Part of the
Centre for
Engineering Education
TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University
Centre for
Engineering Education


+31(0)6 48 27 55 61


Project introduction and background information

Fifty percent of the technically educated professionals do start working in the technical labormarket (SER, 2014), while tech companies are often looking for good technical talent. Thus, there is a "gap". So far is unclear why so many students do not choose a technical profession. 

In the research project "Bridge the Gap", we focus on STEM students in higher education (hbo and wo) during the transition from study to work.

Objective and expected outcomes

Bridge the Gap! develops and test tools and interventions to help students and professionals to gain insights in and confidence in their own professional identity and as such contribute to a deliberate and appropriate study and career choices.

The project furthermore wants to enhance understanding of crucial and determining experiences in the development of professional identity and the process of study and career choices of students and professionals so the developed tools can be used at the best moments.

We also want to learn more about the context in which formation of professional identity takes place and how environmental factors influence different types of STEM students and professionals. This is input for guidelines for education and industry to attract and retain more diverse STEM talent.

Practical outcomes





van Hattum-Janssen, N., & Endedijk, M. D. (2020). Professional identity development and career choices in engineering education: the added value of life history research. In J. van der Veen, N. van Hattum-Janssen, H-M. Järvinen, T. de Laet, & I. ten Dam (Eds.), Engaging Engineering Education: Proceedings of the SEFI 48th Annual Conference University of Twente (online), 20-24 September 2020 (pp. 1297-1304). University of Twente.

Endedijk, M.D., Nieuwenhuis, M., van Veelen, R., van Rees, M. Maas, B. van Hattum-Janssen, N., & Aarntzen, L. (2020). Collaboration in highly diverse student teams in engineering education A deep-level diversity intervention. Workshop given at the 48th Annual SEFI Conference, Enschede, the Netherlands. 

van Veelen, R., Derks, B., & Endedijk, M. D. (2019). Double Trouble: How being Outnumbered ánd Negatively Stereotyped Threatens Career Outcomes of Women in STEM. Frontiers in Psychology, 10. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00150

van Hattum-Janssen, N., & Endedijk, M. (2019). An engineering curriculum or a curriculum to shape engineers? Paper presented at 47th SEFI Annual Conference 2019, Budapest, Hungary.

van Hattum-Janssen, N., & Endedijk, M.D. (2017). Mind the gap: Why do technical alumni stay in the technical sector. Paper presented at the 45th SEFI Annual Conference, 18-21 September 2017. Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira Island, Portugal.