New Deans and Department Chairs


School of Social Sciences

Ragnhildur HelgadóttirDr. Ragnhildur Helgadóttir is the Dean of the new School of Social Sciences at Reykjavik University. Within the School of Social Sciences are the Department of Business Administration, Department of Law, Department of Psychology, and Department of Sport Science. Dr. Ragnhildur has served as Professor in the Department of Law since 2006 and as Dean of the Department from 2014 to 2019. 

Her fields of specialty are constitutional law and judicial history. She has published a number of books and scientific articles in her areas of expertise and on social security and administrative law; recently, she edited and wrote for a collection of articles regarding the anniversary of Iceland's sovereignty and contributed writing to a Nordic work on the political influence of Icelandic lawyers as a group in a historical context. 

Alongside her work at RU, she has, for example, served as Chair of the Science Committee of the Science and Technology Policy Council, served on the negotiation team for Iceland's application for membership of the EU, and as Chair ad hoc of a committee on judicial functions, in addition to teaching at Université de Montréal and University of Ottawa in Canada, Paris II (Pantheon-Assas) in Paris, and Toulouse - Capitole in Toulouse. She has pronounced judgments in individual cases at the District Court level, in the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

School of Technology

Gísli HjálmtýssonDr. Gísli Hjálmtýsson is the Dean of the new School of Technology at Reykjavik University. Within the School of Technology are the Department of Computer Science, Department of Engineering, and Department of Applied Engineering. 

Dr. Gísli has served as Dean of the Department of Computer Science at RU since 2017. He has over thirty years' experience as an innovator and manager in the fields of information technology and innovation. Gísli has been Chief Executive Officer and among the owners of Thule Investments since 2004 and has led investments in innovation companies. He has served on the boards of numerous companies in Iceland, Europe and the USA, everything from innovation companies to registered firms. 

Gísli completed a PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1995 and a BSc degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Rochester in 1992. After completing his PhD, Gísli worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories. From 2001 to 2007, he served as Professor in Computer Science and Dean of the School of Computer Science at Reykjavik University. He has published over 80 scientific articles and has held talks at numerous conventions, universities and companies. Gísli owns more than 20 patents and is a member of IEEE and ACM.

Department of Applied Engineering

Hera GrímsdóttirHera Grímsdóttir is the Department Chair of the new Department of Applied Engineering at Reykjavik University. Hera has worked as Head of the Construction Architecture Division at Reykjavik University since 2015 but has taught at the University from 2013, first as a part-time teacher. In addition, Hera has taught project management at the Open University and courses out in the business community for numerous years. In 2017, she completed an MBA from Reykjavik University, and in 2013, she graduated with a Master's degree from RU in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on construction management. She completed a BSc degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Iceland in 2004. 

Hera has wide-ranging experience from the business community and worked at EFLA Consulting Engineers from 2004, in Energy - Power Transmission and later in project management services. In 2011, she began work at Össur where she managed, for example, numerous international Bionics projects concerning artificial limbs and was involved in marketing a new splint product line. Hera also has many years' experience of administration and board membership. In recent years, Hera has placed an emphasis on active ties between the business community and technology education at Reykjavik University and has led a number of projects in collaboration with industry.

Department of Computer Science

Luca AcetoDr. Luca Aceto is the new Department Chair of the Department of Computer Science at Reykjavik University. Luca has been a full professor of computer science at Reykjavik University since November 2004. Before joining RU, he was an associate professor at Aalborg University (1996-2006) and a lecturer at the University of Sussex (1992-1996) amongst other appointments. 

Dr. Luca Aceto is an elected member of the Informatics Section of Academia Europaea (the Academy of Europe). He also serves as the chair of the editorial board of LIPIcs, Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, and is a member of the Executive Board of the journal Logical Methods in Computer Science, of the Advisory Board of Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science, and of the editorial boards of the Journal of Logical and Algebraic Methods in Programming and of Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science. He was the president of the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science in the period July 2012-July 2016. He was the founder and first chair of IFIP WG 1.8 on Concurrency Theory, and co-founded and co-directed the Icelandic Centre of Excellence in Theoretical Computer Science since 2005. To date, he has published two books, ten book chapters, 58 journal papers and 74 refereed conference/workshop papers. In addition, he has edited more than 30 volumes. 

Luca Aceto received a Distinguished Dissertation Award of the British Computer Society in 1991 and the Reykjavik University Research Award in 2012. He was Teacher of the Year in Mathematics and Computer Science at Aalborg University in 1997 and 1999. 

Luca Aceto received a master degree in computer science from the University of Pisa in 1986 and a DPhil in Computer Science from the University of Sussex in 1991. His doctoral dissertation was selected for the Distinguished Dissertation Award of the British Computer Society in 1991.

Department of Sport Science

Hafrún KristjánsdóttirDr. Hafrún Kristjánsdóttir is the Department Chair of the new Department of Sport Science at Reykjavik University. Hafrún was appointed Associate Professor in the School of Science and Engineering at RU earlier in the year and has served as Head of the Sport Science Department from 2013. 

She completed a PhD in Medical Life Sciences in 2015 from the University of Iceland, a Cand Psych degree in Clinical Psychology in 2005 and a BSc degree in Psychology in 2003 from the same university. 

Hafrún has wide-ranging and diverse experience within the sports movement and has published a number of articles in the fields of sport psychology, clinical psychology and sport science. In recent years, she has, for example, led or participated in research projects on head injuries in sports, mental health of athletes, gender equality in sports, and psychological skills of Icelandic elite athletes.


Department of Psychology

Bryndís Björk ÁsgeirsdóttirDr. Bryndís Björk Ásgeirsdóttir has been appointed the Department Chair of the new Department of Psychology at Reykjavik University. She has worked at RU since 2005, serving as Study Programme Director in the Psychology Department and in the position of Associate Professor and Head of the Psychology Department from 2015. 

Bryndís Björk graduated with a PhD in Psychology from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, an MA degree in Sociology from the University of Iceland in 2003, and a BSc degree in Psychology from the same university in 1999. 

Bryndís Björk has published a number of scientific articles in international journals on mental health and the effects of stressful events and experiences on the condition and behaviour of young people. In addition, she has researched protective factors in the lives of young people who have been victims of sexual abuse or domestic abuse and how life satisfaction and wellbeing can be improved. She has conducted research at the Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis (ICSRA) since 1999 and served as Managing Director of the Centre from 2000 to 2002. 

Bryndís Björk has actively participated in committee work under the auspices of state and municipalities concerning issues relating to children and youths in Iceland and currently serves on the boards of the Recovery College of Iceland and Bergið, a support and advisory centre for young people. 

Bryndís Björk has in recent years led a research project on the effects of parental support in the life of children who receive treatment at the Children's House and along with Dr. Rannveig S. Sigurvinsdóttir currently leads an extensive research into the mental health of Icelanders.