Texas Tech University

Distinguished Engineer Citations

Distinguished Engineer Photo: Tom Jacobs
Tom Jacobs

Tom Jacobs

Distinguished Engineer



B.S., Construction Engineering Technology – 1987



At Time of Nomination in 2013

Tom Jacobs serves as the president of the Houston Division for Ryland Homes, where he is in charge of all land acquisition and development, product development, sales, field operations, and customer service. Jacobs has more than 24 years of experience in all facets of residential construction and development, in addition to experience in commercial construction project management. Since his career in home building began in 1988, Jacobs has served in virtually every capacity within the industry and has participated in the startup of two divisions from the ground up.

Jacobs grew up in a military family and lived in many places, including Hawaii and Germany, all before graduating from high school in Wichita Falls, Texas. Jacobs attended Texas Tech University and graduated with a bachelor of science in construction engineering technology in 1987. He began his career with Texas Instruments as a facilities project manager before moving into the home building industry with Perry Homes and later David Cook Homes. He joined Kimball Hill Homes in 1991, working for nearly 18 years in McAllen, El Paso, and California. During that time, he served as the Northern California Division president and ultimately the Western Regional president in charge of all operations in California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Illinois. He joined Ryland Homes in 2009 and has guided his division to become the largest and most profitable group within the publicly traded homebuilding company. Ryland conducts business in 18 divisions across 14 states.

Jacobs has been recognized as an innovator in the industry and is active in the development and implementation of electronic scheduling systems, electronic work order systems, and many programs related to quality and process improvement. He has also been a leader in the development of unique products throughout his career, has resulting in best in class product awards for his organizations. Jacobs's work has been spotlighted in industry publications such as Big Builder, Home Builder Executive, and Professional Builder in their 40 Under 40 issue, which spotlights the top individuals in the industry less than 40 years of age.

In 2011, Jacobs spearheaded a project through Ryland Homes to build a home free of charge for a wounded veteran through the Texas Sentinels Foundation. He is currently building an 8 unit complex in conjunction with HomeAid of Houston, which will house single mothers and their children as they transition out of abusive relationships. He is active in the United Methodist Church, taught Junior Achievement, participated in Habitat for Humanity, and is part of The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life program. At Texas Tech, Jacobs served on the Industrial Advisory Board for the Department of Engineering Technology from 1997-2002, including a term as chair. He is currently a member of the Whitacre College of Engineering Dean's Council.

Jacobs and his wife of more than 25 years, Jerri, live in Katy and have three daughters, Sydney, Bayley, and Kerbey. Kerbey will attend Texas Tech University in the fall as a freshman. Jacobs and Jerri are avid supporters of Texas Tech with memberships in the Alumni Association, the Red Raider Club, and a scholarship they endowed in the Whitacre College of Engineering. During Jacobs's spare time he enjoys being with his family and staying at Lake LBJ, traveling, reading, watching Texas Tech football as a season ticket holder, and playing tennis.

Return to the Past Winners page.