Tom is the director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment (PSIEE) and professor of agricultural and biological engineering. His research and teaching focuses on biomass energy systems, carbon and nutrient cycling, soil and water quality and greenhouse gas emissions. Tom's research is currently funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and he serves as the deputy technical director for the DOE’s National Risk Assessment Partnership for carbon sequestration. He is the author or co-author of over 140 research and technical publications and is a Fellow and Past President of the Institute of Biological Engineering. He received a B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Tom has worked with the Rock Ethics Institute on an NSF project to develop a set of case studies and modules to help graduate students understand the ethical issues related to energy and environmental research, and supports multiple other collaborations between PSIEE and the Rock.