Birth of a Passion

At SciCorp, what attracted us and continues to drive us is the vision of our founder, Derk Maat.  His story and his continuous commitment to ‘reducing our carbon footprint’ and ‘improving the environmental quality of life for all’ gives us all something powerful to believe in and to pursue.


A letter from our founder, Derk Z. Maat

I was born and raised in the outskirts of a northern town – Thunder Bay. My playground was the Kaministiquia River (Kakabeka Falls). As a teenager I spent many summer days fishing and swimming in this river which was a pristine river unmarked by industry or agriculture. I thought every kid in the world had access to the life I had, growing up without TV or the Internet. I knew I wanted to be an engineer as I worked in my Dad’s greenhouse and landscape construction business. I observed those with white hats and rolls of drawings under their arm as I laboured to bring their dreams to reality moving dirt and laying sod.

I enrolled in the local university – Lakehead University – in first year engineering and was determined that my first summer job would be in the field of engineering.  My first job in my chosen vocation was working for Public Works Canada taking soundings in the harbor and in the Kaministiquia River in preparation for the government dredging at the tax payers expense.   The waste dumped into the river came from the 10 industrial facilities located in and around Thunder Bay at the time.

The dredging was commissioned to enable the ocean going ships to navigate up the river to the factories to transport the product they produced. Every kid in town aspired to work at one of these industries.

Each day my hands would be covered in a rash from the polluted river water and I would see many floating dead fish. This was the same river where two miles upstream I was catching pristine pike, pickerel perch and bass.

I learned that economic prosperity had a cost but saw that the blatant abuse and disregard for the environment was totally avoidable.

I looked up at the mill one day and an inner voice spoke these words “I want to be part of the solution and not the problem” – words that are still clear as day 45 years later.

I transferred to the University of Waterloo and majored in sanitary engineering and started work as an environmental engineer in 1973. I took my masters at Western and was part of the first graduating class in the Masters of Environmental Engineering program.

As part of my work addressing and solving environmental issues, I ended up going into the pulp and paper industry.  I was involved in implementing new technology to address the industry’s wastewater pollution issues and was active in a number of significant large scale projects.

My work in the environmental sector has moved from a vocation to a calling and has become my passion. As part of my journey I worked for large environmental engineering and technology companies in both the US and Canada and on projects around the world.

In 1995 I started my own environmental engineering firm Maat Environmental Engineering Corp.  In 2009, I along with my family, acquired controlling ownership of SciCorp International Corp, where both of our sons have partnered with me to expand and grow the company.

In both companies our vision and mission has been to engage our staff in our passion for the environment and serve others in reducing their carbon footprint and environmental impact. The two companies are active in both the industrial/commercial and consumer markets, offering new solutions, technical approaches and products that are environmentally effective, sustainable, superior and affordable. We operate at the highest ethical standards across Canada and now have a presence in over 10 countries around the world.

Come and join us as partners in our journey to make the world a more sustainable and better place to live. Let’s all strive to live environmentally sustainable corporate and individual lifestyles that will ensure that future generations will be able to experience a lifestyle that I enjoyed as a teenager in Thunder Bay, 45 years ago.

Derk Maat
Chairman and CEO
SciCorp International Corp and Maat Environmental Engineering Corp