Born and raised in the Netherlands, Catelijne pursued her first degree in the Arts & Sciences Program at the University of Maastricht. Here she first encountered social and cultural studies of science and technology, and studies of visual culture, working under the supervision of José van Dijck and Bernike Pasveer.
She subsequently moved to the UK for graduate studies. At the University of Oxford, she obtained first a Master's in social history of medicine, and then a DPhil in management studies as part of Steve Woolgar's group at the Saïd Business School. Her thesis, completed in 2006, ethnographically examines the work of positioning and 'reinventing' mammograms as diagnostic evidence in a startup software company.
After a stint as a postdoctoral researcher in the Innovation Studies Centre at Imperial College Business School (London) with Jennifer Whyte, Catelijne moved to the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2008. There she joined a growing community of academics connected to the field of Science, Technology and Society, led by Gregory Clancey. At NUS her teaching career also began.
She was an Assistant Professor with the Department of Sociology for three years, and then joined Tembusu College when it opened its doors in 2011. As Tembusu's inaugural Director of Studies, she worked with colleagues and students to build an interdisciplinary, innovative and empowering teaching and learning space.
In February 2018, Catelijne left NUS to move to Spain. She now works in private practice as a life coach for academics and others. She is also continuing her research, as a part-time Research Fellow at the Department of Thematic Studies at Linköping University in Sweden.