Florian Helfrich is a PhD candidate at the Department of Technology, Policy and Society (TPS) at the section Knowledge, Transformation & Society (KiTeS). His research interests lie in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS), Philosophy of Technology, Sociology and Governance Studies. In his current research, he is investigating socio-technical systems and infrastructures, their implementation in societies and the governance of them.

Florian has received a B.A. degree with the major subject Sociology and minor subject Economics from the University of Tübingen, and a MSc degree in Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Society from the University of Twente.


  • Social Sciences

    • Project
    • Citizen
    • Energy Transition
    • Socioeconomic Development
  • Computer Science

    • Transitions
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences

    • Condition
    • Island
    • Socioeconomics


Research interests

  • Science and Technology Studies (STS)
  • Philosophy of Technology
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Sociology
  • Governance
  • Energy, Energy Technologies and Energy Transitions
  • Sustainability
  • Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrencies
  • Qualitative empirical research (participation, observation, interviews)
  • Constructive Technology Assessment (CTA)


Innovation pathways of local energy communities for novel renewable energy infrastructures and decentralised markets. Panel 30: The role of new and emerging technologies in the energy transition. Helfrich, F. L.Innovation Pathways of Local Energy Communities for Novel Renewable Energy Infrastructures and -Markets. Session: Governing the Transformation of (Digitalised) Infrastructures. Helfrich, F. L.Innovation pathways of local energy communities for novel renewable energy infrastructures and -markets. Conference track: Governing transitions. Helfrich, F. L.Innovation pathways of local energy communities for novel energy infrastructures and -markets. Panel 37 Interesting participatory processes in science, technology and innovation: conditions, challenges and prospects for bottom-up innovation. Helfrich, F. L.Innovation pathways of local energy communities for novel renewable energy infrastructures and -markets. Parallel Session 3: Energy Communities and Urban Sociotechnical Transformations. Helfrich, F. L.Innovation pathways of local energy communities for novel energy infrastructures and - markets. Session C3 Fabricating the future: Analysing socio-technical visions and expectations in the energy sector. Helfrich, F. L.Description of social, economic & regulatory conditions (SUSTENANCE deliverable 3.1). University of Aalborg. Schillinger, J., Helfrich, F. L., Aukes, E. J., Tummers, L., Votsis, A. & Sanderink, L.https://h2020sustenance.eu/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/D3.1.pdf

Research profiles

Affiliated study programs

Courses academic year 2022/2023

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.


Governance of Blockchain-based Infrastructure Transitions on Energy markets

Keywords: Science and Technology Studies | Infrastructure | Public Policy | Governance | Sociology | Sustainability | Energy | Blockchain | Decentralisation | Energy citizens

There is an ongoing transformation of energy markets towards more sustainability, higher degrees of decentralisation and a stronger citizen focus. Stakeholders on energy markets such as energy retailers, regulatory institutions and local communities show increasing interest in incorporating these aspects in their infrastructure development and policy making. Some of these stakeholders are trying to use blockchain technology through networks with distributed governance at producer and consumer levels and are developing and implementing blockchain-based platforms for energy management and -trading.

This project will investigate in which ways technological infrastructures using blockchain technology are constituted and regulated in the context of energy markets. It will be analysed how the technical construction and implementation of such infrastructures develop with relation to interactions and social relations between energy providers, governing institutions and local communities.

Three research questions are at the core of this project:

• How is the socio-technical and decentralised character of blockchain-based infrastructures influencing the ways in which they are controlled by governance approaches?

• How are the various stakeholders and especially individual consumers situated within these infrastructures and interacting with each other?

• How are governing authorities trying to influence or control the development of such systems and in which ways do they address, legitimise and practically implement such approaches?

Of particular interest are the ways in which the aspects of sustainability and forms of self-sufficient citizen utilities, or so-called energy citizens, are addressed, conceptualised and implemented in the ongoing transformation of energy markets. It will be investigated how these aspects are represented within the perspective of corporations and governing institutions connected to the implementation of blockchain-based infrastructures in energy markets.

This project is part of the BMS Signature Grant PhD position of the University of Twente.


Affiliated researchers

Florian Helfrich, MSc, BMS - STePS, University of Twente

Prof. dr. S. Kuhlmann, Full professor, BMS - STePS, University of Twente

Dr. P. Stegmaier, Assistant Professor, BMS - STePS, University of Twente

Prof. dr. J.L. Hurink, Full professor, EEMCS - MOR, University of Twente

Dr. E.J. Aukes, Assistant Professor, BMS - CSTM, University of Twente

Current projects


University of Twente

Ravelijn (building no. 10), room 5214
Hallenweg 17
7522 NH Enschede

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