Dr. Easter received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Textile Science from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She teaches Textiles for Consumers and Research Methods. Her research in textile science is applied research focusing on protective clothing, laundry fundamentals, and quality evaluations of textile and apparel products. In 1988, Dr. Easter established the Textile Testing Laboratory. The laboratory has provided contractual fee-based services to more than fifty corporations and organizations for testing textiles during product development, evaluation of performance, and durability. A grant contract with the Association of Linen Management (ALM), the professional organization of facility and laundry managers of healthcare and hospitality laundries, has generated $1,019,855.00 over the past 36 years.
A significant accomplishment of the laboratory is that it employs both graduate and undergraduate students enabling students to obtain problem-solving skills and experience researching industry problems. The work experience in the Textile Lab enables students to obtain jobs when they graduate because they can show that they have had industry-related research experience.
Protective clothing is a significant focus of Dr. Easter’s research. She and her graduate students have worked with manufacturers to evaluate garments for firefighters and healthcare workers, including PPE for workers in labs, dental offices, and hospitals. Dr. Easter has received funding to support her research since 1988. In addition, she has published her research results along with her students. Dr. Easter is also a textile consultant and spends one day a week in the industry.
Awards & Distinctions
- McQuerry, M. & Easter, E. (2022). Wildland firefighting personal protective clothing cleaning practices in the United States. Fire Technology, 58(3), 1667-1688, DOI: 10.1007/s10694-021-01212-z (Impact 2.239) [Editor’s Choice Best Paper Award, Fire Technology Journal]
- Patricia Brantley Todd Awards of Excellence in Human Environmental Sciences – Research 1/2010.
- Gamma Sigma Delta George Mitchell Award for Outstanding Faculty Service to Graduate Students. 3/2009.
- Certificate of Appreciation, Midwest Section of the American Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists, 8/5/03.