Sonia Daleiden

Sonia Daleiden, PE, PTOE
Principal Engineer
Boise, Idaho

Sonia learned about KAI through one of her transportation engineering professors at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The professor knew KAI staff members through the Transportation Research Board, and strongly suggested that Sonia contact them when she began her job search.

She joined the firm in 1998 and, with co-workers Andy Daleiden (who is also her husband) and John Ringert, helped establish its Boise office in July 2003. Over the years, Sonia has accomplished much through the transportation planning and community development projects she has done. In recent years, pedestrian and bicycle planning has become an interest and passion for Sonia.

"We're always looking to improve our transportation system in ways that are more holistic and allow us to evaluate how they are performing from a lot of different perspectives," she says. "Instead of just moving cars, it's about moving people in a number of different ways. It's also about how we can use the transportation system, and couple that with created strategies, to build the type of communities and places in which we all want to live."

Sonia, who also works with private developers and businesses to improve the movement of customers and freight, had little interest in transportation engineering as a youngster - primarily because of her family history. Her maiden name, Hennum, is well-known to the north in Ontario, Canada, where her father was a civil engineer who served as a head of Ontario's equivalent of our state transportation department.

"Transportation engineering was the last thing I wanted to do when I was growing up, but by the time I got to university it was the thing that drew me in the most," she says, adding her biggest reward is helping to improve communities, whether at the neighborhood, city or regional level.

"Transportation is such a huge part of our lives - how we view our quality of life and how we view the places we live. I get so much satisfaction from helping communities make that part of their life better," she says. "It can be a controversial issue about how to make things better, but working together to create solutions that many people can support is really satisfying for me."