Student profiles

A few of ISE's students answer some questions about their study experience and living in Iceland.


Liz Ernst, United States - Current Students

Originating from Itasca, Illinois in the United States, Liz came to ISE to study Sustainable Energy with the goal to focus on sustainable urban development. Liz was first introduced to the world of science and sustainability in 2015 when she decided to become vegan and after a 10 hour layover from Paris in Reykjavik, she knew her next step was the Iceland School of Energy. Liz is now deep in her masters studies and looks forward to attaining an internship in the coming semesters.

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Roddy Akeel, United States - Current Students

Roddy Akeel came to Iceland from Charlottesville, Virginia in the United States to study Sustainable Energy Engineering here at ISE. Specializing in Power Systems Engineering, Roddy decided to apply many of the skills he learned during his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering in a different area. Specifically, Roddy aims to contribute to the large scale implementation of wind farms and solar arrays while maintaining grid stability. Roddy also finds the weather more than suitable for studying.

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Caroline Medino, USA - Current Students

Originating from Pompton Lake in the garden state of New Jersey, United States, Caroline decided to apply her bachelor's in Chemical Engineering in the field of Sustainable Energy Engineering here at ISE. Caroline notes that while she is unsure of her exact focus area, she places great emphasis on battery technology and energy storage systems when looking at how to further integrate renewable energy into current electricity markets. For now Caroline is integrating herself into Iceland and studying on.

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Nataly Castillo Ruiz, CO - Current Students

Originating from Bogotá, Colombia, Nataly came to the Iceland School of Energy to study Sustainable Energy while focusing on geothermal in particular. Having a geoscience background and being concerned with sustainability and energy, it was simply the next logical step. Nataly chose ISE because it "had all the things [she] was looking for". Nataly has since integrated herself in Iceland, while maintaining her culture with salsa and is most looking forward to the upcoming geothermal modules.

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Enzo Diependaal, NL - ISE Internships

Originally from the Netherlands, Enzo entered the Sustainable Energy Engineerings masters program in 2016. With a bachelors in Aerospace Science and Technology, Enzo decided to transition into the energy sector, finding interest in various forms of energy generation. Since his start, he has attended extracurricular programs both in Svalbard, Norway and St. Petersburg in Russia and completed a managerial internship with Landsvirkjun, The National Power Company of Iceland.

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Kieran Read, Canada - Current Students

Hailing from Okotoks, Alberta, Canada, Kieran joined ISE in the Class of 2019. Coming from a background in physics, Kieran has chosen to specialize in Power Systems Engineering and is seeking to transition from the oil and gas industry to sustainable energy. Kieran also mentions seeking a more worldly perspective, something he could not achieve if he chose to stay in Canada. After almost two months in the ISE program, Kieran shares his experiences so far.

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Vedran Žiković, Croatia - Current Students

Prior to ISE, Vedran attained his masters in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Zagreb and worked a number of years as an engineer in his field. Wanting to return to exploration drilling, Vedran could think of no better field than geothermal exploration and no better place than Iceland to study this. Vedran chose studying Sustainable Energy Engineering at ISE in order to make this transition. Now in the program, Vedran shares his experiences thus far with the ISE community.

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Evelyn Gunawan, ID - Current Students

Originally from Jakarta, Evelyn completed her undergraduate degree in environmental science from the University of British Colombia before coming to Iceland. She is now two months into her ISE masters program studying sustainable energy, with aspirations of starting a consulting firm focusing on renewable energy and environmental assessment. Evelyn shares her experiences so far in Iceland, what she has enjoyed and not, along with her recommendations to future students.

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Jóhann Mar Ólafsson, IS - ISE Internships

A former student of geology and local Icelander, Jóhann Mar Ólafsson joined the Iceland School of Energy in 2016. Since then Jóhann has been an active member of the student body, leading and coordinating Meet the Industry events and taking on an ISE internship. Utilizing to his expertise, Jóhann researched the potential use of drones for future geological research projects within the school. He has taken this ISE internship and continued researching the topic for his masters thesis project.

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Gaynor McIlraith, Canada - ISE Internships

After finishing her undergrad at Queen's University in Environmental and Geological Sciences, Gaynor decided to take her education to the next level by pursuing a graduate degree in Sustainable Energy here at ISE. Midway through her first year, Gaynor attained an internship with Landsvirkjun, The National Power Company of Iceland, where she completed an intensive study of Iceland's offshore wind potential. She has since expanded this into her thesis research.

