“Being involved in the water industry, you get to see how big it is, and also how small: you get to meet your peers from around the world, who become your professional connections and, eventually, lifelong friends. The water industry is a tight-knit community, but the opportunities for you to grow are limitless.”
Born and raised in Oakridge Acres, Tom is a consummate Londoner through-and-through. A second-generation water industry professional, Tom grew up cycling and driving by the Greenway Wastewater Treatment Plant on Greenside Avenue. By high school, he had already received a firsthand introduction to the nuts and bolts of the water industry, when he worked at a pipeyard familiarizing himself with different types of piping, valves, manholes, and other materials. His career began in earnest when he undertook a sixteen-month internship at Labatt Breweries of Canada, where he was able work on water and wastewater systems for the first time. After attending a presentation by the Ontario Waterworks Association (OWWA) at Western University, Tom resolved to become a full-time water professional, marking the beginning of a 12-year-long career in the water and wastewater industry.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering Science in chemical engineering from Western University, Tom was hired right out of school as an Engineer In Training (EIT) in RVA’s London office in May 2010. By then, his journey had come full circle with his first major project, right in his hometown: a redesign of the solids handling system at the Greenway WWTP. It would become a milestone achievement in his career not just for its unique design of a fieldbus control system for the plant, but also for the opportunity it provided to leverage newer technologies for the firm at the time, including laser scan surveys, point cloud data, and 3D isometric piping drawings in Autodesk REVIT. Being able to flip the switch on a one-of-a-kind system that operated as intended – bringing approximately $700k in savings for the City of London and winning an Ontario Public Works Association (OPWA) Technical Innovation Award in 2014 – was a singular moment in time that hasn’t left him since.
Today, Tom still loves seeing a facility come to life with a front-row seat to all the hands-on work that goes into taking a project from concept to the final product. As RVA’s Lead I&C Engineer, he oversees our firm’s I&C and SCADA teams in all vertical projects across Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. No matter the size, type, or scale, Tom aims to cut out the white noise to keep his teams focused on what matters: providing communities with critical infrastructure assets.
Since his early days as a volunteer on the OWWA Young Professionals Committee, Tom has taken his involvement in the industry to its greatest heights. Now a Director on the OWWA Board of Directors, Tom enjoys teaching as much as learning from up-and-coming professionals in the water industry. In 2022, Tom was awarded the 5 Under 35 Outstanding Young Professionals Award by AWWA in recognition for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of students’ and young professionals’ interests throughout AWWA in the water sector. A lifelong music lover (his father, Tim, is a professional musician), Tom grew up listening to blues, Jimi Hendrix, and 60s rock, and was even part of a rock-and-roll band with his best friends once upon a time. When he’s not out golfing or playing hockey during his off-hours, you’ll find Tom going back to his music roots as the leader of RVA’s band, practicing in their rehearsal space up in North York.