jolan Hulscher, Annicky Reijers and Guy Ariens

Lorenzo Engelen, Chairman
Isabelle van Wely, Financial Manager
Annicky Reijers, Coordinator Contract Research
Guy Ariens, Coordinator External Relations & Program
Jolan Hulscher, Coordinator Culture, Accommodation & Transportation

IRP 2014

f.l.t.r.: Gillis van de Zande, Mirjam Peters, Henk Snepvangers, Pascal Mertens and Bas Zwartelé

Henk Snepvangers, Chairman
Pascal Mertens, Financial Manager
Mirjam Peters, Coordinator Contract Research
Bas Zwartelé, Coordinator External Relations & Program
Gillis van de Zande, Coordinator Culture, Accommodation & Transportation


Connecting Worlds: 
Where new opportunities arise

Devices, states, and people are becoming more intensively connected. In this era of globalization, Data, Logistics, and Community come together to form one large system: An Interconnected Globe. In the process of making new connections and relations every day, opportunities arise. To explore those opportunities the theme of this year IRP is “Connecting Worlds; where new opportunities arise”.   

In today’s digital age, information is bringing change to every corner in the world. Connectivity is the medium through which all information is exchanged. Connectivity enables communication amongst people, it exchanges information between people and machines, and it allows machines to recognize and engage with each other. Connectivity is, in essence, the world’s nervous system, and it is extending across the world to the point where it will soon be ubiquitous. From developed countries to underdeveloped regions; from individuals to enterprises; connectivity can offer unprecedented possibilities.  

With the arrival of the digital economy, the demands placed on connectivity across the world now cover the entire spectrum of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – from basic physiological needs to safety needs, esteem needs, and ultimately self-actualization. For those of us who live in big cities and are totally familiar with a digital lifestyle, even a few hours of disconnection from the Internet can leave us ill at ease. For those trapped in dangerous, life-threatening situations, connection to the outside world means the hope of survival. For those who are living away from their families, connectivity allows them to stay close to their loved ones. And for those living in poverty, connecting is like adding a new organ of sense, one that can “see” more opportunities and pathways to a better life. But as the world grows bigger and we spread further, technology is what keeps the world small.  

The notion of “connectivity” generally refers to developments in the fields of transportation and communication. But in the context of the current global health crisis, connecting with each other across physical and social distances has become a source of increasing interest and concern.  

There are multiple ways in which people, organizations, and countries can be connected and driven by data. Connectivity can be classified into the following 5 components: 

  • Digital connects   
  • Artificial intelligence connects 
  • Information technology connects 
  • Logistics connects  
  • Human connects 

Digital connects 

Data and analytics capabilities have gained a lot of attention in recent years. The amount of available data has grown exponentially, more advanced algorithms have been developed and computational power and storage have consistently been improved. The convergence of these trends has caused the rapid technology advances and business disruptions that are continuously taking place. These large amounts of data give us the ability to create an increasingly connected world. As technology continues to bridge people together, its positive impact on people is visible everywhere. In our streets, in our classrooms, in businesses and in our communities. 

Artificial intelligence connects 
Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere. For example, a robot in a factory, an autonomous car, Google’s AI-powered predictions and face recognition. AI makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. Using AI technologies, computers can be trained to accomplish specific tasks by processing large amounts of data and recognizing patterns in the data.  As the number of sensors, of mobile devices and of interconnected systems increases, so does the proliferation of AI. If we are connected, intelligent software is present in every step that we take. 

Information technology connects 
Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data or information. IT is closely connected with globalization. Recently, the technology in the areas of telecommunication, computers and internet have been changing rapidly. Telephones and mobiles enable people to instantly communicate in different areas. Meanwhile internet, specifically social media, allows one to share information across the world at almost negligible cost. These technologies transcend borders, making it more accessible to more people. With the proliferation of devices and ever-increasing connectivity more people are able to take advantage of digital learning opportunities and the chance to connect, communicate and collaborate. 

