Distinguished Alumni Awards

Thomas A. Prickett

Thomas A. Prickett
To Thomas A. Prickett for his contributions to and applications of knowledge, entrepreneurship, and creativity, fostering the development of young people, and exceptional service to the Department of General Engineering.

President, Thomas A. Prickett and Associates, Urbana, Illinois

B.S. 1960, General Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 Tom Prickett has over 42 years of worldwide experience in groundwater research, aquifer evaluation, well-field development and design, mining impact analysis, mass transport problem and process investigations, computer modeling, conducting modeling seminars, and litigation as an expert witness. He was one of the first to recognize the importance of the digital computer on the analysis of groundwater problems and developed several of the first groundwater models in the industry. He established his own consulting business in 1981 and has established a global reputation of excellence serving as a consultant to some of the largest and most prestigious companies in the nation, including clients such as Exxon, Mobil Oil, Martin Marietta Corporation, Kennecott Corporation, and Newmont Mining Company. He also served as a consultant for many overseas projects and has provided training to groundwater consultants in modeling techniques in locations as distant as Denmark, India, Turkey, Egypt, Haiti, Spain, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica. His overseas projects have included providing expert witness testimony during hearings and developing modeling for mine impacts in coal, copper, gold, zinc, iron, and uranium deposits and the Andalusia iron mines of Spain. In addition, he has advised the government of the Dominican Republic on rehabilitation of the Haina Valley well-field after hurricane damage; served as one of the first groundwater engineers from the U.S. to visit the Soviet Union Geological Survey and Academy of Sciences during the Glasnost/Perestroika era; and taught French hydrologists about groundwater modeling, a request from the French government that is considered to be a high honor as the French are quite advanced in the groundwater field. Mr. Prickett has also given expert testimony before almost every level of the U.S. court system, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Mr. Prickett has been actively involved with students since 1991 including serving as a guest lecturer every semester, serving as President of the General Engineering Alumni and Industry Advisory Board for an unprecedented three terms, and serving on the UI Alumni Association Alumni Advisory Board. Mr. Prickett established and endowed the Alumni Award for General Engineers to recognize students who excel in leadership and citizenship and also established and supports the Engineer in Residence Program, which enables a wide number of alumni to serve as guest lecturers and to meet one-on-one with students to provide career advice. In addition to receiving the Gamma Epsilon Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992 and the General Engineering Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 2003, Mr. Prickett has received nearly every honorary award in his field.

Current as of 2004.