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Chelsea Cervantes, CA - Thesis Projects

Originating from Calgary, Canada, Chelsea quickly discovered her passion for geology and began working in the oil and gas industry of Alberta. Deciding to specialize her career in geothermal energy instead, Chelsea began her masters degree in Sustainable Energy here in Iceland. Now a year into her degree, Chelsea is off to Colombia where she will be creating a geological model of the Nevado del Ruiz geothermal area, in order to better estimate its geothermal potential. 

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Andrea Morgan, Canada - Thesis Projects

From Canada to Iceland and back, with multiple stops in-between, Andrea Morgan has returned to Canada after a year of lectures here at ISE to begin her masters thesis research. Since arriving in Iceland, Andrea took her education in her own hands, visiting far-off destinations such as the UNIS in Svalbard, Norway, or SPBSTU in St. Petersburg, Russia, to learn more and grow. Now in her second year, Andrea is off to Quebec City, where she will investigate the geothermal potential of flooded mines.

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Anja Ruess, Germany - Thesis Projects

Coming to Iceland from Germany, Anja Kathrin Ruess is now poised to return to Germany for her masters thesis project. Having spent a year in classes here at ISE, Anja decided upon nuclear waste management as her research topic. In particular, she aims to research public participation in a multinational nuclear waste repository project. As Iceland has no nuclear generation, Anja found it only natural to return to Germany and contacted the Karlsruhe Insitute of Technology (KIT).

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Riley Newman, USA - Thesis Projects

Coming to Iceland from Palmer, Alaska, Riley has always been passionate about geological processes. Riley entered the Sustainable Energy Sciences program here at ISE with a background in geophysics and physics. A year later, Riley has now set out to apply his knowledge with his thesis work in New Zealand. Working with the support of experts at the University of Auckland, Riley seeks to create a geological reservoir model for the IDDP-2 well in Reykjanes here in Iceland.

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Emmanuel Cabral, DR - Thesis Projects

With a background in Architecture, originating from the tropical Dominican Republic, Emmanuel turned both his immediate climate and career upside down by coming to study Sustainable Energy Engineering here in Iceland. Indeed, he hopes to turn the Earth's climate away from it's current trajectory by advancing renewable technology. After studying fluid and thermodynamics as a Future Arctic Scholar for a year within the ISE, Emmanuel is now in France putting his skills to good use.

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Brennan Cicierski, Canada - Thesis Projects

Completing his B.A.Sc. in Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Brennan decided to transition to renewables by pursuing his M.Sc. in Sustainable Energy Engineering degree here at ISE. A years worth of classes and lessons later and Brennan is now ready to return to Canada to apply his knowledge and skills in sustainable energy systems to the mining industry with his upcoming thesis project.

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Romain Metge, France - Thesis Projects

Originally from France, Romain came to Iceland to pursue his graduate education in Sustainable Energy, here at ISE. With his background in Geology of Natural resources, he had his eyes set on further expanding his knowledge in geothermal exploration. Romain is currently in Switzerland, taking the lessons he has learned in class to the real world by conducting geological research for his thesis project.

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Sven

Sven Scholtysik, Germany - Alumni

Sven joined ISE in July of 2013 after having completed a four-year selective study business and economics programme with BP and working as Business Analyst for the downstream midterm planning department. His decision to join ISE was founded on the nature of the programme, as it combined engineering and economics into a truly interdisciplinary approach to sustainable energy.

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Dwina Soerono, Indonesia - ISE Internships

Originating from Jakarta, Dwina completed her undergraduate degree in Economics at McGill University in Canada. Shortly after, Dwina joined ISE here in Iceland to study Sustainable Energy. Attracted to holistic approaches, Dwina has since completed an internship with Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland, where she was tasked to conduct research on the Social Progress Index and it's applications within Landsvirkjun and the energy sector.

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Mike Doheny, USA - Alumni

Originally from Amherst, NH, Mike came to Iceland in 2014 after having worked as non-destructive engineer in the American oil industry, following his completion of his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Economics. He joined ISE because of the decline in oil and gas related jobs, the opportunity to live in such beautiful country and a desire to entrench himself in the wind power sector.

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Marie Lovise Ve, ISE

Marie Lovise Ve, Norway - ISE Internships

Since the start of her undergraduate degree, Marie knew she wanted to get into the energy sector. Entering her masters degree in Sustainable Energy Engineering, Marie showed great interest in wind energy, after having completed her B.Sc. thesis on wind. Since then Marie secured and completed an internship with Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland, looking at Iceland's offshore wind potential. Marie is now looking into wind energy for her thesis work.

