Dr. Tom Woollam (1979-2007)
Tom tragically died in June 2007 after a short battle against the complications arising from a disease called Cystic Fibrosis. Tom spent his happy formative years in Williton, Somerset before going to Plymouth University to undertake an Environmental Science degree. He then had a period in Aberystwyth studying Environmental Law at MSc level. During this time he met his long term partner, Lia, and won a scholarship to undertake his Dissertation in Bari, Italy.
Tom came to Cardiff in 2002 as a research student to undertake a PhD in the waste management field and in 2005 became a Research Associate with specific responsibilities for managing a research outstation based at a landfill site near Aberdare; he was awarded his PhD degree in 2006. Tom left the University in the autumn of the same year to set up his own company, Vastus, specialising in consultancy and conference organisation. During this period Tom was a prominent regional member of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management.
Tom was full of life, undertaking some wacky activities such as running the New York Marathon, raising thousands of pounds by selling sweets to students, trying to get his supervisors drunk on many occasions, finding ways of not having to wash dishes at the outstation, to having an infectious smile being applied to his supervisors when expense forms were being signed. From an early age Tom loved fast cars, and it came as no shock that we saw him driving an old Porsche around town looking a cool dude as he was. But more importantly, Dr. Tom had the ability to develop strong personal networks ranging from landfill operators through to directors of large multi-national companies which aided the start of his company.
Those who met and worked with Tom never knew that he had Cystic Fibrosis. He ruled his disability and never let the disability rule him, leading a very full yet short life.
Tom leaves loving parents Alan and Melanie, sister Beth and of course, partner Lia. Tom touched everyone’s lives, will be sadly missed but never forgotten….
Tony Griffiths and Keith Williams