14 Mar
19:00 - 22:00
Bringing the university to our alumni

UM Star Lectures 2024

The UM Star Lectures are back!

From climate change to marketing and from health & nutrition to AI: the programme of this eighth edition is filled with the most diverse current topics. Maastricht University is brimming with knowledge and innovative ideas, which we'd love to share with you. Even though you might not be around the UM anymore, we hope to stay connected. That's why on Thursday evening 14 March 2024, we will bring the university to you!

Together with UM professors, our stars, we will travel to 12 cities in 5 European countries, where all 12 lectures will take place simultaneously. Each lecture touches upon an important, topical subject. Join us to get inspired, meet fellow UM alumni, and expand your network.


Click here or on the green button (on the right) to register for the UM Star Lectures!

To sign up for the online lecture in Maastricht, you must sign up via the regular registration link. Those who have registered for the online lecture will receive an e-mail with the Zoom link a day in advance.


  • Who: UM Alumni*
  • When: Thursday 14 March 2024
  • Time: 19.00 till approx. 22.00
  • Tickets: € 5,-**. Tickets will be available soon. Capacity is limited, so do not wait too long!
  • Cities: Amsterdam · Berlin · Brussels · Cologne · Dusseldorf · Eindhoven · Frankfurt · London · Maastricht · Munich · The Hague · Zurich
  • Language: English

* Please note that only UM alumni can register for this event. You may bring a guest: don't forget to register this person too. 

** Entrance fee is €5,-: all proceeds are donated to the new Equity and Inclusion Programme of the University Fund Limburg. The programme facilitates scholarships for underprivileged youth from the region, and supports projects focused on equality at UM.

Note: A photographer and/or videographer may be present during the event. If you join this event, you agree with the publication of photos and videos via our communication channels (website, social media, newsletters, etc). If you do not agree with this or if you have any questions, please e-mail us.


Prof. Dr. Mark Levels | SBE

Prof. dr. Carla Haelermans | SBE


Computer says no! About AI and Inequality in Education

The introduction of AI in education has lead to the expectation that it would change everything for the better. But is that really true? In this lecture prof. Haelermans discusses whether and how AI should be used in education to optimally help students’ development, to relieve teachers and to decrease inequality. How can we make sure AI is used effectively, how can students and teachers be motivated to make rational choices when using AI, and: what is needed to optimize algorithms to better reflect what schools and students need, and at the same time decrease the bias in these algorithms?

Prof. dr. Carla Haelermans (1983) is an education economist. She is professor of economics at the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA), Maastricht University and the scientific lead of the pedagogics/didactical focus area of the Dutch National Education Lab AI (NOLAI), Radboud University. In her research, she aims to better understand the factors that influence student performance, with a specific focus on technological innovations, AI and inequality in education. She publishes multidisciplinary in (top) journals in economics, operational research, sociology, educational sciences and (educational) psychology, and is (inter)nationally recognized for her scientific excellence and societal impact.


Betahaus Berlin 
Rudi-Dutschke-Str 23
Berlin 10969

Betahaus Berlin
Carla Haelermans

Prof. Dr. Thomas Conzelmann | FASoS


Soft tools, tough problems? Addressing rule of law deficits in the EU 

The rule of law – an order in which individuals and those in government are subject to the law, and in which legal certainty, effective judicial protection and the separation of powers exist – is under threat. Hungary and Poland until 2023 are discussed as countries with rule of law deficits in the EU, but problems also exist elsewhere. How does the EU react to these tough problems? The lecture reviews the existing EU tools to safeguard the rule of law and assesses their effectiveness. How can the EU record be improved, and how can ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ measures be combined?

Thomas Conzelmann is Full Professor of International Relations at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS), Maastricht University. He holds a PhD from the University of Mannheim (Germany) and has held positions at various European universities. His research focuses on the instruments and strategies through which states and international organizations exert influence and authority at the global level. Prof. Conzelmann has worked as a consultant for the United Nations and has given expert talks at the European Committee of Regions, the OECD, and various UN bodies. 


Blue Point
Blvd Auguste Reyers 80 | A. Reyers Ln 80
1030 Brussels

Blue Point
Thomas Conzelmann

Prof. Dr. Ute Hülsheger | FPN


Work sleep repeat? Why organizations should help their employees forget about work

After a day of work we are typically tired and we might feel stressed from time to time. While such experiences at the end of the work day and work week are normal, they may potentially build up to chronic levels of exhaustion, impaired wellbeing, and health complaints. Regular recovery from work is therefore needed to prevent health impairments and enable workplace functioning in the long run. But how can such successful recovery best be achieved? How important is regular sleep and is playing squash better than knitting as a recovery activity? And what should be the role of organizations in fostering recovery from work? In her lecture, Ute Hülsheger will draw from state-of-the-art research to address these and other questions.

