Dr. Tom Waller is the Senior Vice President, Advanced Innovation and Chief Science Officer at lululemon athletica inc. In 2012 Dr. Waller founded Whitespace, lululemon’s internal R&D and ideation group in 2012. In this group Tom heads up a team of 30 creative innovators and R&D experts spanning the fields of science, technology, engineering and materials with a common focus of inventing the company’s product future. Including developing what lululemon defines as the “Science of Feel”. A holistic approach that explores how clothing makes the wearer feel and how this impacts their performance potential – the belief being that when a person feels good, they perform to their true potential.
This approach has led Tom and his team to investigate a range of performance-related and fundamental garment characteristics including tactile qualities, how fabric travels with or across the skin as the body moves, and even the noise it makes in response to movement. Working cross-functionally with lululemon’s design team and community network of athlete and yogi ambassadors, Whitespace™ is integral to the development of innovative new fabrics and designs to support an individual’s optimal athletic performance.
Before lululemon, Dr. Waller served as Head of Aqualab at Speedo International Ltd where he led new product and fabric development for all Olympic elite swimming projects. Having completed his PhD in 2004, he was appointed as Head of R&D at Loughborough spin-out company Progressive Sports Technologies which offers a range of testing and development services to global sports brands.