Senior Fellows Q&A: Professor Siti Malkhamah

Professor Siti Malkhamah, or Amah for short, is an AIC Senior Fellow and a Professor in Civil Engineering at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM). She is also currently the Dean of the Graduate School there.

She recently told us about her decision to study transport engineering, her journey in that field, and a bit about her home of UGM and Yogyakarta.

Describe how you first became interested in your research field.

I studied Civil Engineering for my bachelor degree and after that I had to choose one of four fields: structural engineering, water engineering, transport engineering, irrigation engineering. At that time, in the 1980s, transport engineering was a new field and was very interesting as many transport infrastructure projects were happening, for instance freeways and airports. I studied transport engineering for two semesters after my bachelor program, to achieve an engineering degree.

What do you like about your university? Name a past colleague or teacher there who inspired you in your work, and explain how.

UGM has great values and many interdisciplinary study programs. Located in Jogjakarta, it is a very good place to study. Prof. Sardjito, our first rector, built a very good and strong foundation of a university with great values.

If you could implement one new policy in your hometown of Yogyakarta, guaranteed to succeed, what would it be?

I would like to implement integrated sustainable transport.

PAIR looks at the impact of new transport infrastructure. Can you recall the arrival of any major new infrastructure in your life or community? Do you recall its impact?

Soekarno-Hatta Airport, in the 1980s. Now a very busy airport. Also, toll roads in Semarang and surrounding areas, where I did my field studies in the 1980s.

Where do you go and what do you do for a relaxing weekend?

Rural areas. Very peaceful and nice.

Could you recommend a book that everyone should read, and why?

‘Man in the Brown Suit’ by Agatha Christie. Very good, you will not get bored.