Ute Hülsheger is Professor of Work and Organizational Psychology. With her research group she investigates how employees and organizations navigate the day-to-day demands of work and how employees can remain well, healthy, and motivated throughout their working lives. This includes research on the role of emotional work demands in service jobs, how employees can successfully recover from work stress on a day-to-day basis, or the role of mindfulness for employee well-being, performance, and social functioning. Being passionate about translating findings into practice, Ute and her team have developed and tested various tools and interventions to foster good working conditions and enabling employees to better deal with work stress.


Im Mediapark 5
50670 Köln


Prof. Dr. Caroline Goukens | SBE


The psychology behind consumer behavior

Traditional thinking assumes that our personal preferences smoothly turn into logical decisions and optimal behavior. However, the truth is that many of our decisions happen without us realizing it and are easily influenced by basic emotions, biases, and heuristics. In this lecture, we explore the benefits of understanding how the human brain works. What makes us pay attention? What makes us do what we do? What makes us eat what we eat? What guides our decisions? We look at times when our decisions might not be the best and figure out why. Moreover, we consider how these insights can help us not only in improving our own actions but also in influencing the behavior of others.

Prof. Dr. Caroline Goukens is Professor of Consumer Behavior. Her research focuses on individual decision-making, consumption behavior, self-control, and the effect of contextual cues on consumer behavior. She has published in many top-tier, international journals. She has received several awards at international conferences and national grants for research on consumption and self-control. She works with local businesses on tools to improve consumer health and food sustainability.


Kasernenstraße 67
40213 Dusseldorf


Prof. Dr. Remco Havermans | UCV/FPN


The myth of chocoholism and the need for a nutrition transition

Many people enjoy good food. Some even go as far as to claim that they are addicted to food. One food is often mentioned as especially addictive: chocolate. There are quite a few people who are self-proclaimed chocoholics. But what exact compound in chocolate would these chocoholics be addicted to? In his lecture, Remco Havermans will debunk and  dismantle claims concerning the idea of chocolate addiction (and food addiction in general). He will outline the true drivers of our eating behaviour and show how exploiting those drivers has prompted the need for a nutrition transition.

Prof. dr. Remco Havermans (1974) is a psychologist. He is the endowed professor Youth Food & Health at Maastricht University Campus Venlo and research leader of the Laboratory of Behavioural Gastronomy. His main research focus concerns the psychology of eating, studying the question why we eat what we eat? He has published more than 100 international papers and book chapters on food choice, flavour preferences, and taste and aroma perception. His work informs nutrition education, consumer marketing, and food product development.


The Social Hub Eindhoven
Stationsweg 1
5611 AA Eindhoven


The Social Hub Eindhoven
Remco Havermans

Prof. Dr. Sally Wyatt | FASoS


What do you see when you look for AI?

Artificial intelligence is often in the news, challenging what we think of as uniquely human qualities. This often leads to fears about the loss of jobs for example, and to great excitement about, amongst other things, improved efficiency and accuracy in medical diagnosis. But what actually is AI, and what does it look like? Using both visual and textual prompts, this lecture will explore those aspects of AI that are often invisible to users and the wider public, either deliberately or by accident. Those invisible aspects are crucial to the functioning of AI, and thus crucial to navigating the future.

Sally Wyatt is professor of digital cultures in the Maastricht University Science and Technology Studies group. Together with an interdisciplinary group of colleagues, in 2019, she launched a new bachelor degree at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) called Digital Society. She has a long history of working on social issues raised by the development and use of digital technologies. Wyatt is currently working on projects about the use of artificial intelligence in clinical decision making, and on the role of bias in media recommender systems.


Platz d. Einheit 2
60327 Frankfurt am Main

Sally Wyatt

Prof. Dr. Ir. Andre Dekker | FHML


Artificial Intelligence for Better Health

Artificial intelligence will have a major impact on day-to-day health care practice with the first AI products widely available. In this lecture meeting the rationale for AI in health is first presented. Then the importance of data for AI is stressed but access to sufficient data is hampered by many ethical and privacy concerns. Methods to develop and validate AI including a number of trends in this field are shown.  Finally, applications of two main types of AI are presented – those that lead to more efficiency and those that lead to higher efficacy.

Prof. Andre Dekker, PhD (1974) is a medical physicist and professor of Clinical Data Science at Maastricht University, Maastricht UMC+ and Maastro Clinic in The Netherlands. His Clinical Data Science research group (50 staff) focuses on 1) federated FAIR data infrastructures, 2) AI for health outcome prediction models and 3) applying AI to improve health of patients and citizens. Prof. Dekker has authored over 250 publications, mentored more than 30 PhD students and holds multiple awards and patents on the topic of federated data and AI. He has held visiting scientist appointments at universities and companies in the UK, Australia, Italy, USA and Canada.


Regents University London
Inner Circle, Regent's Park
London NW1 4NS 
United Kingdom

Regents University London
Andre Dekker

Prof. Dr. Gijs van Dijck | LAW


The Robo Judge: Reality or Fiction?

The lecture explores the possibility of using artificial intelligence (AI) as a judicial decision-making tool. The lecture will delve into the current state of AI in the legal field and examine the potential benefits and drawbacks of using AI to judge cases. It will also consider the ethical and societal implications of relying on robots to make judicial decisions. Z balanced perspective on the feasibility and desirability of using AI as a judge will be provided.

