Student profiles

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

Current Students

Roddy Akeel, United States

Sustainable Energy Engineering, Class of 2019

Name & Major: Roddy AkeelSustainable Energy Engineering
Age: 23
Hometown: Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
Undergraduate Background: B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia

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

I chose ISE for my graduate studies because during the application process it seemed like the smallest, yet strongest graduate program that I had applied to. From the get go I felt that ISE gives a learning environment that uses industrial exposure and examples throughout their courses.

Where do your main interests lie?

My main focus is power systems. My main interests lie in how we can manage the implementation of new renewable energy sources, specifically large scale wind farms and solar arrays, to make sure these new sources can provide the consistent power which developed societies require.

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

ISE has allowed me to use the tools I developed during my undergraduate studies to learn about applications which do not necessarily apply to mechanical engineers. I feel as if ISE has given me a challenging setting to truly pursue the topics which I find interesting yet hadn't been able to take courses on because they are not necessarily mechanical engineering applications.

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

I am open to all possibilities. I think when opportunities start arising, they will dictate where I end up. 

So far, how has your ISE experience been?

So far I have really enjoyed my ISE experience. The summer school was a good introduction to what ISE is about. It gave us all a chance to get to know one another, while also giving us all a chance to get to know Iceland and see places we would likely not go to otherwise (the highlands, developed and developing power plants, etc.).

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

I look forward to continuing my education throughout this year and applying what I've learned here, as well as what I learned during my undergraduate studies, to an applicable thesis study.

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

I personally did not find it as difficult to fit in as I think I would have found in different European countries. All the locals speak English very well, and they all seem really nice, from my experience.

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

Honestly, how much I feel like I can trust people here. 

What do you enjoy about living in Iceland?

As this may seem like an unpopular answer, I enjoy the weather here. This answer may change after being here for the winter, but the cozy feeling you get from the weather makes being inside for school not all that bad. And when its nice outside, it's really nice.

How would you describe life in Reykjavik?

Life in Reykjavik is not necessarily the city life, by any means. I come from a small city of about 50,000 people, and I would say the mentality is the same around here. The only difference being the noticeable facets of the tourism industry.

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

ISE has actually been quite similar to how I studied at UVA. Working with small groups on assignments, project write-ups, and presentations. I was glad to hear we got our own personal desk at the school, that's something I've never experienced.

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

Going to festivals. Some may seem more touristic than others, and when you go to one that is dominated by the locals, it gives you an insight into their culture and their mentality. 

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

I went and visited the old WWII plane wreckage site. It was a cool thing to see and climb on, but the walk is about 40 minutes one way and it feels like much longer than 40 minutes because there aren't really any landmarks.

What is the most useless thing you brought?

Unfortunately, it's a book. I shouldn't say more…

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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