Perry L. Grady

College of Textiles, NC State University

Perry L. Grady 1940-
Associate Dean and Professor Emeritus, College of Textiles NC State University
Years of Service Textiles NCSU 1962-2001

Perry Linwood Grady was born in rural Duplin County, North Carolina on September 10, 1940, the son of the late Perry Livingston Grady and Ruby Elma Jernigan Grady.  He attended The B.F. Grady School for all twelve grades and graduated in 1958.  He was President of the Junior and Senior classes and President of the Beta Club.  He entered NC State University in September 1958 and you might say he never left but his travels took him around the world.

In 1960 he became a part-time student employee in the Electronics Laboratory in the School of Textiles.   Upon completion of the B.S. Electrical Engineering degree in 1962, he immediately became a full-time Research Assistant faculty position in the School of Textiles and began graduate studies toward the M.S. in Electrical Engineering.  He was given responsibility for design and development of research instruments in support of graduate and faculty programs.  He completed the M.S. in 1967 and became a Research Instructor in the School of Textiles- a full-time research faculty position with responsibility for the Textile Physics Laboratory.  Two projects stand out: “Needle Heating in High –Speed Sewing” -Sol Hersh, P.I.; and “Open- End Spinning.” – Peter Lord P.I.  Both projects required extensive interaction with a large cross –section of the fiber, textile and apparel industry.  He met people and built bridges for future projects and interaction.  He continued his studies and enrolled in the new Ph.D. program in Fiber and Polymer Science.

In 1973, after completion of the Ph.D. program, he became assistant professor in the department of textile technology, a position requiring undergraduate teaching, advising, research and extension service.  The research work led to the offering of courses in textile instrumentation and fiber science at the undergraduate and graduate level.  Extension activities involved teaching Short Courses in Open End Spinning, and Textile Electronics and Energy Conservation.  Together with Tom Russell and other faculty members, he studied ways to teach extension courses by closed circuit television; this included a visit to Colorado State University in August 1974 to study their noted work in this area and subsequent work on experimental methods to teach textile courses at plant locations by use of TV tapes of live classes.  He subsequently taught courses for several semesters by Textile Off-Campus Televised Education (TOTE) at several locations in North Carolina and four other states.

Tenure and promotion to Associate Professor came in 1976.  Two years later, he was asked to be Graduate Administrator in the newly-formed department of Textile Materials and Management.  This person acts as more or less the quality control check on all proposed graduate study programs.  More responsibility came in 1981 with promotion to Professor in recognition of the research and extension work including TOTE.  He was asked to assume responsibility for Textiles Extension and was named Assistant Dean under the new Dean Dame S. Hamby.  More responsibility for popular short courses extension and Teacher In-Service programs led to promotion to Associate Dean in 1983.

Teaching the first TOTE course recorded on videotape and mailed to students at American Enka 1976

Perry L. Grady 1981

During the next several years, Dean Hamby began a strong campaign to re-equip the laboratories and even expand the College. More responsibilities for daily activities were given to Grady.  He represented the Dean when he traveled to meet industrial fund supporters and was not available. Renovation plans were generated and equipment monies were pledged.   Then in a surprise move on December 19, 1984, out-going Governor James B. Hunt deeded 355 acres behind the Dorothea Dix Hospital to NC State and another portion was given for a new Farmer’s Market. New Governor James B. Martin added 400-plus acres.  Chancellor Poulton gathered his staff and told Textiles to plan a new building on the new property soon named Centennial Campus.

In 1985, he was given responsibility for special projects including the coordination of planning for the new building. All the old constraints went out the window and committees met for several years as the project developed.  Grady met with everyone who could pull themselves away from other tasks.  He asked so many questions, the faculty hated to see him coming down the hall.  Where do you want that loom situated?  How many electrical outlets do you need in that room?  Where do you want the light switches?  The questions went on and on and no one could complain that they were not asked.

Perry on the pedestrian bridge leading to the new College of Textiles on Centennial Campus 1991

Grady and Mock traveled to Europe to visit RF dryer manufacturers 1988

No one knows how many trips he made to the developing campus.  Smaller buildings were able to be built before the 300,000 square foot complex on five levels could be constructed.  Finally, the day of the move came and the college opened in January 1991 in new quarters.


Research of course is and has been a necessary function of the school’s interests.  The early work with electronics and computers led the college to enter these and related fields.  He served as Energy Program Coordinator for the School of Textiles energy research 1977-1980.  He and Gary Mock of the Textile Chemistry Department coordinated an energy proposal to the Department of Energy that resulted in a $300,000 grant.   Short courses were offered through continuing education to disseminate the information learned on campus and to encourage industrial researchers to share their knowledge.

Perry’s interest in electronics and industrial applications led him to become involved in the Instrument Society of America.  He diligently worked on behalf of its members and was ultimately rewarded by being named President in 1999.

President Perry L. Grady speaks at the national  ISA meeting 1999

Perry as chief fund-raiser at his desk in the AATCC headquarters 2012

The North Carolina Department of Commerce, North Carolina Alternative Energy Corporation, The Electric Power Research Institute and Cotton, Incorporated supported many research initiatives to develop new and innovative ways to save energy and implement electro technologies in the industry.

Short Courses

As knowledge of the use of electro technologies grew and computers became smaller and smaller, the School of Textiles supported extension work to share these developments.  Probably one of the most satisfying was the development of shorts course in cooperation with Dr. Ralph Elliot and Jud Hair of Clemson University, and Gary Mock.  For a number of years, these courses alternated between Clemson and NC State and became a showcase of the latest technology.  The Instrument Society of America supported to writing of a book by Grady and Gary N. Mock, Microprocessors and Minicomputers in the Textile Industry that appeared in 1983.

