Matt McKinlay Goes the Extra Mile

Looking for Matt McKinlay? When he’s not performing non-destructive testing (NDT), he’s probably pursuing his lifelong passion: fishing. But he may not be easy to find. When it comes to fishing and NDT, Matt always goes the extra mile.

He’s been known to hike and canoe for hours in search of the perfect fishing spot. Ontario’s Lake Simcoe — where the perch can grow to 16 inches long — is one of this angler’s favorite places to cast a line.

“Fishing is my biggest passion. I’m out in a boat or on the ice almost every weekend. I like to go out to the middle of nowhere — places other people won’t go,” says Matt, who strikes fear in the hearts of Canada’s bass, walleye, pike and perch populations. “The tug on the lure is the addicting part of fishing.”

Fishing, hiking and hockey have been in his blood since he was a kid growing up in Oshawa in southern Ontario.

At the suggestion of his childhood friend Cory Flynn, Matt decided to study mechanical engineering technology after graduating high school. He specialized in non-destructive examination at Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario. There he learned a variety of NDT methods, including magnetic particle, liquid penetrant, ultrasound and visual inspection.

After graduating in 2017, Matt moved to Winnipeg to start his career in non-destructive testing. There, this hardworking, outgoing and family-oriented man spent three years building his NDT skills and his resume’ before returning to southern Ontario to be closer to family and friends and build a life with his wife and young daughter.

“I knew it was time to come home,” says Matt, who also knew he wanted to work for a leader: the Canadian Services division of Industrial Inspection & Analysis (also known as Domson Engineering).

“Domson’s reputation is second to none,” says Matt. “The company is known for taking the time to conduct quality inspections that identify any underlying issues.”

After joining IIA/Domson in 2020 as an NDT Technician, Matt helped bring his old friend Cory on board, also as an NDT Technician. The duo that played hockey together in grade school now helps make the world safer through nondestructive testing.

The thing Matt likes best about his job is the variety.

“We can inspect virtually anything – from cranes and aerial lift equipment to bridges. Anything with a weld,” says Matt. “Each day is unique. I’m at a different job site every day and meet a lot of different people. There is no getting complacent or bored.”

His most memorable work experience took him to the far north arctic region of Nunavut, Canada, to conduct an intense round of equipment inspections for a large iron ore mine.

While there, Matt worked 12+ hours a day for two weeks straight, inspecting equipment ranging from trucks and loaders to crushers and cranes. The nature of the mining industry and the remote location makes this a dangerous operation.

“Safety is huge – you can’t work too fast or you risk getting hurt. And the closest hospital is a five-hour flight away,” says Matt. “We’re there to help prevent mechanical failures and casualties. It’s awesome to have a job that helps other people go home safe.”