Dr. Paul Eason is director of the Materials Science and Engineering Research Facility (MSERF) and a professor of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction. He has taught a number of courses in engineering and for the honors program over the years and typically teaches the Materials Engineering course required for all mechanical engineering students and Senior Capstone Design. The remainder of his teaching usually falls to materials electives like materials selection, forensic engineering and materials characterization. He is conducting research in an area of metals processing called “cold spray,” a process that uses supersonic gases to spray solid metal powder onto surfaces at such high speed that the particles fuse to whatever they hit.
Get to Know Dr. Paul Eason
What’s one thing in your field of study that people might not know?
Materials science is not very well known outside of engineering circles in general. There is a world of interesting stuff that nobody knows about the materials they use every day.
Do you have a favorite spot on campus?
Skinner Jones Hall (currently under renovation) has been the focus of much of my energy for the past several years. I have been working with administration to secure the money for the building and the Materials Science and Engineering Research Facility (MSERF). I am excited about the laboratory space we have created in the ground floor of SJH and the state-of-the-art electron microscopes that will be housed there. It’s the realization of many years of effort, and we should be moving in this June. I hope it will be a game changer for research at UNF, and ultimately it’s a testament to persistence and optimism.
What’s the most rewarding academic experience you’ve had at UNF in or out of the classroom?
I love so much about this job, I can’t think of a single experience. When I know a student really gets something, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. That could be an engineering topic, or a communication skill or a cultural experience. I’ve been fortunate enough to take students overseas for engineering service projects, where the lessons are so fundamental and pure, you can’t help but see the change in the student’s perspective. That’s just as potent to me as seeing a student’s face when they understand a difficult topic in the classroom.
If you could witness any historical event, what would it be?
I would love to have been in the NASA control room for the moon landing. I think it was a watershed moment in humanity, and one of the greatest feats of engineering ever achieved.
What is your personal philosophy?
You don’t get what you don’t ask (or work) for.
What advice would you give a student who is about to graduate?
Learn how to promote yourself and project confidence. Without confidence and solid communication skills, the smartest people can easily become marginalized.