On their life's adventure together

Tom and Evonne Smith.

It's not often that a married couple gets recognized together for the Iowa State Distinguished Alumni Award. But then again, it's not often you come across a couple as extraordinary as Iowa State graduates Tom and Evonne Smith.

Although it was Tom who studied geology at Iowa State, both he and Evonne (who studied textiles and clothing) are considered innovators in the geological field. Together, in 1984, the Smiths founded Seismic Micro-Technology, where they developed KINGDOM software that used seismic interpretation and mapmaking to revolutionize the way oil and gas are discovered. Then, in 2008, they started Geophysical Insights, another software development company that offers next-generation software, consulting and training.

It's partly because of these successful business ventures that Tom and Evonne have been recognized by their peers throughout the years, such as when Tom won the Society of Exploration Geophysicists 2000 Enterprise Award. Or when Evonne was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Houston/Gulf Coast Area Entrepreneur of the Year award. So being recognized together by Iowa State meant a lot to the couple. "We are honored by such great recognition and also a little surprised that Iowa State would honor us together," said Evonne. "For Iowa State to make this kind of exception makes this very special." 

When they were students at Iowa State, the Smiths didn't know they'd go on to become one of our university's most successful couples. But they did know Iowa State was an amazing place to begin fulfilling the dreams they had for their future. Said Evonne, "Iowa State is the best place to launch your adult life." We couldn't agree more.

Learn about other Cyclones and their adventures and nominate a Cyclone whose adventure story needs to be shared.

This story is one in a series featuring Iowa State Distinguished Alumni Award winners.