Meet the Board Initiative - June 2023
"A quick chat" at the water cooler with Kevin Mai, CFSA Secretary
Tell us how you started in the fire safety industry?
When I first started my career, I would never have thought of entering the fire safety industry. Upon graduating the Mechanical Engineering program from Ryerson University (now known as Toronto Metropolitan University), I initially had the desire to begin a career in the designing field in the aerospace or automotive industry. Funny enough after graduating, I realized that I had a low burning desire with anything related to buildings, in which I regretfully felt that I should have switched to the Civil Engineering program earlier in my post-secondary school years.
A couple months after graduating in 2019, I started (and still continuing) my career in the consulting field with Matteo Gilfillan & Associates Inc. (MGA) and have since been managing projects throughout Canada providing fire and life safety consulting. Although not directly within my initial and direct field of studies, I soon came to realize that the fire safety industry has many aspects of both (Civil Engineering & buildings, and Mechanical Engineering & design) that I was extremely passionate about.
Why did volunteer with the CFSA?
When I decided to volunteer with the CFSA (at the suggestion of Matteo Gilfillan – once Past President of the CFSA), I felt that this was an excellent opportunity to connect with other professionals in the industry who have been doing this much longer than I have. With their guidance and expertise, it has allowed me to expand my viewpoint in the industry to much larger extents.
Tell us a bit about your professional self and what you're doing now?
Currently I am a Project Manager at Matteo Gilfillan & Associates Inc., and have actively been involved with managing and providing fire and life safety consulting on numerous projects throughout the country.
I work with a great team of talented co-workers and experienced professionals that have provided excellent guidance throughout my careers.
I am currently an Engineer in Training (EIT) with the Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) with the hopes of becoming a Professional Engineer in the upcoming year.
In the wide world of Fire Engineering / Fire Safety topics, what are you most passionate about?
Harmonization of the Building and Fire Codes throughout Canada. Who would have thought that the Codes and Standards we practice today would differ and be adopted differently on a per province basis as opposed to a common National Codes and Standards.
Although the National Building and Fire Codes of Canada does exist (though not adopted directly by all provinces – e.g., Ontario), as a united country, the application of a common Codes and Standards would allow for consistency in the design of buildings throughout Canada.
Volunteering is a great way to give back. If you had a message for others, what would that be?
Volunteering may seem like a burden for some (given the limited hours in a day that we all have), however, volunteering with something you have a passion in will boost you’re your life satisfaction and provide a sense of accomplishment in your career (and making great connections along the way).