Paul Emerson

Born: Oct. 15, 1918, Moscow, Idaho; Died:
Years of Service: NC State University 1968-1985
Associate Professor 1968 – 1978
Professor 1978 – 1985

Professional Experience:
1941-1945 E.I. DuPont de Nemours, Seaford, DE
1946-1948 Scott Paper Company, Chester, PA
1949 Industrial Management Inst., Philadelphia, PA
Instructor and Branch School Manager
1949-1951 American Viscose Corp., Marcus Hook, PA
Mechanical Engineer, Chemical Research Dept.
1951-52 Chemstrand Corporation Design and Training Coordinator, various locations
1953-1958     Chemstrand Area Technical Superintendent
1963- 1968    Manager, Mechanical Research,
Chemstrand Research Center, Durham, NC
1968-1985 NC State School of Textiles,
Head, Machine Design and Development

Paul deForest Emerson was born in Moscow, Idaho, attended schools in Ames, Iowa and graduated from high school at Culver Military Academy, Culver, Indiana.  He matriculated at Purdue University and graduated with a B.S. Mechanical Engineering in 1940.  He joined DuPont until entering the U.S. Army in 1941.  He was honorably discharged in 1943 and returned to DuPont.

Thereafter Paul joined a number of companies, rising through all levels of engineering management and education.  In 1968, Dean Malcolm Campbell sought a replacement for long time engineering machine design professor Clarence Asbill who was retiring.  Emerson was hired at the Associate Professor level to head Machine Design at the School of Textiles.

Paul’s experience in machine design and fiber production led to his interest in solving a particularly perplexing problem – that of reducing noise levels in textile plants.  In 1968, he organized a research project to provide some early answers.  He and Professor Thomas H. Hodgson of mechanical and aerospace engineering received a grant for $163, 499 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). (1982) The project culminated a ten-year project funded at close to one million dollars.

Professor Emerson was married to Ernestine Stultz of Martinsville, VA.  They had one son, Paul, Jr.

Figure: Paul Emerson in the Noise Analysis Lab. Photo courtesy of NCSU Archives

Professional Societies:  American Society of Mechanical Engineers; N. C. Acoustical Society; American Association for Textile Technology; Listed in Who’s Who in the South and Southeast.

Patents and Publications
USP 2,664,009
USP 2, 664,010
USP 3, 113,736
USP 3,113,737

Effect of Certain Variables on Breaking Strength Retention of Superloft and Fluflon Yarns, 1958
Engineering in Research, TV Presentation, UNC-TV February 1966
Synthetic Fibers and the Future, lecture prepared for Chemstrand Research Center personnel. 1965
The Nylon Development Story, 15 minute sound motion picture 1960
The World’s Largest Nylon Plant, Lecture to all chemistry students, Florida State University, 1955.

Nylon Process Manual, editor of the complete technical manual covering all aspects of nylon yarn manufacturing 1953.
Editor: “Operating Instructions and Standard Practice Instructions” for the Chemstrand nylon yarn plant. 1953.
Manual of Textile Industry Noise Control, School of Textiles, North Carolina State University, 1978


  1. Personal Data Sheet, Paul DeForest Emerson, 6 pages 1968? NCSU Archives
  2. News release 5-13-68-453, “New department heads for landscape architecture and textile machine design…,” May 13, 1968. NCSU Archives.
  3. NEWS RELEASE, 5-13-68-458 “The appointment of Mr. Paul deForest Emerson to the faculty was announced today by Dean David Chaney. Emerson will begin his duties on July 1.” May 13, 1968. NCSU Archives
  4. News Release 7-1-69-578, North Carolina State University, “Textile noise measurement and control short course scheduled for July 29-30.” July 1, 1969. NCSU Archives.
  5. Faculty Data Sheet, Paul deForest Emerson, NCSU Archives, July 28, 1970 NCSU Archives.
  6. News release 11-8-71-540 The noise of textile processes will be diminished if North Carolina State University researchers and textile industry have their way. NCSU Archives.
  7. News release 2-6-75-63. Members of an advisory panel on noise control in the textile industry will meet at the North Carolina State University Faculty Club February 18 to discuss progress in reducing sound levels of mill machinery. NCSU Archives.
  8. News Release 8-2-78-350 A manual on textile industry noise control has been published by North Carolina State University and is available for distribution throughout the industry. NCSU Archives.
  9. News release 5-16-78-226. Paul D, Emerson, textile noise control expert, has been named a full professor in North Carolina State University’s School of Textiles. NCSU Archives.
  10. News Release 1-22-82-18 Textile Plant Noise Subject of NCSU Research. NCSU Archives.