Matthijs Kouw

PhD Candidate
Science and Technology Studies
Maastricht University


I am currently working as a PhD Candidate at the Maastricht Virtual Knowledge Studio within the Department of Technology and Society Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University.

In my PhD research I ask how simulations and models enable knowledge of risks, and to what extent their use introduces or enhances vulnerabilities in technological cultures. To that end, I study epistemological, historical, institutional, and socio-political aspect of simulation practice. The empirical focus of the dissertation is water management in the Netherlands, where I studied the use of simulations and models in hydrology (hydraulic engineering and flood monitoring), geotechnical engineering (soil mechanics and dike failure mechanisms), and ecology (participatory water quality modeling).

In broader terms, by research interests are the influence of technologies on the production of knowledge, history, sociology, and philosophy of science, materialism (e.g. Deleuze-Guattari, Delanda, Alliez, Stengers), software studies, craft, and various topics in 'continental' philosophy (e.g. critical theories of technology, Nietzsche, Sloterdijk, etc. etc.) I did my MA in Philosophy in Amsterdam and Berlin, after which I did my MSc in Science and Technology Studies in Amsterdam. During my studies and before embarking on the PhD journey, I worked in software development.



Kouw, Matthijs. 2009. "Simulation and the Vulnerability of Technological Cultures." Annual International Conference 2009: Geography, Knowledge & Society. 2009, August 26-28. RGS-IBG (Royal Geographical Society with the Institute for British Geography), Manchester, UK.

Kouw, Matthijs. 2009. "Simulation and the Vulnerability of Technological Cultures: Modelling Dike Failure Mechanisms in Geo Engineering." 2009, November 27. Royal Dutch Academy for the Sciences (KNAW), Amsterdam, the Netherlands.