Lenworth “TJ” Thomas is a rising senior mechanical engineering major from Orlando, Florida. TJ is the chapter development chair for the UF National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) chapter. He participates in two design teams: Gatorloop and Battlebots and plans to start a new one through NSBE called “Gator Creators”. TJ was also a product development intern at Caterpillar this summer in which he got to work on 13 liter engines and assist with processes in the commercial engine
TJ was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, but his family is from St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. While growing up, he was a big fan of shows like Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder and considers it what peaked his interest in engineering. As he got older, he used his imagination to make creations out of whatever he could find around the house, such as empty plastic bottles, cardboard, popsicle sticks, and rc car motors. He would make boats, cars, gliders, houses - pretty much anything he could think of. When he got to highschool, he started to gain skills such as 3D modeling and printing, public speaking, and leadership which helped him successfully complete more complex projects on a bigger scale and led him to get his first internship at a 3D printer manufacturer. The highlight of his high school experience was the R3D Prosthetics project he led in his senior year. It was a 3D printed prosthetic arm for kids as well as a therapeutic game simulation that interfaces with the arm. The project was entered into an international competition and TJ led his team to the finals at the Kennedy Space Center in which he presented in front of hundreds of people including thousands watching online.
TJ’s end goal is to start a sustainable technology company to alleviate some of the environmental problems humanity has caused. He believes that sustainability is one of America’s biggest problems at the moment and thinks more capital needs to be invested in it. Thus, TJ hopes to create a technology to reduce the carbon footprint and clean up the pollution that the nation has made.
TJ hopes to take the knowledge from his various technical and leadership experiences as well as his thorough education and use it to manifest his dream of changing the world
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