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Session 3C: Critical Infrastructure Resilience

Session 3C: Critical Infrastructure Resilience

Critical Infrastructure Resilience – a suitable concept for urban governance in the Digital Age?

Special session, organized and facilitated by Jens Ivo Engels and Nadja Thiessen, TU Darmstadt

Presenters and discussion panel members:

The Politics of Critical Urban Infrastructures

Jiska Engelbert, EUR Rotterdam (Netherlands) 

Jiska Engelbert is Associate Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She combines her teaching and research on politics and power in the smart city with the position of Strategic Director at the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for BOLD Cities and of Theme Lead Smart Cities & Communities at Erasmus’ Vital Cities & Citizens programme.


Self-Organization of Citizens in Crisis: an interdisciplinary approach

Steffen Haesler and Nadja Thiessen, TU Darmstadt (Germany) 

Steffen Haesler, M.Sc. is a research associate and PhD student at the Chair of Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC) in the Department of Computer Science at Darmstadt University of Technology. There, he is active in the LOEWE center emergenCITY.

The research interest is in the area of digital self-organization of citizens in crisis. Here, in particular, in the usability and resilience (e.g., independence from ICT infrastructure) of solutions to improve crisis resilience before a crisis, but also the management of a crisis.

He studied Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Hamburg (B.Sc.) and Human-Computer Interaction at the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg (M.Sc.). During his master studies, he completed an extended research internship at the University of Central Florida. Prior to his studies, he worked as a consultant and project manager on ERP integration projects in logistics, retail and industry. In his spare time, he was involved in youth work in the scouts organization in Hamburg for a long time and was active there in various roles, from youth group leader to chairman. He was also volunteering in refugee aid in Würzburg.

Nadja Thiessen works as a postdoctoral researcher at the chair for “Modern and Contemporary History” under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Jens Ivo Engels. Her research focuses on learning from past disasters and the use of historical experiential knowledge for coping with crises.

Before joining LOEWE-Center emergenCITY, she was part of the Research Training Group KRITIS. She received the B.A. (2013), M.A. (2016), and Ph.D. (2020) degrees in History from Technical University of Darmstadt.



Digital infrastructure transformation, healthy ageing and independent living: unpacking the inclusion challenges

Ralitsa Hiteva, University of Sussex (United Kingdom) 

Ralitsa Hiteva is a Senior Research Fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex Business School. She specialises in infrastructure governance and change, business models innovation and sustainability.

Ralitsa leads a large interdisciplinary project which examines the environmental impact of digital technologies for health and wellbeing at the home. Ralitsa is also part of CREDS where she leads several projects on digital transformation and place-based business models for Net Zero. She is interested in the social value of infrastructure, digital inclusion and EDI. 


Mobile applications and civic resilience in emergency: the case of Russian war against Ukraine

Kateryna Zarembo, NaUKMA Kyiv (Ukraine) / TU Darmstadt (Germany) 

Dr Kateryna Zarembo is a social sciences scholar, currently working at the TU Darmstadt as a visiting research fellow. Her research interests are international relations and civil society, with a focus on Ukraine. At TU Darmstadt she is engaged in the emergenCITY project, studying the role of the mobile application for the society responses to the Russian war in Ukraine under the supervision of Prof. Michele Knodt.

Throughout her career Dr Zarembo has combined two hats of an academic researcher and a policy analyst. She worked as a deputy director for research at the New Europe Center (Kyiv, Ukraine) in 2017-2019. Since 2019 she has been New Europe Center associate fellow. Since 2020 she has been teaching at the international relations department of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine). Dr Kateryna Zarembo authored and coauthored dozens of policy papers and academic articles. Her research appeared in the European Security, Problems of Post-Communism, ibidem Verlag and Kyiv-Mohyla Law and Politics Journal.

Dr Zarembo got her PhD at the National Institute for Strategic Studies (Kyiv, Ukraine). She got her MA in European Studies from the University College Dublin (Ireland) and MA in English and Italian languages and literature from the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv (Ukraine).