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Jordon Grant, England - Thesis Projects

Jordon Grant joined ISE with the Class of 2018 after having worked in the oil and gas drilling industry for several years. Returning to his background in electronic engineering, Jordon has developed a big interest in power systems, in particular high-voltage-DC systems. Now in Mexico at UNAM, Jordon is designing a microgrid for a small island in Belize, working with a small company on the specifics of the design.

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James Catley, England - Current Students

James Catley moved to Iceland in summer of 2016 to enroll at ISE and pursue his graduate education in Sustainable Energy. The decision to ultimately join ISE was due to the broad programme with the option to specialize in his areas on interest. This is exactly what James is currently doing by focusing on geothermal exploration and modelling.

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Selma-Penna Utonih, NA - Alumni

In summer of 2015, Selma-Penna Utonih, 25, joined the ISE family from Beijing, where she had obtained her undergraduate degree in Environmental Engineering. She has always been interested in the energy sector, especially in her home country of Namibia. She now pursues her master's degree in Sustainable Science Engineering.

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Fritz being super comfortable infront of a loud turbine that sounds like it might explode at any second

Fritz Steingrube, Germany - ISE Internships

Fritz came to ISE in 2015 from Greifswald, Germany, with a background in European Public Administration. Since then he has been studying Sustainable Energy and sought to combine his two passions with an internship with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in Germany. Fritz has since completed his studies at ISE and wrote his thesis researching electric vehicle participation in the Icelandic balancing market.

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Laurie Anton on a Glacier holding a piece of ice

Laurentiu Anton, Canada - Current Students

In Canada, Laurentiu (Laurie) attained a B.Sc. in Honors Mathematical Physics with a minor in Pure Mathematics while running two independent businesses. Now focusing on the energy sector, Laurie is currently pursuing his M.Sc. in Sustainable Energy Engineering, specializing in Power Systems Engineering. We asked him a few questions about why he joined ISE, his main focus here and his experiences moving to Iceland in general.

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Mads Lauritsen on stage of Arctic Circle 2015

Mads Lauritsen, Denmark - Alumni

Mads joined the Iceland School of Energy in summer of 2014 from Denmark. The Horsens-native had previously completed his degree in business development engineering, with a focus on innovation and start-up companies at University of Aarhus. In order to specialize in the energy sector, Mads joined ISE. During his time at ISE, Mads focused primarily on feasibility analysis of small and medium size systems and wrote his final dissertation on such a system in Greenland, before graduating in 2016.

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Student at power plant

Cari Covell, USA - Alumni

In 2014 Cari enrolled in the Iceland School of Energy's graduate programme sustainable science engineering. Originally from New York, Cari had obtained an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the University of Delaware and spent a few months working as an estimator for a general contractor on Long Island. The decision to join ISE was largely driven by the lasting impression the GREEN Program had left and her desire to explore the possibilities and opportunities of geothermal energy much further.

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Sarah Sternbergh

Sarah Sternbergh, Canada - Alumni

Sarah Sternbergh moved to Iceland in 2014 from her home in Canada's Yukon to pursue her master's degree in Sustainable Energy Engineering at ISE. She had obtained a bachelor's degree in geological engineering with a focus in mineral exploration from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, which had landed her a job as an engineer in the hydrogeology field in her home territory. Her decision to join ISE came from wanting further her knowledge of geothermal energy.

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Samuel Perkin, Australia - Alumni

Samuel joined Iceland School of Energy in 2012 from southern Australian Adelaide, successfully completed his studies in 2014. His background in Civil engineering combined with environmental geoscience quickly secured him employment as a civil construction site engineer. However, Samuel wished to leave Australia and pursue a MSc in Europe and had an interest in the energy sector.

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Ximena

Ximena Muguruza, Peru - Alumni

Throughout her studies, Ximena focused on geothermal and reservoir engineering, which ultimately lead to her thesis, modelling the Hágöngur Geothermal Reservoir. After graduating ISE in 2016, Ximena returned to Peru. She rejoined the environmental consultancy and is actively involved in restructuring procedures surrounding environmental impact assessments of renewable energy projects, where her knowledge of geothermal and renewable energies are critical to her work.

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Almar Barja, Iceland - Alumni

Almar's final thesis research was written in cooperation with Iceland GeoSurvey. Almar reviewed mineral scaling in Hveragerði district heating system, and graduated in 2015. After a brief period of working for Reykjavik University and coordinating multiple graduate programmes, Almar now works at a consulting firm based in London. He reviews energy policy, regulation and provides economic advice for governments and international agencies, actively utilising the tools and knowledge gained during his time at Iceland School of Energy.

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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.

Iceland School of Energy is part of and accredited by the School of Science and Engineering at Reykjavik University in Iceland.

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