Maria Agren
Maria Agren Photo: Jennie Pettersson View original picture , opens in new tab/window

"Nice to be remembered"

Published: 8 November 2016

Maria Agren has been the Director of several significant expert authorities in Sweden, the Swedish Geotechnical Institute, SMHI, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and now the Swedish Transport Agency. Her recommendation to today's students is to follow the heart when it comes to work and study.

-– Regards to the choice of work and study, do what feels good and try things at work, if it does not work out, you can do something else, I usually say to myself, she says.

Maria Ågren, 53, lives in Norrköping, was born in Gällivare, raised in Härnösand and then moved to Luleå for studies at Luleå University of Technology, where she she took a degree in civil engineering.

The education at Luleå University of Technology gave Maria Ågren interest and knowledge of sustainable technological development of society and has been a very good basis for her work at the state administration, where much of her work today is about business development and dialogue internally and externally. Dialogue is often between individuals, industries, government agencies and government representatives.

In conjunction with the award ceremony at the House of Science she talked about what she thinks is extremely exciting in her work, and that is to contribute to social development and to safeguard democracy in society and the rule of law. The major challenges she sees in her work is among others to meet the technology development of self-driving cars, will driving license required in the same way? And drones, how much do we need to control them? Other issues are digitization and of course the sustainability aspect and climate challenges.

Maria Agren is currently a member of the University Board at Luleå University of Technology and therefore follows the University's work and development ongoing. She has previously been involved in various educational projects at the university and in the mentoring program for researchers. She hopes that she as rewarder of  Alumnus of the Year will give students at Luleå University of Technology a positive picture of what they can choose to focus on after graduation.

–  I think it is just great to get this award, to be remembered by one´s university in this way, says Maria Ågren.