Nathalie Crutzen - Directrice académique SCI

Dr. Nathalie CRUTZEN

Professor at HEC Liège – Management School of the University of Liège
Academic Director of the Smart City Institute

Doctor in economics and business management since 2009, Nathalie Crutzen is a teacher of strategy, performance and sustainability management at HEC Liège (Management School of the University of Liège). In 2015, she founded the Smart City Institute in partnership with some private companies and with the Walloon Region.

Nathalie Crutzen has developed her expertise in the following fields: strategic management, control of management, innovation, sustainability and “smart cities”. She oversees diverse academical activities (teaching; theses and doctoral theses follow-up; scientific and applied publications) and has developed an international network related to these themes. She is, for instance, visiting professor at the Rennes Business School (France) and research fellow at the Center for Sustainability Management of the Leuphana University of Luneburg (Germany). Moreover, she is engaged in many projects on topics such as “sustainable and intelligent territories” with Walloon, Belgian and international ecosystems.

Carina Basile - Head of Operations of the Smart City Institute


Head of Operations of the Smart City Institute

Political scientist specialised in the implementation, management and evaluation of projects, Carina Basile is Head of Operations in the Smart City Institute since September 2017. Previously, she was in charge of « Digital Cities » projects at the city of Charleroi. Her main missions were the implementation of projects linked to this specific theme, along with the development of a commercial strategy in digital development. Beyond this experience in the domain of Smart Cities, she also acquired experience being Ministerial councillor for scientific research, as well as project manager at the public administration school of Wallonia-Brussels and at Bruxelles Formation. She began her carrier as research fellow in the academic field.

Operational Team


Cécile CAPUTO Project Officer – Teaching Assistant


Project Manager – Teaching Assistant

Cécile Caputo got her master’s degree in Business Engineering (specialized in Performance Management and Control) from HEC Liège in June 2018. During her studies, she developed her knowledge in the field of Smart Cities by doing her master’s thesis on the evaluation of the “Smart City” performance of cities. In this context she decided to start her career by joining the Smart City Institute in August 2018. She will act as Professor Nathalie Crutzen’s assistant and project officer for the Institute.

Cécile CAPUTO Project Officer – Teaching Assistant

Julio joined the SCI in March 2019 as a Project Manager. He is graduated in 2010 from the ULiege with a BA in Political science and from the ULB with a MA in International relations. After his studies, he made a first step in the banking sector and then moved on to project management and, more specifically, the coordination of a regional project led by the Schaerbeek Municipality aimed at improving the management of subsidies in Brussels municipalities. Before joining us, Julio worked for the City of Liege where he led an organizational consultancy mission within the Department of Public Instruction with the goals of understanding organizational and digital changes in it. His main task at the SCI is to develop a list of practical indicators for the evaluation of projects implemented in the field of Smart Cities in Wallonia.

Pauline NAISSE Community manager & administrative assistant

Pauline NAISSE

Community manager & administrative assistant

Pauline joined the team in October 2016 to take over the job of community manager and administrative assistant. Thanks to her communication skills, she daily leads the social media of the Institute and handles, in collaboration with Julie Randaxhe, the operational communication of the Smart City Institute (support to the organisation of events, feeding of the website and newsletter, popularisation of some research results, …). Pauline is also our contact point with the press, and she supports Carina Basile in the operational and administrative management of the team. Particularly interested in architecture and design, she got a bachelor’s degree in architecture before turning herself to communication. She sees in her job the opportunity to approach the city from a new and innovative point of view.

Catherine Nguyen Project Manager

After getting her master’s degree in Global Management at HEC Liège, the Management School of the University of Liège, Catherine worked for several years as a consultant & coach for entrepreneurs, providing advice and guidance in the fields of finances and management. She joined the Smart City Institute as a Project Manager in 2016 and is responsible for the Institute’s Executive Education Program as well as the Entrepreneurship Support Mission. She is also the coordinator of the “Practical Handbook” (an annual publication aimed at bringing knowledge, methods and tools to municipalities in the Smart City field) and participates to the international missions of the Institute.

Julie RANDAXHE Project Officer

Graduated in Marketing and Strategic Intelligence at HEC Liège (University of Liège) in 2013, Julie started her career by working in the energy sector. With the desire to work in diversified and concrete projects, she arrived at the Smart City Institute in 2016, as Project Manager. Ever since, she is in charge of different missions among which the coordination of international best practices and the organisation of the annual event. She also works in a more transversal way for the communication strategy of the Institute.

