Student profiles

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

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Current Students

Laura Constanza Bocanegra Rodriguez, Columbia

Name:  Laura Constanza Bocanegra Rodriguez
Age:  30
Hometown:  Bogotá, Colombia
Academic Background:  B.Sc. in Geologist from Universidad Nacional de Colombia (National University of Colombia)
Major & Class: Sustainable Energy Science , Class of 2023

Could you share with us a little bit about where you are from and your academic journey before attending Iceland School of Energy?

I am from Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia. When I was looking for my undergraduate studies, I was looking for a career that allowed me to work outdoors and mix most science and geologist gave me that possibility. When I started my career, most electives were related to mineral and petroleum exploration. Still, I was not interested in pursuing a career in the oil and gas or mining industry, so in the middle of my career, I had a chance to take an elective on volcanology. I can say the class helped me to open a new world. I had the opportunity to be close to a volcano, learned how to identify the type of eruption, describe it, and know the huge potential to use heat for power generation. After that class, I did my bachelor's s thesis to evaluate and map the potential lineaments and faults in two volcanoes in the NW of Colombia and their interest in geothermal exploration. Also, I meet people with the same interest in geothermal. We started the Geothermal Research Council (now Geothermal Rising) chapter in the University and met the Colombian Geothermal Association of Colombia -AGEOCOL, of whom I am now the treasurer.


How did you end up in Iceland and what drew you toward Iceland School of Energy?

I ended up in Iceland because I was looking for a master that would help to pursue a career in geothermal energy, and Iceland is a pioneer country in this topic. So, what drew me to study at ISE was the opportunity to learn about geothermal energy and know more about the renewable energy industry. Since the sciences, the engineering process until the economy and markets behind a project, I found it interesting how ISE could bring me that knowledge.

What are you most looking forward to going into your second year of studies?

I am looking forward to getting the data for my thesis in my second year of studies.

What are you focusing on for your thesis and how far along are you?

My thesis focuses on making a thermo-economical model for repurposing oil and gas wells for geothermal energy and some potential direct uses. I'm doing my thesis with GEG ehf (, an Icelandic geothermal development and consulting company. So far, I'm making a model in MATLAB for an Organic Rankine Cycle power plant, and I hope to get the data from an oil company soon to start running the model and obtain results that will help me improve it.

Do you know what you'd like to do after you graduate from Iceland School of Energy?

I would like to continue working at GEG. I enjoy working in the geothermal industry.


What has been the greatest takeaway you've acquired from studying at Iceland School of Energy?

My biggest lesson at ISE is how industry and research work together. Having geothermal classes with experts who have had extensive experience in the industry allows us to understand more directly how each investigation that is done can help improve or optimize the use of our resources.

What do you enjoy most about living in Iceland?

The most I enjoy most is the landscape of the island. You can drive close to the city and see an incredible landscape no matter the season. Also, having more daylight in the summer and 4-5 hours in winter is a fantastic experience and, of course, the opportunity to watch a volcanic eruption for the first time.

To all the potential students and professionals of the world considering graduate studies, why should they choose Iceland? (we don't have to include this question if you don't want to, up to you)

Iceland is recognized as a world leader in renewable energy, so for potential students and professionals who want to pursue a career in renewable energy, this country will help. ISE will help you explore the different renewable energies and have intimate experience with professionals in industries such as geothermal. Also, it will bring you closer to the technology and innovation that is taking place in the country, which will broaden your possibilities to find your passion for this industry. And finally, it will also provide you with courses with international cooperation that will help you grow your network in the renewable sector.

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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