Washington Signature
[ Search and Navigation ]   [ View Full Site ]

Profiles

Thomas Landskroener

Class of 2013
Major/Minor
Physics, Economics

Physics major Thomas Landskroener ‘13 is driven by the desire to conceptualize what is possible and to create something tangible and groundbreaking. That explains his gig in the College’s Geographic Information System  lab, where he is building a virtual reality of campus and the greater Chestertown community, where people can explore the campus by taking on the role of an avatar.It also explains his real passion: a 1999 Pontiac Trans Am that may spend more time in the garage than on the road. When Thomas looks into his future, he sees himself as engineer at GM or Toyota, working to design more fuel-efficient and more powerful engines for production model cars.

Physics major Thomas Landskroener ‘13 is driven by the desire to conceptualize what is possible and to create something tangible and groundbreaking. That explains his gig in the College’s Geographic Information System lab, where he is building a virtual reality of campus and the greater Chestertown community, where people can explore the campus by taking on the role of an avatar.

It also explains his real passion: a 1999 Pontiac Trans Am that may spend more time in the garage than on the road. When Thomas looks into his future, he sees himself as engineer at GM or Toyota, working to design more fuel-efficient and more powerful engines for production model cars.

“I am something of a gearhead,” Thomas admits, explaining that he struck a deal with his parents to acquire a muscle car at age 17. “I told them they didn’t have to spend a dime more than they spent on a car for my sister (Drama and English major Emmy Landskroener ‘11 drives a 2003 Kia Spectra), but I would get to pick it. I’ve learned so much in past couple of years just reading about engines and automotive technology. I spend a lot of time working on my car, but I spend about 12 times more just reading about it.”

Using the money he earned while working for the College’s Office of Information Technology, Thomas recently purchased a software license to modify his car’s ECU (the computerized engine control unit) so he can log every parameter that the car records and use that data to modify settings like volume efficiency and spark advance timing. He intends to use the software to increase the total efficiency of the engine.

“I considered Washington College’s 3:2 program in engineering, but I decided to get physics degree at WAC first and then go on to engineering school,” Thomas says. He speaks affectionately of his mathematics and physics professors who are teaching him the core principles that make possible the technology he uses.

“I’m taking differential equations next spring with Professor Hamilton—he’s a real character. He told me the reason he likes math is because he understands everything under the hood. He knows all the rules that math follows. That’s why I’ve always found physics so interesting: it’s math applied to the real world.”

In Thomas’s world, his Trans Am rivals the most expensive sports car on the market. “You can buy a new Ferrari California for $192,000,” he says. “For less than one tenth of that price, I can modify my car to be faster and more fuel efficient.”

Campus Involvement