Since November 2012, Rafaela works as an associate professor in the field of philosophy of engineering and philosophy of science at the TU Delft. Her research is at the interface between engineering/science and philosophy, focusing on various aspects of ethics of technology (with a particular focus on the various aspects of energy supply and demand) and epistemology, in particularly the reliability of models in science and engineering. The great unifying theme behind her research is the quest for the prospect and limits of quantitative approaches in the sciences and how (ethical or political) decision making can deal with non-quantified information.
Before joining Delft, Rafaela held a Juniorprofessur RWTH Aachen University where she was head of the interdisciplinary research group eet-ethics for energy technology at the Human Technology Centre (HumTec), a project of the German Initiative for Excellence from 2008-2012. In 2011, she advised the ethics commission for safe energy supply (Ethikkomission für Sichere Energieversorgung) under Klaus Töpfer´s guidance. Subsequent to the accident in Fukushima Rafaela also gave advice and support to policy makers in Austria and Switzerland on the change of energy supply.
From 2006 till 2008 Rafaela worked as a senior research fellow at the University of Oxford with a focus on epistemological and ethical problems for decisions under risk and uncertainty.
From 1995 till 2001, Rafaela studied physics (Diplom) and philosophy (Magister) in Erlangen, Germany. During that time, she spent two terms studying mathematics and physics at the University of Liverpool and two extend research visits at the Joint European Torus, the predecessor project of ITER, at Culham. She holds a PhD both in philosophy as well as in theoretical physics. For her PhD in philosophy on ethics of technology she won the Lilli-Bechmann-Rahn-Preis of the University Erlangen Nürnberg in 2005. Rafaela’s doctoral dissertation in theoretical physics was awarded the Ingrid-zu-Solms Naturwissenschaftspreis 2008. Since 2009 Rafaela is an elected member of the German Young Academy of Sciences (Junge Akademie) and was spokesperson of this institution in 2010/2011.
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- philosophy of science, engineering and technology
- applied ethics (esp. ethics of the environment, technology assessment)
- risk and uncertainty analysis
- philosophy of computer simulations
Honors & Awards (selection)
- Delft Technology Fellowship, since 2012
- Member of the German Young Academy of Sciences Junge Akademie an der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (BBAW) und der Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, since 2009
- Naturwissenschaftspreis 2008 (price for the natural sciences) for PhD thesis in physics of the Ingrid-zu-Solms-Stiftung
- DAAD, Deutscher Akademischer https://www.studienstiftung.de/Austauschdienstes, scholarship, 2006
- Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation), scholarship & fellow, 2002-2005
- Dr. Heinz-Dürr Scholarship, Zeiss Foundation & Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (3 scholarships awarded annually to graduates throughout all disciplines), 2005
- Lilli-Bechmann-Rahn-Preis for PhD thesis in philosophy, Universität Erlangen, 2005
Scientific publications (selection)
- Roeser, S., Rafaela Hillerbrand, Martin Peterson and Per Sandin (eds.) (2013), Essentials of Risk Theory, Springer (short version of Handbook of Risk Theory)
- Hillerbrand, R. (2012). Order out of Chaos? A Case Study in High Energy Physics. Studia Philosophica Estonica, 5(2).
- Roeser, S. (Editor-in-chief), Rafaela Hillerbrand, Martin Peterson and Per Sandin (Section editors) (2012), Handbook of Risk Theory, Springer (2 volumes, ca 1200 pp) available online
- Reitinger C., Dumke M., Barosevcic M., Hillerbrand R. (2011) A conceptual framework for impact assessment within SLCA. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 16 (4), pp 380-388
- Hillerbrand, R. (2010). On non-propositional aspects in modelling complex systems. Analyse & Kritik, 32, 107-120.
Climate Change Ethics Workshop in Delft, June 19, 2014
May 16, 2014 — Climate change: economics, policy and ethics Workshop 19 June, 10-14 hrs, TU Delft Faculty of TPM (building nr 31 on [more...]