Ruud Balkenende joined the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering in 2015, as the world’s first Circular Product Design professor. He started his career at Philips Research, where he has been active at the interface of technological innovation and business applications. In the course of 25 years he dealt with a wide diversity of products, usually from a materials and technology perspective.
Since 2009 he has been mainly involved in research and development related to materials scarcity and product recyclability. Linking product architecture and materials science to resource efficiency was the main driver. He has set up and coordinated international collaboration on improved recyclability of electronic products. This has resulted in design guidelines as well as new products with improved recyclability. Since 2013 his activities extended from recyclability to circular economy, i.e. reusing products or parts at a functional level instead of recovering materials. Here he was involved in establishing the Philips strategy, focusing on the technological framework for implementation in product design.