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 University of Oxford, where she obtained a Master's in social history of medicine, and then joined Steve Woolgar's group at the Saïd Business School for a PhD in management studies. 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 run her own coaching business in combination with continuing her research.