Joris Beckers and Arnaud Adam win Mercator-Ortelius prize 2020

The University of Antwerp is proud to announce the winners of the Mercator-Ortelius Prize 2020. Every three year,  a doctoral thesis in the field of economic geography, regional economics, regional planning or urban economics is awarded with a prize of € 3000.

Selection report

The Department of Transport and Regional Economics (TPR) of the University of Antwerp is responsible for awarding the prize. The assessment is based on the following four selection criteria: academic quality, originality, research question, social and economic relevance.

The jury

The jury is chaired by Ann Verhetsel, Professor of Economic and Social Geography (UAntwerp). This year she assessed the entries together with

    • Peter Cabus (Secretary General Environment Flanders and lecturer at KU Leuven)
    • Isabelle Thomas (Directrice de Recherche et Professeure Extraordinaire UCLouvain)
    • Ben Derudder (Research professor at KULeuven and lecturer at UGent)
    • Thomas Vanoutrive (Professor at the Research Group for Urban Development UAntwerp). 

Decision of the jury

The call was widely distributed in November and December 2019. Nine candidates submitted their PhD. After a first selection round, in which each jury member had to submit 5 candidates for further selection, the following alphabetical shortlist was compiled:

After careful consideration, the jury unanimously decided to award the Mercator Ortelius Prize 2020 to Arnaud Adam and Joris Beckers. With their thesis, both authors make an original contribution of high scientific quality to a relevant social and economic theme.

Jury member Peter Cabus about the deliberation

Joris Beckers and Arnaud Adam about winning the award

Previous laureates of the Mercator-Ortelius Prize

    • In 2014, the prize was won by Karen Stuyck (A social geography of remittances: Transfers from Belgium to Senegal as a case study – Leuven – 2011) and Veronique Van Acker (Spatial and social variations in travel behavior – Incorporating lifestyles and attitudes into travel behaviour-land use interaction research – Ghent – 2010).
    • In 2017 Michiel Van Meeteren won with his PhD ‘From polycentricity to a renovated urban systems theory. Explaining Belgian settlement systems theory’ (Ghent – 2016).
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