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Thijs Looyen and Arjen Veenstra win Maarten van der Vlerk Thesis Prize 2023

09 February 2024
Thijs Looyen (left) and Arjen Veenstra (right)

Thijs Looyen and Arjen Veenstra are the winners of the Maarten van der Vlerk Thesis Prize 2023, the prize for excellent bachelor's or master's thesis in the field of Econometrics and Operations Research (and Actuarial Studies). Looyen won the prize for his Bachelor’s thesis on the relationship between house prices and household savings, Veenstra won the prize for his Master’s thesis on control strategies for hydrogen energy storage.

Best bachelor’s thesis

Looyen, currently a master's student in Econometrics, Operations Research & Actuarial Studies, investigated the existence of a wealth effect in explaining the relation between house prices and household savings. His results show that this wealth effect may play a larger role than has been reported by literature. The jury was impressed by the rigorous econometric analysis applied to a relevant societal problem.

Looyen explains his choice for this subject: ”I had already worked on this topic during one of my courses, but saw opportunities to significantly generalize those results”. The most important insight that he obtained from his thesis is “that the assumptions regarding the economic aspects of your model that you make can have a huge impact on the results”.

Best master’s thesis

For his master's thesis, Veenstra investigated the profitability of different control strategies for hydrogen energy storage in integrated electricity- and hydrogen markets. The jury considers his thesis highly relevant for the ongoing energy transition, providing valuable insights and offering better understanding of energy storage dynamics, particularly for the Dutch energy sector.

Veenstra is currently continuing his research within the Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB): “I am now a PhD student at FEB, working on the topic of electricity markets in the energy transition. I still use the market model that I developed in my master's thesis during my PhD project”. According to him, the main contribution of his thesis is “that it shows what the future role of hydrogen energy storage can be in the energy transition”.

Maarten van der Vlerk Thesis Prize

The prize is a tribute to late professor Maarten van der Vlerk, who was the director of the Bachelor Econometrics and Operations Research (EOR) and the Master Econometrics, Operations Research and Actuarial Studies (EORAS) for almost 10 years. A fund has been created in his honor with the purpose to reward excellent students who have just finished a high-quality bachelor's or master's thesis in the field of EOR(AS). The winners of the Maarten van der Vlerk Thesis Prize receive € 1,000 each.

Last modified:09 February 2024 2.11 p.m.

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