The Geothermal Training Programme

Geothermal Training in Iceland 1979-2000

The Geothermal Training Programme of the United Nations University (UNU) has operated in Iceland since 1979 with six months annual courses for professionals from developing countries. Candidates must have a minimum of one year practical experience in geothermal work in their home countries prior to the training.

Specialized training is offered in geological exploration, borehole geology, geophysical exploration, borehole geophysics, reservoir engineering, chemistry of thermal fluids, environmental studies, geothermal utilization, and drilling technology. Each trainee attends only one specialized course. The training is conducted in English.

The trademark of the training is to give university graduates engaged in geothermal work very intensive on-the-job training in their chosen fields of specialization. The trainees work side by side with professionals of Orkustofnun, an agency actively working on most aspects of geothermal research, exploration, and development. The training is tailor-made for the individual and the needs of his institution/country. The aim is to assist developing countries with significant geothermal potential to build up groups of specialists that cover most aspects of geothermal exploration and development.

Priority is given to candidates from institutions where geothermal work is already under way. All candidates are selected by private interviews. Candidates from developing countries and some Central and Eastern European countries receive scholarships (covering tuition fees, per diem and international travel) financed by the Government of Iceland and the UNU. Upon completion of their training the participants receive a UNU Certificate. During 1979-2000, 245 scientists and engineers from 36 countries have completed the 6 month courses, and over 70 have received shorter training (2 weeks to 4 months).