Damien Frost

Electrical Engineering, 0T7

Damien Frost

After graduation, Damien Frost went on to study for his MASc in Power Electronics at U of T under the supervision of Prof. Peter Lehn and Prof. Aleksandar Prodic. During his degree, Damien says he had the good fortune of travelling around Europe in two separate backpacking trips. After his Masters, he claims he wasn’t too keen to start working; however, he was approached by a family friend seeking out programming assistance in order to set up his own investment firm. Damien developed software which provided a first pass assessment of all of the bonds on the market, which would then be analyzed more closely. This friend’s company was eventually acquired by Canso Investment. Following his brief stint in finance, Damien co-founded a company called ARDA Power with Prof. Lehn, and three other colleagues. ARDA was built around a new converter technology for solar photovoltaics. During his time at ARDA, he took an idea from paper to prototype to final product. Now the technology is also being applied to fuel cells. It was also during this time that his beer league hockey team was featured (to their surprise) in a Budweiser Commercial. Finally, after four years at ARDA Power, Damien started a PhD at the University of Oxford. He is currently 1.5 years into his research on power electronics for energy storage systems with the Energy and Power Group. He is also working on another start-up company in the energy storage space.

Damien says that he is constantly reminded of the lessons and inspiration from M. P. Collins’ CIV102 course, in particular the three principles of engineering. In fact, he recently featured those same principles in an Engineering Dinner speech to the undergraduate and graduate engineering students at his own Jesus College of Oxford; the speech was well received and loved by the students.

Damien provides his own perspective on EngSci and his life beyond:

“Although EngSci at U of T is not a massive global brand, the students can certainly compete – and win – on the global stage. Looking back at the friends I made during EngSci, I was surrounded by geniuses, and that was special. A quote that has really inspired me to make the most out of my time is one from the CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer: ‘Be ruthlessly efficient.’ It can be applied to not only work, but to play. If you are taking the afternoon off work, or a week vacation, don’t worry about what needs to get done next, enjoy what you are doing in the now and make the most of it.”