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Peter Janicki - B.S., CEEES ’86


PUBLISHED: May 13, 2015

Flying Ships, Sailing Vessels, and More

Peter JanickiThe third generation of a pioneer logging family, Peter Janicki graduated from Notre Dame in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. (He also holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington.) After a few years working in industry, Janicki decided he wanted to start his own company, but he didn’t want to live in the city. Today, he owns his own company and lives on a 40-acre farm with his wife and five sons. He keeps sheep and, for fun, plows his fields with draft horses. But there is nothing “small town” about the business he and his brother, John, run. Also a Notre Dame alum, John graduated from the University in 1984 with a degree in architecture.

Janicki Industries, at 500 employees strong, is the go-to company for innovative molds for fuselages, superyachts, and other large items made with advanced composite materials. The machines the company uses to create these one-of-a-kind molds may employ off-the-shelf components, but Janicki has designed and built them himself for very specific purposes. And he’s done quite well since founding the company in the early 1990s.

Peter Janicki ResearchFor example, the molds Janicki Industries built for the Boeing 787 are so innovative that they were kept under wraps ... literally. The company, also a leader in the marine industry, develops proprietary tooling processes used by world-class builders. Recent projects include BMW/Oracle’s entry in the 32nd America’s Cup USA 87 and USA 98, owned by billionaire Larry Ellison.

Like other engineers, Janicki is a problem solver, which means he’s not content to rest on his laurels or the company’s approximately $56 million in sales. He is continually working to refine the automated processes on existing projects, while developing new ones, including a revolutionary steam engine that could power vehicles using wood and yard waste. His drive and determination are most likely fueled by something he learned from his father ... “There’s only a penalty for not trying to move forward.”