On January 21, 2020, we lost a dear friend, colleague and mentor in Edward L. Paul (September 25, 1930 – January 21, 2020), senior editor of the Handbook of Industrial Mixing.
Ed grew up on the Jersey shore in the family home in Sea Girt and had an extraordinary career at Merck. He lived a long and rich life with a close family who he adored.
His stint in the US Navy as a young man led to a life-long love of the water and boats. The family all pursued a love of music; Ed was very active with the NY Metropolitan Opera and the music program at Chautauqua, and (endeavored) to play the bass for many years. He delighted in introducing colleagues to these musical pursuits, and insisted on sitting behind the bass section at the orchestra whenever possible – so that the music would “sound right.” In spite of his fear that the audience was aging and would all disappear within a few years, the new-agers continued to replenish the seats – much to his delight.
Perhaps most recognized for the critical role he played in getting cryptophan (the first AIDS drug) to market, Ed took many products through scale-up and validation in his career at Merck. When asked how many he had shepherded through this difficult process, he thought perhaps more than twenty – but was continually frustrated by the one that failed after a long period of hard work. His advice after retirement, when asked, “When should I worry?” “ALWAYS worry!” When asked, “What is the best thing about retirement?” “I don’t worry much anymore.” The last comment accompanied by a photo of Ed on the deck of a boat (above). We extend our gratitude to the University of Virginia, where he did his BSc, for a short videography of Ed shot in 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=1AW02UrINys
Ed was one of the founding fathers of research on mixing sensitive reactions, completing a PhD at NYU with Robert Treybal (AIChEJ, May 1971). He was also the senior editor of the Handbook of Industrial Mixing (2005), or “The Big Stapler Project” where his wisdom, diplomacy, patience, and incredible sense of humor sustained all of us through many long days and nights. His gentle way of persisting through thorny bits of disagreement, and suddenly saying at 3pm, “Well now, I know this chapter is giving us all a lot of grief, but if we were going to go to see the ocean today, now would be the time to do it,” made him a beloved mentor and leader. Of course, the chapter always seemed much easier after a swim and a good meal – and we would still worry through the details until we were sure we had them right.
Many of us were first welcomed to NAMF by Ed at one conference or another, as he was always interested in young people and what they had to say, and was always in the center of any fun there was to be had – from kayaking, to hiking, to jazz clubs; from opera to dive boats, to a good gin.
Thank you Ed – for making all of us better mixers, and for gently guiding us to the best we could be.
-Suzanne Kresta (for NAMF Council)