Paul Rolnick, former editor and publisher of Hydraulics & Pneumatics, died March 3 following a brief illness. He graduated from high school in 1942, then gained industrial experience working at Brush Development Corp., Cleveland. Rolnick began working part time when he enrolled full time in 1946 to study mechanical engineering at Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University), Cleveland, where he earned a BSME in 1949.
After teaching at Fenn College of Engineering (now part of Cleveland State University) for a year, he began his career at Industrial Publishing Co. (which merged with Penton Publishing in 1976 and is now Penton Media Inc.) in 1950, when he accepted a position as associate editor on Applied Hydraulics (now Hydraulics & Pneumatics) magazine. He became chief editor in 1955 and publishing director in 1956. He was named vice president of Industrial Publishing in 1960 and became executive vice president at Penton/IPC in 1976.
The results of his work while serving on Hydraulics & Pneumatics remain today, as he helped create the “Designer’s Guide to Fluid Power Products.” This guide lists characteristics and specifications of products in a graphical format, making it easy for engineers, designers, and technicians to quickly find companies with products matching their application needs. The Designer’s Guide is still published every January in Hydraulics & Pneumatics and available online at www.hydraulicspneumatics.com.
He also launched the Fluid Power Handbook & Directory, a biennial compilation of basic technical information about fluid power components, systems, and circuit design and directories containing product listings, extensive company contact information, a trade names index, and listings of distributors and local sources of fluid power related components and systems. The FPH&D is still published every other year and is also available online at the magazine website.
One of the founders of the National Fluid Power Association, Rolnick was awarded NFPA’s achievement award in 1984. He was elected president of the Fluid Power Society in 1968 and also served as president of the Fluid Power Education Foundation. He became a member of the National Conference on Fluid Power’s board of governors in 1964.
Upon his retirement from Penton Publishing in 1989, he noted, “I’ve had the good fortune during 39 years with one company to have at least six different careers.”
He remained active during retirement, serving on various directive boards and supporting numerous education, arts, and health and human service organizations. He was preceded in death by his wife, Alice (“Litzi”), and is survived by two sisters, his son, daughter, and five grandchildren.