Dr Tom Shannon
In loving memory of Tom, the rock on which we were built.
Our founder, our colleague, our friend.
Please use this page to share your memories, anecdotes and photos of Tom.
I echo every sentiment said about Tom, a wonderful person with a huge personality and infectious laugh.
Like others, Tom was a mentor to me. I had the privilege of collaborating with Dr. Tom Shannon during my master's thesis. He was incredibly patient, knowledgeable, humble, and provided a lot of encouragement and support throughout. Tom and I often reminisced about my brain scanning data collection and the fMRI report which is still used to this date. His passion for biomechanics and technology was one of the reasons I wanted to work for Vicon.
Whilst at Vicon, Tom was always the first to congratulate, support and teach me the world which is motion capture even the legal side (ISO audits and MDR processes to name a few....). I will miss you, your advice, mentorship and company.
Vicon will not be the same. All my thoughts to Cindy, Tim and the family.
Ta Tom and thank you for everything.
Dear Tom, you are the first person I met at Vicon in Jan 2006, since then you were surprising me every time by showing how simple, humble, kind and joyful a hero can be.
In my heart Vicon has your face, and it would be the same always.
I will miss you…
Tom was a true friend and the rock upon which this group is built. He was materially involved in the establishment, development and growth of every single Oxford Metrics enterprise. We all owe him a debt of deep gratitude. He achieved this central role by unusually coupling humour and huge warmth with problem-solving agility and roll-your-sleeves-up practicality. He was a creative engineer - a brilliant artist. He was unique and I will miss him sorely.
What extraordinary tributes, all of which I totally endorse and, having known Tom since I joined Vicon in 1987 (!), I can imagine his feeling quite bemused by all the compliments. The more tributes I read, the harder it is to encapsulate Tom in a few words and the more I remember the knack he had of making a special connection with each individual – whether through work or linked to one of his many and varied interests, he always had time for you. Tom truly was a man of many parts - looking at the photos on this page, he was equally at home in a pin-striped suit, colourful Goan coat, honorary doctorate robes, or Somerset farmer garb! I will treasure the typically upbeat email he sent me in May this year and, along with so many others, I will miss his kindness, positivity, enthusiasm, huge good humour, smile and laugh.
Sending my love and heartfelt thoughts to Cindy and all Tom’s family.
It is so difficult to find the words. Such a lovely person. Made you feel at ease, trusted, appreciated. Always smiling, even under the pressure of ISO audits. I don't recall Tom complaining about anything, he always looked on the positive side. He will always be missed. My deepest condolences to Cindy and family
The walking encyclopedia of just about everything; asking Tom was a quick way to end the search for any elusive fact. He shared knowledge and credit freely. Reassuringly calm and unfailingly good-humoured, even under the highest pressure. Just what you need from a colleague: the embodiment of professionalism and approachability. Irreplaceable (although he was too modest ever to accept such a description).
Not much more to say that has not already been said. Tom was always so kind and willing to help in any issue, since the very beginning of Oxford Metrics many years ago.
It was always a pleasure to meet him and spent some time with him.
My deepest condolence to his family, friends and colleagues.
There are many names that I knew Tom by, Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Shannon. Tom, Thomas, Tigger, but that one that always comes to mind when you thought of him - Legend! Like many have already said, Tom was Humble, Intelligent, and always there to help in any way he could, even when my waters broke at the office at the end of the day - he offered to take me to the hospital... but then remembered he had driven in the MX5 that day and feared it was too low for a heavily pregnant lady to get in and out of.
Tom was infectious, his laugh, his manners, and just his presence, I feel very honored to have worked with Tom and to have known him. The world is certainly a duller place without Tom.
Sending my love to Cindy and the rest of the Shannon Family, and a belly rub for Tim.
Bounce high Tigger x
Some say that true genius is being able to distill complexity into simplicity and communicate it with clarity. On my second ever trip to England, and my first with Vicon, Tom scheduled me for the Vicon 101 tutorial. In a mere 45 minutes, Tom was able to give me the fundamentals of the science, the approach to the design of the system and the systems performance highlights and limitations. I walked out completely understanding what the company had ideated, designed and built and felt prepared to educate customers on our capabilities. I learned so much from Tom, and feel like I had a special relationship with him - but I suspect that everyone who came into contact with Tom felt exactly the same way. Most associate genius with intelligence quotient (iQ). Using that measure, Tom was certainly a genius. But I also choose to measure genius with emotional quotient (EQ). Tom possessed both and utilized them in the most disarming and collaborative way imaginable. I count myself among the few whose life has been massively improved through my contact and relationship with Tom. I have and will miss him dearly, but will always have a little bit of Tom with me - thanks his extraordinary effort to make me feel special. Tom proves that leadership can (and should) be empathetic, sensitive and relationship based. Thank you Tom.
