Solveig Thorvaldsdottir has a degree in civil engineering from the University of Iceland, a master's degree in earthquake engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, USA, and is currently working towards her PhD degree at the Earthquake Engineering Research Centre of the University of Iceland, in collaboration with Lund University in Sweden.
Solveig has extensive work experience. She has worked as a construction engineer in Iceland and later in disaster research and modelling in the USA. Subsequently, she crossed over into disaster management to head the National Civil Protection Agency in Iceland for seven years. Solveig has deployed to disasters around the world as a member of a United Nations coordination team (UNDAC), Red Cross coordination team (FACT) and with urban search and rescue (USAR) teams. She is a member of the Icelandic International USAR team. In the capacity of Rainrace, her consulting service, she has developed and taught many courses on disaster related issues in various countries, including Sweden, Pakistan, Slovenia and the Czech Republic