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The University of Tennessee

Meet Our Staff

The University of Tennessee

Matt Hughs

Business Unit Lead for MMRP & Educational Programs

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 Elgin AFB, FL. 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's Educational Programs division which encompasses the UXO Tech 1 Training program. Matt offers his UXO expertise as an instructor in a supporting role for the University of Tennessee/RELYANT Unexploded Ordnance Technician I course. 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."

The University of Tennessee

Ken Miller

UT-RELYANT UXO 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.

The University of Tennessee

Kevin Mickna

UT-RELYANT UXO Program Secondary 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.

The University of Tennessee

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 BS and MS from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is a nationally registered paramedic. Mr. Idol has over 4 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.

The University of Tennessee

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 is 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 their first HazMat inspector.

The University of Tennessee

Barry Neal

Barry Neal is one of the most experienced professional meeting planners in East Tennessee, managing events of all sizes in a 36-year career.

Neal, an East Tennessee native, has worked for University of Tennessee Conferences & Non-Credit Programs for the past 27 years. His current responsibilities at UT include strategic and logistical planning and implementation of some of Knoxville’s largest events as well as management of non-credit programs such as the UT-RELYANT Unexploded Ordnance Training Program and the Smoky Mountain Field School.

Neal was one of the early pioneers of the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program, obtaining his certification in 1987. He has mentored dozens of UT students who have interned with UT Conferences through the years.

He serves as 2017-18 vice president of the East Tennessee Meeting Professionals.

Neal earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.