Dr Doctor (Doctor) John F.B. Bolte (1971) lectures on smart sensor systems at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and the Centre for Sustainability, Environment and Health at RIVM, where he is the assignment coordinator for personal exposure and impact monitoring using wearable sensors.

John studied geophysics and physics at Utrecht University, and graduated in 1995 from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) with a degree in seismology, specialising in oceanography and geodynamics. In 2003, he completed a PhD in acoustic imaging at the Faculty of Applied Physics at Delft University of Technology. Since completing his post-initial master’s degree at VU University Amsterdam in 2011, he has been a registered epidemiologist.

In his time at RIVM, he has led multi-disciplinary and international projects in the field of electromagnetic fields and health for 10 years:

Electromagnetic fields on the RIVM website

Electromagnetic fields in everyday life on the RIVM website

During his time here, he has worked and published in three domains:

  • Engineering: measurement uncertainties and protocols, measuring and modelling of individual exposure with wearables, mobile measurements, and models of large areas
  • Policy: professional exposure risks and control measures
  • Impact: epidemiological studies on associations between electromagnetic fields and unexplained somatic complaints (somatoform disorders), and on ecological impact on flora and fauna.

John has co-authored approximately 120 peer-reviewed academic papers, RIVM reports and publications for the professional market. As a PI, he has generated 1.5 million euros in research funding in the Electromagnetic Fields and Health research programme of the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) as well as the RIVM Strategic Research Programme. He spent three years on the Board of Directors of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, a global professional association (www.bems.org).

John has won an award for his article on calibration of field strength measuring devices for electromagnetic fields: The most influential Bioelectromagnetics Journal paper by citation award for 2011-2016, presented during the BioEM2017 annual meeting in Hangzhou, China. John was the lead author on this article; his co-authors worked for the Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands: “Bolte, J. F.B., van der Zande, G. and Kamer, J. (2011), Calibration and uncertainties in personal exposure measurements of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Bioelectromagnetics, 32: 652–663.”

As a professor at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, John Bolte chairs the Smart Sensor Systems group. His research focuses on: Smart Health: measurement of environmental exposures and effects on humans, animals and plants; Smart Safety: professional exposure and early warning systems; and Smart Acquisition and Control: big data analytics, sensor fusion, semantic mapping and autonomous transport. The URBINN LearningLab provides a framework for the multidisciplinary projects on sustainable and autonomous transport, from smart wheelchairs to self-driving cars. The research group he chairs is also affiliated with the Urban Knowledge Centre of the ‘Good Governance for a Safe World’ research platform. Prevention and prediction are watchwords for this research group.

On 20 November 2017, the research group won the Haaglanden Mobility Award 2017 in the ‘Innovative Approach’ category for the work that the URBINN LearningLab is doing on autonomous driving.


  • Electromagnetic fields
  • Epidemiology
  • Individual exposure measurements / wearables
  • Autonomous transport / self-driving vehicles
  • Applied data science / Big Data


E-mail: info@rivm.nl