Thomas Keranen

Thomas Keranen
  • BS Civil Engineering 1972

Thomas M. Keranen grew up in Marquette, Michigan, and followed his dad, brother and many relatives to Michigan Tech to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering. Tom graduated from Michigan Tech in 1972 with a BSCE.  In 1976, he received his MSE from the University of Michigan. In 1981 he earned his JD from Detroit College of Law, now Michigan State University College of Law.

After completing his BSCE, Tom then went on to work as a civil engineer for WisDOT, the City of Ann Arbor (subsequently being promoted to Chief of Design and Construction), then as General Superintendent/Project Manager for an Ann Arbor area developer/general contractor. Tom’s last “duty station” as an engineer was as Associate Director of Facilities at Eastern Michigan University, where he was responsible for the University’s capital planning, design and construction. Tom obtained his Professional Engineer license in Michigan in 1976 and was honored as the MSPE, Huron Valley Chapter’s “Young Engineer of the Year” that year.

Tom went to law school while working at EMU and joined the Federlein & Grylls construction law firm in 1981 after receiving his law degree and license to practice in Michigan. Tom has also been admitted to practice in Florida, Wisconsin, various tribal courts, federal district courts, federal courts of appeal, the United States Court of Federal Claims, and the United States Supreme Court. 

Since starting his law practice Tom’s focus has been consistently on design and construction law matters involving all aspects of the industry, and the representation of the parties to the process, including public and private owners. Over the years, Tom has been an active member of many construction industry associations, including the Associated General Contractors of America (including AGC’s Michigan Chapter where he’s been legal counsel).

Tom has been a frequent presenter and contributor to many industry and educational programs and publications and has served as adjunct faculty at the School of Architecture at Lawrence Technological University and at Eastern Michigan University’s Construction Management Program. Tom previously served two terms on the Civil and Environmental Engineering Professional Advisory Committee at Michigan Tech.

Tom lives with his wife, Victoria, and four dogs in Dexter, Michigan. Tom has 5 children, 13 grandchildren and 1 great granddaughter. As a life-long Yooper, Tom enjoys time at camp in Gwinn, deer hunting in Trenary, watching the Huskies and Red Wings, and crossing the Big Mac Bridge (in the northbound lane, of course).

From the CEGE Academy Induction Fall 2023