Engineering Technology Instructor
Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School
Thomas Canastra is an instructor and curriculum leader of Engineering Technology at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School (Greater New Bedford). As a certified Project Lead the Way instructor, he has taught Introduction to Engineering Design and Computer Integrated Manufacturing both at the high school and adult education levels. Thomas is the Co-op Liaison to the Arts and Manufacturing Academy at Greater New Bedford and serves on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education committee to draft the Massachusetts Vocational Technical Education Framework for Advanced Manufacturing. As a Skills USA Advisor in Automated Manufacturing since 2002, Thomas has led his teams to 16 district gold medals, five state gold medals, and one national gold medal. As an advisor to the ROV team, Thomas and his state gold medal team competed in the MATE International ROV Competition in Newfoundland in 2016. With his engineering students, Thomas manufactured membrane stretchers for the Harvard University Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences to aid in their commotio cordis research. Thomas is a graduate of the Machine Technology/CNC/Tool and Die program at Greater New Bedford and studied mechanical engineering at Bristol Community College and Engineering Design and Development/Computer Integrated Manufacturing at Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to teaching, Thomas worked for Texas Instruments in the Mechanization Design and Development department.