Stella Bjånesøy is wearing a tan blazer over a white shirt and has long, brown hair. She is standing against a wall and is smiling gently.


“I was able to directly apply what I learned at Western and actually work directly, right away, in the field.” 


BA Energy Policy and Management

Graduating Class



Known as the “capital of fjords,” Bergen lies on Norway’s southwestern coast. Nestled between the largest fjords in the country, the city is filled with historic buildings, artwork, and Norwegian culture. And Bergen is where 2016 WWU energy grad Stella Bjånesøy now calls home.  

Originally from Anacortes, Bjånesøy (Pronounced b-yon-ne-soy) was one of the first WWU students to graduate with the BA in Energy Policy and Management, created in 2015. While at Western Bjånesøy worked on Project ZeNeth, a student-designed, net-zero energy tiny house that will finally be finished this spring. This gave Bjånesøy real experience practicing what she would later be doing in the field. 

Immediately after graduation, Bjånesøy was hired as an Energy Program Assistant at the Bellingham-based nonprofit Sustainable Connections. There, Bjånesøy was able to use what she had learned from her time at the Institute for Energy Studies. 

“I was able to directly apply what I learned at Western and actually work directly, right away, in the field,” said Bjånesøy. 

After a year with Sustainable Connections, Bjånesøy found herself across the Atlantic Ocean in Iceland pursuing work and a master’s degree in renewable energy. Now in Norway, Bjånesøy works as an Innovation Project Manager for G2 Ocean, one of the world’s largest open-hatch shipping operations. Her work focuses on digitalization and sustainability in commercial shipping. Specifically, Bjånesøy is exploring how to incorporate biofuels and other alternative fuels in G2 Ocean’s fleet operations in order to reduce climate impacts and, ideally, costs. 

Bjånesøy’s education at the Institute for Energy Studies has led her around the world, working in multiple countries managing energy. Now in Norway, Bjånesøy’s work makes a direct difference in energy sustainability.  

“Energy relates to basically everything you can think of,” says Bjånesøy. “So there’s a lot of opportunities to kind of dabble in a lot of different subjects. And I think that builds a really strong foundation. Now going into the sustainability field, you can really do anything with that. And especially with energy.” 

We wish you smooth sailing, Stella, and are glad to count you among our alumni! 

By Tarn Bregman, IES Marketing and Outreach Coordinator