Student projects

Below is a list of few students projects available with their description. You can also contact us in order to know if more projects are available or if you would like to propose a project in relation to our activities.

1. IT student project to develop an environmental web-based tool

The project consists of developing a web-based tool for monitoring the collection of landfill gas. The tool aims at developing an efficient way to treat, store, and present data over time or over space. The tool should be user-friendly and offer real opportunities to improve the operation of landfill gas collection systems.

The main parameters and data structure will be given to the student. The main challenges for the development of the tool will be how to display data and have some user-friendly reporting to understand data variation and data should be visualized in a smart way.

The tool should include all measurement done on a daily/monthly basis and should also include older measurements done prior to the tool development (archive).

Further information on the project will be sent to applicants. Please send a list of courses you followed and other relevant CV information. The project can be followed in English or Icelandic. But students must have a good self-driving force and accurate working method. If the development of the tool is successful the project can create a new job position. The project could also be run as an internship. The project is available from now and can last 3-6 months.

Send applications to more information on the company are available on our website

2. Added value and reducing environmental impact from landfill diverted waste stream

From 2017 to 2020, the greater Reykjavík municipal waste company SORPA bs. is sponsoring research into the processing of waste at the Álfsnes waste management site, in partnership with the environmental engineering company ReSource International ehf. (RSI). Currently, mixed household waste is landfilled, but there is a moratorium on landfill organic waste due to come into force in 2020. Thus, a biogas and compost plant is being built to receive 20.000 tonnes of organic waste annually, along with various means of removing contaminants such as plastic. This will also allow for better utilisation of waste streams, with increased biogas production, a new generation of compost production, production of other useful organic compounds such as biodiesel or fertiliser and a relatively pure inorganic fraction with many possibilities for recycling or useful diversion.

  1. In this program, two MSc students will work each year on two research streams. The first stream will examine biogas production optimisation techniques for the plant through pretreatment of organic waste and design of recirculation systems using Iceland‘s unique access to hot water resources. This research stream will also involve the building and operation of the semi-scale model of the plant, along with participating in the design and construction of backup digestors to facilitate risk management.
  2. The second stream of work will focus on the processing of non-organic waste streams that are separated from organic and household waste streams, comprising largely of mixed plastics. Currently, this waste stream is exported for incineration at considerable expense, but there are possibilities to use it more productively, for instance, to improve road construction materials and to create various kinds of synthetic fuel.

Each MSc will be a 60 ECTS thesis project, i.e. 1500 to 1800 hours – the equivalent of ten months of full-time work. A 30 ECTS thesis or similar may be considered, but this must be clearly stated. Close supervision will be given by the R&D Managers of SORPA and RSI, as well as an academic in the relevant field. Due to the intensive nature of the projects, SORPA will provide a stipend of 300.000 ISK (2.400 €) per month to each student, and for some projects, there may be the possibility of temporary housing at SORPA‘s Álfsnes site near Reykjavík. Students will also have the opportunity to work at RSI‘s offices in Kópavogur.

It is expected that each student should submit at least one academic journal article in English to Waste Management & Research or a similar journal before their thesis is submitted. The thesis may be written in Icelandic or English.

The deadline for 2017 is the 8th of September. Interviews will be on September 11th and 12th and confirmation will be given on the 13th. Full project description can be downloaded here.

Application Process

To apply, send a CV (including academic transcripts or a course list with grades) with an application letter (max. 500 words) to

Clearly, include:

  1. Which project is chosen or prefered and why
  2. When you are available to begin
  3. A self-evaluation of strong and weak research skills
  4. Long-term academic and professional plans and interests
  5. Contact details
  6. If you wish to have housing in Álfsnes, Iceland
  7. Two academic references

3. Drone technology for environmental engineering

ReSource wishes to develop drone technology for environmental engineering. The applications developed for drones could be the measurement of air quality, aerial photography and impact assessments of human activities, mapping of environmental parameters, heat imagery for energy loss in hot water network, etc.


4. Noise monitoring and simulation

Noise within urban areas is an increasing issue. We propose during this project to review the state of the art of noise monitoring and simulation, legislation status and to develop a relevant method to monitor better noise in Reykjavík area. Some field work is considered depending on the student(s) capabilities.


5. Biomethane potential (BMP) test

The project consists of testings BMP of organic by-products. The project includes literature review, substrate analysis, batch test and continuous run of lab anaerobic digesters. Perfect for a special course project or a thesis project (6-12 months). The type and nature of the by-product can depend on project availability.

6. Other projects

If you have other projects related to environmental matters please contact us to discuss your idea and see how we can collaborate.