Heath Wayman graduated from Gillespie High School in 2008, earning a $500 Tebbe Family Foundation Scholarship from The Partnership for Educational Excellence.
Heath attended Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, majoring in physics and minoring in mathematics. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in December 2011.
He spent his first six post-college years working at Caterpillar Inc. in Peoria, Illinois. Heath worked on "anything you could find inside the cab of a caterpillar machine or electronic products. I worked as a draftsman, mechanical designer, and eventually became a team lead for all draftsmen working on cabs." In January 2016, Caterpillar cut a few thousand jobs, "and mine was one of them," he says.
It took a year of searching before he found his next good opportunity. "In late 2017 I found a good fit near Naperville, Illinois at Argonne National Laboratory," he says. "I am currently doing mechanical design work for magnets for the advanced photo source (APS) upgrade project." The APS is a photon accelerator that creates extremely bright X-rays used to study material science, biology, chemistry, geology, and physics.
"Multiple Nobel prizes have been awarded to people whose research was involved with the current APS. This multi-year project will produce a new version that will once again be world-leading for capability and brightness," he says.
Heath and his wife Ashely enjoy golfing and hiking.
As to the importance of his post-secondary education, he says: "My college experience has really shaped my entire life. I met my wife there. All my career opportunities exist because of my education. It was also the first time I was really challenged in life. It was a great place to learn life lessons while still having plenty of security and support."
Heath concludes, "Thank you to The Partnership for the work being done to provide financial support to education. Every little bit helps to ease the burden on families," he says. "it's pretty amazing how quickly the next semester hits and how quickly the next payment is due."
Heath is the son of Charlie and Margaret Wayman of Gillespie.