Theo Huibers


Theo Huibers (1966) has been a researcher for over thirty years, focusing on the topic of Information Retrieval and Child Media Interaction and have acted as a full professor in Human Media Interaction & Computer Science at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. A position he has held since 2002.

Additionally, he also works in the private sector as an entrepreneur with his Dutch/UK internet company WizeNoze (founded in 2013) and he is a senior strategy advisor in the education, media, health-care and technology segment (working at Thaesis, a strategy company, he founded in 2006).

He has published academic papers in the areas of information theory, XML, information retrieval tasks for children, social media & citizen participation, publishers, business strategies and different aspects of information retrieval. Furthermore, Huibers is the author of some well-known business books. He has served as a keynote speaker at numerous academic and business conferences. At business-oriented conferences, Huibers is frequently asked to present his ideas on the valorization of academic insights in a business context. Huibers is chairman of the non-executive committee of RNW Media.


Huibers’ research addresses the broad aspects of information retrieval, including media-related retrieval, and focuses on three specific areas. 

The first focuses on the way information retrieval can help children to operate better in the information society by (automatically) fulfilling child-specific information retrieval tasks. Research topics include querying, vertical search, interfacing, and the notion of relevance for children. 

The second area focuses on Huibers’ earliest work: ‘a theoretical framework to study information retrieval’. Based on this solid theoretical framework, several aspects of information retrieval have been studied in the last twenty years, including the notion of relevance, the performance of different IR-systems, and -lately- XML-retrieval. The framework will be used to study new aspects of information retrieval, such as information retrieval for children (see the first area). 

Finally, the third area of Huibers’ research focuses on combining his academic and business expertise. Together with Professor Dr. J. van Hillegersberg and Dr. Robin Effing from the Department of Information Systems and Change Management of the University of Twente, he supervises research on the novel aspects of social media in relation to citizen participation models.