"The research he has done has impacted product designs in just about every plumbing category," said David W. Viola, technical director at the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute. "He conducted research to determine the number and type of plumbing fixtures required in buildings based on the building size and his observation of usage. He was involved in water conservation efforts and studied how much water was being saved as a result of federal laws. His lab at Stevens was used to analyze water closets and test their performance. He helped to refine the standards to improve the performance of 1.6-gpf models. His work contributed to design improvements. The few examples I've cited only scratch the surface of Tom Konen's contributions to public health and safety, plumbing system and product design and the advancements of new technologies."
Konen received an award for excellence in plumbing design from the American Society of Plumbing Engineers. His research was featured in National Geographic magazine. He held several patents.
He served in the U.S. Army and was a charter member of the Blessed Sacrament Knights of Columbus. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Phyllis Policastro Konen, three children and six grandchildren. Donations may be made to the Thomas P. Konen Memorial Fund, Stevens Institute of Technology, Castle Point Station, Hoboken, N.J. 07030.