Thomas “Tom” Scott Wanke born May 31st, 1954 passed away at home on June 21st 2022 at the age of 68. Born to Robert Wanke and Carolyn Wanke (nee Stieglitz) in Menomonee Falls he attended the Menomonee Falls High School and proud graduate of 1972. Tom found “the love of his life forever” 40 years ago when he married Ann Wanke (nee Hohensee) in 1982. He is also survived by his three wonderful children Matthew (Amy) Wanke, Beth Wanke (Sam Stressman), and David Wanke (fiancé Katie Rozek). He was a very proud and supportive father who was also over the moon to be called Papa by his grandson Elijah Wanke.
Tom was proceeded in death by his father, maternal grandparents, paternal grandparents, Father In Law and Step Father in Law. He also was proceeded in death by his “Uncle Glenn” who he kept his memory going by making many more memories at the hunting cabin. It brought Tom so much joy to hunt on the land, play Sheepshead in the cabin, and of course find a project to use the skid steer.
Professionally Tom began his career of nearly 50 years at the Milwaukee School of Engineering while studying to earn his engineering degrees. He received an associate degree in Fluid Power Engineering Technology and a B. S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology. He went on to receive a M.S. in Engineering. During this time his career as a technician in the Fluid Power Institute (FPI) began and he was a true leader in the fluid power industry. As the director of the Fluid Power Institute from 1980 until 2017, the FPI became a leader in motion control and fluid power education, research and evaluation. It became one of the nations foremost academic fluid power research laboratories and Tom was one of the most recognized experts in Hydraulic components and systems, development and evaluation, failure analysis, fluids, filtration and contamination control. Along with this Tom also was a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and the International Fluid Power Society, IFPS certified fluid power engineer, the International Standards Organization Committee TC131 for Fluid Power Standards and chairman of the NFPA Technical Board. He was chairman of the Technical Conference at both the 2011 and 2014 International Fluid Power Expositions and a member of the IFPE Management Committee. Tom was instrumental in establishing the Fluid Power Industrial Consortium (FPIC) in 2016 and then named the director of the FPIC and industrial relations. Tom also served as an adjunct professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department.
He holds several patents for his work and was well represented in industry publications; his dedication to MSOE and the industry was unparalleled and was recognized often throughout the years. He was the first recipient of MSOE’s Karl O. Werwath Engineering Research Award in 1989 and with his induction in the inaugural class of inductees to the International Fluid Power Society Hall of Fame in 2019. He continued to be recognized when he received the Fluid Power champions award in 2015, the outstanding service award in 2014 from the National Fluid Power Association, and the Service award from the International Fluid Power Association in 2011.
His involvement to the industry and engineering extended even further with a commitment to mentoring many middle and high school students through NFPA Fluid Power Action Challenge, STEM and Project Lead the Way.
Funeral Service will be held Wednesday July 6,2022 at 7pm AT THE FUNERAL HOME; N84 W17937 Menomonee Ave., Menomonee Falls. Visitation Wed 4pm until time of the Service. Please click HERE to watch the Service on Livestream. You must have a Zoom Account. In lieu of flowers, memorial to the Tom Wanke Memorial Engineering Scholarship appreciated.