Sonja Heikkinen, Head of Degree Programme in Traffic and Transport Management
The topicality, significance and concreteness of traffic solutions give Sonja a sense of “bettermaking” in her work.
Sonja Heikkinen moved from her duties as a lecturer in transport to the position of Head of Degree Programme last May. In addition to the usual duties of a manager, i.e. taking care of the content and resourcing of the degree programme, a significant new initiative is underway: the first English-language degree programme in HAMK’s transport sector education is being planned.
As the name suggests, the Sustainable Urban Design programme will have a strong emphasis on sustainable development.
“Like the transport sector in general, it has big sustainability goals. Transport planning must take into account the need to significantly reduce transport emissions. In addition, it must be possible to offer good mobility environments and transport services for people of all ages. The population is ageing, so different types of reduced mobility must be taken into account,” Sonja explains.
According to Sonja, it is essential in the education that students learn to understand people’s behaviour and ways of operating in transport, as well as how technology and digitalisation bring new solutions to transport as well.
The topicality, significance and concreteness of traffic solutions give Sonja a sense of “bettermaking”.
“When we develop different transport and mobility solutions for ordinary people and, of course, for businesses, it should be quite motivating, that in a way you can leave your handprint on the everyday life of pretty much every Finn.”
You can leave your handprint on the everyday life of pretty much every Finn.
Sonja is also motivated daily by her own work community. Transport education includes professionals from a wide range of backgrounds.
“We have received employees from, for example, private road and street planning consultancies, Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY) that are responsible for maintaining the state’s road network, or people from maintenance tasks or public transport authorities. The field is broad, which makes discussions and co-creation interesting.”
And what is Sonja’s own preferred mode of transport?
“I get around my local area by walking and cycling whenever possible. It’s an everyday luxury for me.”
At HAMK, we believe that the world can be saved with both feet on the ground. All it takes are brave people and concrete actions.
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