How Engineering Helped Adele Find The Confidence To Tackle Problems and Challenges

"Try to apply yourself and get a wide range of experiences to see what really clicks for you and to find your passion."

Adele Frink

Adele Frink

What got you interested in engineering?

I really liked math and physics in high school and had a great physics teacher. 

We did a bunch of cool projects, like building a DC motor, and studying engineering just made sense given my interests.

Courses needed to get into engineering

What attracted you to UBC?

Being from Ontario, I thought it would be a good experience to live in BC for my undergrad degree. I like the outdoors – hiking and snowboarding – and I wanted to experience living out west for a while. 

And, of course, UBC has a great reputation and offered excellent research and co-op opportunities.

UBC Okanagan appealed a bit more than Vancouver as it’s a smaller city. I’m from Kingston, which has around the same population as Kelowna. I felt that my adjustment to living away from home might be easier, and I also liked the incredible accessibility of hiking and skiing in Kelowna. 

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UBC Okanagan

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How did you choose to specialize in electrical engineering?

I think I went in open minded about studying either electrical or mechanical engineering, but I was probably always leaning toward electrical. In first year we were exposed to a wide range of disciplines, and the profs did a good job of providing an overview of the programs to help you make your decision. 

I really liked circuit analysis, computer hardware and coding, so it just kind of clicked that electrical was what I wanted to do. 

Electrical Engineering  Mechanical Engineering

You’re about to graduate. Looking back, what would you say are some of the highlights of your degree?

My capstone project has definitely been a highlight. We assessed the feasibility of pumped storage hydro and the benefits of adding it to the BC grid. 

Another highlight was my work in the Innovate Design, Sustain Club (IDS). We entered an international competition hosted by the U.S Department of Energy, the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge and achieved 2nd place in the Single Family Housing DivisionIn the summer of 2025, EcoHaven will be built near Ashcroft, BC, for a local charity, Honour Ranch. This is an entirely new field for me and I’ve learned a new set of skills, which was why I wanted to get involved. I’m very proud of the whole team and it shows how even as students we can set a precedent for sustainable, disaster-resilient, affordable residential development here in BC. 

Innovate Design, Sustain Club

Solar Decathlon Design Challenge

2nd place in the Single Family Housing Division

What skills have you developed over your degree? 

One of the main benefits of an engineering degree is finding that confidence to tackle new problems and difficult challenges. 

The biggest thing is building those critical thinking and problem-solving skills so that you feel confident working on something you may not know anything about. The research skills you develop also go a long way. 

And, of course, being able to reach out when you need help – and knowing who to ask – is huge.


The skills required to succeed as an engineer

Tell us about your co-op experience.

I’ve done 20 months of co-op – a full year at Eaton Power Management Company and two summers at a renewable energy company called Evolugen by Brookfield Renewable. That was a great experience. I worked in the operations team at Evolugen and learned a lot about how the grid is operated. That experience gave me a good sense of the industry and I learned many new skills. 

The co-op position led to a job offer. I’m actually starting with Evolugen in May, working on their engineering team as a technical coordinator and project engineer. 

I’m excited to be involved in developing more renewable energy assets and learning about hydro, solar and wind projects.

Co-op  Eaton Power Management Company

Evolugen by Brookfield Renewable

Why Co-op? Launch Your Career While Still A Student

Any advice for students entering engineering?

I definitely recommend co-op. It’s very different from coursework and nice to get day-to-day work experience. 

I’d also say to try to apply yourself and get a wide range of experiences to see what really clicks for you and to find your passion. 

And take your time through your degree – don’t rush it! Also, don’t be too hard on yourself if your grades drop from those in high school. That happens a lot, so just keep pushing through and remembering what all this hard work is for!

Electrical engineering student working on her circuit board

Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineers impact almost every aspect of our lives. They make essential medical equipment, design wireless communications networks, predict earthquakes, and invent new ways to generate and conserve energy.

Electrical Engineering

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