Research Team


Nicolas ANCION Project Manager – INTERREG GROOF

Nicolas ANCION

Project Manager – INTERREG GROOF

Graduated from HEC Liège in June 2017, after completing a Master in Intrapreneurship and Management of Innovation Projects, Nicolas acquired an entrepreneurial experience within the venture lab,. Besides, he did a backpacking & wwoofing experience in Latin America in order to acquire knowledge on agroecology and sustainable lifestyles. In June 2018, he joined the SCI team to work on the socio-economic aspects & business modelling of an European project allowing collaboration between the urban agriculture research center of Gembloux and the SCI: GROOF, an ambitious project aimed at reducing CO2 emissions through the development of rooftops greenhouses sector.

Hélène BLEUS Researcher - PhD student

Hélène BLEUS

Researcher – PhD student

Hélène Bleus got a master’s degree in Management and Law in 2014.Then, she decided to complete her training in the field of law, and the next year she got a master’s degree in law from the University of Liège.

After one year and a half in the private sector, she joined the Smart City Institute in February 2017. She works as a researcher and assistant for the course of « Strategy & Sustainability », for students in second year of master at HEC Liège. Her research focuses on Smart Cities and Business Models. In the context of her research, she pursued studies and obtained a Master in Social Enterprises Management.

Dr. Djida BOUNAZEF-VANMARSENILLE Post-doctoral researcher


Post-doctoral researcher

Djida Bounazef-Vanmarsenille is a post-doctoral researcher at the Smart City Institute since May 2017. She currently leads applied research projects on Smart City strategies developed in Wallonia and Belgium. Her domain of research is oriented towards sustainability and culture in smarter territories. She is currently developing a research on the link between education, citizens and the image of territories. During 2018, Djida published a paper on the relationship between smartainability and mobility strategy in the IMES proceeding book. Moreover, she produced a paper on the development of mobility management controls in the Social and Environmental Accountability Journal. During IMES (Prague) and EMAN (Roumania) conferences, she presented three working papers. Djida is graduated from Harvard university (University certification on urban cities), Boston University (Micromaster in digital leadership), HEC Algiers (PhD in Business management – Master in international management). She was a scholarship exchange student at HEC Liège during 18 months to finish her PhD thesis. She taught digital strategy (short course) at ICHEC Formation Continue, as an expert former, and business negotiation at University Abderrahmane Mira as an Assistant Professor. She is also an affiliate researcher at the CEPE (HEC Liège).


Charlotte Ferrara joined the Smart City Institute in October 2018 as a researcher. Graduated from Maastricht University in International Business and Economics (2012), she then obtained a Master’s degree in Innovative Hospitality Management from Ramon Llull Universidad (2014), as well as a Master’s degree in Management Sciences from HEC Liège, the Management School of the University of Liège (2018). In the meantime, she has worked in the business world, notably as a Project Manager at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Liège Verviers Namur. Since 2017, she is also a professor at the Haute Ecole Libre Mosane (HELMo) in the faculty of Economics, for the Bachelor in International Cooperation.
Its main mission at the SCI is the writing of the “Practical Handbook”, which consists of an annual publication aimed at guiding the municipalities as well as all the other actors concerned towards a smarter and sustainable management of their territory.


Audrey joined the SCI team in February 2019 as a researcher. She graduated in 2016 from Maastricht University with a BA in European Studies and a MA in European Public Affairs. After graduation, she worked for two major Brussels based consultancies (Burson-Marsteller and ICF Mostra) before continuing to develop her knowledge on environmental topics at the Institut Eco-Conseil in Namur. Before joining the SCI team, Audrey worked for Inter Environnement Wallonie where she focused on projects related to mobility and land us planning. She was particularly active on air quality and land artificialisation. Her current researches focus on the monitoring of Smart Cities.

Michel MANJÓN-ANTOLÍN Senior research associate


Senior research associate

Michel Manjón-Antolín is senior research associate at the Smart City Institute since April 2018 and a part-time Associate Professor at the Department of Economics of the University Rovira i Virgili (Spain), where he has developed most of his academic career. He has also held visiting positions at the universities of Warwick, Tilburg and KU Leuven, worked briefly at the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis and the European Commission (DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, GROW/A Competitiveness and European Semester). Furthermore, he taught (short) courses at the Universities of Valencia, Saint-Louis Bruxelles, and KU Leuven. His research interests include applied econometrics, urban and regional science, and empirical industrial organisation. He has co-authored more than 25 JCR papers.

Research fellow

Dr. Zineb AOUNI Senior associate researcher

Dr. Zineb AOUNI

Associate professor in entrepreneurship–  Em lyon Business School

Jonathan DESDEMOUSTIER Researcher - PhD student


Attaché – DAE, Département de la coordination des fonds structurels (DCFS)

Jonas VAN BOCKHAVEN Researcher


Project Research and Management Officer EIT (Cross-KIC) at Climate-KIC