2017 Tillman Scholar
Tom felt the draw of the military from his youth, inspired by the service of every generation since his family arrived in the United States. He aspired to contribute to that legacy and never looked back. Over seven years as an Army engineer, he deployed twice to Afghanistan and once to Korea. Nothing was more fulfilling than working with others to accomplish impossible tasks. From Germany to Afghanistan, leading and building those teams formed the core of his military experience. Tom plans to take his lessons in team building from the army to his civilian career. There he will continue leading teams and strive to tackle challenging problems to improve society.
Tom’s experiences, especially as a platoon leader and base engineer in Afghanistan, laid bare the shortfalls of our current energy systems and infrastructure. Energy, from fuel distribution to battery capacity was the most limiting factor in many operations. He witnessed the negative impacts of energy dependency when a VBIED targeted fuel trucks at the entrance to his FOB. Any reduction in fuel dependency would have saved millions of dollars, reduced the risk to human life, and increased security.
Practical experience drives his desire to develop immediate and affordable energy solutions. At MIT, Tom will study the interaction of energy storage, regeneration, and use in systems across multiple scales while pursuing his SM in mechanical engineering and MBA. After his studies, Tom aims to make an impact as a leader developing innovative energy solutions for energy generation and infrastructure.