Keith Boshart: Selling the Essential

As a college student majoring in Communications at York University, Keith Boshart wasn’t sure what his end game was in terms of a career. But he did know what he liked.

“English classes were usually my favorite. I always liked reading and writing,” he says. “I figured I would get into multimedia or journalism, but fate had different plans.”

Those plans led him into the highly technical world of non-destructive testing (NDT).

After a recruiter reached out to him, Keith landed a newly created sales position at IIA’s Canadian Services division (formerly known as Domson Engineering & Inspection). In his decade-long career, that Communications degree has proven surprisingly helpful.

“Communication is key. If there’s a misunderstanding, that can lead to problems down the line when it comes to execution of a project. You’ve got to be on the same page as your customer,” says Keith, who prefers to let others do the talking. “I like to ask good questions and let people open up.”

Because of his unique background in communications and journalism, Keith brings valuable “soft skills” to a business based in hard science. He enjoys the variety that each day brings, and the opportunity to develop solutions to each customer’s issues.

“Each project has its own unique challenges. Being part of that problem-solving is one of the more fun parts of my job,” he says. “Non-destructive testing (NDT) is such a broad field, and there are so many applications for it. It’s never the same thing twice.”

That variety was on full display during a major project on the Kirkfield Lift Lock in Kawartha Lakes City, Ontario, in 2021. Originally built in 1907, the lift lock is the world’s second highest hydraulic boat lift, with a lift of 15 meters (49 feet).

To safely extend the service life of the historic lift lock, the Canadian government hired IIA to complete a thorough, multidisciplinary inspection of the press and ram using a range of approaches, from eddy current testing to ultrasonic mapping, lab testing, visual inspection and more.

“It was a neat project,” recalls Keith. “There was an NDT component, a rope access component, and engineering components, and these three disciplines had to work together. There was quite a bit to manage there.”

Projects like this make each day interesting. But for Keith, it’s the people at IIA that has made the past decade a pleasure.

“The thing I like best about my job is working with teammates who all have great attitudes. We work well together,” he says. “We’re vision-focused. We’re mission-focused. We do what it takes to make sure the client receives the best possible service.”

While he never expected to be working in the world of NDT, Keith is proud to help connect customers to solutions that make the world safer.

“It’s very rewarding to work in an industry that helps prevent accidents and save lives,” he says. “Non-destructive testing is more than a regulatory thing —it’s a best practice. We are selling an essential service.”


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