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Henk Stipdonk studied Physics at the University of Leiden. After several years of scientific research in Leiden, he joined Rijkswaterstaat in 1985. There he became acquainted with various aspects of traffic and transport in various research functions and management functions. He was active in the field of traffic flow theory and traffic management of road traffic, safety of both road traffic and navigation, and knowledge management.
In 2004 Henk switched to the Dutch Scientific Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV), where he led a team of multidisciplinary scientific researchers for 15 years. His work focused on the analysis of mobility data and accident data and on the modeling of the development of the annual numbers of road deaths and injuries. In 2013 Henk obtained his PhD in Delft with the thesis 'Road Safety in Bits and Pieces'. In this dissertation he showed how the development of road safety can be better understood by dividing the accidents and mobility into specific groups. Looking back, Henk regards his entire career as one big run-up to the position as director of KiM.