In many NECTAR meetings, workshops and conferences, PhD students present and discuss their work. To recognize the high quality of the research conducted by the best of the PhD students supervised by NECTAR members,  NECTAR is proud to announce his second NECTAR PhD AWARD. The award is established in memory of Professor Piet Rietveld, who chaired NECTAR in the years 2002-2007 and who with his exceptional academic abilities inspired and stimulated many young researchers, PhD students and the NECTAR community in general. The NECTAR PhD Award is awarded for the best recent PhD thesis work in the NECTAR field.


1st NECTAR PhD award

The 1st NECTAR PhD award is is given to the best PhD thesis in the NECTAR field in the period January 2013- June 2015. A jury led by Professor Peter Nijkamp and comprising NECTAR chairs and several NECTAR cluster chairs got the painstaking task to evaluate and read all proposed theses and to select a final candidate. A total of 12 PhD theses were nominated with a fair geographical and topical balance. It is noteworthy that all nominated studies reflected a high research quality. It is clear that NECTAR has been very successful in generating and attracting a great research potential, also-and in particular – among younger researchers.

During the closing plenary session at the 13th NECTAR international Conference in Ann Arbor, the 1st NECTAR PhD Award 2015 was given to Dr. Niklas Arvidsson, who received his PhD from the University of Gothenburg on November 22, 2013. The title of his PhD dissertation was: “Essays on Operational Freight Transport Efficiency and Sustainability”. The author introduces the new concept of operational freight transport efficiency, in particular in relation to transport-related emissions from the perspective of the transport operator. A particularly challenging conclusion is that – although most operational freight transport efficiency improvement measures are likely to reduce emissions – it is probable that more cost-reduction measures will not lead to reduced emissions in the long term. The author has published his results inter alia in leading journals, such as Transport Reviews, European Transport, and Transportation Research A.


2nd NECTAR PhD award

The 2nd NECTAR PhD award will consider PhD theses written in English which have been or will be defended between June 2015 and May 2017. We will also consider submissions consisting of sets of journal papers which are to be included in a future thesis, and which are representative for its quality. PhD thesis work can be submitted only by a supervisor who should be a NECTAR member (i.e. 2016-2017 membership is paid).

To be considered, the PhD thesis should be in the general realm of NECTAR research, including topics from the fields of regional and urban economics, transport economics, urban/regional planning, transport planning and transport engineering. The PhD thesis should relate to one or more of the NECTAR cluster theme’s: networks, policy and environment, logistics and freight, travel, migration and labour market, accessibility, tourism, recreation and leisure and information and communication technologies.

Phds will be judged by a Committee comprising of former and present NECTAR Presidents, and a selection of the current NECTAR cluster co-chairs. Professor Erik Verhoef from VU University Amsterdam will chair the 2nd  NECTAR PhD Award Committee. The decision of the committee – which will be rendered March 2017 – will be final. The author of the winning paper must present the research at the 14th bi-annual NECTAR conference in Madrid, May 31st -2nd of June 2017. The winning author will receive a reimbursement for travel and accommodation cost for the conference.

PhD supervisors who wish to submit their PhD thesis work for consideration should send (a) an electronic copy of the summary of the thesis and (b) the PhD thesis (or collection of papers) in PDF format before January 16, 2017 to the NECTAR secretariat (Ana Condeço-Melhorado) at