Gijs integrates legal, empirical, and computational analysis in order to improve the description, application, understanding, and evaluation of the law. He has published in top journals including the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies and the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. He has been a speaker at various conferences, including ones at Oxford, Harvard, Yale, Duke and Cornell. He was a visiting scholar at Stanford University in 2011. Gijs is Professor of Private Law, director of the Maastricht Law and Tech Lab, Principal Investigator at Brightlands Institute for Smart Society (BISS), and researcher at M-EPLI.


Herzogspitalstraße 24
80331 Munich 

Gijs van Dijk

Prof. Dr. Rob Markus | FPN


Stress, genes, the brain and affective (depression) behavior: does food do any good?

Stress is among the leading causes of mood disorders throughout the world, and is associated with severe psycho-medical consequences and mortality. Evidence reveals the importance of specific gene-by-brain factors that increase the risk for stress-related affective diseases. Since brain function might be influenced by nutrients, certain foods are thought to influence stress and hence the risk for stress-related affective complains/disorders. Since then, there has been a growing interest in the way certain nutrients may impact human performance. This has led to the launch of a wide range of natural products on the nutraceutical market, with the promise that they will boost healthy mental processes and/or reduce psychopathological symptoms. The lecture will introduce the topic of (psychobiological) stress, how it influences the affective brain- and behavior partly depending on our genes, why some believe that this all may be influenced by food, and how to separate myths from facts regarding food-brain-behavior claims.

Rob Markus, PhD is an Associate Professor of Neuropsychology and with a particular interest in brain biochemical processes that relate to stress-induced psychopathology (affective disorders). After working as a therapist in several institutions (from 1985-1991), he completed his study Experimental Psychology (1993), worked in teaching and research (1993-1994) and completed a PhD in Experimental-biological Psychology (1999) at Utrecht University. After fulfilling several positions at universities and research-companies, he became an expert on the relation between stress, brain (gene) vulnerability and the development of cognitive-affective disorders as well as in testing (claims about) dietary treatment/assessment methods. Besides his research, teaching, and supervising/managing duties, Markus also has a career in teaching Psychology as well as in training communication- and managerial skills.

Note: This lecture can be attended both in person and online. When registering, you will have the opportunity to indicate your preference.


Bassin 88
6211 AK Maastricht

Rob Markus UMSL24

Prof. Dr. Angelique de Rijk | FHML

The Hague

Preventing burnout? Take a trampoline!

One out of five employees in the Netherlands has severe burnout complaints. One out of three often experiences having too much work. In other countries figures are even higher. What is burnout? How can one prevent becoming burned out? In this lecture, the most important knowledge is summarized using the metaphor of jumping on a trampoline. We all would like to be able to bounce back in case of stress, that is, that is, to be resilient. The goal of this Star lecture is to know: How can I maintain and even increase my resilience and that of my colleagues?

Angelique de Rijk (Rotterdam, 1969) has a Master and PhD in Psychology. Embracing a multidisciplinary approach to work and health topics, she has been working at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences of Maastricht University since 1999. In 2017, she became full professor of Work and Health at the department of Social Medicine. Among other things, she studies burnout in diverse populations, gives workshops on preventing burnout to medical students and professionals and investigates the role managers can play in preventing burnout.


Dudok Den Haag
Hofweg 1a
2511 AA The Hague

Dudok Den Haag
Angelique de Rijk

Prof. Dr. Edward Huizenga | SBE


The Positive Half of Change: Strategy and behaviour to overcome short term thinking for long term success

‘The Positive Half of Change’ is the topic of this masterclass. This will dwell into the topic of strategy, behaviour, communication and motivation for change. A fascinating 70% of strategic programs fall short of achieving their objectives. This failure is primarily attributed to resistance and a deficiency in managerial navigation, making the change hard and undermined by fear. Change does not need to be hard, use instead the rule of 4 strategy fundamentals while subsequently addressing behavioural change patterns effectively. A future strategy while crafting tomorrow's behaviour will lead to genuine commitment to positive change. It will significantly increase the chances of a successful transformation. 

Edward Huizenga, is one of Europe's most renowned strategy advisors and distinguished Endowed Professor of Strategy and Change at Maastricht University. As a partner at Benthurst & Co, operating globally, he advises clients such as Toyota, Randstad, Allianz, and Diversey. With a background at SaraLee, BCG, Philips and expertise in strategy and transformation, he authored seven books. Huizenga's commitment extends to social impact through initiatives like Handwashing Angels, addressing child hand hygiene in Kenya, Uganda, and India. He imparts knowledge as a guest lecturer in executive MBA programs at UMIO SBE Maastricht University, University of Amsterdam, Randstad's TIAS & INSEAD programmes, and NTU Singapore.


25hours Zurich West
Pfingstweidstrasse 102
8005 Zurich

25hours Zurich West
Edward Huizenga
More events