Thomas Filburn, Ph.D.

Thomas Filburn
Senior Lecturer

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department
Tagliatela College of Engineering

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Connecticut
Thesis: “Investigation into the Absorption of CO2 by Amine Coated Polymeric Supports.”
M.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Connecticut
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Connecticut
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Connecticut

About Thomas

Tom Filburn obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in Chemical Engineering; he also holds a B.Sc. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Connecticut, Storrs CT. He has worked for Northeast Utilities, United Nuclear Corporation and Raytheon Technologies Corporation (RTX). Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Hartford he performed research for a liquid metal combustion system used for torpedo propulsion at the Applied Research Lab at Penn State University. In addition, he worked for four years as a plant engineer at the Millstone Nuclear Plant in Waterford CT. His first engineering position was producing Naval Nuclear Reactor cores for United Nuclear Corp. Tom spent 12 years with the Space, Land and Sea group at Hamilton Sundstrand (UTC division, now Collins Aerospace), where he performed research on regenerative life support technologies for NASA. After 13 years in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Hartford, Tom rejoined UTC in 2014 at the United Technologies Research Center. He now comes to the University of New Haven after working 3 ½ years at Pratt & Whitney where he has responsible for material development and manufacturing process improvements for both commercial and military engines. Tom is co-inventor of 23 US patents for a wide variety of material and system enhancements, primarily in the aerospace industry. He has written 2 books, 1 documenting the design differences among the 3 most notable nuclear power plant accidents (TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima). His second book details the system improvements that allowed the commercial aircraft to operate with jet engine power.


Technologist, Pratt & Whitney, Aftermarket & Sustainment Engineering, 2019 - Present
Responsible for Repair Process Development including metallic and composite components. Previously supported Sustainable Aviation projects including Hydrogen propulsion. Electric Ice Protection System lead for F-135 engine program.

Project Leader, UTAS Program Office, United Technologies Research Center, 2014-2019
Responsible for designating research activities for the United Technologies Aerospace Systems Division of UTC. Coordinated internally and externally funded projects primarily in the areas of thermal/mechanical system design. Efforts included interactions with external funding agencies (DOD, NASA, ARPA-E, DARPA etc.). Program manager for a number of internally sponsored projects including Next Generation Fabric for Escape Slides, Composite Materials for Landing Gears, new Brake material development efforts, and other R&D activities

Adjunct Professor, Wesleyan University, 2020-2021
Instructor for undergrad Nuclear Engineering and Energy Sustainability course

Adjunct Professor, Manchester Community College, Jan 2018-2022
Instructor for Thermodynamics I

Adjunct Professor, University of Hartford, Jan 2015-2020
Responsible for Graduate Air Pollution and Nuclear Engineering course

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Hartford, 2001-2014
Chair, Mechanical Engineering Department (10 full-time faculty 2014)
Professor (tenured) 2011-2014
Associate Professor (tenured) 2007-2011
Assistant Professor (tenure track) 2001-2007
Responsible for teaching courses for undergraduate Engineering students including Intro to Engineering, Engineering by Design, and thermal-fluids courses. In addition, responsible for developing new courses and modifying existing courses including Turbomachinery and Heat Transfer/ Fluid Mechanics lab. Created year long senior capstone project course, with strong industrial sponsorship. Research interest includes energy and air pollution with specialization in CO2 scrubbing, and trace contaminant source identification for both NASA and DOE use. Director, CT NASA Space Grant College Consortium 2006 - 2014
$440,000 annual budget shared among 12 member schools Director, Engineering Applications Center 2009 - 2012
Responsible for 1 full-time research engineers and student projects

Technical Specialist, Life Support Systems: Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems International, Advanced Technology Group, 1990-2001
Responsible for the design, analysis, and testing of life support systems used by NASA for space applications. Technical emphasis on renewable environmental systems, especially CO2 removal but also including air quality, and water systems. Principal investigator on internal and external contracts. Extensive collaboration with universities and research laboratories including University of Connecticut, University of Pittsburgh, United Technologies Research Center, and NASA field centers.

Adjunct Faculty: University of Hartford, 1995-1997
Responsible for teaching undergraduate engineering courses including Descriptive Geometry, Dynamics and Mechanics of Materials.

Research Assistant: Applied Research Lab, Pennsylvania State University, 1985-1990
Responsible for analysis and testing of liquid metal combustion, Rankine cycle propulsion hardware used by the US Navy on advanced torpedo engines. Concentrated on the design and testing of the oxidant injection system.

Associate Engineer: Northeast Utilities, 1981-1985
Responsible for plant modifications, testing and operational concerns at the Millstone 2 Nuclear Power Station. Operated during several refueling outages, including Thermal Shield removal.

Engineer: United Nuclear Corp, Naval Products Div., 1980-1981
Responsible for developing and implementing processes used for fabricating Naval Nuclear Reactor Cores.

Engineering Trainee: General Dynamics Corp. Electric Boat Div., Summer 1979
Worked with project engineer who was responsible for submarine HVAC components.