As the opening of the new textile building approached, Grady and Mock joined together with the North Carolina Alternative Energy Corporation to implement an Industrial Electrotechnology Laboratory in the building.  NCSU graduate students joined with professional staffers from the sponsor to work jointly on testing and implementing new technologies.  Radio Frequency drying was one of the major projects.
It is almost impossible to separate the various projects that Grady implemented along these lines.  Con- current with the planning for the new College of Textiles building, IBM sponsored major work on Computer- Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) in Higher Education.  The new building and large machinery would be a perfect laboratory to test ideas basic to manufacturing.  The new ideas for networking, first tested by Mike Ferguson in Nelson Hall, would be implemented with a full-scale networked building.  IBM loaned a retired engineer to guide the planning for the new building.

One of the last Major projects undertaken by Grady along with Mock was the investigation involving new solvents to replace perchloroethylene. These projects were sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Graduate students were guided with the help of Bob McCall, an extremely capable project manager.   None of the above work could have been accomplished without the capable administration of Mrs. Patricia J. (PJ) Teal.  PJ followed student work and dragged us kicking and screaming into the new world of digital publishing and modern office management techniques.

Perry served as a faculty member from 1962 until the present (as an emeritus faculty) during the administrations of every textile dean except Dean Thomas Nelson.


  • American Society of Engineering Educators
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Sigma Xi
  • Phi Lambda Upsilon
  • The Textile Institute
  • Eta Kappa Nu
  • Delta Kappa Phi
  • North Carolina Registered Professional Engineer
  • American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists
  • American Association for Textile Technology
  • The Fiber Society
  • Textile Quality Control Association        
  • Past Director of Textile Industries Division of ISA –The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society
  • Past Chairman of ISA Speaker Directory Advisory Committee
  • Member of ISA Industry and Sciences Advisory Board
  • Director of Education Materials Delivery Systems program of ISA
  • Director of Publications Department of ISA
  • Vice President for Publications of ISA
  • Member of Executive Board of ISA
  • Chairman of the Board of ISA Services, Inc.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of North Carolina Agribusiness Council
  • President-Elect, Secretary, ISA
  • President ISA 1999-2000
  • Member of Governing Council of Fiber Society 2002-2004

Honors and Awards:

  • Outstanding Extension Service Award from North Carolina State University, 1977
  • Fiber Society Distinguished Achievement Award, 1979
  • Textile Division of Instrument Society of America Achievement Award, 1984
  • Cates-Rutherford Lecturer & Distinguished Alumnus in Fiber & Polymer Science, 1991
  • Fellow ISA-The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society, 1993

Graduate Research Supervision:

  • At least five Ph.D.s and nineteen Master of Science

Selected Publications:

The number of papers is too extensive to list here.  Grady worked with many colleagues including:

  1. Grady, P. L. and S. P. Hersh.  “Dynamic Mechanical Testing of Fibers.  Part I. The Nature of Viscoelastic Behavior and Principles of Dynamic Testing,” Textile Forum.  25(1):27-37 (1967); American Dyestuff Reporter.  58(38):  32-39 (1969).
  2. Barclay, W. J. and P. L. Grady.  “Design of a Shuttle Accelerometer,” Transactions of the ASME Journal of Engineering for Industry, Series B. 92 (1):23-28 (1970). 
  3. Lord, P. R. and P. L. Grady. “The Twist Structure of Open-End Yarns,” Textile Research J. 46(2):123-129 (1976)
  4. McGregor, R., P. L. Grady, T. Montgomery and J. Adeimy.  “Tests of Textured Yarn to Correlate with Propensity for Barré,” Proceedings of the Textured Yarn Association of America, 1976 Annual Meeting, Myrtle Beach, SC, July 1976.
  5. Livengood, C. D. and P. L. Grady.  “Energy Conservation in Dyeing and Finishing.  A Collection of Papers,” College of Textiles, NCSU, Raleigh, NC 27695, 1979.
  6. Szmuilowicz, Y. I., G. N. Mock and P. L. Grady.  “Measuring and Modeling Energy Consumption of Textile Processes,” Advances in Instrumentation 37:371-378 (1982).
  7. Montgomery, T. G., P. L. Grady and C. Tomasino.  “The Effects of Projectile Geometry on the Performance of Ballistic Fabrics,” Textile Research J., Vol. 52, No. 7, July 1982 and The Fiber Society Symposium on Advances in Fabric Formation and Analysis, Raleigh, NC, 1982.
  8. Mock, G.N., P. L. Grady, M. J. Cato, and K. K. Crabtree.  “Case Studies of RF Dryers,” Book of Papers – AATCC Yarn Dyers Conference, Charlotte, NC 5 pp.  1990.
  9. Cato, M. J., D. L. Flora, P. L. Grady, G. L. Hodge, and G. N. Mock.  “Handbook of Radio Frequency Drying of Textiles:  Assistance with Purchase Decisions and Optimization of Dryer Operation,” North Carolina Alternative Energy Corporation, 1991.
  10. McCall, Robert E., Farhan M.A. Patel, Gary Mock and Perry L. Grady, “Solvent and Ultrasonic Alternatives to Perchloroethylene Dry-Cleaning of Textiles,”  in Book of Papers, 1997 AATCC International Conference & Exhibition, Atlanta, GA, September 23 – October 1, 1997, pp. 150-167.


  1. Grady, P. L., and G. N. Mock, editors.  Microprocessors and Minicomputers in the Textile IndustryInstrument Society of America, Research Triangle Park, NC, 1983.
  2. Berkstresser III, G. A., D. R. Buchanan, and P. L. Grady editors,  Automation in the Textile Industry: From Fibers to Apparel,  The Textile Institute, Manchester, UK, 1995.