Kirk H. Schulz was born in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1963. He was raised in Norfolk, Virginia, where he attended Norfolk Christian High School. Following graduation from high school in 1981, he attended Old Dominion University for 3 years, after which he transferred to Virginia Tech in 1984. Kirk enrolled in the Chemical Engineering program there, graduating with his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering in 1986 and 1991, respectively. He did his doctoral work in metal oxide surface chemistry under the direction of Dr. David Cox.
Following graduation from Virginia Tech, Kirk took a faculty position as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Following 4 years at UND, he moved in 1995 to Michigan Tech as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1998, and assumed the Chairmanship of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech that same year.
In 2001, he moved to Mississippi State University to become Director of the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering and holder of the Earnest W. Deavenport Jr. endowed chair. In 2005, he was selected as Dean of Engineering of the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering and the inaugural holder of the Earnest W. and Mary Ann Deavenport, Jr. endowed chair. In 2007, he was named Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development, and was named to the permanent position later in the same year.
Kirk is a member of the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) and is an active member of AIChE, ASEE, and ABET. In recognition of his work in chemical engineering, he was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2007 and a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in 2008. Kirk is active in the community, and currently serves as a Committee Member with Troop 14 in Starkville. He is married to Noel Nunnally Schulz, who is the Tennessee Valley Authority Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at MSU. They have two sons, Tim (18), a senior at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, and Andrew (14), a student at Armstrong Middle School.