Renate van der Knaap

Renate van der Knaap is a PhD candidate within the Transport and Planning department at Delft University of Technology, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Rob Goverde, Dr. ir. Niels van Oort and Dr. Nikola Bešinović. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics and her Master’s degree in Business Analytics and Operations Research from Tilburg University. As part of her Master studies, Renate did a graduation internship at the Netherlands Railways (NS), which is the principle passenger railway operator in the Netherlands.

Her PhD research topic is flexible railway timetabling with demand-driven train service variations. Passenger flow patterns are different throughout the day and week. For example, in the morning peak there are more travellers going to work or school, while in the off-peak period and weekend there are more people travelling for leisure. As work, school and leisure are often not situated at the same locations, different demand patterns arise for different days and parts of the day. Furthermore, one of the expected long-term behaviour effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that more people will continue working from home with a preference for Wednesdays and Fridays. So also throughout the (work)week, there are different demand patterns on different days. The main objective of Renate’s research is to develop models to compute railway timetables that are flexible to these variations in travel demand patterns. She carries out her research in the Digital Rail Traffic Lab and the Smart Public Transport Lab at the TU Delft, in close cooperation with NS.

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