3TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology

Poel, Prof.dr. ir. I.R. van de (Ibo)


Faculty Technology, Policy and Management

Delft, University of Technology


Jaffalaan 5

Room b4.210

PO Box 5015

2600 GA Delft

The Netherlands


+31 15 278 4716





Research profile

Ibo van de Poel is Professor in Ethics and Technology at Delft University of Technology. He studied philosophy of science, technology and society, with a propaedeutic exam in mechanical engineering at the University of Twente. In 1998, he obtained his PhD in science and technology studies (STS) with a dissertation on the dynamics of technological development; his supervisor was prof. dr. A. Rip.

During the last few years, he has done research and published in the following areas: the dynamics of technological development, engineering ethics, the moral acceptability of technological risks, values and engineering design, moral responsibility in research networks, ethics of new emerging technologies like nanotechnology, technology as a form of social experimentation. He receives regularly invitations for international conferences and workshops and contributions to encyclopedias in these areas.

Since 1997, he is lecturing in ethics and technology for several engineering course programs at Delft University of Technology. He has been involved in several educational innovations in this area, including the development of the web-based computer program AGORA and the first Dutch textbook on ethics and technology.

He has written over 25 international peer reviewed articles and over 15 international book contributions. He is one of the associate editors of the Handbook of Philosophy of Technology and the Engineering Sciences (Elsevier, 2009, editor-in-chief: Anthonie Meijers), co-editor of Philosophy and Engineering (Springer, 2010 with David Goldberg) and co-author of Ethics, Engineering and Technology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, with Lambèr Royakkers). He is also a co-editor of the new Springer book series in the Philosophy of Engineering and Technology (editor-in-chief: Pieter Vermaas).

Recently, he has received a VICI grant for his research proposal New Technologies as Social Experiments: Conditions for Morally Responsible Experimentation.

3TU.Ethics Projects

Scientific publications (selection)

