Dr. Franziska Engels

Ehemalige Doktorandin


In my PhD research at the MCTS I investigate innovation practices of sociotechnical test bed settings, exploring how the envisioned mix of lab and demonstration project shapes emerging socio-technical configurations. I apply perspectives from Science and Technology Studies and Innovation Studies to understand how place and innovation are co-produced at such sites. My research explores how test beds re-configure and “test” society around a new set of technologies and associated modes of governance based on particular visions of the future. My findings contribute to a better understanding of the innovation practices and policies of living labs and related experimental settings in society.
Since November 2015 I am a research fellow at the Science Policy Research Group at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB). Furthermore I was a visiting researcher at the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society at UC Berkeley (2017). I hold a Master of Arts in Social Science from the Humboldt University in Berlin (2010-2013) and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences and Law from Bielefeld University (2006-2009). I spent a study stay abroad at the Department of Government at the Uppsala University in Sweden (2011).
After graduation I gained further professional experience in research and research management at the TU-Campus EUREF, an institute of TU Berlin. During my studies I also worked as an intern e.g. in Public Affairs at the PR agency Ketchum Pleon in Berlin

Current research project:
Experiments, Test-beds, and Public Enactments of Energy Transitions

  • Innovation practices and policies
  • Experimental governance
  • Sociotechnical imaginaries and visions
  • Responsible Research and Innovation
  • Knowledge production
  • Smart city, energy and society
  • Transition studies
  • Engels, F./Rogge, J.-C. (2018): Tensions and Trade-offs in Real-World Laboratories – The Participants’ Perspective, Labs in the real world: Advancing transdisciplinarity and transformations, GAIA 27/S1: 28– 31.
  • Canzler, W./Engels, F./Rogge, J.-C./Simon, D./Wentland, A. (2017): From “living lab” to strategic action field? Bringing together energy, mobility, and Information Technology in Germany, Energy Research & Social Science, 27: 25–35. DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2017.02.003.
  • Engels, F./Münch, AV/Simon, D. (2017): One site – multiple visions. Visioneering between contrasting actors´ perspectives, in: Special Issue “Visioneering sociotechnical innovations: The making of visions”, NanoEthics, 11(1), 59-74. DOI 10.1007/s11569-017-0290-9
  • Canzler, W./Engels, F./Rogge, J.-C./Simon, D./Wentland, A. (2016): Energiewende durch neue (Elektro-)Mobilität? Intersektorale Annäherungen zwischen Verkehr und Energienetzen. In: Giacovelli (ed.), Die Energiewende aus wirtschaftssoziologischer Sicht – Theoretische Konzepte und empirische Zugänge, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 119 – 149. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-14345-9_6
  • Engels, F./Münch, A. V. (2015): The smart grid as a materialized imaginary, in: Special Issue “Smart Grid and Social Sciences“, Energy Research & Social Science. Doi 10.1016/j.erss.2015.08.024 .
  • Engels, F. (2015): Doppelte Komplexität von Verkehrs- und Energiewende –Wirtschaftsunternehmen als Akteure der ko-evolutionären Transformation, In: Innovation – Exnovation: Über Prozesse des Abschaffens und Erneuerns in der Nachhaltigkeitstransformation, pp. 63-76, Metropolis Verlag, Marburg.
  • Engels, F.; Pfotenhauer, S. (2018): Testing the future? Interrogating “Test Beds” and “Living Labs” as an Emerging Innovation Paradigm, Science and Democracy Network 17th Annual Meeting, Munich, 28.06.2018
  • Engels, F. (2017): Testing the future. How test beds re-interpret innovation and society, Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society (CSTMS), University of California, Berkeley, 05.10.2017
  • Engels, F/Simon, D (2016): “The experimental setting as an epistemic regime in the German energy system transition.” Presentation at the 4S/EASST Conference “Science and Technology by other means – Exploring collectives, spaces and futures”, 1.9.2016, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Engels, F. (2016): A structured comparison of two distinct experimental initiatives in the energy transition. Presentation at the 15th Annual MCTS Conference Graz 2016: Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies, 9.5.2016, Graz, Austria.
  • Engels, F./Münch, A.V. (2015): “One Site – Multiple Visions. Visioneering between contrasting actors´ perspectives”. Presentation at the First International Conference on Anticipation, 6.11.2015, Trento, Italy.
  • Engels, F./Münch, A. V. (2014): „Urbane Innovationsräume als Orte konkurrierender Wahrnehmungen“. Presentation at the joint conference of the sections „Stadt- und Umweltsoziologie“, German Sociological Association (DGS), „Die Stadt von morgen: anpassungsfähig, energieeffizient, lebenswert?“, 9.5.2014, Leipzig.
  • Awarded scholarship by the DAAD German Academic Exchange Service (“Kurzstipendium für Doktoranden”) for a research stay at UC Berkeley, US
  • WZB Merit Fellowship for a research stay at UC Berkeley, US
  • Erasmus Scholarship for a six-month-study stay at the Department of Governance, Uppsala University, Sweden