Research promotors

Joris Beckers

Joris Beckers (°1990) graduated magna cum laude as Master of Science in Geography at the University of Leuven in 2013. Through the Erasmus exchange program he attended the Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne for a part of his studies. In 2019 he obtained his PhD at the faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Antwerp on the topic "The logistics sector in a consumer driven society, essays on location and network structure".

Joris’ expertise lies in the quantitative spatial analysis of (urban) economic and transport networks. As such, he teaches the course Regional and Urban Economics and co-founded the yearly Summer School on Urban Logistics. The current focus of his research lies on the impact of changing consumer demand on urban logistics (R!SULT project) and the relation between retail and transport.

Ivan Dario Cardenas Barbosa

He obtained his Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering - Logistics at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and conducted research for his Master’s thesis in urban logistics coordination of deliveries. In September 2014, he started his PhD research at the Department of Transport and Regional Economics at the University of Antwerp. His expertise lies in the analysis and design of logistics processes for which he applies cost-benefit analysis and simulation.

Katrien De Langhe

Katrien De Langhe graduated in 2011 as a business engineer at the Faculty of Applied Economics at the University of Antwerp. She started working at the Department of Transport and Regional Economics at the University of Antwerp in 2011, in the context of the Research Centre on Commodity Flows, later the Research Centre on Commodity and Passenger Flows. Since November 2013, she works as an academic assistant at the Department of Transport and Regional Economics. Her research focuses on rail transport, urban logistics and social cost-benefit analysis. In 2019, she obtained her PhD in which she examined the potential for rail in urban freight distribution.

Wouter Dewulf

Hilde Meersman

Hilde Meersman is a full professor at the University of Antwerp where she teaches in the fields of Transport Modelling and Economics. She taught at the Technical University of Delft and gives guest lectures at MIT, Cambridge Mass, and at the Technical Institute of the University of Lisbon.

She was the co-ordinator of the policy research centre of the Flemish Government ‘Mobility and Public Works – Freight Transport’ and the Strategic basic research project ‘Urban Logistics and Mobility’. She is a member of the Belgian Economic Council which gives advice on the national economic policy and of the  Marine Board of the National Academies of the USA.

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 national and international research projects on topics such as international investment, modelling and forecasting freight transport, empirical analysis of port competition, inland navigation, mode choice, sustainable mobility, etc.

Rosário Macário

Rosário Macário, has degrees in Business Economics, MSc in Transportation, PhD in Transportation Systems, Habilitation (DSc) in Civil Engineering. She is Professor and Researcher in Transportation, Vice President of the CERIS - Institute for Civil Engineering Research and Innovation for Sustainability, Coordinator of CESUR - Center for Urban and Regional Systems and  Director of the Master in Transport Planning and Operations, at the Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Georresources at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) Universidade de Lisboa ( She is member of the Scientific Council of several Master and PhD courses at IST and also professor at the Faculty of Applied Economics of the University of Antwerp in Belgium ( She is member of the Scientific Council of the Chair BNParibas at the University of Antwerp.  From 1977 to 1995 she was a licensed Flight Operation Officer in foreign airline where she obtained large experience in operational planning and coordination, as well as managing multidisciplinary teams. Since 1995 she developed and directed national and international projects, research and consultancy studies in several domains, with special intensity in Transport Policy and Planning and Exploitation of Transport Systems, at TIS.PT, Consultores em Transportes, Inovação e Sistemas s.a.  Since 2000, she is a partner and board member at TIS.PT, and since 2005 President of the Shareholder Assembly of TIS.PT ( . She is a member of the Executive Board of Directors of the Center of Excellence for Research on “BRT- ALC Bus Rapid Transit – Across Latitudes and Cultures” (  with head office in Santiago do Chile Simultaneously with her academic and corporate activity she has occupied the following international positions: former Vice-President of the Scientific Council of WCTRS and current Chair of International Relations at the World Conference on Transportation Research Society (, co-founder of the PANAMSTR – Panamerican Society for Research in Transportation and Council Member of the European Association of Transport (AET). She supervises a significant number of PhDs and has several journal publications and books, both as author and editor, and also a frequent speaker at international events. She is also Editor-in-Chief of the Elsevier journal “Case studies for Transport Policy”

Christa Sys

Christa Sys currently is holder of the BNP Paribas Fortis chair on transport, logistics and ports at the Department of Transport and Regional Economics. Until October 2013, Christa Sys was scientific director of the Research Centre on Freight and passengers flows. Next, she is course co-ordinator for the courses ‘Business Environment’, ‘Maritime Economics and Businesses’ and ‘Maritime Supply Chain’ at the Centre for Maritime and Air Transport (C-MAT). She also teaches at the Faculty of Applied Economics, University of Antwerp, the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Ghent and at the University College Ghent, Faculty of Applied Business (Member of Ghent University Association). Her educational activities focus on (operational aspects of) maritime transport, transport economics and inland transportation. Her research centres on maritime economics and co-operation and competition in shipping.

