Double Degree Programme Electric Power Engineering at Iceland School of Energy and Aalto University


ESPOO, FINLAND and REYKJAVIK, ICELAND, December 1 - We had the pleasure of speaking with Even Nötland Giske and Stian Olsen Kroken , two second year students completing their double Master's degree in collaboration with Reykjavik University Department of Engineering's Iceland School of Energy and the esteemed Aalto University's School of Electrical Engineering located in Espoo, Finland.

As they are the two very first students enrolled in this joint degree program at Reykjavik University, Even and Stian are pioneering this undertaking and paving the way for future postgraduate students to enroll in this unique and transformational journey. Both students graduated with their Bachelor's degree in Renewable Energy Engineering from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Following graduation, they applied and were accepted into the two-year collaborative academic program in 2020 to obtain their MSc in Electric Power Engineering from Reykjavik University and Aalto University in 2022. Stian and Even spent their first year studying and exploring Iceland, and are now residing in Finland fulfilling the minimum studies credit of 60 ECTS from each university.

Click here to learn more about this opportunity to receive two Master's degree certificates from both universities in just two years and with one degree of workload.


What are the highlights of your experience in this dual degree program so far?

  • "I think the highlight so far has been meeting new people and exploring Finland and experiencing the sauna culture." - Stian
  • “Sauna is a common thing here, it is not a joke. They are everywhere. It's funny when, walking into a bar, quite a few of them provide a sauna as well. So the possibility of sitting there and drinking beer in the sauna is definitely possible. During the time I have been staying here, I have become more of a fan of it. I really like it now.

    And having the possibility to travel easily around Finland by train, and enjoying weekend get-aways by ferry to Estonia. We also wanted to go and experience Russia, but Covid-19 did not allow us unfortunately. Also being able to experience a hockey match for the very first time was really cool and had an atmosphere I did not expect. I would definitely like to go watch one again.

    Also the courses and the programs are handled in a very professional manner; it is a large university holding a lot of knowledge and expertise. They provide us with a clear structure of our study and the campus is huge, like a middle-sized Icelandic town with lots of opportunities. And coal power plants and nuclear power plants are a common thing here, which is very unfamiliar for us from Norway and Iceland. There is a 236MW electricity / 430MW heat capacity power plant just 800 meters from our apartment. Several others are spread around the city. Our program is providing us with a virtual tour of some of the plants. If it were not for Covid, we would have been given an in-person tour but I'm still very much looking forward to it! ” - Even


Is there anything you've gained from enrolling in this program that you believe you could not have gained in other programs or varying postgraduate experiences?

  • “I think getting a degree from two universities and graduating at the same time is something that you will not get in most other graduate or postgraduate programs. The arrangement is very beneficial, and I think for future employers this makes you more interesting. You also get two supervisors, one from Reykjavik University and one from Aalto University for the thesis; which could give you even more insight and assistance to the master thesis. ” - Stian
  • “The double Master's degree. There are not that many places that offer this opportunity for those of us in electric power engineering. I hope this will make us more attractive when applying for a job. We are also able to experience how different universities in the Nordics are training students to become the best possible engineers. ” - Even


What was your favorite memory from studying in Iceland?

  • “My favorite memory must be being able to experience an active volcano. I remember going there only a few days after it erupted for the first time, and I will always remember that incredible view of the lava coming out and filling the valley. ” - Stian
  • “Taking day trips and enjoying weekends traveling around Iceland. Going to the swimming pool or to hotpots on a regular basis. Memories like going on the Ring Road during the beautiful green and colorful summertime, looking at all of the touristy things. And all without having so many other tourists crowding the places due to Covid.

    And also as Stian mentioned, the volcano was a really crazy experience. I remember sitting in our living room having lunch between lectures and experiencing the largest earthquake in a really long time and everything in the apartment shaking and moving. What an experience! In the following weeks we experienced thousands of quakes before the eruption happened. ” - Even


What are you planning on concentrating on for your thesis projects?

  • “I will write about electric vehicles and their impact on the low and medium voltage grids. I would focus on Nordic areas like Norway, Iceland or Finland, where there is a high level of electric vehicle penetration already. There is even a professor at Aalto University in this field of research so it's definitely a potential topic. ” - Stian
  • “I have a collaboration with Istad Nett AS , a local Norwegian power grid company which I had an internship with this summer. It is based in the midwest area of ​​Norway, Molde. So I will focus on determining the strength of weak low-voltage when high, demanding loads are generated. ” - Even


Would you recommend this dual degree program to other prospective students?

  • “Yes! I would recommend doing this program. You get to experience a new country and culture, you can travel around in Finland and go to Sweden, Estonia, and Russia very easily, you can get the Erasmus scholarship for the entire period that you are there, and you get a double degree as well. The program is also very flexible, and students can choose from a lot of different courses and select what fits best to your interest. ” - Stian


What was the application process to enroll in the dual Master's degree program?

  • “I remember when we applied to Iceland School of Energy we noticed on the webpage that it's a possibility to do this double degree Masters in cooperation with Aalto and were interested. Then we talked to Mohamed Abdelfattah about it because he was the program director for it and he told us how it worked. So we applied through ISE and then the applications were approved by both universities. And another cool thing is that we received an Erasmus Scholarship for enrolling in this Masters program. ” - Even


What is the Erasmus Scholarship and how did it help you?

  • “As long as you are an exchange student with two schools that fall under the EU, you can apply for the scholarship. We both received the scholarship by applying after being accepted into the dual degree program and gained the learning agreement, which was signed between both universities. It's additional income each month that helps with the cost of living and participation so it's very helpful when studying abroad. ” - Stian



About Iceland School of Energy

By bringing together the best from industry and academia, Iceland School of Energy provides a unique, and comprehensive training for its students. A wide range of courses taught by the very best in their field open a broad spectrum of possibilities for students and allow for individual study designs. Focus is put on close collaboration with industry experts while maintaining high academic quality of the work.

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