Thomas Stout Brings Transportation Electrification Expertise to HDR as Inductive Pavement Leader

Thomas Stout

Thomas Stout, Ph.D., has joined HDR’s advanced technologies for surface transportation practice as the inductive pavement leader. This emerging practice uses inductive charging technology to wirelessly charge stationary and in-motion vehicles.

Located in HDR’s Raleigh, North Carolina, office, Stout will provide leadership and strategic insight to support the planning and implementation of inductive technologies for electric vehicles. The market for electric vehicles continues to grow with the adoption of various types of EVs including light duty or passenger vehicles, medium duty vehicles used in industrial applications and heavy duty vehicles like public transit buses. He will leverage his expertise to educate owners and infrastructure development teams on the opportunities and innovative benefits of incorporating wireless power transfer applications in transportation systems. 

“Vehicle electrification and automation go hand-in-hand and present many exciting opportunities,” said Stout. “Wireless power transfer is just one piece of the puzzle that addresses the usability of EVs and will allow for mass adoption of the technology. Transit EV applications provide the most immediate opportunity for the deployment of inductive systems and the benefits they can bring.”

Previously the principal engineer and system architect at a startup focused on charging technologies, Stout was an integral part of creating and releasing the world’s first commercially available wireless power transfer system for EVs. With a background in designing electronics and software, Stout developed and patented an alignment sensor and alignment system used for positioning in WPT systems. He also brings experience with a range of power levels — from low power embedded systems to high power inverters and DC/DC converters.

While knowledge of wireless electric vehicle charging using inductive power transfer, magnetic resonance and associated technologies is important, so too is an understanding of how these technologies can be integrated into transportation systems like public transit systems, industrial and commercial operations, and future highway and pavement networks. Stout’s discussions with vehicle manufacturers throughout his career have bolstered his understanding of the state of the industry and ongoing commercialization as well as the potential for wireless power transfer to accelerate adoption of zero emission technologies like EVs. 

“As an industry, if we are to reduce vehicle emissions and meet future sustainability goals, we need to add new expertise to our traditional infrastructure teams to accelerate the development and launch of new and reliable applications,” said HDR’s Transportation Group President Brent Felker. “We are excited to welcome Thomas to our growing advanced and emerging transportation technologies practice and offer our clients critical expertise in inductive wireless power charging systems. Collaboration is essential, and Thomas has the experience and passion to help our teams and clients advance their vision for cleaner technologies.” 

Stout has a doctorate in computer engineering from North Carolina State University and received his master’s and bachelor’s degree from Michigan Technological University in electrical engineering and computer engineering respectively. With two patents granted and two pending, he has been actively involved in leading research activities related to WPT both for private enterprise and in partnership with national laboratories.