Research promotors

Franziska Kupfer

Franziska Kupfer (°1982, Rostock, Germany) obtained her master’s degree in 2007 at the University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics. After graduating as a Transport Economist, she started working as an Academic Researcher at the Department of Transport and Regional Economy. In June 2012 Franziska finished her PhD about the airport choice for scheduled freighter operations in Europe and is now working as a post-doc researcher at the Department of Transport and Regional Economy. In her position as a post-doc researcher she is responsible for (co-)teaching different courses air transport, airport management, transport economics and transport policy. From 2013 to 2015 she was the programme coordinator of the Advanced Master in Maritime Sciences and Master in Sea and Transport Law (taught in Dutch). Since January 2015 she is academic director for the C-MAT Advanced Master in Maritime and Air Transport Management and Master in Maritime and Air Transport Economics (taught in English, Her research interests include air transport and airport economics as well as general transport economics. In the past she was involved in a number of air transport related projects such as EDUCAIR (FP7, 2011-2013) and Air transport in the EU: current situation and trends (European Parliament, 2014).


Hilde Meersman

Hilde Meersman is doctor in Applied Economics. She is a full professor at the University of Antwerp where she teaches Economics, Introductory Econometrics, Applied Econometrics, Transport Modelling. She is coordinator of TRANSPORTNET-EST, an early stage research training programme funded by the EU under the Sixth Framework Marie Curie Actions Programme. She also teaches at the Technical University of Delft. She is chairing the International Scientific Committee of the WCTR-S. Her research activities are on the intersection of transportation economics, macroeconomics and economic modelling. This enables her to link the evolution in the world economy to specific transportation problems. She is involved, directly or indirectly, in a large number of research projects on topics such as international in­vestment, modelling and forecasting commodity transportation, empirical analysis of port competition, inland navigation, mode choice, sustainable mobility, etc. She has been an advisor to the Dutch Central Bank and has been and still is involved in a large number of international exchange programs.

Evy Onghena

Dr. Evy Onghena (°1982, female) graduated as a doctor in Applied Economics at the University of Antwerp in 2013. Her doctoral research dealt with the cost structure and the expansion and cooperation strategies of the Big Four integrators FedEx, UPS, DHL and TNT Express. As a post-doc member of the Department TPR, she continues her scientific research in the domain of air transport economics, with a focus on air cargo economics. As from October 2015, she became course coordinator for the courses ‘Economics of Strategy’, ‘Air Transport Economics and Business’ and ‘Transport Modelling’ at C-MAT (Centre for Maritime and Air Transport Management). She is also teaching at the Faculty of Applied Economics at the University of Antwerp and as a guest lecturer at the Faculty of Design Sciences of the University of Antwerp. Next to teaching, she is also involved in the Centre of Excellence on ‘Sustainable Transport and Logistics’ (2015-2020), a consortium of three departments of the Faculty of Applied Economics, which carries out research in the domain of  transport and logistics. Between November 2013 and December 2015, she was Scientific Director of the Flemish Policy Research Centre on Commodity and Passenger Flows (MOBILO), responsible for the coordination of the research activities of the research centre. Within the research centre, policy relevant research within five research streams (ports, airports, integration of logistics chains, urban distribution and commuting) is carried out. Evy Onghena started her academic career as a research and teaching assistant at the Department TPR (2006-2013). She has been involved in academic research projects in different fields of transport. From 2005 to 2006, she worked as a consultant in the domain of transport and logistics, working mainly on EU-projects in the sector of inland navigation.

Christa Sys

Christa Sys is director of the Research Centre on Commodity Flows hosted by the Department of Transport and Regional Economics. Together with the research team, she is involved in research in the area of inland navigation (e.g. inland hubs, future challenges for the inland navigation), air transport (e.g. education, etc.), urban freight distribution (e.g. last mile) within Flanders Logistics.She jointly graduated as a doctor in Applied Economics at the Ghent University and the University of Antwerp (December 2010). Her doctoral research dealt with the competitive conditions, the concentration and the market structure of the container liner shipping industry. She teaches at the University College Ghent, Faculty of Applied Business (Member of Ghent University Association). Her educational activities focus on the different modes of transport (road-, rail-, air transport, inland transportation and maritime transport).

Eddy Van de Voorde

Prof. E. Van de Voorde teaches at the University of Antwerp. His work deals with Maritime Economics, Port Economics and Air Transport Economics. He is responsible for several new research projects, financed by a number of Belgian and international government institutions and private companies. Extensive research in the field of modelling in the sector of freight transport has resulted in a large number of academic publications. He is a member of the editorial boards of a number of international transport journals. He also is a Visiting Professor at several Belgian and foreign universities. In July 1998, he acted as Vice-President of the 8th World Conference on Transport Research (8th WCTR). Next to this, he also acted as Vice-Chairman of the International association of Maritime Economists (IAME) and Chairman of BIVEC/GIBET, the Benelux Interuniversity Group of Transport Economists.

Thierry Vanelslander

Thierry Vanelslander(°1975) graduated as a doctor in Applied Economics at the University of Antwerp in 2005. He currently is director of the Policy Research Centre on Commodity Flows hosted by the Department of Transport and Regional Economics. In his academic career, he took off as a researcher at the University of Antwerp for several research projects in the field of transport and regional economics. He is currently course co-ordinator for the courses Bachelor Proof, Industry Location, Advanced Transport Economics and Maritime Technology. He is also involved in the Marie Curie and Asia Link training programmes at the Department. His research focuses on business economics in the port and maritime sector. His Ph.D dealt with co-operation and competition in sea-port container handling.

Edwin van Hassel

Edwin van Hassel obtained his Bachelor degree in Maritime Technology at the Delft University of Technology (DUT) in 2006. In 2008 he got his Masters degree in shipping management also at the DUT. The master thesis he wrote, made in cooperation with the Research Centre Commodity Flows at the University Antwerp, dealt with the development of new inland ship type that could be used to re-activate the small inland waterways. His interest to integrate technical design of ships and the application of transport economics lead to the development of a PhD which was defended in 2011. From 2012 onwards he is involved in a research project with the Antwerp Port Authority. His research focuses on inland navigation transport, ports, ships and maritime technology. A special focus is on the link between maritime technology and applied transport economics and engineering modeling technics.

Ann Verhetsel

Prof. dr. Ann Verhetsel (°1960) is a Professor of Economic Geography and Regional Economics at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). She has a Ph.D. in Geography and an academic training in Town and Country Planning as well as a Masters degree in Education. Since 1987 she is a member of the Faculty of Applied Economics and works within the Department of Transport and Regional Economics. She teaches introductory courses of Human Geography and Economic Geography, and advanced courses in Regional Economics (UAMS). Recent research projects and publications are in the fields of urban geography/economics (e.g. economic aspects of urban revitalisation), transport and mobility issues (e.g. accessibility measures; passenger traffic and activity patterns), housing (e.g. preferences of young people) and geomarketing (e.g. impact of location factors on attractiveness of product categories).