You’re getting ready to prepare for an important exam that will have a big impact on your career.  So you’re asking yourself, “Who is this Dr. Tom guy? Why should I take a course from him?” I’d like to invite you to watch this video to hear why I think you should. You can also read about it below. – Tom




I grew up in Atlanta, and when I was a kid, I met a neighbor who was was a Navy pilot. He came home from Pensacola in his orange jumpsuit and his helmet and all that, and I decided I wanted to be a Navy pilot.

Georgia Tech

And living in Atlanta there was really the only place to go to college, Georgia Tech. It was a wonderful experience to be there at Georgia Tech, and I got my degree in Aerospace Engineering.


After I graduated I went to Pensacola to go through the flight program. Of course, I wanted to be a pilot, but I didn’t have any didn’t have 20/20 vision, so I became a REO like Goose in ‘Top Gun,’ and I was fairly good at that. And that is where I first discovered teaching because I was the one who ran the trainer at night. I went on to get my wings and ended up in F-4’s at Oceana, but got out early because they found after several flights that my ears could not take it, and so that was that.

Georgia Tech Again

So I went back to Georgia Tech and became a grad student in the Engineering Science and Mechanics Department. I had to retake courses that I had not done well in the first time, like dynamics, which had been one of my hardest courses. I decided that I was not going to let it beat me, and now I love dynamics, and I love the fact that I figured out how to teach it.

Scientific Atlanta & Burlington Industries

My first engineering job was with a company called, Scientific Atlanta. Then I kind of moved up I-85, working in textiles, construction, and then with Burlington Industries in Greensboro. 

I saw all kinds of equipment, all kinds of processes related to industrial engineering. When I’m working problems in my courses, I remember when I was in the trenches, just like my students are right now. So when I cover these topics, I can say, well we had this pump or we had that problem, which I think helps, connecting the dry engineering topics into the real world.

NC State & Teaching

Eventually realized that I needed to be somewhere where I can do my own thing, and I realized teaching was it. So I went to the Mechanical Engineering Department at NC State and got my Ph.D. in ’90. I made a decision that I wanted to be a teacher instead of a researcher and stayed on to teach. I just love teaching. That was the right place for me as a teacher. I taught every undergraduate course for sophomore year and junior year: statics, dynamics, solids, fluids, thermal I and II, heat transfer. All of the basic courses that are part of the DTC courses. I’ve taught all of those many, many times.

I love to see the light bulb go on because it is hard and it takes hard work, but it shouldn’t be a mystery. And I love seeing when someone finally understands a problem. That’s what I have always enjoyed.

Mechanical PE Exam Reviews

But somewhere along the line people starting asking about a Mechanical PE Exam review. I became involved in that virtually all the time. To me, this is my life, the FE and the PE. In fact, instead of transitioning away as I get into retirement, this has become my life. This will be my life because it’s so important to get your professional license. Folks work hard to get an engineering degree, but you cannot practice as a professional engineer in any state in the United States without a PE.

Dr. Tom’s Classroom

I guess I’ve never really thought of retirement. People retire, and I’m going what’s that? I guess I’m a teacher; I can’t imagine stopping teaching. The more I’ve worked with mechanical engineers, the more I want to help them to get their PE. That really is what I enjoy doing. That’s why I started Dr. Tom’s Classroom. I had a vision for how I could do that for more people via an online classroom. With the help of my DTC team, I developed the tried and true structure and method that we offer online today. Folks that are in a DTC PE Exam Review Courses, when they email after the scores are up and say, “Dr. Tom, I passed.” My wife will tell you, I just jump up and down. It’s very, very exhilarating! 

If you work hard in my classes, you will do well and you will be a success and feel good about it. It is not going to happen overnight, but I have a plan that can get you there. What I want to do is to help you get back up to speed on the topics that you need to pass the exam. That’s a daunting task if you think about it. Fine. We’re going to do them one at a time. Step by step. Just keep moving with Dr. Tom, you will get there.

The Farm

We live on a hundred and thirty-acre farm that my wife grew up on here in North Carolina. Her father showed me how to make wine. We call it making wine Daddy’s way. A perfect day for me would be to get up and work problems, help people pass the test, spend the rest of the day with my wife, and to go out and toast the sunset with some of Daddy’s wine.


Dr. Thomas H. Brown, Jr., PE.

Institute for Transportation Research and Education Program Manager
Civil PE and FE Exam Review Courses
NC State University Raleigh, North Carolina

Degrees:  Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering – 1990 NC State, MS Engineering Mechanics – 1973 Georgia Tech, BS Aerospace Engineering – 1970 Georgia Tech

35+ Years of Teaching Experience

12 Years Teaching Undergraduate Engineering at NC State University

7 Years as a Practicing Engineer Scientific-Atlanta, Fluor-Daniel, Burlington Industries

Co-Editor of two Mechanical Engineering Handbooks and a companion to Marks’ Handbook for Mechanical Engineers.