Digital registration of migrants as co-production of citizens, territory and Europe



Wouter joins the Processing Citizenship project as a PhD student.  From working as a software engineer in different companies and recently at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, he comes with a varied background of both theoretical and hands-on knowledge. His preference for research and interest in the interconnections between technology and society brings him now to this interdisciplinary project.

With both an academic background from his Msc in Applied Computer Science at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and applied experience as a software engineer working in several companies, Wouter joins the Processing Citizenship project with engineering expertise.

Furthermore, how knowledge, rules, and processes are embedded in information systems and the implications this has on governance, has interested him since his master dissertation for his other Msc in Management. In this context he conducted research on the way rules defined by business processes are incorporated in IT systems, and the challenges this causes. His research has also mapped out different alternatives when creating, maintaining, or reengineering these kinds of systems.

This academic background combined with work on banking, utilities, and media system development facilitates the understanding of the nitty-gritty of system design. It is an ideal starting point to analyse how data infrastructures for population processing are designed, how they shape individual and institutional identities, and to find new ways to investigate the impact of data circulation between different information systems.

His latest experience as a trainee in the text and data mining unit at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Italy comes from an interest to return to research. It showed him how interesting it can be to work with an institution, and how research is used in policy making. He is therefore delighted to continue studying the impacts of science and technology on society (and vice versa) and its policy implications.