Picture of Dr ir M.M. van Paassen
Academic Staff

Dr ir M.M. van Paassen

  • Associate Professor


René van Paassen obtained his M.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering from the Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, in 1988. At that same institution he received his Ph.D. with a thesis on the neuromuscular system of the pilot’s arm, in 1994. Subsequently, he spent two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow (Brite/EuRam Research Fellow) with the University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany, with Prof. Gunnar Johannsen, where he worked on the development of alternative interfaces for process control based on functional models of the process, and half a year with the Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark, where he worked with prof. Morten Lind on multilevel flow modeling in the RoHMI project. He returned to Delft in 1997, working on alarm management, modelling of harbor pilots (at Mechanical Engineering with Prof. Peter Wieringa), vestibular system modelling (TNO Soesterberg and Aerospace Engineering, Delft) and simulation architecture (SIMULTAAN project, Aerospace Engineering).

In 1998 he joined the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering as an assistant professor, and he is currently an associate professor there. Since 2008 he has served as an Associate Editor (’09-’10) and as Associate Editor in Chief (’11-’13) for the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, part A, and he is currently Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems (IEEE-THMS). With his students and team he twice won the best paper award in the AIAA Simulation and Modeling technologies (2004 and 2008), he won the 2007 Franklin V. Taylor Memorial Award for the best paper at the 2006 IEEE-SMC conference and an award for best associate editor for IEEE-SMC in 2014.

Within Aerospace Engineering, René is currently member of the Education Management Team, and coordinator for the BSc 2nd and 3rd year education. René heads the technical facilities meetings, and he created and maintains DUECA, the middleware that is used in the SIMONA Research Simulator, the Human Machine Interaction Laboratory (HMILab), and on the PH-LAB Cessna Citation II laboratory aircraft. Through DUECA, the simulation and data acquisition programs created by students and staff can be shared and re-used between these facilities. DUECA provides real-time performance and synchronisation on distributed computing hardware, enabling precise and repeatable experimentation.

René’s research interests include:

  • Haptic interfaces and neuromuscular system research, often together with researchers at 3ME, both in aerospace, tele-operation (UAV and robotics) and driving domains.
  • Manual control and psychophysics of perception.
  • Flight simulation
  • Ecological interface design
  • Human performance in complex situations.



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C&S aims to be a leading research group in the integration, development and testing of new theories on control, autonomous and cognitive systems (with and without human elements), while addressing industrial and societal needs.


Section Control & Simulation
Department Control & Operations
Faculty of Aerospace Engineering
Delft University of Technology

Kluyverweg 1
2629 HS, Delft

+31 (0)15 27 89471