Student profiles

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


Bethany Bronkema - Current Students

In 2022, Bethany Bronkema received a Fulbright scholarship to conduct research at Reykjavik University. Her project focused on the environmental aspects of Iceland's aluminum production, allowing her to explore a new dimension of sustainability studies. This experience led her to become an integral part of Reykjavik University's academic community and inspired her to enroll in the Iceland School of Energy's MSc in Sustainable Energy Engineering program.

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Bochang Chen, China - Current Students

Bochang Chen, is a 24-year-old student from China on a mission to make a difference in the world of sustainable energy. With a background in Automation and a passion for innovation, Bochang is currently pursuing a degree in Sustainable Energy Engineering at the Iceland School of Energy. Iceland, known for its advanced geothermal technology, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people, is the perfect place for Bochang to take his skills to the next level and make a real impact on the future of energy. He is excited about the opportunities and knowledge that ISE has to offer and encourages potential students to join in this exciting journey towards a sustainable future.

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Laura Constanza Bocanegra Rodriguez, Columbia - Current Students

Laura grew up knowing that she wanted a career that would allow her to work both outside and inside. Growing up in Bogotá, Colombia, her education in science and geology provided the pathway. In school, she learned about mineral and petroleum exploration but knew it was not the career she wanted for herself. Through time she met those interested in geothermal and started the Geothermal Research Council (now Geothermal Rising) chapter in the University and worked with the Colombian Geothermal Association of Colombia - AGEOCOL, of whom she is now the treasurer.

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Abra Roberta Gold, United States - Current Students

Growing up on the shores of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania in the United States, Abra traveled in search of her interests in geology. Abra's academic goal was to become a hydrogeologist specializing in water resource management. While studying in the Appalachian mountains at Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Abra's interest shifted towards volcanology and geothermal energy. Today, Abra is completing her MSc thesis in Canada and has her eyes on moving and furthering her studies in Norway regarding borehole thermal energy storage. 

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Xavier Léveillée-Dallaire, Canada - Current Students

Xavier came from Quebec to Iceland in pursuit of both expanding his understanding of high-temperature geothermal systems and embarking on treks through the magical landscapes of Iceland with newly-made friends. He is no stranger to hard work having spent a summer tree planting in Northern Ontario, and used this work ethic in Iceland to develop the knowledge and skills needed to continue working on geothermal systems back in Canada. Read on to learn more about Xavier's time in Iceland and what exciting adventures his second year of studies will bring.

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Nicole Bird, USA - Current Students

Nicole is the epitome of a world traveler, embarking on educational experiences in the United States, Thailand, Japan, Iceland, and Slovenia. Her adventurous spirit brought her to Iceland where she started her master's experience researching the energy community of Luče, Slovenia. Learn more about Nicole's adventures, career progression, and all of the incredible projects she's taken on.

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Corey Harpe, USA - Current Students

"I’m a strong believer that mankind’s ability to innovate and create cutting-edge advancements in science and technology will be the solution to mitigate anthropogenic climate change. If we break it, we better be able to fix it." Mechanical engineer turned pilot turned modeling and simulation specialist...Corey's career has been nothing short of interesting and spectacular, and it's just getting started! Read on to learn about how Corey's passion for technology and drive for making a change brought him to Iceland.

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Hjörleifur sitting in Sky Lagoon

Hjörleifur Þór Steingrímsson, Iceland - Current Students

Growing up in Iceland near hydropower plants, Hjörleifur had a strong interest in sustainable energy. His academic studies at Reykjavik University and summer internship with Varmaorka working at binary geothermal power plants solidified this passion. Learn more about Hjörleifur's journey and perspective on why studying sustainable energy in Iceland is an optimal experience.

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Matt Villante posing in front of a volcano 2

Matthew Villante, USA - Current Students

Wanting to learn from people with varied and unique backgrounds, Matt traveled the world during his bachelor studies and developed a growing interest in sustainable development, clean energy, and international cooperation. With a desire  to explore previous interests, develop new ones, and graduate with a clear picture of the key issues facing our world today, Matt settled on ISE for his graduate studies. Find out more as he shares his story and experiences studying in Iceland.

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Andrés Laverde in Westman Islands

Andrés Laverde, Colombia - Current Students

Growing up in Bogotá, the capital and largest city of Colombia, Andrés developed a passion for volcanology, energy and sustainability while studying Geosciences at Los Andes University. With a desire to further his knowledge, Andrés chose Iceland School of Energy to pursue his master's degree in Sustainable Energy with a specialization in Geothermal Energy. Here, he shares his experiences with ISE, moving to Iceland and what direction he plans on taking his career.

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Arkaitz Manterola in front of mountains

Arkaitz Manterola, Spain - Current Students

From a small surfing town from the Basque Country in Northern Spain, Arkaitz always had an interest in the ocean, all things renewable energy, and minimizing the human impact on our natural world. With a degree in Renewable Energy Engineering from the University of the Basque Country under his belt, Arkaitz chose Iceland School of Energy to further his studies and unlock the secrets of geothermal energy. Arkaitz is wrapping up his first year and shares his experiences in Iceland and what he plans on focusing on for his thesis.

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Gunnlaug Ásgeirsdóttir, Iceland - Current Students

Growing up in Iceland with a life-long love for nature, Gunnlaug joined ISE to further her knowledge of sustainability in both the land and marine environment. Having completed her studies of Fisheries Science at the University of Akureyri, Gunnlaug is now studying Sustainable Energy at ISE to explore the circular economic opportunities with aquaculture and learn about sustainable energy solutions across the world. Here, she shares her journey from Ólafsfjörður to Reykjavík and how she has been surviving as a student during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Emilie Desjardins, Canada - Current Students

While finishing up her undergraduate degree, Emilie took part in ISE's Energy Field School and fell in love with Reykjavik and RU. Needless to say Emilie decided to move from her hometown of Shediac in New Brunswick, Canada, to pursue a degree in Sustainable Energy Engineering here at ISE. Emilie is now in her second year, researching plastic waste streams in Iceland, and shares her experience to date doing a masters abroad.

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Arthurton Bellot, Dominica - Current Students

Hailing from the Commonwealth of Dominica, Arthurton Bellot started his MSc in Sustainable Energy in 2019. Having experienced the destruction of his country from a climate-change-fueled-freak-hurricane, Arthie decided to focus on sustainability. More than a year into his masters, Arthie is currently conducting his thesis research specialising in subsurface modelling of geothermal systems,  gaining skills he intends to bring back to his home island of Dominica.

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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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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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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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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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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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