Distinguished Alumnus


2009-Tom H. Hill, BSME ’67

Tom H. Hill earned his bachelor of science with honors in mechanical engineering from NMSU in 1967. He is recognized for developing standards for oil and gas industry drilling operations.

After graduating in 1967, Mr. Hill went to work in the production department of Humble Oiland Refining Co. (now ExxonMobil). After 12 years in various engineering and supervisory positions, he left and founded T H Hill Associates, Inc. The company, headquartered in Houston, employs 130 people who work throughout the world on difficult drill string mechanics problems and on drill string failure prevention. Under sponsorship from some 47 other companies concerned with oil and gas drilling, T H Hill Associates develops, writes, publishes and enforces the DS-1® Standard. This standard, with Mr. Hill as its principle author, was first published in 1993. Now in its third edition, it is also translated into Spanish and Chinese. The DS-1® Standard has become the world-wide specification for manufacture, design and inspection of oil and gas drill string components.

Originally from Independence, Kan., Mr. Hill met Suzanne Standridge, a Clovis native, in Roswell while he was stationed at Walker Air Force Base. Completing his military service, Mr. Hill and Suzanne married and moved to Las Cruces where Suzanne taught fourth grade at White Sands Missile Range and Tom attended NMSU. They have two daughters, Jana Altizer of Houston, and Amy Brown of Bowling Green, Ky., and three grandchildren. The Hills are recently retired and live on their ranch near Houston.

Mr. Hill is a Registered Engineer in Texas, a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the NMSU M&AE Academy, Pi Tau Sigma, Sigma Tau and American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He has some 50 books, technical articles and papers to his credit, along with three patents.

Mr. Hill generously supports the College of Engineering and its students. Twice each semester, he gives lectures to senior mechanical engineering students on engineering career expectations, ethics and professionalism.  He recently established an endowed scholarship for the college.