Tom McKnight, a native of Houston, Texas, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering at The University of Texas, Austin in 1970. Upon graduation, Tom joined the Air Force and served seven years as an F-106 Interceptor Pilot for the North American Air Defense Command. In addition to flying, Tom served one year as an engineer for the Air Force Systems Command.

In 1978 Tom began his oilfield career with Schlumberger as a Field Engineer at Monahans, Texas, and advanced to Manager of the Schlumberger Midland, Texas, district office prior to commencing his career as an independent oil producer in 1983. In 1986, Tom co-founded Union Royalty, Inc. and became the first independent oil producer to implement a large scale CO2 enhanced oil recovery project. In 2003 Tom founded Eagle Rock Drilling, Inc. and Eagle Rock Manufacturing, Inc. where he designed and built a series of innovative hydraulic top drive drilling rigs. The intellectual property associated with this rig design was sold to LeTourneau Technologies Drilling Systems, Inc. and is now owned by Schlumberger.

Today Tom is “semi-retired” and lives in the Texas hill country where he enjoys ranching and flying.