Prof Dr Eva Heinen

Prof Dr Eva Heinen

Research interests

I am a transport research scientist with an interest in travel behaviour change. I study individual travel behaviour: Why people travel, where they travel to, and particularly which transport modes they use. In my research I seek to test causal relationships and employ a variety of research methods, both quantitative and qualitative. My research focusses on:

  • Determinants of active travel, particularly cycling;
  • Behavioural change;
  • ‘Soft factors’ (such as identity and attitudes) and individual transport choices;
  • Evaluating intervention in the built environment on travel behaviour;
  • Variability and stability of behaviour;
  • Transport and Health;
  • Safety and security.

I have experience with longitudinal data collections and analyses, natural experimental studies and international qualitative research. I have published a wide variety of papers with co-authors from all over the world in transport, public health, and urban planning journals. My research is empirically driven and combines different fields including transport, public health and urban planning.

Background and experience

I joined ITS as an University Academic Fellow in October 2015. Before that I worked at the University of Cambridge in the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology and Center of Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), as well as Delft University of Technology where I held a prestigeous fellowship of the Dutch Research Council (VENI) on travel behaviour change.

Prior to that I was an Assistant Professor of Infrastructure Planning and Mobility at the Department of Spatial Planning & Environment at the University of Groningen. I received her PhD on the topic of ‘Bicycle commuting’ in 2011 from Delft University of Technology and continued working there as a researcher.

Before my academic career, I worked at the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Institute of Spatial Research (RPB) and the Transport Department of the Dutch Embassy in Berlin.

I am involved in international scientific networks and organizer/co-organizer of paper reviews and programming for two major conferences (WCTR & TRB). I am the chair of the Special Interest Group of the World Conference on Transport Research (WCTR) of Topic Area F4 Non-Motorised Transport and Liveability.

I am a member of the 'Bicycle Committee' and the ' Small and Medium Sized cities committee'. TRB is the largest transport conference in the world with more than 5,000 presentations in over 800 sessions and workshops and attended annually by more than 13,000 participants.

I was the co-Chair of the paper and presentation subcommittee of the bicycle committee since 2011 and I coordinate a group (4–10) review coordinators in an annual review process.

  • EPSRC (Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council) 2019-2023. Title: ‘Innovative Light ELEctric Vehicles for Active and Digital TravEl (ELEVATE): reducing mobility-related energy demand and carbon emissions’. Co-applicant. £1,372,430
  • Competitive fellowship Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Innovation Research Incentives Scheme Veni 2013. Title: Effecting a change in transport mode choice: The effect of identity and individual variability in travel behaviour. PI. Individual fellowship. €250,000
  • West Yorkshire Combined Authority, A new mobile bus ticketing solution using beacon technology. PI. £4,999
  • Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Sustainable Accessibility Randstad 2013 programme, internationalisation. Title: The electric bicycle phenomenon and the implications for spatial planning and sustainable mobility policy in the Netherlands and Europe. Co-applicant. €20,398
  • Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Sustainable Accessibility Randstad 2012 program. (returned to Research council after moving to University of Cambridge): The role of the bicycle as an egress and access mode for multimodal nodes. Co-applicant (but primary author of proposal) €51,452 
  • Van Eesteren-Fluck & Van Lohuizen Stichting 2009: Research grant for research visit of 3 months to University of California during my PhD, Davis, USA. PI. €2,500

I have also held institutional positions, which came with individual funding:

  • Fully funded PhD at Delft University of Technology, OTB Research Institute.
  • Junior Research Fellow (JRF), Wolfson College, Cambridge University (annual fund for travel and research equipment) £500–1000
  • University Academic Fellow, University of Leeds, start-up fund (£10,000 annually) £50,000

I am always on the lookout for good prospective PhD students. If you have a project idea that relates to my research, or would like to hear project suggestions from me, don't hesitate to get in touch (contact info above).

I would very much welcome co-operation with other scholars interested in similar fields.

I am also open to enquiries from MSc and BSc students, and discuss possibilities.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, Transportation, Delft University of Technology
  • MSc, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Amsterdam
  • BSc, Architecture, Delft University of Technology

Student education

I curently teach on UG and PGT modules.

Research groups and institutes

  • Social and Political Sciences

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>