Paul Fernstrum

Chairman of the Board


Paul Fernstrum was involved in the family business at age 5, when he would sketch ideas for marine coolers at the family kitchen table. This interest for engineering took him through summer jobs at the company and led to a Mechanical Engineering degree and lifetime connection to Michigan Technological University.

As a student, Paul was in the Air Force ROTC, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Alpha Phi Omega. After graduation, Paul began his career at R.W. Fernstrum as a draftsman. In 1975 he designed the first of a series of engineering programs for the Gridcooler ® keel coolers. He also embraced early computer technology by writing his own design programs for better processes and solutions.

In 1995, he became president of the company and expanded product development to take R.W. Fernstrum to a position of global leadership. In 2013, Paul received the Michigan Tech Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of his many contributions.

Today, his work can be found in hydroelectric stations, engines, offshore wind and tidal generators, pump stations, tsunami early-warning buoys and ROV submersibles. He is still involved with the company and still sketches ideas at the kitchen table.