After my studies, I did a PhD. I examined the best ways to
present travel information along side the road. What are the
best ways to make sure people see the information, understand it
and make the right decision, all within three seconds while they
After my PhD, I started working as a traffic psychologist at
Goudappel Coffeng, a consultancy in the traffic and transportation
field. Here I deal with specific problems in traffic and I try, by
looking at human behaviour, to solve these problems. I also try to
find ways to make people consider other ways of transportation than
cars, so they do not end up in traffic jams.
We are commissioned by, for example, local governments. It
happens quite often that engineers build smart things, but forget
that there are people who have to deal with their solutions. I make
sure that the solutions of the engineers are also effective.
I really like my job. It is an incredibly varied job, one day I
make offers/tenders to secure assignments from clients and the
other I am attending an expert session where I state what I think
should be changed in a certain traffic situation. I regularly stand
on a roundabout or drive on a motorway to see what makes it
dangerous. I also work on programmes that stimulate people to take
public transport or the bicycle instead of their car.
There is a lot of work in this field, which became very
important during the past five years. People are starting to find
out that it is also very important to take a human factors
perspective. I still use a lot from what I learned during my
studies. I learned to set up and perform research very well. A lot
of people complain that there is so much emphasis on statistics at
the University of Groningen, but to be honest, I am very happy
about that now.