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Groningen Digital Business Centre

Faculty of Economics and Business
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Presentation of three finalists GDBC Thesis Award

Datum:21 juni 2021

A short presentation of the three students who are in the final of the GDBC Digital Business Thesis Award. The final is June 29 at Van Swinderenhuys and als online via YouTube

Leonard Delank
Leonard Delank

Leonard Delank

“I am a RUG International Business & Management alumnus with a strong
passion for digital media, marketing, electronic music, and the fine arts.
After the conclusion of my Bachelor studies at the University of Goettingen,
I moved to Groningen to pursue a double degree in cooperation with the
Newcastle University Business School. Having further specialised in Digital
Business, I investigated loot boxes – a purchasing system within video
games that monetizes randomized items of uncertain value. The research of
others and myself has called the ethics of this mechanic into question, due
to its structural similarities to traditional gambling activities, potential
psychological harm, and opacity. Issues like this and the rapidly evolving
nature of digital business models demand further scientific inquiry. I,
therefore, hope that RUG students are encouraged to pursue the Digital
Business focus area and dedicate their work to the field. I am deeply
honoured by the GDBC’s recognition of my Master’s thesis. Like the entirety
of my studies at the RUG, I found the experience challenging, but incredibly
rewarding. The knowledge and skills acquired throughout it will certainly be
valuable in my career.”

Norbert Lagerweij
Norbert Lagerweij

Norbert Lagerweij

"I was born and raised in Hoevelaken, a Dutch town famous for the traffic jams (before Covid). In high school I was already interested in applying mathematics to real life problems in the economy and marketing field. As a result, I did my final research project about the financial impact of a Nexit (not knowing that some years later a country would actually leave the EU). After finishing high school, I quickly felt in love with Groningen during my econometrics bachelor. The courses in my bachelor's have provided me with general knowledge of economics, statistics, actuarial science, marketing and logistics. However, I noticed I was eager to explore the application of all this theory to real life problems and challenges. That is why I applied for a working student job as a data scientist at Storm Digital, a digital marketing agency located in Groningen. At Storm Digital I got the opportunity to work on solving customer journey questions, ad content analyses and marketing budget optimization projects. Gaining some hands-on experience during your masters is really valuable for your personal development and I can recommend it to all students. After finishing my econometrics master's I moved to Amsterdam to work as a Quantitative Risk Analyst at ABN Amro. In this position I am mainly involved in (re)developing credit risk models such as a probability of default (PD) models."

Niels Meima
Niels Meima

NIels Meima

"My name is Niels Meima. With my background in Artificial Intelligence and Computing Science I aim to create innovative solutions to complex problems by combining my interest in both fundamental and applied research.  My main research interest is in Autonomic Computing where we aim to create digital systems which can configure, optimize and heal themselves. In my thesis I propose a framework to efficiently configure and optimize data-oriented workflows, such as machine learning pipelines or business processes, to ensure robustness even in an operational environment which constantly evolves. In a business environment that becomes increasingly more data driven it is coveted to automate the processing of data as much as possible, always providing the latest insights."