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Matthijs Otten

Matthijs Otten
senior researcher/consultant | theme leader Freight Transport

My main motive for working at CE Delft is to help develop solutions for the climate crisis and sustainability deficit – sustainability being about more than just the environment, but human and economic prosperity, too. That makes the research questions we work on complex and in my view interesting and challenging as well.

About Matthijs

Expertise: Transport CO2 and air-pollutant emissions | Sustainable urban logistics | Sustainable hinterland and international transport

My main motive for working at CE Delft is to help develop solutions for the climate crisis and sustainability deficit – sustainability being about more than just the environment, but human and economic prosperity, too. That makes the research questions we work on complex and in my view interesting and challenging as well.

After completing my doctoral thesis on organic solar cells in 2007, I decided I wanted to focus more on policy-oriented research, so my work had more impact on sustainability policy. At CE Delft I shifted my focus to the field of mobility and transport. Now, as team leader, Freight Transport, I specialise in studies on minimising the contribution of freight transport to climate change and air pollution. In doing so, I’m interested in combining knowledge from various sources and disciplines to arrive at new understanding of the issues.

Over the years I’ve built up plenty of knowledge on the emissions and logistical ins and outs of vehicles and vessels. This knowledge I use in numerous projects, including the STREAM studies, which aim to give the wider public insight into the emissions of numerous modes of transport and the interdependency of technology and logistical parameters. This technical environmental know-how lays the groundwork for my work on urban logistics and hinterland and international logistics.

With the Paris Climate Accord and the European Green Deal, we’re finally on the road towards sustainable transportation. At last, electric vans and box trucks are coming onto the market. In the field of urban logistics we now see interesting implementation issues emerging round zero-emission transport. What’s the impact of zero-emission zones in the logistical chain on vehicle fleet composition? Where are electric vehicles going to charge their batteries, and will this differ for vehicles in the construction and retail sectors? How much charging infrastructure is needed? What does all this new demand mean for the power grid? I love the challenge of answering these kinds of multidisciplinary questions by combining statistical analysis with knowledge of logistics and the energy supply and with information from market players. I enjoy the creative thinking these kinds of questions require.

In hinterland and international transport, the move towards zero-emission transport is still very much in progress. Multimodal options present opportunities as well as challenges. How can inland shipping and road transport be made zero-emission by 2030 or 2050? What part will rail play? I’m interested in identifying the available options, their respective pros and cons, how their cost develops and what policies are needed to get the technologies onto the market. I like the challenge of furnishing clients with ambitious advice while remaining realistic.

Rapporten waar Matthijs Otten auteur is

Outlook on commercial waste collection. Scenarios for reducing transport movement and CO2 emissions in 2030
February 2021
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Outlook on Supermarket deliveries. Scenarios for reducing transport movements and CO2 emissions in 2030
February 2021
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STREAM Freight Transport 2020
February 2021
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