Paul Frail and family

An Award Winning Problem SolverGE Honors Frail with Engineer AwardPaul Frail loves tackling problems. As he explains it, “Especially when I can develop a solution that is a paradigm shift for the industry.” This is just the type of thinking that landed Frail, a research and development chemist, the Emerging Engineer Award, which recognizes technical achievements based on creativity, state-of-the-art advances, and long-term impact. Frail, a 1997 South Burlington High School (SBHS) graduate, received the award from global giant General Electric Water & Process Technologies, a water company that primarily deals with water treatment of industrial systems with a focus on corrosion, salt deposition, and microbiological control.
“It is great to have your work get noticed because it is easy to be overlooked when your company spans so many markets and is spread out over the world,” says Frail, noting that the award was a surprise. Part of the company’s technology team for over six years, he was recently promoted from lead to senior engineer. 
According to the company, “During his tenure, Paul has contributed across the technical domains critical to our water side product lines. In each area, Paul has advanced the art and demonstrated creativity leading to invention records and patent applications. In several areas, he has questioned traditional theories based on data on chemistry.” In addition, the award notes Frail’s work has been presented at prestigious industry conferences, including the American Chemical Society and NACE International, recognized globally as an authority for corrosion control solutions. 
Frail has always had a passion for math and science, but says, “Chemistry was always more intriguing and hands-on.” After graduating from SBHS, he earned his undergraduate degree from Saint Michael’s College and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania with a discipline in inorganic chemistry. He has published 20 peer review science articles and was awarded two National Science Foundation (NSF) Access Science grants during graduate school to teach in inner city Philadelphia schools. Frail was also awarded two NSF summer research grants, “I worked in an optoelectronic lab designing and making materials that absorbed and emitted light for organic field effect transistors as well as tumor imaging agents.”
The chemist, who is also a father of two, fondly recalls growing up in Vermont, “South Burlington is an amazing place and I do not think I could find anywhere that could duplicate my childhood.” Frail says his experience was so memorable he impressed his daughter and wife with the ability to name almost all his teachers from kindergarten to twelfth grade. “I think I started to develop a liking for science in middle school with Mrs. Kay and Mr. Letterman and was fortunate enough to have a great relationship with Mrs. Voorheis, Dr. Hall, and Mr. Bone at SBHS.” Captain of the high school football and baseballs teams, he is also quick to note the coaches that made a difference, “Rene LaBerge, Pat Bose, Mr. Picard, and Coach McDonald truly helped develop my character and grit.”
One can easily tell Frail’s connection and affection for his hometown. He still reads local papers online, while family and friends keep him up to date on current events and news. Frail is particularly attentive to school issues as he gives credit to his early education. He says, “If I could say one thing to any young scientist at SBHS, it is that science is a global community and knowing where you stand in terms of strengths and weaknesses is vital to overcoming the realization that there are thousands upon thousands of individuals that are equally as intelligent and even more that surpass you. To be successful means you need to be humble and gritty enough to continually work on improving yourself with an emphasis on the ability to not only parse a problem but find a feasible solution.”
Frail currently resides in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and says he returns to South Burlington when he can, acknowledging, “With the full family in the car, it is a very long trip for all of us.” His family includes his wife, Michelle, who he met in graduate school. She too is a chemist, an odor expert at Dow Chemical Company. They have two children, 6-year-old Charlotte, 3-year-old Shane, and a third on the way, expected at the end of June.
With his busy schedule, Frail spends what time he can outdoors, saying, “As a chemist, you get stuck inside a lot! Anytime I can be outside, I will take it.” Over the years, he’s played in an independent semi-pro baseball league, and during the summer, “I am outside landscaping flower and vegetable gardens, helping our two kids find bugs, and teaching them sports.”
Certainly, Frail’s talents are diverse and impressive. Part of the acknowledgment of his recent award included recognition for his “consistent and significant” contribution to the crowdsourcing initiative, “Novel Approach for Cooling Towers,” for which he was awarded a prize. Frail describes the crowdsourcing exercise as doing “basic preliminary research, maybe a proof of concept experiment or something to test some basic assumptions, post to the online format, and then it is viewed and commented on by people within the business.” Based on feedback, concepts are refined and initial innovations are updated. For the past several years, many of Frail’s suggestions have made the final selection. “The company will develop research and development funds to determine if a product or new technology can be developed in five to ten years.” He adds that the results are proprietary so he cannot give more details. It is a sufficient response as the details are likely quite complex. 
Frail reports his day to day work includes “Being agile to meet the changing demands of our customers, as well as, be thinking far enough ahead.” For a man who likes to solve problems, he seems to have a gift for creating solutions as well.


