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Meet Our Staff

Kids U

Matt Hughs

Program Manager for U.S. and South American Operations

Matt Hughs is a retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major with 23 years of active Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) background. He served in numerous EOD positions and concluded his career while leading the Army Training Detachment at the Joint Service EOD School at Eglin AFB, Florida. Matt is a Master EOD Technician and certified Army Training Instructor with countless hours of additional instructor training and course development subjects. Retiring in 2006, Matt has worked in the UXO field as a Senior Project Manager, Program Manager, and Director of Operations and is currently the Program Manager for U.S. Operations. He is additionally responsible for RELYANT Global's Educational Programs division which encompasses the UT-RELYANT UXO Training Program. Matt offers his UXO expertise as an instructor in a supporting role for the UT-RELYANT UXO Training Program. His 30+ years of experience has directly impacted the UXO course; transitioning the course to digital media format - Apple iPads, procurement of additional training aids, and the establishment of the off-site Greenback, Tennessee, training facility that represents a real-world UXO project site. His students have commended him each and every class "as an instructor that goes above and beyond and ensures that his students are fully qualified and ready to enter the UXO industry."



Kids U

Ken Miller

UT-RELYANT UXO Training Program Primary Instructor

Ken Miller is a retired U.S. Army veteran with over 20 years of active Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) experience. He served in numerous EOD operational, evaluation, and training units including tours of duty with Central Identification Laboratory HI, Joint Task Force POW/MIA Full Accountability Recovery Program, Asian Theater.

Miller is a Master EOD Technician and certified Army Senior Instructor with over 10 years of instructor/trainer and curriculum development experience. Retiring from the Army in 2008, he continued to teach in various divisions at The Naval School of Explosive Ordnance Disposal. His roles included curriculum oversite and officer in charge of various divisions.

Since 2014, he has continued to work in the EOD community by working closely with military and civilian bomb squads in support of their training departments. He was hired by RELYANT Global in 2018 to serve as the primary instructor of the UT-RELYANT UXO Training Program.


Kids U

Kevin Mickna

UT-RELYANT UXO Program Associate Instructor

Kevin Mickna is a retired U.S. Navy veteran with 29 years of service. A 1973 graduate of the Navy's Basic Underwater Demolition and Sea Air Land (SEAL) training, he served his early tours of duty with Underwater Demolition Team 21, SEAL Team 2, Harbor Clearance and Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2. He graduated from the Naval School of Explosive Ordnance Disposal in 1991 and served 12 years with various Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal operational and training units until retirement in 2003.

In 2009, he completed certification as a High Risk Training Instructor at the Naval School of Explosive Ordnance Disposal where he instructed in the school's Tools and Methods Division until transferring to the school's Demolition Division in 2016. He was contracted by RELYANT Global in 2017 to serve as the UT-RELYANT UXO Program's secondary instructor.


Kids U

Walter Idol

Health/Safety Team Leader
UTK Center for Industrial Services


Walter Idol is the Program Manager for Health, Safety and Preparedness for the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services. He has been with CIS since 2005, and with the University since 1984. He holds a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is a nationally registered paramedic. Mr. Idol has over four decades of emergency response experience, having served in a variety of educational and administrative roles throughout his career. He is an OSHA authorized outreach trainer for general industry, construction and disaster site workers, and instructs a variety of emergency service, emergency preparedness, and technical rescue programs. He has been published in numerous emergency service publications and training texts.


Kids U

Chuck Gluck

Safety Consultant
UTK Center for Industrial Services


Chuck is a 37-year veteran of the fire service, attaining the rank of Battalion Chief. He obtained a degree in public safety and has been a private business owner in California for 20 years. He was an instructor for the International Association for Firefighters (IAFF) for 20 years. He currently is an OSHA General Industry instructor. He was the training offcer for the San Jose Fire Department, an arson investigator, and a HAZMAT inspector.


Kids U

Sam Alley

Program Director

Sam Alley serves as program director of the UT-RELYANT UXO Training Program. He earned a B.A. in communication studies with a minor in business and an M.S. in sport management from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He served as a student manager for UT Conferences & Non-Credit Programs while earning his degrees. He joined the full-time staff after completing his graduate degree in winter 2015. In addition to his UXO duties, Alley oversees logistics operations for the department’s large summer events hosted in Knoxville. His day-to-day duties consist of warehouse operations, rentals coordination, and website development. Sam and his wife, Melissa, reside in North Knoxville with their dog Jax.

 







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