UNB Alumni
Telling our #ProudlyUNB stories

Carolyn Campbell returned to New Brunswick to operate on the world stage

Author: UNB Alumni

Posted on Mar 7, 2023

Category: UNB Fredericton , Inspiring Stories , Engineering

When Carolyn Campbell (BScCHE’04) graduated from UNB she jumped from a classroom in her home province to nuclear power plant floors in Ontario. Her 16-month internship with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) was an “eye-opening” experience – she had never even been on a plane prior to traveling to Ottawa and had never experienced big city living or working for a large organization.

“Moving out of province was scary for me but it gave me valued experience that complemented the skills I learned in my degree. It also confirmed for me that not only did I want to work back home in New Brunswick, but that I would still be able to compete on a world stage when I did,” Carolyn states.

And she’s done just that.

After spending three years in Ontario she moved with the CNSC to Point Lepreau Generating Station for the next seven, providing regulatory oversight of the facility. As one of four operating nuclear generating stations in Canada, Point Lepreau plays a big role in the landscape of clean energy in the country, and Carolyn was happy to be a part of it. She’d become interested in environmental stewardship because of a teacher in high school who was passionate about it. And so her work in regulating the nuclear energy industry was a good fit.

She knew, however, that she wanted to learn more and progress in her career, so she moved down the road to another Canadian energy giant, Irving Oil. For three years she worked on the corporate side of a heavily regulated industry as an engineer with the environment team at the Irving Oil Refinery, where she was able to hone her skills in understanding and meeting environmental requirements. “Learning new skills at Canada’s largest oil refinery was a brilliant experience for me. It gave me a chance to work with multidisciplinary teams on projects.”

Then Carolyn took on the role of environmental specialist at NB Power, working again at Point Lepreau. She's since become the waste specialist at the plant.  "When I came back it felt like coming home. I believe I bring more value to the table."

Having spent most of her career to date in the Saint John area where she grew up, Carolyn feels fortunate to be able to do meaningful work that makes a difference in the world. She’s also helping young New Brunswickers find their way to technical and STEM careers here at home by mentoring with Skills Canada NB and volunteering with APEGNB for high school presentations. She also actively mentored co-op engineering students – many from UNB - in her role at Irving Oil.

When asked if she made the right move coming back to New Brunswick many years ago, she quickly gives a resounding “yes!” “I didn’t have to stay in Ontario to have a successful career in engineering.  Working at world-class facilities right in my backyard is amazing, and has also allowed me, as a single mom, to focus on my family at the same time. It’s a very fulfilling life.”