Paul Libke grew up in a family of tool and die makers who were always tinkering about trying to make a better mousetrap. Paul was the oddball in the family that became a designer rather than a hands-on producer. To this day, his constant companion is a yellow pad on which he is always sketching or doodling something.
After a very technical schooling, including a couple of years at Lawrence Tech University, Paul went to work as a drafting detailer in a natural gas valve manufacturing company. His next step was several years in the die stamping business, where he became friends with Phil Padula, and advanced to Design Leader. Paul moved on to designing automotive bodies in Ford’s Design Center, and his die stamping background was extremely useful there.
Paul became an expert in Ford’s proprietary CAD system, and became an informal trainer of other designers, and eventually achieved the rank of Senior Product Designer. He also created some new vision study programs to measure the range of vision from within a vehicle, using some unique abilities of the CAD system, and even a new unit of measure – square degrees. During his 32 years with Ford, Paul would often “Moonlight” for Phil’s Lapeer Design Company, designing dies at his own home.
Paul retired in 2001, but has since fulfilled another passion by successfully owning and operating a restaurant, and has spent considerable time consulting with Phil in the pursuit of renewable energy devices that promise to change the world.