Your refrigerator will break in three days. You don’t know it, but relax: It does.

Welcome to the Internet of Things, familiar household gadgets and appliances that can be connected online.

Aaron Tuomi ’04, a computer science graduate, manages a team of 40 developers who make the software for these “smart” devices.

“The software pulls data from the appliance and can predict when something is going to fail, why, and what part,” says Tuomi, a Center ofExcellence senior director for PTC, a global software company with 70 locationsin 30 countries.

“A new part could be shipped to your house, and a technician can call to schedule an appointment before you even realize there is a problem,” he says.

“PTC’s augmented reality software can overlay holographic images on the device to help with the repair.”

Tuomi’s team also creates engineering collaboration software.

“This allows us to distribute engineering over various locations, minimize scrap and maximize reuse,” he says.

“If you’re manufacturing an airplane, you can develop the landing gear in Boston,
the wings in Texas and the fuselage in Seattle. Our software can identify conflicts and how they may affect the process downstream.”

Tuomi, who works in PTC’s office in Uniontown, Pa., is responsible for $6 million in revenue per year. In 2018 the company recognized him for his innovative leadership and success as a brand ambassador.

His grandfather, who loved computers, sparked his interest and nudged him to attend Cal U.

“It had a strong reputation for its computer and computer technology programs,” Tuomi says. “Without him pushing, I don’t know what I would have decided to do. I liked computers and technology, but I wasn’t a huge fan of school.”

Fifteen years later, Tuomi remains connected to his alma mater.

PTC Uniontown welcomes Cal U students as interns.About half of the location’s 70 employees are alumni, he says. And he provides the computer science-related programs at Cal U with a business perspective on curriculum development.