Tom Shannon was a wonderful person with a huge personality. His passion for biomechanics and technology was as infectious as his laugh. He was a giant in many ways. His intellect (which was formidable), or the fact that he helped create an entire industry from nothing (motion capture). But given how unwaveringly humble he was, you’d never know this. Tom had a way of making everyone feel important which speaks to what a good person he was. From my first interview with Tom (almost 20 years ago) I could tell he wanted me to have the right answers (practically leading the Canadian horse to water.....).
Tom was a mentor to myself and many others. He went out of his way to mentor, to encourage, to teach and to support many people including me for which I will be eternally grateful. He was giving of his time and knowledge, encouraging me on many occasions to pass this forward; doing for others what he did for me; giving them opportunities. The world was a better place with Tom in it. I’ll miss his infectious laugh, I’ll miss him as a mentor, I'll miss his advice, I'll miss him as a friend, I’ll miss him. If I achieve half of what Tom did in his time I would be a lucky man. - he set a very high bar.
My love and thoughts are with Cindy and the rest of Tom’s family.
My heartfelt condolences go out to his family. May he rest in peace.
On my first day, nay, my first day in the Vicon offices, which was an interview, I sat naively in Tom's office. I can remember fumbling through the interview without much of an idea. However, in the end, I can remember Tom patting me on the shoulder with a big hearty laugh, saying it would be great to have another Aussie around. His first impression was a welcoming one.
On my first actual day in the office, Tom grabbed me and marched me to meet the other Australian in the building. Tom thought it was necessary to ensure once again I was welcome.
Two instances where Tom went out of his way to ensure a new, relatively insignificant twenty-four-year-old person in the company felt welcome. I still carry these as fond memories 18 years later. I can only think of how Tom could be move between all types of people within the microcosm of Vicon and internationally with style, grace and wit. You know he would be similarly at ease in the presence of royalty or on the beach with bogan West Australian Sand Gropers.
I can only think of the lines from If by Rudyard Kipling that summed Tom perfectly.
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!
Tom was a good man! And we were all richer for it.
A GREAT soul, that I had the privilege to meet. The world needs more Toms, with his easy way, intelligence, smile and laugh. My condolences to his family.
I am so sorry to have to be writing this. I really enjoyed working with Tom and he was probably the most intelligent man I have met. I used to proudly tell people that I worked with a Dr, Dr, Dr, Dr. I will miss our conversations mainly about Tim, but also politics and the world in general and he always had a clever insight that I hadn't thought of before, mixed with great humour, he was a joy to spend my working day with.
My deepest condolences to Cindy and the rest of Tom's family.
On behalf of everyone here at Prophysics, and very much also personally (having first met Tom back in 1997 when I first started at Vicon), I'd like to extend my sincerest condolences to Cindy and the rest of the family. We have lost a friend, a founder, a gentleman, a scientist - Tom was simply one of the nicest people I have ever met. From the early years in hardware to the latter years being the oracle of everything related to regulatory issues, Tom was always both extremely knowledgeable and willing to help, no matter how complex the issue - and always with a smile and a laugh. Rest in peace, Tom - I will miss you.
Not much I can say that hasn't already been said about Tom. He truly was a great individual. He thought me so much as I started my career in the early 90s. I will always be grateful.
My deepest condolences to his family and everyone at Vicon.
I only had the chance to meet and talk to him on a couple of occasions during my visits at Vicon but I am well aware of his talent, passion and what he has created.
The last time was like 5 years ago or so (in the previous building), I visited vicon for a couple of days and one of them was dedicated to mocap. So while we were collecting some data in the data collection room (I was the subject wearing a suit with a full marker set), suddenly the fire alarm went on. We had to evacuate the building and I realised that it was a testing procedure. Tom was keeping the time of evacuation and when he saw me fully loaded with markers he said to me with a big smile in his face, “oh, so it is you today”, so we chatted a bit while waiting all to come out.
He has inspired numerous young scientists and has been a legend in our area. My sincere condolences to his family.
Aah, what could I say about Tom that has not already been said.
I can only add my endearing memory of a project he and I worked on a few years back. We were aligned on the truth that nothing was impossible, its just that we have not found yet the way to make it possible. This was the basis of Tom I think. His positive drive for all things in life and work
I echo every sentiment said about Tom here, a colossus of a human with a touch of the kindest human being you could ever possibly meet.
