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Anders Koponen, M.Sc (Tech), Rock Engineer, Underground Spaces and Tunnels

My rock-climbing hobby led me to study rock engineering.” Know-how in rock engineering in Finland – and particularly at Sito – is on the top-level.

Rock climber Anders Koponen enjoys rock landscapes both as a leisure activity and in his work: he designs the implementation of underground facilities.

Anders came to work at Sito already whilst studying in 2009, and continued in a full-time position after graduating in 2011.

Anders started his job at a good time: he has managed to become a part of many of the most significant rock engineering projects at the planning and implementation stage. The plans for the excavation work at  Kalasatama Centre in Helsinki are familiar to him, and in summer 2012 he followed the transfer project of the Metro line from a  box seat. The change in the Metro rail line was one of the most demanding technical phases in the construction of Kalasatama Centre. It was completed in nine days. At first, the cables, safety equipment and old rails required by the Metro traffic were dismantled during a weekend in July. At the point of the rail line, the rock was excavated to a depth of about three metres and the temporary supports of the bridge were built. The new bridge was pushed by means of eight jacks along the transfer tracks into place, a ballast was raised on top of the bridge, and the new rails were installed. Finally, the required cables and safety equipment were connected and tested to ensure that everything worked. Under the work site, a work tunnel 200 metres in length was also excavated, through which it was possible to build, from below, the final pillars carrying the bridge.  All phases of the work were scheduled in detail.

Anders has also planned VT7’s tunnels. Husula Tunnel, about half a kilometre in length, comes to the Hamina bypass, as well as Kolsila Tunnel, which is 150 metres in length. Markkinamäki Tunnel, which is 500 metres long, comes to the Koskenkylä-Loviisa-Kotka motorway.

In designing the underground spaces, Anders certainly has a lot of work cut out for him. Road tunnels will be built in the future as well, as they save the landscape and shorten the routes. To save above-ground space, many support services are being located underground, such as parking facilities. Facilities located underground are energy-effective, so in the future more and more sport and leisure activity facilities will be placed below ground in city centres.

According to Anders, Sito has a very good work community and a good spirit. Also in the future, Anders would like to work in projects connected with rock engineering – the more challenging, the better.  Projects linked with public transport are particularly interesting.

In addition to rock-climbing, Anders practises recreational hiking in general. “I try to be outside as much as possible,” he says. Anders lives with his partner in Helsinki.