Pongsak "Tony" Tiengtum has a talent for recognizing opportunity and seizing it. Tony learned this trait from his parents, immigrants from Thailand who came to America to build a better life for themselves and their children.
Tony's parents chose to settle in Alexandria because of its impressive public school opportunities.
Tony entered Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology and embraced the opportunity to experience how science can be an integral part of learning, arriving an hour early most days. "Science was a big part of everything we did" at Cora Kelly, says Tony, and helped to shape his interest in the sciences. Tony also began to develop his leadership skills and was elected Student Council President in the sixth grade.
Tony further developed his engineering interest during middle school, serving as a Cadet with the Civil Air Patrol for three years. He also thrived at T.C. Williams, taking advantage of leadership and community service opportunities while engaging in challenging coursework. He was a member of the National Honor Society and served as Treasurer of his Junior Class and Secretary of the Key Club as a senior. Tony was a member of the wrestling, swim and crew teams. He was also a member of T.C.’s Ultimate Frisbee Club, a passion he continued during college.
With the support of the Scholarship Fund, Tony was able to continue his love of science, earning a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1996 from Boston University. He pursued a career as a mechanical engineer, working for companies that test semiconductors. In 2004, he combined his mechanical engineering and business skills to launch his own company, Titan Semiconductor Tool, acknowledging his alumni allegiance to T.C. Williams. Weathering the “tech bubble bust,” Tony’s company is poised to become a “titan” in its field.
Married to his college sweetheart, Laura, Tony has two children, Jackson, 3, and Davin, 1. Although he lives in Orange County, California, Tony still thinks of Alexandria as home. He also remains grateful and committed to the Scholarship Fund. "I always give back to T.C. Williams and the Scholarship Fund. The Fund gave an opportunity to a kid who wouldn't necessarily be able to afford college. Without that scholarship, I wouldn't be here today doing what I'm doing.”
T.C. Williams Class of 1992
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Boston University, 1996
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