An Award Winning Problem Solver: GE Honors Frail with Engineer Award

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Thursday March 02, 2017

Paul Frail loves tackling problems. As he explains it, “Especially when I can develop a solution that is a paradigm shift for the industry.” This is just the type of thinking that landed Frail, a research and development chemist, the Emerging Engineer Award, which recognizes technical achievements based on creativity, state-of-the-art advances, and long-term impact. Frail, a 1997 South Burlington High School (SBHS) graduate, received the award from global giant General Electric Water & Process Technologies, a water company that primarily deals with water treatment of industrial systems with a focus on corrosion, salt deposition, and microbiological control.

“It is great to have your work get noticed because it is easy to be overlooked when your company spans so many markets and is spread out over the world,” says Frail, noting that the award was a surprise. Part of the company’s technology team for over six years, he was recently promoted from lead to senior engineer.

According to the company, “During his tenure, Paul has contributed across the technical domains critical to our water side product lines. In each area, Paul has advanced the art and demonstrated creativity leading to invention records and patent applications. In several areas, he has questioned traditional theories based on data on chemistry.” In addition, the award notes Frail’s work has been presented at prestigious industry conferences, including the American Chemical Society and NACE International, recognized globally as an authority for corrosion control solutions.

Frail has always had a passion for math and science, but says, “Chemistry was always more intriguing and hands-on.” After graduating from SBHS, he earned his undergraduate degree from Saint Michael’s College and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania with a discipline in inorganic chemistry. He has published 20 peer review science articles and was awarded two National Science Foundation (NSF) Access Science grants during graduate school to teach in inner city Philadelphia schools. Frail was also awarded two NSF summer research grants, “I worked in an optoelectronic lab designing and making materials that absorbed and emitted light for organic field effect transistors as well as tumor imaging agents.”

The chemist, who is also a father of two, fondly recalls growing up in Vermont, “South Burlington is an amazing place and I do not think I could find anywhere that could duplicate my childhood.” Frail says his experience was so memorable he impressed his daughter and wife with the ability to name almost all his teachers from kindergarten to twelfth grade. “I think I started to develop a liking for science in middle school with Mrs. Kay and Mr. Letterman and was fortunate enough to have a great relationship with Mrs. Voorheis, Dr. Hall, and Mr. Bone at SBHS.” Captain of the high school football and baseballs teams, he is also quick to note the coaches that made a difference, “Rene LaBerge, Pat Bose, Mr. Picard, and Coach McDonald truly helped develop my character and grit.”

One can easily tell Frail’s connection and affection for his hometown. He still reads local papers online, while family and friends keep him up to date on current events and news. Frail is particularly attentive to school issues as he gives credit to his early education. He says, “If I could say one thing to any young scientist at SBHS, it is that science is a global community and knowing where you stand in terms of strengths and weaknesses is vital to overcoming the realization that there are thousands upon thousands of individuals that are equally as intelligent and even more that surpass you. To be successful means you need to be humble and gritty enough to continually work on improving yourself with an emphasis on the ability to not only parse a problem but find a feasible solution.”

Frail currently resides in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and says he returns to South Burlington when he can, acknowledging, “With the full family in the car, it is a very long trip for all of us.” His family includes his wife, Michelle, who he met in graduate school. She too is a chemist, an odor expert at Dow Chemical Company. They have two children, 6-year-old Charlotte, 3-year-old Shane, and a third on the way, expected at the end of June.

With his busy schedule, Frail spends what time he can outdoors, saying, “As a chemist, you get stuck inside a lot! Anytime I can be outside, I will take it.” Over the years, he’s played in an independent semi-pro baseball league, and during the summer, “I am outside landscaping flower and vegetable gardens, helping our two kids find bugs, and teaching them sports.”

Certainly, Frail’s talents are diverse and impressive. Part of the acknowledgment of his recent award included recognition for his “consistent and significant” contribution to the crowdsourcing initiative, “Novel Approach for Cooling Towers,” for which he was awarded a prize. Frail describes the crowdsourcing exercise as doing “basic preliminary research, maybe a proof of concept experiment or something to test some basic assumptions, post to the online format, and then it is viewed and commented on by people within the business.” Based on feedback, concepts are refined and initial innovations are updated. For the past several years, many of Frail’s suggestions have made the final selection. “The company will develop research and development funds to determine if a product or new technology can be developed in five to ten years.” He adds that the results are proprietary so he cannot give more details. It is a sufficient response as the details are likely quite complex.

Frail reports his day to day work includes “Being agile to meet the changing demands of our customers, as well as, be thinking far enough ahead.” For a man who likes to solve problems, he seems to have a gift for creating solutions as well.