Tom died Jan. 16, 2022, of leukemia in State College, Pa.
Tom was born April 8, 1939, in Nesquehoning, Pa. As a student in aeronautical engineering at Penn State, Tom earned a bachelor’s degree in 1960 and a master’s degree in 1961. He became an assistant professor at the U.S. Naval Academy. Under a Guggenheim Fellowship, he earned a Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton in 1969.
Tom joined Penn State’s aerospace engineering department, specializing in ionized gas (plasma) flows. He affiliated with the electrical engineering department’s Ionosphere Research Laboratory. He established Penn State’s Plasma Research Laboratory, which was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA, the Air Force, the Army, and NSF.
In 1987 Tom became chair of the aerospace engineering department at Ohio State University and served as chair of a science research administration review committee and chair of the University Senate.
From 1994 to 1998 he served as U.S. Department of Energy liaison to national laboratories, international programs, and federal science agencies. He was on President Bill Clinton’s review committee on federal support of universities. Afterward Tom returned to Ohio State and retired in 2007.
Tom is survived by his wife, Mary; and siblings Cecilia and Charles.
Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.