Logistics connects
Supply chains are becoming increasingly internationally oriented. To anticipate this development, China decided to invest massively in infrastructure with its Belt and Road initiative. Likewise, logistics is an important part of the Dutch economy. Partly through the Port of Rotterdam and Schiphol Airport. With logistics being the Dutch strong suit, collaboration on this front between the Netherlands and China will be of key importance to prepare for a strong future. 

Human connects 
Connectivity is not just about machines and sensors. Connectivity is a fundamental human need. People lie at the heart of this technology – designed to extend their dreams, enhance their quality of life, and transform their communication possibilities. As 5G is deployed first in the world’s leading cities, we’ll see a staggering leap in the connectedness of gadgets, processors, street lights, doors, manufacturing systems, mail and package delivery, medical devices, cars and scooters – everything will be connected in an internet of things tapestry. 
COVID-19 has accelerated this already existing trend, changing how we will live. It creates new priorities in our lives; change how frequently and deeply we connect with friends, family and associates; it will change how we see each other and will create opportunities to fix some of yesterday’s wrongs. 


Research Projects

The participants of the IRP conduct research projects at different companies. This research takes place in the Netherlands from December 2020 to June 2021. The IRP allows the  companies to benefit from the expertise of the students of Industrial Engineering. Research projects regarding the theme of this year’s IRP, Connecting worlds, can provide the students with more insights into the theme. If a company faces any unfulfilled research need in the field of Industrial Engineering, the IRP provides an opportunity to get this need fulfilled. All 20 students have a project at one of the companies that are shown below on this page. The company brochure can be found here. For any questions, please send an e-mail to 


The International Research Project (IRP) cannot be financially independent. For this reason, we would appeal to companies to support our project in all possible ways. Companies can support the IRP financially, or in kind. 

The IRP is an excellent opportunity for companies to get attention from students in the final phase of their study Industrial Engineering. In addition, the members of the IRP and their presence at various workshops, lectures and activities create a wide spread awareness of your company to all students and other companies. 

For the above reasons, we would like you to support the IRP and therefore we have different opportunities that we would like to bring to your attention. If you are interested and you would like to support us: please contact or have a look at our company brochure, which can be found here.

Of course, you can always contact us for further questions or comments. 

Study Trip

This year the International Research Project will head to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and Reykjavik. During the study trip, several visits to companies that have a connection to the theme “Connecting worlds – where new opportunities arise” will take place. Also several universities will be visited, and a visit to the Dutch Embassy will be facilitated.

The goal of the study trip is to explore and document the applications and possibilities of the theme in a corporate and academic environment. By discussing the topic with employees of manufacturing plants, company headquarters, universities, and official country representation offices, we want to gain extensive knowledge on the theme.

We are looking for several companies to visit during our study trip. We are looking for companies that have affinity and experience with the theme and are interesting from an industrial engineering perspective. A company visit also gives a good opportunity for sharing knowledge and promoting your company a group of high educated Dutch students. For more information regarding a company visit (including several examples of company visits), please have a look at our company brochure, which can be found here.

If you are interested in participating in the IRP by facilitating a company visit, please contact us by sending an email to


For more information, please contact us: 

Regarding research projects, please contact Simone van der Velden at

Regarding financial support, please contact Colette van Happen at

Regarding company visits, please contact Brian Willems at

Regarding other matters, please contact us at 



Welcome at the website of the International Research Project 2021!

The International Research Project (IRP) is a study trip combined with internationally oriented research projects for Industrial Engineering master students at the Eindhoven University of Technology.

The IRP is a research project in which 20 Industrial Engineering students conduct research in the Netherlands, based on a predetermined theme. Afterwards the students will go on a study trip, organized around that same theme. On this study trip, the IRP will visit several companies, universities and a Dutch embassy.

This year’s theme is “Connecting worlds – where new opportunities arise”. The destinations are Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and Reykjavik! We hope that it will be possible to travel in the summer of 2021 despite the current Corona regulations.

The IRP is organized each year; each year, the new board choose a different theme and destination. In 2019, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco have been visited and the theme was “Digital Business Era: Stretch your boundaries”. Last year, the students would visit Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Their theme was “Data-Driven Business: Build the future”. Unfortunately, due to the Corona situation, this trip was cancelled.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, by sending an email to!