Hosting Research Partners from the University of Twente, The Netherlands

Monday, October 2, 2023 10:00 am - Wednesday, October 4, 2023 4:30 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

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The Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB) and the Health Initiative Office will be co-hosting partners from the University of Twente from October 2-4, 2023. The University of Waterloo has an active institutional-level agreement (signed in July 2022) with the University of Twente, located in the Netherlands.

As a part of hosting the visit of the delegation group from the University of Twente, a symposium will be held on October 2, 2023 titled: Health and Beyond – Perspectives on the intertwinement between human and planetary health. The morning of this symposium will highlight and emphasize the strategic value of the Waterloo-Twente partnership and ways to facilitate connections and collaborations at various levels. In the afternoon, the symposium will feature research talks from both universities in the areas of Planetary Health, AI for Health, Mental Health, and more. CBB has enlisted the support of both the Water and Climate Institutes to ensure the right researchers are involved.

The key themes to be explored throughout the entirety of this visit are as follows:

  • Optimizing resource management at different levels (through the healthcare chain and health-promoting services [e.g., safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene provision]), but also across communities, involving individual and public health planning to respond to emergencies (e.g., the recent COVID-19 pandemic) and extreme weather events such as floods. 
  • Developing analytical solutions so that scarce health resources can be utilized more efficiently, and healthcare professionals can focus on care, without being held back by logistical challenges. 
  • Enabling home- and community-based care by developing and designing data-informed solutions (e.g., E-health and [X]AI decision support systems), which enhance self-reliance of people in their own living environments. 
  • Modelling (geo)data related to health to inform people and policy makers on climate conditions and availability of resources (e.g., clean water and sanitation, urban green space for physical and mental health improvement), and to identify vulnerable regions or neighbourhoods and disease hotspots. 
  • Developing and designing climate-neutral, inclusive, and health-promoting places including healing environments and architecture, urban green space, and interactive installations aimed at mental health promotion.
If you have any questions regarding the symposium, please email Yibei Zhao


October 2-4, 2023 - Itinerary

Date  Time (Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC−04:00) Site
October 2, 2023 10:00 a.m. - 12:55 p.m. University of Waterloo-University of Twente Joint Research Symposium (Private Morning Session)
October 2, 2023 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. University of Waterloo-University of Twente Joint Research Symposium (Afternoon Session, Register here)
October 3, 2023 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA)
October 3, 2023 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment (CMHRT)
October 3, 2023 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Velocity Health
October 4, 2023 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business
If you are interested in attending any* of the above site tours, please email Yibei Zhao by September 27, 2023. 

*The morning session for the October 2, 2023 symposium is by invitation only.

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Twente Delegation

Name Keywords Describing Research Themes Research Interests

Carmen Anthonj

Health Risk Perceptions; Health Behaviour; Health-Related Decision-Making; Medical Geography; Water (In)security; WASH; Water-Related Disease Exposure

Planetary Health

Local knowledge, perspectives and perceptions of water- and health-related challenges and understanding how such local and contextualized knowledge can be used to inform public health planning and decision making.

Derya Demirtas

Healthcare; Public health; Emergency Response; Operations Research; Optimization; Data Science; Location Theory

AI for Health

Public health and emergency management, and process optimization in healthcare.

Geke Ludden

Human Technology Relations; Design for Health & Wellbeing;  Design for Behaviour Change & Engagement; Rehabilitation

Planetary Health, AI for Health, Mental Health

How the design of products and services influences people’s behaviour and motivation with a specific interest in how products and services can support healthy behaviour and in how technology (interactive devices and wearables) can engage people in therapy at home.

Hanneke Scholten

Mental Health; Behaviour Change; Youth; Play; Design for Wellbeing; Interdisciplinary Collaboration; Developmental Psychology

Planetary Health, Mental Health

Interaction between planetary and mental health.

Jodi Sturge

Built Environment; User Experience; Healthcare; Design; Wellbeing; Evaluation; Transdisciplinary

Planetary Health, Mental Health

How the design of the built environment and technologies can enhance the social health, dignity and well-being of all citizens.

Thomas van Rompay

Mental Health; Nature Interaction; Urban Green Space; Social Wellbeing; Pro-Environmental Behaviour; Design for Wellbeing

Planetary Health, Mental Health

How interactions with natural landscapes including forest and park settings can provide an antidote to daily stressors and clinical symptoms including rumination and depression.

Bernard Veldkamp

Data Science for Health & Learning; Machine Learning; Psychometrics; Text mining; Patient Care

AI for Health

Research methodology, measurement and data analytics with a specific focus on optimization, text mining, and computer-based assessment.

If you would like to contact any of the delegation members, please email Yibei Zhao.

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To register for the afternoon session of the October 2, 2023 symposium, please click here