A native of Texas, Dr Tombrello earned his BA, MA and PhD degrees at Rice. He then moved to Caltech, where he was William R. Kenan, Jr Professor, chair of the Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, Technology Assessment Officer, and was Robert H. Goddard Professor of Physics. Dr Tombrello had a brief stint on the Yale faculty and served as Vice President and Director of Research at Schlumberger-Doll Research. He was a consultant for Schlumberger, Applied Minds, FormFactor, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of Southern California. He was on the Boards of Directors of the American Friends of Uppsala University and the Loh Down on Science Media Lab.