Robert van Steenbergen is a BMS signature PhD candidate at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems (IEBIS), and working together with the Department of Governance and Technology for Sustainable Development (CSTM). Before starting as a PhD researcher, Robert completed his bachelor and master in Industrial Engineering and Management at the University of Twente (both cum laude) and followed the MSc Research Honours Programme.
In his research, he investigates the application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, to humanitarian logistics. After a severe disaster, affected people require relief goods (e.g., shelter, food, water). Considering damaged infrastructures, UAVs can offer an effective alternative to trucks for the distribution of relief goods. UAVs can also use remote sensing techniques to gather information about the uncertain and volatile disaster area. The objective is to analyze in which situations, in what ways and to what degree UAVs can contribute to humanitarian logistics, using simulation modelling, artificial intelligence and digital twin technology. Furthermore, the aim is build knowledge on effective deployment of UAVs, to be prepared when the next disaster occurs.