  • Vincent, N, van de Poel & van den Hoven (eds) (forthcoming) Moral Responsibility: Beyond Free Will and Determinism, Springer.
  • van de Poel, Ibo, and Sjoerd D. Zwart. 2010. Reflective Equilibrium in R&D Networks. Science, Technology & Human Values 35 (2):174-199. available online
  • Van de Poel, Ibo, and David E. Goldberg, eds. 2010. Philosophy and engineering. An emerging agenda Dordrecht: Springer. available online
  • Jacobs, Johannes. F., Ibo Van de Poel, and Patrica Osseweijer. 2010. Sunscreens with titanium dioxide (TiO2) nano-particles. A societal experiment. Nanoethics 4:103-113. available online
  • Franssen, Maarten, Gert-Jan Lokhorst and Ibo van de Poel. 2009. "Philosophy of Technology", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Edward N. Zalta (ed.) available online
  • Van de Poel, Ibo. 2009. The introduction of nanotechnology as a societal experiment. In Technoscience in progress. Managing the uncertainty of nanotechnology, edited by S. Arnaldi, A. Lorenzet and F. Russo. Amsterdam: IOS Press. available online
  • Van de Poel, Ibo. 2009. Values in engineering design. In Handbook of the philosophy of science. Volume 9: Philosophy of technology and engineering sciences, edited by A. Meijers. Oxford: Elsevier. available online
  • Kroes, Peter, and Ibo Van de Poel. 2009. Problematizing the notion of social context of technology. In Engineering in context, edited by S. Hylgaard Christensen, B. Delahousse and M. Meganck. Aarhuus: Academia.
  • Gorp, A.C. van, and IR van de Poel. 2008. Deciding on ethical issues in engineering design. In Philosophy and design: from engineering to architecture edited by P. Vermaas, A. L. PA Kroes and S. Moore. New York: Springer available online
  • Poel, IR van de 2008. How should we do nanoethics? A network approach for discerning ethical issues in nanotechnology. Nanoethics: ethics for technologies that converge at the nanoscale 2 (1):25-38.available online
  • Poel, IR van de. 2008. The bugs eat the waste: what else is there to know? Changing professional hegemony in the design of sewage treatment plants. Social studies of science 38 (4):605-634.available onlineLloyd, Peter, and Ibo van de Poel. 2008. "Designing Games to Teach Ethics". Science and Engineering Ethics 14(3):433-447.available online
  • van de Poel, I.R. 2007. Ethics in Engineering Practice. In Philosophy in Engineering, edited by S. Hylgaard Christensen, M. Meganck and B. Delahousse. Aarhus, Denmark: Academica.
  • van de Poel, I.R. 2007. Methodological Problems in QFD and Directions for Future Development. Research in Engineering Design 18:21-36.available online
  • van de Poel, Ibo, and Lamber Royakkers. 2007. The Ethical Cycle. Journal of Business Ethics 71 (1):1-13.available online
  • van de Poel, I.R., and P.P. Verbeek. 2006. Editorial: Ethics and Engineering Design. Science, Technology & Human Values 31:223-236.available online
  • van de Poel, Ibo, and Anke van Gorp. 2006. The Need for Ethical Reflection in Engineering Design the Relevance of Type of Design and Design Hierarchy. Science, Technology & Human Values 31 (3):333-360.available online
  • van de Poel, Ibo, and Peter Kroes. 2006. Technology and Normativity. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology, Fall 2006, 10 (1):1-6.available online
  • Kroes, P.A., M.P.M. Franssen, I.R. van de Poel, and M.M. Ottens. 2006. Treating Socio-Technical Systems as Engineering Systems: Some Conceptual Problems. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 23 (6):803-814.available online
  • Ottens, Maarten, Maarten Franssen, Peter Kroes, and Ibo van de Poel. 2006. Modelling Infrastructures as Socio-Technical Systems. International Journal of Critical Infrastructures 2 (2-3):133 - 145 available online
  • Zwart, Sjoerd D., Ibo van de Poel, Harald van Mil, and Michiel Brumsen. 2006. A Network Approach for Distinguishing Ethical Issues in Research and Development. Science and Engineering Ethics 12 (4):663-684.available online
  • van de Poel, I.R., S.D. Zwart, M. Brumsen, and H.G.J. van Mil. 2005. Risks of Aerobic Granular Sludge Technology. Ethical and Methodological Aspects. In Aerobic Granular Sludge, edited by S. Bathe, M. K. de Kreuk, B. S. Mc Swain and N. Schwarzenbeck. London: IWA Publishing.available online
  • van de Poel, Ibo. 2005. Engineering Design Ethics. In Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics, edited by C. Mitcham. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.
  • van der Burg, Simone, and I.R. van de Poel. 2005. Teaching Ethics and Technology with Agora, an Electronic Tool. Science and Engineering Ethics 11 (2):277-297.available online
  • Devon, Richard, and Ibo Van de Poel 2004. Design Ethics: The Social Ethics Paradigm. International Journal of Engineering Education 20(3): 461-469.available online
  • Van de Poel, I.R. 2003. The Transformation of Technological Regimes. Research Policy 32(1): 49-68.available online
  • Van de Poel, I. 2001. Investigating Ethical Issues in Engineering Design. Science and Engineering Ethics 7(3): 429-446. available online
  • Van Gorp, Anke and Ibo van de Poel. 2001. Ethical Considerations in Engineering Design Processes. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine 20(3): 15-22. available online
  • van de Poel, Ibo. 1998. Changing Technologies. A Comparative Study of Eight Processes of Transformation Of Technological Regimes. Dissertation TU Twente, Enschede.

Professional/Popular publications (selection)

  • Van de Poel, Ibo. 2010. Ethiek van de techniek. In Ethiek in Nederland van 1970 tot 2010 en daarna edited by B. Musschenga, T. v. d. Beld, G. d. Hartogh, F. Jacobs, M. Schermer and J. Kole. Budel: Damon.
  • Vermaas, Pieter, Peter Kroes, Ibo Van de Poel, Maarten Franssen, en Wybo Houkes. 2009. Kernthema's in de technische wetenschap. Boom.available online
  • Bolkestein, Frits, Jeroen Van den Hoven, Ibo Van de Poel, and Ilse Oosterlaken, eds. 2009. De politiek der dingen. De verwevenheid van ethiek en technologie Budel: Damon.
  • van de Poel, I.R. 2007. De Vermeende Neutraliteit van Techniek: De Professionele Idealen van Ingenieurs. In Werkzame Idealen: Ethische Reflecties Op Professionaliteit, edited by J. Kole and D. de Ruyter. Assen: Van Gorcum.available online
  • van de Poel, I.R. 2006. Kan Quality Function Deployment (Qfd) Bijdragen aan Meer Verantwoorde Productontwikkeling. Filosofie 16 (4):40-44.
  • van Mil, Harald, Ibo van de Poel, and Sjoerd Zwart. 2006. Ethiek in de Afvalwaterzuivering. H2O: Tijdschrift voor Watervoorziening en Waterbeheer, 39 (4):22-24.available online
  • Royakkers, L., I. van de Poel en A. Pieters 2004. Ethiek & Techniek. Morele overwegingen in de ingenieurspraktijk. Baarn, HBuitgevers.available online


  • WM0377TU Value Sensitive Design
  • WM0312CT Philosophy, Ethics and Technology Assessment for Civil Engineering
Naam auteur: nplatzek
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