Student profiles

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

Thesis Projects

Chelsea Cervantes, CA

Second year ISE student conducting thesis research in Colombia

Name: Chelsea Cervantes
Age: 24
Hometown: Calgary, Canada
Academic Background: B.Sc. in Geology and Earth Sciences, University of Calgary, Canada
Major & Class: Sustainable Energy, Class of 2018

Location of thesis research:  Medellín, Colombia

How did you discover your thesis opportunity?

I was looking for a thesis project where I could explore more about high-temperature geothermal. Initially I was looking for options in Canada, however upon speaking to my advisers, Dr. Juliet Newson and Randall Morgan Greene, we realized that there were really neat project opportunities in Colombia involving high-temperature geothermal. I was introduced to Dr. Daniela Blessent from Universidad de Medellín who agreed to be my supervisor in Colombia. From there, all of the plans began.

What motivated you to travel and study in Medellín, Colombia?

Many reasons. Mainly my interest in geothermal energy implementation. I really wanted to know first-hand how it is implemented in places where geothermal is not yet utilized, as I'm really interested in having it implemented in my home country, Canada. In Colombia, there is no geothermal energy production yet, but a lot of potential.  Just like Canada. It would be a great place to learn the process hands-on. On another note, I love adventure, and Colombia seems like the perfect place to find it. I'm excited to be surrounded by new culture and have new experiences. I've never been to South America before!

What thesis research are you conducting?

I am creating a geological model of the Nevado del Ruiz geothermal area in Colombia, in order to better estimate its geothermal potential.

What do you hope to accomplish?

I'm hoping that the model I create will give a significant indication to the geothermal potential of the area, and that my research will be useful to the entirety of the project. I also hope to accomplish learning Spanish fluently.

What are you most excited for during your time there?

Oh, everything. This whole experience will be completely out of my comfort zone, but it includes everything that I love: geology, sustainable energy, culture, food… I'm excited to learn and contribute to the knowledge bank of this area, and to experience Colombian life with all the delicious food and awesome people that come with it.

What do you expect will be your biggest challenges?

The biggest challenge I imagine will likely be the language barrier. I don't speak fluent Spanish, but I'm hoping that learning the language for a few years in high school will help kick-start my learning, along with living with locals. It'll be a huge learning curve but I am up for the challenge!

How will your research abroad compliment the rest of your studies with ISE?

Quite perfectly, actually. I spent my studies in ISE trying to learn as much as I could about geothermal energy and its implementation, and now I get to play a part in an actual project that is happening. I get to integrate all that I learned at ISE and apply it directly. It's perfect!

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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