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Mariska Wesseling

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Research interests

Prof. Dr. Rutger Engels is a Professor of Development Psychopathology at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB). Engels aims to make a real difference with his research; to have impact on international policy and daily practice. Engels’ research focuses on anxiety and depression among young people and the prevention of suicide in this group.  His research has contributed to a decision by the Minister of Public Health, Welfare and Sport to no longer only focus campaigns toward adolescents but also toward their parents. In his research into the harmful effects of early alcohol consumption among adolescents, Engels helped in formulating and implementing a new Dutch law. This resulted in a ban on the sale of alcohol to people under 18 years. Engels also recently contributed to [research by the Health Council][]  into the influence of alcohol consumption among young people on brain development. The research committee recognised his indications that brain structure develops differently in young people who drink. It also appears that there is a connection between drinking at a young age and the development of alcohol problems at a later age. **Awards and grants** For his significant societal impact, Rutger Engels received the Huibregtsen Award in 2011 (a distinction presented to a research project of exceptional scientific innovation combined with a promise of valuable social impact). He also received various other awards and grants during his scientific career, including the Radboud Science Award and various NWO career grants. Engels also received grants as faculty professor at University Utrecht, including from KWF Kankerbestrijding, Longfonds, Achmea and ZONMW.  **Supervising students and inspiring young researchers** Engels considers it vital to act as mentor in inspiring and supervising students and PhD students. He had already supervised 51 PhD students by October 2017, with 7 obtaining cum laude doctorates. Here are a few of the distinctions received by his protégés: 9 Veni and 2 Vidi grants and the Frye Stipendium. He also motivates his students and PhD students to publish as first author in leading scientific journals. Engels continues to follow their progress once they’ve graduated or obtained a doctorate. Former PhD students of Engels don’t only work in academia. They have also obtained positions in social organisations and knowledge institutes (NJI, TNO, Voedingscentrum) and in trade and industry (Philips, CapGemini).   **Background** Professor Engels studied Psychology at the University of Groningen and obtained his doctorate at the University of Maastricht in 1998. After having worked in Utrecht for three years, Engels was appointed professor at Radboud University Nijmegen in 2001 where, for some time, he was also Vice Dean for research and Director of the Behavioural Science Institute. In 2014 he became Chairperson of the Executive Board of the [Trimbos Institute][], where he was responsible for over 200 employees. He became faculty Professor of Development Psychopathology of Prevention and Intervention at the faculty of Social Sciences at Utrecht University in 2016. [research by the Health Council]: [Trimbos Institute]:

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

External organisation

30 Sept 200431 Dec 2020


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