UBC Okanagan’s Tightknit Community Is A Highlight For Sarah

"Don’t say no to opportunities and keep your mind open."

Sarah Scheibelhut smiling

Sarah Scheibelhut, P.Eng.

  • Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Grad year: 2018
  • Program:
  • Campus: Okanagan

Job: Project Engineer, Solid Waste Services at Metro Vancouver

Tell us about your early engineering roles after you graduated in 2018.

My summer internships had been in Alberta’s oil and gas industry, and after I graduated I was hired as a Junior Engineer at FortisBC, which was great as it meant I could stay in British Columbia. From there I moved to Solaris MCI, an engineering consulting company that focuses on the energy industry. My official title was Junior Pipeline Engineer, but as is often the case in consulting companies, it was something of a hybrid position and I did project engineering work too. 

I worked on the early design stages for the Okanagan Capacity Upgrade, including helping out with regulatory applications. 

Although I was still in a junior role, I had a fair amount of responsibility coordinating with the other disciplines and doing some initial project scoping. 

I also worked on the project engineering side for oil and gas facilities. I worked closely with intermediate and senior project engineers and learned a lot – from scoping and design to preparing drawings for construction. It was very fast-paced and I was contributing to a lot of different projects.

FortisBC  Solaris MCI  Okanagan Capacity Upgrade

Engineering is a rewarding choice

Where are you working now?

In September 2021 I began working as a Project Engineer in Solid Waste Services for Metro Vancouver. I was ready to shift industries and I wanted to work more on the civil engineering side. 

I oversee the operations of six different recycling and waste centres located across the Lower Mainland. 

My role is very focused on operations and maintenance, and I work with team members to manage our contracts, which requires regular site inspections and visits to assess contract compliance and environmental impacts.

This is one of the things I love most about my job: being able to put on my boots and go to the sites to talk to the site managers and staff. It’s very rewarding as an engineer to be able to solve real-world problems, talk to people about their challenges and come up with solutions. On the operations side, there are always issues that come up or things that aren’t working quite the way you want them to. That can be high stress, but it’s also very rewarding when you are able to solve those problems!

Metro Vancouver  

Sarah at work

What prompted your decision to start an MBA?

I’ve been moving away from the technical engineering path and leaning into the management and business side of things. Doing my MBA will help me gain the specific knowledge and skills to move into management and leadership positions.

Were you always interested in being an engineer?

I was very driven and forward-looking as a young person, and as early as junior high school I remember researching different career paths and salaries. 

I had been interested in architecture, but I realized that my skills and interest in math and physics lined up with engineering, where I knew there would always be very solid job opportunities. 

Courses needed to get into engineering


Sarah in her graduation gown

How did you choose UBC?

I grew up in Calgary and was interested in moving away for university. I liked that UBC Okanagan was close to home and I loved the size and beauty of both Kelowna and the campus itself. 

UBC Okanagan

UBCV and UBCO have something for everyone

What stands out during your degree?

The small class sizes and tightknit community were definite highlights – it was wonderful to be part of a supportive learning environment and to get to know my profs. 

In fourth year, I really enjoyed taking courses purely because I was interested in them, like ones on solid waste and geography. 

In addition to my summer positions at Kinder Morgan and TransCanada, I worked in the university library during the school year as a Peer Technology Assistant over the course of my degree. The staff were wonderful, and it was like a home away from home for me. 

Kinder Morgan  TransCanada

Sarah with her capstone team

Any advice for others who are embarking on a career in engineering? 

Don’t say no to opportunities and keep your mind open. 

I noticed some people were sort of waiting around for the perfect job for intern or co-op positions or for their ideal job after graduation. I think it’s better to just try things out, gain some experience and learn as much as you can. 

Two students standing in an outdoor stairwell observing the project site.

Civil Engineering

Civil engineers are in high demand, working for example as project managers or design consultants, across all industrial sectors and government. Focus your creativity and help build tomorrow’s world.

Civil Engineering

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