Hörður Bjarnason

Hörður Bjarnason, Civil and Traffic Engineer (MSc) 
Field of expertise: transportation 

"A lot goes into every single street, path or bridge, and all you have to do is look out the window to see something that a transportation engineer has worked on," explains Hörður, who joined the company in late 2005, marking 18 years in the profession. 

Transportation projects are highly diverse and range from initial urban planning to the final design of streets and paths. "You can't drive or cycle on roads and paths without the work that takes place behind the scenes. Our work is of interest to everyone and, trust me, everyone has an opinion about it, but perhaps fewer understand the work that goes on behind it. It's crucial to stay up-to-date in a field like this, familiarise yourself with the latest standards, and keep an eye on developments in neighboring countries," he adds. 

Hörður works in the field of transportation, having completed a master's degree in civil and traffic engineering from Lund University in Sweden. He is a father of four and a golfer in the making. 

Large-scale projects making waves across the city 

Hörður’s projects are highly varied and come in all sizes. 

In recent years, I have specialised in traffic safety and conducted traffic safety assessments for the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration and Reykjavik City. In projects of this nature, it is essential to ensure that the design adheres to standards and road design regulations, ensuring a high level of safety, and is crafted with consideration for all modes of transportation, with special emphasis on accessibility for everyone.

He has also been project managing larger developments in the capital area. "We have recently completed a project on Bústaðavegur in Reykjavik, where we handled the design of streets, pathways and bridges, along with all utility designs. This was a very large and technically complex project, mainly in regard to the utility design.“ 

When asked about a standout project, he mentions the design of the parking garage at Harpa Concert and Conference Hall. "We had to carefully consider how it should look and function and how to evacuate it, if necessary. We examined the traffic flow inside the garage and ensured that lighting controls on the surface would work as intended during a potential evacuation. We even went to Denmark to inspect comparable garages there," says Hörður. 

Keeping people safe is top priority 

"The most rewarding aspect of my job is probably knowing that we’re preventing accidents and perhaps even saving lives. My work is truly gratifying, and it‘s not without reason I‘ve been here for almost 18 years. The work is exciting, and I've been involved in numerous projects with diverse groups of customers. Plus, the company is family-friendly with flexible working hours, excellent social life, and, not least, enjoyable and professional colleagues, who have turned into great friends over the years." 

Now, with the merger with COWI, his network will expand even further, providing opportunities to utilise each other's experience and knowledge. "We have benefited greatly from exploring COWI‘s project portfolio and the experience of our new colleagues, and there will likely be even more exciting and challenging projects to come," concludes Hörður.