…more than bugs and bunnies & 2 Brothers Catch More Than Fish

E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003) spoke to 20704 Mr. Matthew Allen (RMC 1997), who served as Cadet Wing Commander (1997) and was awarded the Sword of Honour.

e-veritas: What was your background at the college?

Matthew Allen: I developed an interest in contaminated site assessment & remediation at the college. I earned a Master’s Degree (Honours) in Chemical & Materials Engineering (Environmental), Royal Military College of Canada (RMC), 1999. My Graduate Research Thesis was in Bioremediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soils in arctic environments. I completed Undergraduate & Graduate Research into Remediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soils in Canadian Arctic (DEW Line Radar Sites). I have published my research on the `Bioremediation of Arctic Soils Contaminated By Petroleum Hydrocarbons` in various Scientific & Technical journals in 1999 & 2001. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree (1st Class Honours) in Chemical & Materials Engineering (Environmental), Royal Military College of Canada, 1997. I served as Cadet Wing Commander (1997) and was awarded the Sword of Honour upon graduation. I earned various NSERC, CNST, RMC Club Scholarships & Grants, 1993-1999. I am fully Bilingual (French).

e-veritas: What did you do after the military college experience?

Matthew Allen: I was a Naval Officer from 1993 until my retirement in 1999. I was Commissioned Naval Officer in Canadian Navy, trained as Maritime Engineer & Navigation Officer. I am a Chemical & Materials (Environmental) Engineer with +12 years in Consulting Engineering (Canada & West Indies). My experience is in the assessment and management of environmental contaminants and hazardous materials. I have been President & Principal Consultant at SOMA Strategic Services since 2007. I have been Principal, Environmental, Health & Safety Group at Giffin Koerth Inc. in the Toronto area since November 2009. My interests include cycling, guitar, and surviving parenthood.

e-veritas: What do you mean when you say the environment is more than bugs and bunnies?

Matthew Allen: The environment is more than bugs and bunnies. It is where contaminants impact our health and affect the safety of our buildings and resources.

e-veritas: You have served as an expert witness in the area of environmental forensics.

Matthew Allen: The direction of Environmental Engineering Practice at Giffin Koerth Inc. includes Environmental Claims & Litigation Support. I have become as comfortable in the courtroom as I am on site. I qualified as an Expert Witness in the Superior Court of Ontario in matters relating to indoor environmental/microbial contamination, 2005. I wrote about the Benefits of Professional Engineers in Lawyers Weekly, 2006.

e-veritas: You wrote about Managing Hazardous Materials During Demolition And Reconstruction.

Matthew Allen: Whether resulting from wind, fire or water damage, insurance claims often involve the demolition, reconstruction and restoration of buildings and property. IFailure to undertake the necessary pre-demolition and reconstruction surveys of hazardous materials, asbestos in particular, can create exposure to potential liability and legal penalties for those involved. In terms of Industrial / Commercial / Institutional Loss Investigation, I can take losses all the way from emergency response to damage quantification. I am especially alert to the new dimensions in environmental forensics such as the production of new chemicals, health and safety exposures, air pollution and even global warming.

e-veritas: You have been a speaker at Engineering and Litigation Conferences.

Matthew Allen: I started out with presentations on Mould Assessment & Remediation, focussing on Issues in Liability & Insurance 2002-4. In 2003, I gave an engineering perspective on presented on Illegal Drug Production Operations. I presented on the Management of Waste Pharmaceuticals in Healthcare Environments in 2006. I also became interested in Using Investigative Engineering Techniques to Litigate Personal Damages (2006). I have also presented on Asbestos Pipe Cutting” (2008).

e-veritas: You are a Qualified Person for Environmental Assessment (QPEA, Ontario).

Matthew Allen: Yes. At Giffin Koerth Inc., I conduct or supervise Environmental Assessment & Remediation. Section 168.1 of the Brownfields Statute Law Amendment Act, 2001 defines “qualified person” (“QP”) to mean a person who meets the qualifications prescribed by the regulations. A QP is required to: conduct or supervise a phase I environmental site assessment; conduct or supervise a phase II environmental site assessment; prepare or supervise a risk assessment; and make certain certifications in a record of site condition. A certification program for QPs, is currently being developed by the Ministry of the Environment.

“I think there is a lot to be said about how my RETP experience prepared me for success in industry.”

Matthew Allen, Principal Consultant

SOMA Strategic Services


[email protected]


Two brothers that married two CELE officers – all four are ex-cadets! After having escaped from Czechoslovakia, their parents fled to Canada where John and Tom Kalhous were lucky enough to grow up on Vancouver Island in the Port Alberni / Sproat Lake area.

18486 John Kalhous (RRMC CMR 1991) is married to 20695 Claudia Vachon (CMR RMC1997), an electrical engineer. John Kalhous is a realtor with Coast Realty Group Ltd., Comox Valley. After having attended Military College in Victoria and St-Jean, Quebec, John served in the Canadian military across the country and around the world for 14 years. Next John fulfilled his goal of being a Mr. Mom while owning 7 investment properties, starting two businesses, and becoming a certified Real Estate Appraiser. John is married to his lovely wife, Claudia, and has four wonderful kids all within 5 years of age! The couple`s four young kids go marching around the house at times, following commands in French, English and Czech,! Ha, ha. John adds `It’s a real pleasure staying in touch with the military alumni, e-Veritas, and all the great friendships from over the years.`

www.johnkalhous.com [email protected]

18946 Tom Kalhous (RRMC 1993) is married to 19377 Amanda Kalhous (RMC 1994). Amanda is an engineering specialist in infotainment/telematics at General Motors of Canada’s Regional Engineering Centre. She joined the GM team in 2005 and has been working on Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTC) since 2008 – the year the EcoCAR competition started. She is the GM mentor in the University of Ontario EcoCAR competition, where 17 schools compete to build a more eco-friendly vehicle. Amanda was the Vehicle Software Integration Engineer for the Saturn Vue 2-Mode Hybrid until Dec 2008. Amanda has an M. Eng (Elec) from Dalhousie University and a B. Eng (Elec) from Royal Military College of Canada. Tom works in commercial appliance repair with `At your Service` in Ajax, Ontario. Tom is also an inventor, who holds a patent # 5,329,641 for a new and improved motorcycle helmet with neck shield.