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Thomas Simms
Thomas Simms is a Brockman Scholar and will start his master’s in business through Mays Business School this summer. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Electrical engineering senior Thomas Simms found his place at Texas A&M University early on by joining the Engineering Honors Community of Scholars (ECOS), which provided an avenue to develop friendships and build leadership skills. As he concludes his last semester as an undergraduate student, he continues this path to find opportunities to stay involved and stretch himself in new ways.

Simms’s experience with ECOS inspired him to continue with the program as an ECOS fellow, during which he provided freshmen with insight into academic success strategies, encouraging the use of campus resources, attendance in key campus events and building a strong sense of community.

In 2021, Simms expressed interest in pursuing undergraduate research on magnetic gears under adjunct assistant professor Dr. Matthew Johnson in the Advanced Electrical Machines and Power Electronics Lab. His work with Johnson provided him the opportunity to collaborate with other students, such as doctoral student Bryton Praslicka, in this emerging area of research. The two teamed up and pitched their idea to utilize magnetic gears for wave energy converters at the Department of Energy’s EnergyTech UP competition in March, where their team was named a Water Power Technologies Office Bonus Prize Winner for their innovation in this area.

During the summer of 2022, Simms worked as an applications engineer intern with Texas Instruments (TI) and had the opportunity to work with two specific chips, learn how they function and provide documentation for each.

“My internship with TI was my first experience with corporate engineering work, and it was interesting to have the opportunity to focus on such a narrow subset of parts as opposed to looking at the broad spectrum of things,” Simms said. “Being able to design part of a chip is something that I think is really cool and interesting, and this experience walked me through the process of how they release information and how they determine the important factors when manufacturing.”

Simms continues to work with Johnson on undergraduate research and is currently focusing on program automation for magnetic gear models. He is working to speed up the process for modeling and testing and to achieve a consistent design.

He is a Brockman Scholar, which means that as a high school graduate, he received the Brockman Scholarship, allowing him to pursue a STEM-focused four-year degree at Texas A&M with an additional fifth year of graduate studies in the Mays Business School. Simms is one of only 50 students who were awarded by the Brockman Foundation for his class of 2023. He has been accepted into the Mays Business School’s Master of Science Business program and plans to begin this summer.