My communications with Tom were always amazing " I'm just in Goa right now, but let me explain..." "Just landed in Adelaide but here is your answer..." or "I'm just wrapping this audit up but the details are....". His response was always fast, precise, and humourous with a sense of personality dripping through the typed word. Never was his time too precious for you or anyone.
Learning of his WW1 research we both enjoyed looking at some of the pieces my parents-in-law had from this period, I recall the sense of holding this pocket watch in front of him like he and I had just discovered the rarest of finds, he gave so much detail on what that watch meant and where it would have been with the grace of the worlds best historian.
Being a forces brat he knew exactly my life before I said a word, it felt like he had watched me from afar and provided a connection to me that was father-like. I feel privileged to have shared the same space with Tom let alone work for the company he helped found.
Thanks, Tom for sharing your time with me.
The deepest of condolences to Cindy and all the Shannon Family.
I will always remember Tom with such great affection. He was very endearing, kind and always willing to help in any way he could. I will treasure the conversations we had, particularly those involving the farm and his sheep. His diverse interests made conversation with him always entertaining and always leave you with a smile. Such a charming man I will miss very much. To Cindy and all of the family, my sincere condolences.
I am so very sad to hear this news.
I knew Tom from way back near the start and he always remembered this and gave me such a welcome when visiting VICON.
He was a great larger than life character full of fun and given the length of time, relative performance and stability of the earliest VICON systems obviously a brilliant Engineer and so complementary to Julian and Pete’s talents.
I have one memory of him walking with (actually formally escorting) the Lord Lieutenant (I guess of Oxford area) at a Queens export award ceremony whilst joking about the white ‘Louisiana Lawyers’ suit he was wearing and looking as relaxed as ever beside the highly decorated formality of the Lord Lieutenant.
Great talent is rare; great talent with self-effacing humility not to mention great humour – that is very special.
My condolences to everyone there and especially to Tom’s family.
It always felt like a quality management audit was around the corner at Yotta, but Tom's enthusiasm and vigour was so infectious, somehow it wasn't a chore. Tom treated everyone he met here as colleagues and as equals. His kind nature and enthusiasm impressed me just as much as his many professional and personal achievements. I feel lucky to have met Tom and am a better person for it.
I didn't share a lot of time with Tom but within a minute of meeting him, I felt like I'd known him for years. Such was the absoluteness and distinction of his character. Rarely are intelligence, knowledge, wit, empathy and humour manifest with such balance, evident in every gesture and shared so generously. Condolences and best wishes to his family.
My dealings with Tom were always positive and I feel very lucky to have known him.
Tom was always good humoured and he had an infectious laugh to go with it! - Despite feeling sad at his passing, I have happy memories of Tom and find myself having a chuckle.
Tom has left us far too early, the world has lost genuinely good person.
My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
A true leader and (perhaps unknowing) mentor to many, Tom saw only good in others, to whom he provided continuous warmth and encouragement.
One of the most intelligent and driven people I have had the pleasure to be acquainted with, who was always approachable and delivered any solution with honesty, humility and humour.
Despite feeling like the apprentice in the presence of the master, I always felt any task was never insurmountable after time with Tom - his passion for solutions and diligence were absolutely infectious - I hope I am able to do him proud in any further tasks I undertake.
We shall not mention the cricket...
"Ta", Tom, for furnishing me with your time, knowledge and ethos - an inspiration and example to many - you will be missed.
Deepest condolences to Tom's family.
Tom was a bright light in my life from the very first time we met. A friendly, funny, incredibly smart and caring person who made me feel seen and appreciated right from the start of my time at Vicon. I was so proud to receive emails with his thoughts on our latest projects, he was an incredible figure to helm the Vicon family and his impact is infinitely lasting. I looked forward to his visits to the US, loved receiving news of his latest research or activities, and am thrilled that I was able to see him again in June. He will be so missed.
Tom was one of the most optimistic people I've ever met. No problem was big enough to alter his belief that it couldn't be overcome. He was enthusiastic about everything he was involved in, but particularly about the people and mission of Oxford Metrics, Vicon and Yotta. He was so proud of us and when he spoke about the businesses you could tell just how much he believed in what we were doing. Tom gave never-ending amounts of support to us at Yotaa as we transitioned the company and his energy and dedication meant that we could focus on other parts of the company knowing all the while that the areas Tom was looking after were in the safest of hands. He played a big part in providing strong foundations to the business and I hope that he knew how valued he was by us. I also don't think I've ever met anyone so generous in praise for his colleagues; he never missed the opportunity to tell me about just how good someone he had been working with was. A rare quality, indeed.
I can't sum up my words into anything more than saying that he was a bloody good bloke and that I'm so glad to have known him.
