Dr. Ronald Jensen
Dr. Ronald Jensen ’74, MSOE Regent, saw exponential growth in his career because he mastered the art of taking on new and difficult challenges.
He began his career at Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC) as a manufacturing supervisor. Based on his intense study of Design of Experiments, he applied these techniques to better understand complex actions and interactions occurring in manufacturing and steel foundry processes. He formed a team of engineers and scientists to run factorial experiments, then stochastic and deterministic mathematical models that were used to manipulate the processes to achieve improved performance. Jensen also lectured about using these techniques to optimize manufacturing processes.
Over the years, Jensen was promoted to increasingly more responsible management positions and became OMC’s vice president of manufacturing and an elected an officer. He oversaw all U.S. and Mexican engine and accessory plants, and was responsible for global marine manufacturing strategy and corporate capital planning. Jensen has participated in the development of nine product and process patents, including a process to perform high-speed “mixed-model” engine production in a “Just-in-Time” inventory system.
“It’s important to be nimble and always look for a new challenge,” said Jensen. “Doing something that’s comfortable is fine, but you don’t expand your own capabilities. You grow as a result of those experiences, and I enjoy that.”
Jensen was promoted to president of OMC International Group and was responsible for all sales, marketing and manufacturing plants in China, Australia, Brazil, France, Belgium, Canada and Sweden. He opened a major sales office in the Middle East to mainly service large commercial fishing businesses and turned the International Group from a loss to a profit during his first year, in the face of strong Japanese competition.
After leaving OMC, Jensen spent a number of years as a turnaround CEO, primarily focused on creating shareholder wealth for small- to mid-sized companies. He oversaw the regeneration of three distinct companies and executed 15 acquisitions to change the structure of these companies by adding new technology, finding synergies and increasing volume.
Jensen’s final professional role before retiring was as president and CEO of Paper Pak Industries (PPI), a manufacturer dedicated solely to absorbent mediums for the food, medical and safety industries.
He received an Honorary Doctor of Engineering and Honorary Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering at MSOE's 2019 Winter Commencement.
“Through my education at MSOE and my experience I was able to see what was needed for these businesses to survive and ultimately prosper,” he said. “If I would have stayed in one job for my whole career, I would not have become as skilled. You need new experiences and challenges to make you better.”