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24/05/2022 - 14:00

Chemistry students to attend an event with Nobel Laureates

Chemistry students to attend an event with Nobel Laureates - Available at University of Iceland

Two chemistry students at the University of Iceland, Hafdís Haraldsdóttir and Sólrún Elín Freygarðsdóttir, have been selected to take part in the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, a week-long programme in Germany this summer attended by around 35 Nobel Laureates and 600 young scientists.

This will be the 71st Nobel Laureate Meeting to take place in the town of Lindau, but the first time that students from the University of Iceland will travel to attend the event in person. The University of Iceland, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and the Icelandic Centre for Researchbecame an academic partner of the Lindau Institute in 2019, allowing the University of Iceland to nominate participants to attend the Lindau Meetings. 

Two former UI students, Þórir Einarsson Long and Guðrún Höskuldsdóttir, were selected for the interdisciplinary event in 2020 but unfortunately it was cancelled due to the pandemic. They were, however, able to participate in an online event last year.

Þórir, who completed a Candidate's degree in medicine from UI in 2015 and a PhD in medicine from UI in 2019, is now undergoing speciality medical training in Lund, Sweden. Guðrún graduated with a BS in engineering physics from UI in 2020 and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in energy engineering at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. They spoke very highly of the event. "It was a brilliant experience. What stood out for me were the Q&A sessions with the Nobel Laureates. There were usually only a few students present and you could ask questions, so it was almost like having an informal chat with the Nobel Prize winners. I particularly enjoyed the Q&A session with Steven Chu, the Nobel Laureate  in physics and was Secretary of Energy in the Obama administration," Guðrún recalls.

Sólrún Elín Freygarðsdóttir and Hafdís Haraldsdóttir with Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland. They were selected from a large group of nominees to participate in the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. image/kristinn ingvarsson

Selected from a large group of nominees

This year's programme will take place from 26 June to 1 July. 35 Nobel Laureates will be there to present their research, discuss their careers and inspire and connect with the next generation of outstanding scientists. The programme is made up of lectures, round tables, masterclasses and panel discussions.

In accordance with the academic partnership agreement, the University of Iceland nominated two students to attend this year's event. The Lindau Institute selected the best candidates from among the nominees via a thorough selection process. Hafdís and Sólrún were both accepted as young scientists and will join a group of around 600 students from over 100 different countries invited to this year's event.

Hafdís Haraldsdóttir completed a BS in chemistry from the University of Iceland last summer and won a prize from the Guðmundur P. Bjarnason Prize Fund for her outstanding academic achievement. She is now studying for a Master's degree in the subject at the University of Iceland and will take part of her studies at  University of Turku in Finland.

Sólrún Elín Freygarðsdóttir will graduate with a BS in chemistry this June and will actually be travelling to the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in the early morning after her graduation ceremony. Sólrún, who is just 21 years old, was awarded a scholarship from the University of Iceland Student Achievement and Incentive Fund when she enrolled at UI in 2019. Sólrún and her colleagues were one of the winning teams at the UI Science and Innovation Prizes last week and she has also been an instructor for the UI Science Centre and the Knowledge Train. Sólrún is due to start her Master's degree at DTU this autumn.

For more information on the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.