Alumni Profile: Caleb Frederick

Photo of Caleb FrederickDegrees:

BS Civil Engineering, 2012

MS Civil Engineering, 2014

Occupation: Civil Engineer at TRC Companies, Inc

Research Interests: Fiber-reinforced plastic strips

Advisor: Dr. Bill Davids



Caleb is a civil engineer from Sanford who graduated with his master’s degree in civil engineering in 2014 at UMaine. After he found out about the Advanced Structures and Composites Center his freshman year, Caleb put in his resume during his sophomore year began working for the Center shortly thereafter. Caleb’s interest was piqued after he learned about the diverse and complex nature of the Center’s research projects. When Caleb was asked if he would recommend the Center to engineering students as a place to intern or do their graduate research, he replied with the following:

“Absolutely. I gained valuable skills at the Center as both an undergraduate research assistant and as a graduate performing my own research project. A lot of the projects at the Center are high profile and industry-leading, and to be a part of that, in my opinion, is a great opportunity.”

Caleb has said that what enjoyed the most about the Center involved the opportunities which were afforded to him that helped him to “learn new skills that I likely wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise.” Caleb also feels that the knowledge he gained at the Center translate directly into his professional life where he works in a team-based environment to create designs on a budget and schedule. Additionally, Caleb found his time at that Center as a graduate student valuable, as he “learned how to manage a project, which is becoming more relevant as I take on lead roles.” When he was asked if working at the Center helped him find a job after he graduated, Caleb said:

“I work in Maine, and the Center is known throughout the state for the research it conducts. I’ve found that having been involved in the Center and conducting research is viewed as a positive addition to my education from the University of Maine.”

During his time at the Center, Caleb’s research involved using fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) strips to externally reenforce concrete flat slab bridges. Currently, Caleb works as a civil engineer in the power deliver industry and is employed by TRC Companies, where he is responsible for the structural design of substation structures and foundations. Caleb explained that his time at the Center prepared him for his current job, as he said, “The Center gave me the opportunity to put some of the things I learned in class into real world applications, which I feel was valuable experience before entering into the workforce after graduation.”

The main project Caleb is currently working on regards assisting the power authority on Puerto Rico. He spent three months on the island (between June and September of 2018) with a number of his colleagues where he “helped to validate on-going power line repairs and met with the power authority to plan the next steps to strengthen their system.” Now that he has returned to Maine, Caleb is developing improved design standards for Puerto Rico’s power authority in hopes that “future storms don’t result in the same destruction seen after Maria.”

Caleb’s short term goals involve gaining more experience, responsibility, and knowledge in his field. He commented that, “I’m at a point in my career where I’m beginning to take on more project responsibility, which has been a great learning experience,” while on the topic of his work. In the future, Caleb hopes to take leadership roles in the projects he works on.