Heather Paul was born in Deer Park, New York, attended high school in Atlanta, Georgia, and now considers Houston, Texas to be her hometown. She attended Auburn University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. While pursuing her undergraduate degrees, she worked as a cooperative education student at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), working in areas such as life sciences, propulsion, and space suit and tool design.
She continued her education and work experience as she attended the University of Texas at Austin and combined her research on fibrous insulation materials for the advanced spacesuit with her work as a graduate cooperative education student at JSC. Heather earned her Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering prior to starting work full-time with NASA, and recently earned a second Master’s degree in Fitness and Human Performance from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
At work, Heather splits her time between engineering and education and public outreach activities. She is the lead engineer for the future spacesuit life support system design that will circulate oxygen for breathing and space suit pressurization, and control carbon dioxide and humidity levels. Heather also works with NASA analog teams such as NEEMO, the Pavilion Lake Research Project, the Haughton Mars Project, and Desert RATS to ensure that these fantastic science, engineering, and mission activities are well communicated to students, educators, and the general public.
For fun, Heather is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She teaches a variety of classes including hip hop dance and strength and conditioning, and she enjoys helping people stay healthy and happy! Heather also loves to travel and throw the Frisbee with her dog Molly.