Noel Schulz was inspired by both of her parents to complete an education in engineering. Her father was a college-level electrical engineering professor and her mother was an elementary school teacher. Also, while attending the Virginia Governor's School for Math and Science the summer before her senior year in high school, she was surrounded by peers who thoroughly enjoyed math and science -- just like her.
Today, Schulz is a nationally recognized expert in power systems engineering who researches the use of computers, including intelligent systems, to solve problems in power system design, operations and controls.
Schulz originally chose to study power engineering because she wanted to make a difference by improving existing systems and developing new power system solutions for developing countries. Her research has been funded by a variety of agencies, including the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Departments of Defense, Energy and Homeland Security. She also works with electric utilities and power equipment manufacturers.
In August 2009, Schulz will join K-State to become the Paslay professor of electrical and computer engineering. She came from Mississippi State University, where she held an endowed professorship as the Tennessee Valley Authority Professor in power systems engineering.
As an administrator, Schulz has been actively involved in the recruiting and retaining women in engineering, faculty development and the encouragement of international experiences in education. She has initiated faculty networks for women at two universities and served as the director of faculty development and women in engineering at Mississippi State for several years.
Her teaching interests include power systems, energy conversion, application of computer programs to power engineering, application of intelligent systems to engineering problems, fundamentals of electrical circuits, renewable and distributed generation and smart grid technologies.
Schulz has received a number of awards and belongs to the American Society for Engineering Education and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
She holds a bachelor's and master's degree in electrical engineering, both from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Schulz is married to Kirk Schulz, K-State's president, and has two sons, Timothy and Andrew. Andrew will start at Manhattan High School this coming fall, with his brother, Tim, beginning his freshman year at Mississippi State University.
Photo: K-State's first lady, Noel N. Schulz, jokes around with her son, Andrew, during a recent trip to campus.