M.A. van Essen MSc (Mariska)

PhD Candidate on Travel Behaviour and Route Choice

About Me

Mariska van Essen grew up in Ugchelen, a small village next to Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. In 2008 she moved to Enschede to study Civil Engineering at the University of Twente. After earning her Bachelor’s degree, she started specializing in the field of transportation engineering and management. She worked on her Master thesis about the development and evaluation of a day-to-day route choice model at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) in Blacksburg, Virginia, which is the second largest university-level transportation institute in the USA. Besides her study, she was secretary of the board of the local student sailing association.

A curiosity for route choice behavior and keen interest in transport modeling, analyses and simulations led her to pursue a PhD at the Center for Transport Studies (CTS). Here she conducts research on the potential of personalized travel information in order to influence route choice behavior and therewith approach system optimal network conditions.

In her spare free time she likes to enjoy the beautiful nature and historical cities around the Netherlands, especially by foot, bike or sailing vessel. She likes to participate in different sports and activities from time to time as well.

Professional experience

  • 2014 – PRESENT: PhD Candidate, Centre for Transport Studies, University of Twente


  • 2012-2014: Master Civil Engineering & Management, University of Twente; Thesis:  One route or the other? Development and evaluation of a day-to-day route choice model incorporating the principles of inertial behavior and quantification of the indifference band based on a real-world experiment, (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA)
  • 2008-2012: Bachelor Civil Engineering, University of Twente; Thesis: Herinrichting Busstation Rijssen (Gemeente Rijssen-Holten)


Awarded with the Master Thesis Award 2015 (CTW Faculty), University of Twente


Route Choice
Choice Behavior
Choice Modelling
Travel Time


van Essen, M., Thomas, T., Chorus, C., & van Berkum, E. C. (2016). Role of Travel Time Information on Day-to-Day Route Choice Behavior Based on Real-World Experiments. In Proceedings of The 95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Board, Washington DC, USA, 10-14 January 2016 (pp. 1-20). Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board (TRB).
van Essen, M. A., Rakha, H., Vreeswijk, J. D., Wismans, L. J. J., & van Berkum, E. C. (2015). Day-to-day route choice modeling incorporating inertial behavior. In Proceedings of The 14th International Conference on Travel Behaviour Research, 19-23 July 2015, Windsor (pp. 1-18). Windsor, UK: International Association for Travel Behaviour Research (IATBR).

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In the press


Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

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