Tom was born in South Shields, in the North-East of England, in 1986. After attending Harton Comprehensive, and subsequently St. Josephs 6th Form. He read the Natural Sciences Tripos at the University of Cambridge, specialising in Chemistry and gaining a 1st class MSci (Hons) in 2008. Tom then switched to the Materials Science and Metallurgy Department to study the physical properties of porous hybrid frameworks under Professor Anthony Cheetham FRS.
A 3 year Research Fellowship at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge followed, looking at the utility of structural collapse of hybrid frameworks and lecturing some of the 1B Materials Chemistry course at the department. He has been fortunate enough to receive the EPSRC post-doctoral prize (2012) and the Panalytical award for an outstanding contribution to X-ray diffraction (2013).
He started a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 2016, along with a visiting adjunct professor position at The Wuhan University of Technology. He also holds a visiting scientist position at CSIRO Melbourne. In 2017/2018, Tom is also Director of Studies for Materials Science, at Trinity Hall.
Finally, Tom is passionate regarding outreach activities, and frequently gives talks on access to higher education.