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Thomas Coveney, Center for Transportation and Logistics systems administrator, dies at 55

Coveney brought expertise and kindness to MIT, serving as an invaluable member of CTL for 23 years.
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Headshot of Thomas Coveney
Thomas "Tom" Coveney brought both expertise and kindness to his role at MIT, becoming an invaluable member of the team as CTL grew.
Photo: Center for Transportation and Logistics

Thomas G. Coveney, a dedicated systems administrator at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics (CTL), died on July 14 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 55 years old.

“Tom was an exceptional systems administrator whose dedication and loyalty to CTL were unparalleled. His loss is a profound one, and we will miss him greatly,” says Yossi Sheffi, director of CTL and the Elisha Gray II Professor of Engineering Systems.

Coveney joined MIT in 2000 as a Distributed IT Resource/Information Services & Technology (DITR/IS&T) consultant before transitioning to CTL in fall 2007. His care and attention to detail were evident to the entire CTL community. “Tom supported CTL for 23 years, and we have relied on him for so much,” says CTL Fiscal Officer Karen van Nederpelt. “He truly will be missed.”

Coveney’s supervisor, Director of Administration and Finance Alicia Mackin, says, “Tom’s dedication to MIT and CTL was outstanding, and he always had a positive outlook on everything, no matter what work or life sent his way. I’m so glad to have had the privilege of working with and getting to know Tom.”

Coveney was born in Malden, Massachusetts, the son of the late Thomas F. and Maureen R. (Hosty) Coveney. He grew up in Everett and graduated in 1986 from Don Bosco Technical High School in Boston. He studied computer science at Northeastern University before being asked to work full time there as a technician and programmer. He later served as the LAN and internet administrator for the school before taking a network consulting position at MIT. In 2005, Coveney was part of a team recognized with an Infinite Mile Award for Commitment to Standards of Excellence. Coveney brought both expertise and kindness to his role at MIT, becoming an invaluable member of the team as CTL grew. 

Coveney met his wife, Briony Keith, when they were both MIT employees in October 2000. The two married 10 years later, on Oct. 10, 2010 (10/10/10). Outside of work, Coveney helped for decades to organize and run Arisia science fiction conventions every January and was involved with medieval reenactment with the Society for Creative Anachronism. He was an avid fan of Star Wars and the Renaissance, even brewing his own mead in his free time at home. 

In addition to his wife, Coveney is survived by his daughter, Kathryn “Kat” Coveney, and her partner, Rob; his brother Paul F. Coveney, and his wife, Sonia; and his sister, Michelle Sweeney, and her husband, Michael. Tom is also lovingly survived by many nieces and nephews.

Those wishing to honor Coveney are invited to make a donation in his name to Lazuka’s Landing Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation. PayPal donations may be sent to

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