Tom Marlin

"Joe Bergantz was the department head at its inception. He taught the most incomprehensible design course ever offered in the Milky Way. Well, we recovered, and I have now taught the second-most incomprehensible design course".


Tom Marlin

Tom Marlin was a member of the original UB CBE graduating class of 1966. He holds a MS from the University of Dayton with research at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

By 1972, when Tom had his PhD degree, he was on active duty in the U.S. Army at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. He also worked at Esso (later EXXON) research and engineering in Florham Park, NJ in Process Control and Optimization. While in this position he spent time in Baton Rouge and Cologne, Germany, and travelled extensively, even going to Libya. Tom joined Stone and Webster Engineering in Boston, MA in 1985 where he supported plant designs with advanced control and optimization. When the division moved to Houston, he joined academia as Professor of Chemical Engineering in 1988 at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON Canada. He established the “McMaster Advanced Control Consortium” for industrial-academic interaction and wrote a textbook and built a web site on process control He consulted a great deal and ultimately retired in 2008. Tom continues to teach and consult at USC, and splits his time between Canada and Pasadena. He was an active member of Amnesty International in Germany, the United States, and Canada.

"Ken Kiser was really tough…I recall him stopping a lecture and saying “I have never seen so few people looking in so many different directions.” I guess that we didn’t pay close attention all of the time. On the other hand, he cared about us and wanted us to learn. He found a graduate school position for me, which changed the direction of my life. I was fortunate to meet him when he was near his retirement, and thanked him for everything he did for me. I often reflect on how our professors sent us the message that we had to perform; it was delivered in a very direct manner-sometimes harsh, “look to your right and left, one of you will pass this course.” Now it’s the opposite. Maybe the next generation will figure out the proper balance.”