I will always remember Tom for his big hearty laugh, his huge sense of fun, and for the many interesting conversations we shared over the years. I will greatly miss the comfort of knowing I could always rely on his help and advice which he offered with oodles of warmth and kindness. Tom, with his amazingly diverse wealth of knowledge, keenly inspired and supported us all - he was a truly wonderful man who will remain in our memories always.
To Cindy and all Tom's family, please accept my sincere condolences.
Tom was such an amazing human being. We often had the most interesting conversations. He spoke about his various adventures with such passion but was never a show off. I recall a time he spoke about travelling to accept an honorary doctorate and showed me his acceptance speech. I was bowled over by his achievements. I could have listened for hours. There were funny tales that he expanded on which he didn’t include on the day but was happy to share with us in the office. He had me in stitches. He loved everything he did, had a great memory and treated us all as equals.
We shared a common interest in our love for dogs, especially greyhounds and we often turned the camera towards our pets during Teams calls. He’d send me snippets from greyhound articles and pictures from a well known greyhound artist. I recall he had attached a GPS tracker to ‘Tiny Tim’s’ collar and showed me how many miles the dog ran round in circles on his farm.
I regret not messaging him when I thought about him not long ago. Tom’s passing brings it home that tomorrow is not a promise.
Rest in peace Dr Tom Shannon.
Tom was always exceedingly kind and patient every single time we worked together. His capacity to listen, understand complex requests, and consistently provide thorough and clever responses to every challenging request were invaluable and greatly appreciated.
Tom always remembered details from our previous conversations, even if we had not talked in months or years. Outside of work we bonded while talking about his farm and similarities to the one I grew up on.
For his irreplaceable knowledge and kindness, he will always be missed! Thank you to his family for generously sharing him with us for so many years!
I will greatly miss Tom's annual visits to the VMSI office. Not only was he knowledgeable and helpful during the ISO audits, he was also personable and genuinely enjoyed catching up and spending time with us here in CO. I will miss our annual team lunches at Hoongs Palace, hearing stories about his amazing life and adventures, and his laugh. He was one of a kind and will never be forgotten.
RIP Tom! I wish peace and comfort to his family.
Will always hold dear our chats in the kitchens and corridors of Vicon.
His giggle was sunshine.
He always had a glint in his eye which drew you towards him.
The most interesting and humble gentleman I have ever had the pleasure to know.
There is a hole in Vicon and our hearts. Which I hope over time be be filled by our shared memories of a truly amazing human being.
Sending my heartfelt thoughts and condolences to Cindy and their family in this challenging time.
Such was his power of presence, it was impossible to be in the same building as Tom and not be aware of it. He seemed to approach every challenge with clarity of thought and distinct sense of ease, even if this concerned the ISO work nobody else wanted to do. Tom was there, always prepared, always smiling.
What struck me most about Tom when I first met him, and then at every introduction I witnessed thereafter, was the incredible pride he felt for his contribution to Vicon and Oxford Metrics as a founder. This was never with any sense of arrogance or superiority, he simply loved the fact that he had played such an important part in the company's history and ongoing success.
He was clearly an achiever with the many activities that he had dedicated himself to over the years. I hope his biggest achievement however will be his example of how to be a wonderful human being. I'll miss you Tom.
I feel honoured to have worked with Tom. His good humour, kindness of spirit and tremendous intellect will be missed every day.
He was a true gentleman, incredibly humble and the most interesting person I have ever met…in fact, I often left our conversations feeling that my life was rather dull in comparison!
When I talking about Tom this week, I was reminded of this poem.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.
Tom’s incredible legacy will live on through everything he has achieved, and with all of us as we continue what he started.
I feel proud to have known him. I can only imagine the pain his family are feeling, so I send my love and condolences to Cindy and the rest of Tom’s family.
Tom was a force of nature and the pleasure is ours to have known him and worked with him.
I shall remember his infectious laughter and smile the most. Conversations often concluded with a funny comment that would bring Tom out in a cackle, or giggle even.
Besides the humour, Tom would always have time for me and share his knowledge around the question I was asking.
I learned so much from him, yet I still feel like I must have asked the same thing many times and Tom was always willing to answer again.
It seemed as though Tom was available at any time of day to provide the exact document you needed in record quick time. His wealth of knowledge around Vicon's business was second to none.
I also loved to chat with Tom around his historical passions, notably Bletchley Park or the First World War.
May he rest in peace. All my thoughts and best wishes go out to Cindy and the family.
Should I ever meet a person who perfectly embodies Intelligence, Humor, Grace, Capability, Cleverness, Compassion, Dedication, and Humility, they would surely pale in comparison to Tom Shannon.