Thomas Wanke

Thomas Wanke – A Fluid Power Industry Leader

Thomas Wanke and Christine immigrated from Germany seeking a change in lifestyle. Now settled in Nelson, New Zealand they’re content with the life they have built together – Thomas runs CrestClean which allows him to pursue his love of music – playing double base for Rocket 88 which pays homage to swing music from the ’50s.

Early Life and Education

Tom Wanke left an everlasting mark in many people’s lives. As a leader of the Fluid Power industry and educator, his contributions will long be remembered by everyone whose lives he touched. Alongside his many accomplishments and accolades, he was committed to mentoring high school and middle school students through programs like the NFPA Fluid Power Action Challenge and STEM programs.

Wanke was raised in South Euclid and attended Benedictine High School, located just 15 minutes away from John Carroll. Wanke credits his time at JCU with giving him invaluable life lessons – particularly through participating in its various athletic teams.

Tom Wanke leaves behind his beloved wife Ann and three children: Matthew, Beth and David as well as Elijah his proud grandson.

Professional Career

Thomas Wanke began his MSOE career in 1974 as a technician in the Fluid Power Institute while studying engineering. Over time, he progressed into project engineer and eventually director of FPI; which he helped establish into one of the nation’s premier academic fluid power research labs. Thomas became adept in hydraulic component and system design reviews and evaluation; field troubleshooting/failure analysis; fluid management as well as contamination control in hydraulic systems.

He served as producer and director for Reget Video Productions, where he produced safety training and reclamation videos for safety training and reclamation projects. A Montana Tech graduate himself, Reget has also been actively involved with TRIO Student Success Services, co-founding Montana Tech STEM Academy, serving on multiple community boards, as well as being actively engaged with TRIO Student Success Services.

Achievement and Honors

Tom Wanke leaves behind Ann, his 42-year-old wife of 42 years, as well as their three children; Matthew (Amy), Beth Wanke (Sam Stressman) and David Wanke (fiance Katie Rozek). Additionally, Elijah delighted in calling him Papa!

Wanke was recognized with two all-Ohio Athletic Conference honors from John Carroll, setting 16 school records in just two seasons as their quarterback. In 1989, Wanke led John Carroll’s squad to their inaugural NCAA Division III playoff appearance and received honorable mention All-America honors that season.

As a leader in the fluid power industry, Wanke pioneered technology through quarterly conferences hosted by the Fluid Power Industrial Consortium. Additionally, he was an enthusiastic supporter of MSOE’s Fluid Power Institute, earning one of Otto J. Maha Pioneers in Fluid Power Awards in 2007.

Personal Life

Thomas Wanke is a New Zealander living in Nelson with his wife Christine and children. He owns and operates CrestClean Cleaning Services there and finds life much less stressful than it had been in Germany; loving its people!

Wanke attended Benedictine High School, located just 15 minutes away from John Carroll. As a football player, Wanke received offers from several college teams; however, to pursue his goal he knew he needed to leave Cleveland and attend college somewhere else in order to play competitively.

Wanke acknowledges that attending JCU was one of the best decisions of his life and credits the education received there as being instrumental to his professional success.

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