After Phase IV training in Chilliwack, I was posted to 2 Combat Engineer Regiment in Petawawa and became the Airborne Engineers Field Troop Commander. They say timing is everything, and having earned jump wings between 3rd and 4th year, and with the early departure of the existing troop commander I slid in to a sought-after job as a rookie TC, usually a job for a Captain. Fortunately, a great group of talented and understanding Senior NCOs took me under their wing, and it was an outstanding first job for 18 months. A subsequent posting to HQ Troop Commander rounded out the first posting.
The second posting to an air base (Cold Lake) was not in my original plans, but the career manager knew better than I what a great opportunity awaited me. Arriving just as the CF-18 infrastructure was being designed and built, I was the point person in the Construction Engineering section to oversee the work. Best place to be as a CE Officer is where the money is, and Cold Lake was the epicentre of funding at the time. Fishing was great there as well, which was a bonus.
Next it was off to Regular Support Staff for 2 Field Engineer Regiment in Edmonton. While there, I began taking graduate courses at the U of A in geotechnical engineering, and fell in love with the discipline. I managed to stay at the U of A for 2 years of an MSc degree, which turned into 4 years to churn out a PhD – again not the original plan but an amazing opportunity.
This was followed by 4 years as a faculty member at RMC (again a superb opportunity and experience) which took me to 20 years of service, had repaid my obligatory service for graduate studies, and thus I retired from the military to seek new adventures as a civilian.
I went back to the U of A, joined as a faculty member there in 1995, and spent the next 12 years as a professor in Geotechnical Engineering at the U of A.
Turned out that the administrative bureaucracy and politics at a civilian university was a bit more than I’d anticipated, so in 2007, I left the U of A and went to work for an outstanding consulting company, BGC Engineering, to lead up their new Edmonton office.
I left BGC after 8 great years with a group of extremely talented people, and since 2015 have been working as an independent consultant, primarily focussed on forensic analysis of geotechnical failures, with a dollop of review, design, regulatory guideline preparation to round things out and keep me busy. I love my commute now, from the kitchen coffee pot to my den, the hours are decent, and I get along with my boss pretty well most days.
Christine and I have 4 offspring (can’t call the children or kids, any more), Robert (30, a lawyer in Vancouver), Caitlin (28, an architect in Edmonton), Meghan (26, a veterinarian in Edmonton area), and Ashley (24, an environmental science consultant in Calgary). Each have partners, none currently married but one engaged, and no grandchildren yet.
While the kids were growing up, we spent the majority of our time coaching or managing minor sports teams from August through June in hockey, ringette, and lacrosse (all 4 played!). Now that they are on their own, favorite past times include fishing (with a focus on fly fishing for both of us), hiking, travel, and wine.
Class Note: And, just for good measure, a little trip further down memory lane - a few photos pulled from the “archives”, from Kevin’s time at RRMC and RMC: