Tom Strange of Easley is the chairman of Tri-County Technical College's Commission, the nine-member governing board of the College.
Strange, who previously served as the Commission’s vice chair, was elected chairman in April 2022. He was appointed to the Commission in April 2017, following a three-year stint from 2011 to 2014.
Until his retirement, Strange worked for 23 years for Abbott (formerly St. Jude Medical) in Liberty. As senior director of research and development, he introduced many new technologies that continue to define state of the art in implantable medical devices for both pacing and arrhythmia correction.
He has an extensive background in materials science and is the author of 57 patents and numerous papers over the last three decades, covering all aspects of power component development. He served on the Foundation Board of Tri-County Technical College from 2014 – 2017.
His honors and achievements include receiving the 1998 St. Jude Medical Hendrickson Award for his work on the development of flat capacitors, the highest honor for St. Jude; and has been inducted into the Abbott Volwiler Society as a Senior Research Fellow, the highest honor for Abbott scientists. He is also an American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers Fellow.
In 2002 he was appointed Economic Ambassador for Pickens County by Governor Jim Hodges. He received the St. Jude Medical Patent Hall of Fame award in 2005, the University of SC Distinguished Alumni in 2007 and the Dr. Charles Towns Individual Achievement Award in 2009.
After receiving his undergraduate degree, he completed graduate studies in physics at the University of South Carolina and joined Philips Components as a member of the research staff and participated in or led the research activity involving the development of electrochemical and AC film capacitors.
Strange serves on the board of directors for the Fine Arts Center, Musical Instrument Research Catalog, and was a founding member of the S.C. Biotechnology Industry Organization (2008-2016). He and his wife, Debra, have a son, Derek.