ISE Student Participating in a Research Abroad Shares His Experience

Emmanuel Cabral Shares His Experience on Living in France and Working With Eurométropole de Strasbourg


REYKJAVIK, 5 March - Emmanuel Cabral is a second year Master's candidate in Sustainable Energy Engineering here at ISE. After completing his first year at ISE, Emman participated in an international exchange program at INSA-Strasbourg (National Institute of Applied Sciences) in France, where he conducts his master research project.
Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Emman set foot in Iceland with a mindset that he wanted to take advantage of his education and immerse himself in a multicultural experience as much as possible. With a background in Architecture, Emman has experienced working in the building construction industry for a year. He then realised that there is a disconnect between the construction process and the finished building itself. Emman explained, 

I realised that it does not matter how efficient you make your buildings. If the energy they consume are derived from an unsustainable source, we are not fixing any problem. There and then, I decided that I wanted to pursue an Engineering degree to focus less on sustainable energy usage, and more on sustainable energy production.

As part of ISE's continued commitment to connect students with professionals at the forefront of renewable energy resources, Emman first heard about the exchange opportunity from the ISE program manager. For Emman, this was a dream came true since he has always wanted to visit France and learn the language. Now at INSA-Strasbourg, Emman's research involves working with the Eurométropole de Strasbourg, a metropolitan district in northeastern France consisting of 33 communes. Recently, permits high temperature geothermal research have been issued for three communes within the métropole. Emman plays an important role in analysing all three geothermal projects and help one of the commune start a drilling operation. Once published, his work will serve as a future reference for projects conducted within the Eurométropole territory. He elaborated, 

I propose several cascading industrial ecosystems that would benefit from the geothermal resource based on the Alsatian socio-economic context, a thermodynamic analysis, and the efficiency and utilisation of the different scenarios.

Emman shared his experience when he first arrived in France, 

I was quite overwhelmed when I first arrived. I came to this country without knowing anyone and no knowledge of the language. Looking back, I am glad to be put to test with a new language. As an international student at INSA-Strasbourg, I was offered free French lessons until last December. However, I learnt the most by speaking to colleagues at work and eventually you realised that you started to understand what everyone says!

In addition to working hard on his research and making his mark in the society, Emman felt that participating in a research abroad has opened many long-lasting experience, 

I have traveled and seen a lot of places, eaten delicious food, and gone to wine festivals! But above all, I have made new friends, colleagues and connections that I will never forget. Life in a small French town has exceeded so many expectations and I am making memories and connections that will surely not end the day I return to Iceland.

We then asked Emman a surprise question about a fun fact or experience, 

In France, I am referred to as the Dominican-Icelandic intern, which seems to amuse everyone!

Upon graduation, Emman plans to continue focusing on sustainable energy production. In particular, he wishes to pursue a PhD, possibly in France. We wish Emman the best of luck in finishing his thesis and look forward to his return in Iceland!


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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