  • University of Connecticut, School of Engineering, Distinguished Alumni, 2019 inductee
  • UTRC Outstanding Achievement Award, 2017, Virtual Dynamic Testing Capability for Seating
  • Member, Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, 2014-2020
  • Office of Naval Research, Summer Faculty Research Fellow, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama
  • City Florida, Summer 2011
  • College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA), Professor of the Year, (2007-2008
  • CETA Professor of the Year, (2005-2006)
  • Member, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • Director, Hartford Section of ASME, 2008-2012
  • Member, American Nuclear Society, CT Chapter, 2011-2015
  • Passed Professional Engineers exam CT, 1985
  • Pi Tau Sigma, International Mechanical Engineering Honor Society
  • UTC President’s Award, 2001
  • UTC Advanced Studies Program, 1997
  • Johnson Space Center, 1997 Group Achievement Award
Recent Presentations

URI Invited Lecture, “Carbon/Carbon Composites for Aircraft Brakes”, Dec. 2017

Queens University, Belfast, Invited Lecture “Design and Operation of NASA’s EMU”, Oct. 2016

MIT Invited lecture, “Future design of Surface Exploration Space Suits”, March 2014


NASA, Connecticut Space Grant Consortium, Training Grant, $440,000, Funding shared among a consortium of 13 Connecticut Schools, 3/14-3/15

Office of Naval Research $204,436, Miniaturization of Underwater Rebreather System, 4/12-9/15

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, $340,805, 4/12-3/16 Collaborative Nuclear Fellowship Program (Co-PI Hanchen Huang Northeastern University

PCI (NASA STTR), $45,450, Compact, Regenerable, Microlith Absorber for Space Suit Humidity, Trace Contaminant and CO2 control, 2/12-1/13

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission $121,560, Use of Physical and Computer Models to Enhance Learning for Nuclear Power Plant Design and Operation, 8/11-12/12

NASA $69,999 Lunar habitat optimization by combining life support and structural design 1/2/10-12/30/10

Dept. of Homeland Security, Novel, Shot-Through X-Ray Generator, $124,835, 8/09-12/10


T. Filburn, “Commercial Aviation in the Jet Era and the Systems that Make it Possible”, Springer 2019, ISBN 978-3-030-20111-1

T. Filburn, S. Bullard, “Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island”, Springer 2016, ISBN 978-3-319-34055-5

Book Chapter

T. Filburn, J. Genovese, J. Graf, “Enclosed Habitat Life Support”, Volume 2, Biomed Handbook 2nd Edition.(Copyright June 2009)

US Patents
  • J. Gangloff, P. Walsh, D. Grolman, C. Reimann, T. Filburn, S. Chiou, J. Kim, J. Mendoza, US Patent 11,391,244 “Acoustic Liner and method of forming an acoustic liner”
  • G. Ngatu, S. Voleti, W. May, T. Filburn US Patent 11,292,586 “Carbon Nanotube Heat Shield”
  • Y. She, N. Menon, Z. Dardas, T. Filburn, US Patent 11,286,209 “Ceramic Matrix Composite Manufacturing”
  • Y. She, N. Menon, G. Richards, Z. Dardas, T. Filburn, US Patent 11,230,021 “Mitigating pyrophoric deposits in exhaust piping during SIC CVI/CVD processes by introducing water vapor into an outlet portion of a reaction chamber”
  • P. Cocks, T. Filburn, Y. She, H. Cordatos, Z. Dardas, W. May, US Patent 11,125,294 “System and Method for Reducing Oxidation of Friction Disks”
  • M. Lynch, T. Filburn, T. El-Wardany, P. Walsh, US Patent 11,117,189, “Additively Manufactured Carbon Dioxide Scrubber”
  • L. Steele, T. Filburn, M. Klecka, US Patent 10,092,203, “Hybrid Torque Bar”
  • Y. She, N. Menon, Z. Dardas, T. Filburn, X. Cai, US Patent 10,975,467 “Gas Distribution for Chemical Vapor Deposition/Infiltration”
  • L. Steele, T. Filburn, M. Klecka, US Patent 10,927,908, “Hybrid Torque Tube”
  • M. Lynch, T. Filburn, T. El-Wardany, P. Walsh, US Patent 10,919,091 “Additively Manufactured Carbon Dioxide Scrubber”
  • Y. She, N. Menon, Z., Dardas, T. Filburn, US Patent 10,712,005 “ Ceramic Matrix Composite Manufacturing”
  • L. Steele, T. Filburn, M. Klecka, US Patent 10,677,300 “Hybrid Torque Tube”.
  • A. Retersdorf, B. St. Rock, T. Filburn, US Patent 10,544,705 “Rankine cycle powered by bleed heat”
  • Y. She, N. Menon, Z. Dardas, T. Filburn, X. Cai, US Patent 10,480,065 “Gas distribution for chemical vapor deposition/infiltration”
  • J. Rudolph, Y. She, Z. Dardas, T. Filburn, B. St. Rock, J. Linck US Patent 10,465,282, “Systems for modifying pressure differential in a chemical vapor process”
  • T. Filburn, J. Rheaume, S Tongue, US Patent 10,124,911, “Taxi tug with auxiliary services”
  • J. Rudolph, Y. She, Z. Dardas, T. Filburn, B. St. Rock, J. Linck US Patent 9,963,779, “Methods for modifying pressure differential in a chemical vapor process”
  • T. Filburn, M. Gray, K. Champagne, Y. Soong, US patent 7,288,136, " High capacity immobilized amine sorbents"
  • T. Filburn, T. Nalette, W. Papale, US patent 6,755,892, "Carbon Dioxide Scrubber for Fuel and Gas Emissions"
  • T. Filburn, K. Murdoch, US Patent 6,610,122, "Water Recuperation for a CO2 Removal System"
  • T. Filburn, H. Michels, T. Nalette, P. Birbara, US patent 6,364,938, "Sorbent, System and Method for Absorbing Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from the Atmosphere of a Closed Habitable Environment”
  • T. Filburn, P. Birbara, T. Nalette, US Patent 5,876,488, "Regenerable Solid Amine Sorbent"
  • T. Filburn, J. Huddleston, D. Killelea, US Patent 5,595,690, "Method for Improving Water Transport and Reducing Shrinkage Stress in Membrane Humidifying Devices"