Tom Morrow, Ph.D., P.E.
Areas of Specialization
Tom’s technical interests are in applications involving fluid and thermal engineering. As a graduate student he learned to use flow visualization to help solve fluid flow problems. He applied this skill in E. I. DuPont’s Textile Fibers Dept. using high speed photography to diagnose conveyance problems with electrostatically charged fiber webs in spinning and laydown operations. At SwRI, he used flow visualization as a guide to the development of correlations for the effect of tank internal structure on gas freeing of bulk cargo tanks and to modeling the behaviors of chemicals spilled in flowing streams and gas plumes released during marine operations. His specialties are in experimental measurements, fluid metering, thermodynamics and chemical phase behavior. He also enjoys developing computer programs to numerically model transient and steady-state fluid flow behavior.
Tom joined the Letton-Hall Group in 2010. Previously, he was an Adjunct Professor in the Mechanical Engineering and in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Departments at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Tom taught Engineering Thermodynamics I & II, Civil Engineering Systems, Mechanics of Materials, Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics, and Introduction to Engineering at UTSA. At the invitation of the Dean of Engineering he taught a new pilot course, “Just-in-Time Math” for freshman engineering students to prepare them for the math they encounter in their entry level engineering courses. He also taught a dual credit (high school/university) course in Calculus and Calculus-Based Physics sponsored by CPS Energy, UTSA, and several San Antonio school districts. He was uniquely qualified for this task, as he had obtained Texas Certification as a secondary math and physics teacher in 2002.
Before joining UTSA, he worked for Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) from 1977 to 2000, and again from 2002 to 2005. There he worked on a wide range of projects including the ventilation of tankership bulk cargo tanks, dispersion of gas vented during cargo loading operations, gas dispersion following a pipeline rupture, dispersion of chemicals spilled in navigable rivers, coalescence of water droplets in an oil/water gravity separator, and installation and operational effects on orifice and ultrasonic flow meters used in natural gas metering. At SwRI, Tom worked closely with Eric Kelner as members of the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) Metering Research Facility team. In particular, he and Eric worked together on the development of a novel fluid properties meter. These R&D efforts resulted in six U.S. patents on the fluid properties meter shared with other SwRI researchers.
At SwRI Tom taught 10 internal short courses to Institute staff members on topics like uncertainty analysis, multi-phase flow, compressible gas flow, fluid transient analysis, and fluid phase behavior. He developed the orifice metering module for the SGA course, “Factors in Gas Meter Station Design and Operation” and also taught a portion of SGA’s “Gas Ultrasonic Meter Workshop.” During his tenure at SwRI, Tom was a frequent contributor to ASME technical conferences, the AGA Operations Conference, and ISHM.
Tom is a Registered Professional Engineer in the states of Virginia and Texas, and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. He was an active member of the ASME Fluids Engineering Division at the national level, serving as chair of the Fluid Applications and Systems Technical Committee, program chair for the 1997 FED summer meeting in Vancouver, BC and finally as chair of the Fluids Engineering Division from 1997 – 1998.