Austin Engineering welcomes Matt Pommer to his new role as Field Inspector.

While Matt has an engineering degree, he has spent most of his professional life in marketing or project management roles in the technology sector. His experience has landed him in leadership positions in various industries, including environmental remediation and clean technology with a specialization in manufacturing ultra-high purity metals.

“I’ve been on the fringes of Austin Engineering since they started. I’m really excited to now be officially part of the team and to return my focus to engineering,” he shares.

Matt is looking forward to acting as the “eyes and ears” for the Woodworth Dam project, an optimized dam structure design for the City of Prince Rupert. The Austin Engineering team has blended traditional design elements with the natural on-site setting to develop a concept with environmental and financial benefits, resulting in substantial cost savings of nearly 17%.

He is currently getting ready to mobilize to the site and settle into his part-time home. As Field Inspector, Matt will inspect, audit, record, and report all construction activities to verify the implementation of quality plans and procedures conforming to design, specifications, relevant standards, and codes. When he returns from Prince Rupert, he will carry out very similar work on industrial and municipal projects, primarily in the West Kootenay region.

Matt is ready for a change of pace and a fresh start and can’t wait to get back into the field. Before starting at Austin Engineering, he ran a construction contracting company providing support to businesses like the Trail, BC engineering firm. He first met owners Roger and Mary Austin when his late wife Judy worked for them in the company’s early days; friendship has flourished since.

“It feels like the right time to get back to engineering,” explains Matt. “As a contractor, some of the work was very physically challenging, so when this opportunity came up, it was a chance to start using my mind again as opposed to my brawn.”

Matt’s diverse career started in 1998 with an account manager role with pioneering technology leader ABB Canada in partnership with Teck Trail Operations. In 2008, he and a few Teck colleagues launched Nature Works Remediation, which focussed on designing and operating treatment systems for the removal of heavy metals and other contaminants. Afterwards, he completed a short stint as General Manager of the former Firebird Technologies, a manufacturer of compound semiconductor products and pure metals. When 5N Plus acquired Firebird in 2009, he started up his own metals business, Valhalla Technologies. The high-tech manufacturing company produced high-purity metals and related products with a concentration on germanium for the advanced infra-red optical market. He followed that with a few short years working for Assurance Environmental Ltd. doing asbestos identification, sampling, analysis, and reporting before exiting the field to concentrate on family and operate a small-scale construction company.

Matt has always been entrepreneurial and has created his own opportunities, a philosophy the Austin Engineering team stands behind. He is a Rossland native who’s proud to have raised a family in the region.

“I’m excited for the opportunity and feel at home here, and in great company,” he says. “I look forward to working on innovative engineering solutions. I value that Austin Engineering uses technology to better serve its clients, and I think my experience will lend itself well to my new role and fit within the team dynamics.”