Graduation of Fellows 2022

28 October 2022
Fellows, staff, and guests at the graduation
Fellows, staff, and guests at the graduation

The 43rd session of the Geothermal Training Programme closed on Thursday 20th of October, with 23 Fellows in the six month specialized courses.  This was a rather challenging and unusual year for our fellows but the group managed to overcome all the difficulties and complete their final projects with adroitness.  This year's group of Fellows came from 12 countries: Colombia 2, Dominica 1, El Salvador 1, Guatemala 1, India 1, Indonesia 3, Kenya 6, Montserrat 1, Nicaragua 2, Peru 2, Philippines 2, and Tanzania 1. This is the first time Peru participates in the Six Month Programme.  The Fellows were trained in: Project Management and Finances 10, Environmental Science 5, Geothermal Utilization 4, and Chemistry of Thermal Fluids 4.

From 1979-2022, 766 scientists and engineers from 65 countries have completed the annual six month training. They have come from countries in Africa (39%), Asia (34%), Latin America (16%), Central and Eastern Europe (10%), and Oceania (1%). Among these have been 190 women (25%).

The group arrived in the end of April and a new housing was planned for them in a former hotel close to the University of Iceland but due to the current crisis in Europe, other alternatives were necessary.  Therefore, our fellows were placed in a temporary hotel accommodation and then moved to the University campus before finally being located to the new GRÓ house.  On arrival, many of them complained about the cold and wind which the Icelandic spring greeted them with but many of them also celebrated this new experience and were excited to see and touch snow patches from last winter.  This group faced all kinds of challenges with cheerfulness, great poise, and a solution based attitude, whether it was the crazy Icelandic weather or the rotten shark meat, they overcame them all.  In the middle of summer, the group set off on a hike through a nearby geothermal area, which quickly turned into a survival situation as the cold rainstorm set in. Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration but it was a very wet and stormy day only to have been received by a bus with a broken heater. The appreciation for geothermal district heating grew even more upon returning home at the end of the day.

GTP is proud of their achievements during these six months of the geothermal training as well as their personal development as they explored new horizons and expanded their international networking which will surely become beneficial in their future cooperation and development.   

At the ceremony speeches were given by Gudni Axelsson, director of the GTP, Martin Eyjólfsson, permanent secretary of state, Bjarni Gautason, the director of monitoring and education at Iceland GeoSurvey, and Peter Maina from KenGen, Kenya on behalf of the graduating class.  The ceremony also broadcast on zoom for the second time.  

This session is the second one under the GRÓ brand as of 1 January 2020, the Geothermal Training Programme joined hands with UNESCO, under the umbrella of the GRÓ Centre.  

We congratulate all the fellows and look forward to following their careers in the future.

All the best to the class of 2022!