Obituary; Árni Björn Jónasson
On Sunday 31 May 2020 we sadly lost our dear friend and colleague Árni Björn Jónasson.
Árni was a leader in his profession. He possessed admirable qualities with his intelligence, energy and enthusiasm leading to countless success throughout his career.
Educated as a civil and structural engineer in Iceland, Sweden and Denmark, Árni dedicated his professional life to the design, development and management of electrical transmission lines. He began his career with Landsvirkjun, the former national transmission system owner in Iceland and quickly moved on to forming his own consulting company Línuhönnun. There, he spent almost 30 years as either CEO or Chairman, leading an organization of specialist transmission designers that would provide the backbone for development of the growing Icelandic transmission grid.
During this time, Árni extended his reputation, moving into foreign markets most noticeably in Norway, where he used his expertise to develop solutions for the transmission grid. Later, he branched further into Europe and then Africa, continuously developing his expert contacts, endless list of friends and participating in projects in over 40 countries. Línuhönnun later formed the foundation for Efla Consulting Engineers which is today amongst the largest multidisciplinary design engineering organizations in Iceland. He then went on to form ARA Engineering in 2009 and by 2017 the company had grown to 25 employees with focus on designing transmission infrastructure for owners and distributors worldwide.
Always looking outside the Icelandic borders, Árni was responsible for the formation of engineering consultancies in several European countries with the most recent located in Poland and Norway as subsidiaries of ARA. In 2017, ARA was acquired by Norconsult Group with the continuation of offices in Iceland and Poland. Stepping back from company management, Árni continued work as an expert consultant and project manager to the final day.
Publishing multiple research papers, Árni was the Iceland country Chairman and convenor on working groups for CIGRE, organizing and driving forward innovation within the industry.
Away from the office Árni was a passionate angler, active in the Icelandic fishing community and would never miss the opportunity to invite friends with him on adventurous trips.
Árni leaves a lasting legacy both within his profession and outside. He will be remembered by young and old.
Árni is survived by his wife Guðrún Ragnarsdóttir, three children and six grandchildren.