Paul W. Fernstrum
Paul W. Fernstrum (BSME '65) is President of Menominee-based RW Fernstrum & Co, a thirdgeneration
family-owned company that invented -- and continues to manufacture and market -- the
Gridcooler keel cooler, which was developed during WWII to prevention engine overheating.
Paul began his career at RW Fernstrum as a draftsman. In 1975 he designed the first of a series of
engineering programs for sizing the Gridcooler, cutting the engineering time from 40 hours to 30
minutes. Some of the unique applications of the Gridcoolers include cooling of turbine oil in hydro-
electric stations, engines and offshore wind and tidal generators, gear oil on flood control
pump stations (such as those that ran throughout Katrina), and electronics on tsunami early warning
buoys and ROV submersibles. In 1995, he became president of the company. As a student,
Paul was in the Air Force ROTC, and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers
and Alpha Phi Omega. Paul is a Michigan Tech Fund Trustee, has been active in local and civic organizations as a
Director of the Stephenson National Bank & Trust, past president of the Rotary Club, past Scoutmaster and District
Chairman for the Boy Scouts of America and has received the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award, past
Commander of the U.S. Power Squadron, and an Elder at the Presbyterian Church. Sandy and Paul's two sons, Sean
and Todd, are also Tech alumni and work with their father.