Student profiles

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

Current Students

Kieran Read, Canada

Sustainable Energy Engineering, Class of 2019

Name & Major: Kieran ReadSustainable Energy Engineering 
Age: 24
Hometown: Okotoks, Alberta, Canada
Undergraduate Background: B.Sc. in Physics from University of Lethbridge

Why did you choose Iceland School of Energy for your graduate studies?

Two reasons. The first being I believe that it is a good mix of theoretical and practical knowledge. There is plenty to learn in the classroom but also many opportunities to pursue industry related research/experience. 

The second reason I wanted to do my masters in Iceland is to gain valuable knowledge and a worldly perspective that I could not obtain if I had stayed in Canada.

Where do your main interests lie?

My focus at ISE, and in general, is the transition from the oil and gas industry into sustainable energy. Particularly, the effects that intermittent sustainable energy sources will have on the grid.

How does the ISE program allow you to combine your interests with your work here?

The program is really open to new ideas. Everyone I have talked to has really encouraged me find a focus and pursue it. I would have to say the biggest factor in me being able to combine my interests with the program is the support from the all the people, professors and students alike. 

Where would you like to go after completing your studies here?

I honestly don't know yet. I am thinking about either staying in Iceland if I can get a job or maybe try and find a job somewhere in Europe. Either way I am keeping my options open.

So far, how has your ISE experience been?

My experience in the program has been great. The summer school was a blast and a great way to get introduced to everyone in the program. We got a chance to know each other, especially on the excursions that we went on. The transition from summer school to the start of the program felt easy because we didn't feel like the new kids in school.

What part of the program are you looking forward to the most?

I am looking forward to potentially picking an internship which hopefully helps me narrow down a topic for my thesis. 

How have you coped with the culture shock of moving to Iceland?

By being with people. The summer school helped us all make friends quickly so it makes it feel like we aren't so far from home. The only thing that is still shocking is how expensive some things are here, still haven't gotten over that.

So far, what has been your strangest experience in Iceland?

My strangest experience was in the summer time when a group of us were walking home from downtown around midnight and we could still see the sun. It really throws off your sense of time when you are out doing things. 

What do you enjoy about living in Iceland?

The nature, the people, the all-round fun atmosphere that downtown gives off. There aren't too many bad things I can say about Iceland so far. 

How would you describe life in Reykjavik?

Pretty relaxed I would have to say, No one is really in a hurry to get anywhere. I enjoy the lifestyle change from the always working culture of Calgary. 

How is studying at ISE different from where you studied before?

ISE really feels like a big family of sorts. Here having 40+ people in the Msc. program who know each other and are all willing to help each other in every aspect of life is really great. The fact that we have our own Masters students hang out/ work area is pretty cool too. 

What is something you have done here that everybody should do?

I would suggest hiking random waterfalls and sitting in the freezing cold water. During the summer school one of the other ISE students and I got into almost everybody of water that we saw, hot or cold. 

What is something you wouldn't recommend to anyone coming here?

Harðfiskur. Can honestly say I woud not recommend it to anyone.

Finally, what has been the most useless item you brought to Iceland?

The most useless thing that I brought to Iceland would have to be my blank hard drive that I thought had all my movies/pictures on it. Jokes on me.

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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