3D for Environmental Modelling

Sanne Hettinga is a PhD candidate at the SPINlab, department of spatial economics of the VU in Amsterdam. Her research interests include renewable energy, (spatial) modelling, environmental modelling, spatial optimization and process analyses.

Currently she is working on the research project 3D for Environmental Modelling, together with a PhD at TU Delft and a postdoc at TU Twente and societal partners. Here she is working on creating, altering and applying 3D environmental models such as energy, sound and flood models to 3D data and real life examples to optimize spatial planning now and in the future.

During the project she researches what the added value of using 3D data, models and visualization is to enable environmental modelling. This can be the perceived added value, but also the added accuracy to a model, or the added value because new groups of stakeholders can be included in the discussion. One example is the use of a serious game in Minecraft to include high school students in the renewable energy planning in their neighborhood. Another is the added value of using both 3D data as BIM data to model the insulation potential of existing buildings, and comparing it to existing models.

Sanne graduated the bachelor program at Amsterdam University College with a focus on physics. She completed the master program Energy Science at Utrecht University, while working part time at the research department of Geodan (where she continued working after graduation). Both during the master and at Geodan she worked on making renewable energy models spatially specific and comprehensible for people with different knowledge of renewable energy as well as spatial data.

Watch and learn about 3D and Science:

More information about GeoBIM, a duo-presentation by Sanne and Geonovum director Rob van de Velde via the GeoBuiz platform:


Fruijtier, S., van Asselen, S., Hettinga, S. & Krieckaert, M., 2014. PICO: a framework for sustainable energy design. In: Geodesign: Integrating Design and Geospatial Science Europe. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, p. 55-70

Scholten, H., S. Fruijtier, S. Bos, E. Dias, M. Opmeer, H. van Kaam, S. Hettinga, Willemijn, S. van Leeuwen, M. Linde, N. van Manen, C. Fruijtier, Geocraft as a means to create Smart Cities getting the people of the place involved – youth included –, The science of the city, Napels, 2016

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