PENDLETON  --- Thomas Strange, senior director of Research and Development for Abbott (formerly St. Jude Medical) in Liberty, will deliver Tri-County Technical College's spring commencement address.

The ceremony will be held Tuesday, May 9, at 6 p.m. at the T. Ed Garrison Arena located off Highway 76, Pendleton.

Approximately 664 students will be awarded degrees, diplomas and/or certificates during the College's commencement.  In addition to families and guests of the graduates, alumni and other friends of the College are invited to attend the ceremony.

Mr. Strange has an extensive background in materials science and is the author of 45 patents and numerous papers over the last three decades, covering all aspects of power component development. Over the last 20 years at Abbott, Mr. Strange and his team have been introducing new technologies that continue to define state of the art in implantable medical devices for both pacing and arrhythmia correction.

Mr. Strange represented Pickens County on the Tri-County Technical College Commission from 2011-14.  In 2014 he was elected to the Foundation Board of Tri-County Technical College and continues his service to the present day.

His honors and achievements include receiving the 1985 North American Philips Corporation (NAPC) Creative Innovator award, the highest honor for NAPC; the 1998 St. Jude Medical Hendrickson Award for his work on development of flat capacitors, the highest honor for St. Jude; and the 2001 InnoVision Award for technology development in Upstate South Carolina.

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 and completing graduate studies in Physics at the University of South Carolina, he joined Philips Components as a member of the research staff. During his 15 years with Philips Components in Columbia, South Carolina, and two years with Aerovox, Inc., in Huntsville Alabama, he participated in or led the research activity involving the development of electrochemical and AC film capacitors. He was a member of a small team of entrepreneurs who, from 1994 to 1996, developed and produced the pioneering flat medical grade electrolytic capacitor that made thoracic implantable cardioverter defibrillators possible.

Mr. Strange serves on the board of directors for the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Warehouse Theatre (past president), Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County (MCPC) and was a founding member of the S.C. Biotechnology Industry Organization (2008-2016).

He and his wife, Debra, have a son, Derek. They live in Easley.