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12/06/2023 - 16:01

Scholarships awarded for summer courses at Caltech

Scholarships awarded for summer courses at Caltech - Available at University of Iceland

Three University of Iceland undergraduates have been awarded scholarships to study at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena this summer. They are Agla Þórarinsdóttir, chemistry student, Berglind Bjarnadóttir, biochemistry and molecular biology student, and Þorfinnur Ari Herrmann Baldvinsson, chemical engineering student.

They will be taking part in the SURF – Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship – program, which gives undergraduate students the opportunity to work with a supervisor on a research project. Over 30 UI students have taken part in the SURF program at Caltech since the two institutions signed a partnership agreement in 2008. Many Caltech students have also completed SURF projects here at the University of Iceland under the guidance of UI academics. 

Caltech is one of the best research universities in the world, a position which has often been confirmed by international rankings. 

The scholarships of USD 7,100 awarded to Agla, Berglind and Þorfinnur come from the Kiyo and Eiko Tomiyasu Fund. Kiyo Tomiyasu was a world-famous academic in the field of electrical engineering and played a key role in establishing the partnership agreement between Caltech and the University of Iceland in 2008. Kiyo and his wife Eiko were very supportive of Icelandic students at Caltech, so the University of Iceland awards these scholarships in their names. 

Three Caltech students are also due to spend this summer conducting research at the University of Iceland.


Agla Þórarinsdóttir, Berglind Bjarnadóttir and Þorfinnur Ari Herrmann Baldvinsson were presented with their scholarships in the Rector's Office. They are pictured here with Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland, and Hafliði Sævarsson, project manager at the International Division.