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 (link). This research was awarded by the Section of Technical Sciences of the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences with the General Manager Fernand Suykens Prize for Port Studies.

Eddy Van de Voorde

Eddy Van de Voorde is Full Professor at the University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics. His activities are situated in Maritime Economics, Port Economics, Air Transport and Logistics. He is in charge of a lot of new research projects, financed by various Belgian and international governments and private organizations. His research, particularly in the field of modelling freight transport, has resulted in a long list of publications in leading academic journals. Moreover, he recently has co-authored various standard-works in the field of transport economics and models.  

He is also a professor at the University of Ghent and at the Technical University of Delft, and he is visiting professor at different foreign universities, such as Lisbon, Bari, London (City University) and MIT (Cambridge, USA). In 2011 he got a visiting professorship at the Sapienza University in Rome. 

In the past years he fulfilled different functions in international scientific associations, such as being the vice-chair of the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), vice-chair of the scientific committee of the World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS) and chair of the Benelux Interuniversity Group of Transport Economists (BIVEC). He is/was also a member of the editorial board of a number of international journals, such as Maritime Policy and Management, Transport Policy, Transportation Research-E, Transport Policy Cases, Journal of Air Transport Management and the International Journal of Transport Economics.

In 2005, he was awarded in Genua a prestigious international prize, the Premio Internationale delle Communicazioni “Cristoforo Colombo”, for his scientific research in the field of Maritime Economics.

The weekly office hour takes place on Monday, 16h-17h. Attention: on Monday 30 September, the office hour is rescheduled to 15h-16h.

Thierry Vanelslander

Thierry Vanelslander (°1975) currently is associate professor at the Department of Transport and Regional Economics. He graduated as a doctor in Applied Economics at the University of Antwerp. Until 2013, he was holder of the BNP Paribas Fortis chair on transport, logistics and ports. Until halfway 2009, he was director of the Research Centre on Freight and Passenger Transport, hosted by the Department of Transport and Regional Economics. He is currently course co-ordinator for the courses 'Management of Innovation and Technology' and 'Port Economics and Business' at C-MAT, and 'Transport Economics' at the Faculty of Applied Economics. His research focuses on business economics in the port and maritime sector, and in land transport and urban logistics. His PhD dealt with co-operation and competition in sea-port container handling. He is also the chair of the World Conference on Transport Research (WCTR) Special Interest Group A2 (Ports and Maritime), and topic area manager for WCTR’s track A (Transport Modes). Equally, he is the chair of the Freight & Logistics group within the European Transport Conference.

Edwin van Hassel

Edwin van Hassel is senior researcher at the Faculty of Transport and Regional economics, Antwerp University where he is also teaching three courses. He has an engineering degree in naval architecture and he has a PhD in applied economics.  His main research interest and expertise is in inland navigation, port hinterland transport, ship design and transport modelling. He holds a PhD with a topic in the field of inland waterway transport.  More recently the scope of his work has been extended to maritime cost chain modelling. He also is involved in several research ranging from logistics projects to infrastructure cost benefit analysis and transport modelling projects.

Ann Verhetsel

Ann Verhetsel obtained a PhD in Science (Geography) with the Highest Distinction for her thesis on “The World in our Heads: On the Ability to Structure and Represent Spatial Information” from KU Leuven in 1989. Further, she studied spatial planning, obtained a postgraduate in didactics and a postgraduate in business economics. Since 1987 she has been affiliated with the University of Antwerp in different positions: Assistant (1987-1989), Postdoctoral researcher (1989-1993), Lecturer (1993-1997), Senior Lecturer (1997-2001), Professor (2001-2007), Full Professor (2008-present). Since 1995, she also teaches at the Antwerp Management School in the Master in Real Estate Management.

She fulfils her appointment at the University of Antwerp (research, education and services) in areas at the interface of Geography, Economics and Urban Planning. Ongoing research assignments under her leadership include projects and PhD’s in the fields of mobility extensively on commuting, on smart specialization and new regional economic policy, strategic spatial projects, the geographical dimension of venture capital, networks within the logistics industry, the location of retail and the geography of urban logistics. Throughout her 25 year-long career, there have naturally been some shifts in emphasis within her research focus, however, the leitmotif continues to be centred around urban geography, transport geography, spatial planning and regional economics.

Ann Verhetsel is currently teaching the courses Business location (formerly Economic Geography) and Real Estate Markets and Location (formerly Regional Economics) at the Faculty of Business and Economics. She also gives class in Introduction to Human Geography and Historical urban Geography at the History department of the Faculty of Arts. Finally, she takes care of the Property Markets course in the Master of Real Estate Management at the Antwerp Management School.

In addition to her service functions within the University of Antwerp (currently head of the Department of Transport and Regional Economics), Ann Verhetsel was chairman of the FWO commission on the built environment during the past years. She also acts as referee for a wide range of international scientific organizations (such as NWO, ANR, ERC ...) as well as a large variety of (international) journals. She regularly resides in doctoral jury's at other Belgian and foreign universities and functions as a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Sciences (Class Human Sciences).