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Source: Noel Schulz, 785-532-5600, noels@k-state.edu
Photo available: http://www.k-state.edu/media/images/jan12/noel1712.jpg
Pronouncer: Noel rhymes with goal; Schulz sounds like schults

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012

Current event: Noel Schulz takes helm of international electric energy society

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University now has two President Schulzes: one who leads the university, and the other who leads a major electric power industry organization.

First lady Noel Schulz has just begun a two-year term as president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, Power and Energy Society, a worldwide, nonprofit association of more than 28,000 individuals engaged in the electric power energy industry.

Schulz, the wife of university president Kirk Schulz, is also the Paslay professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering. She just completed a two-year term as president-elect of the society; when her term as president is finished in 2013, she'll serve a two-year term as the society's past president.

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. 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.

"I am privileged to lead the IEEE Power and Energy Society during this exciting time in our technical field,” Schulz said. “IEEE PES members are working to solve challenges in many state-of-the-art areas, including electric vehicles, the integration of renewable energy and smart grid technologies. Through my international travels during the next two years, I will have a chance to promote PES as well as represent Kansas State University."

John English, dean of the university's College of Engineering, said Schulz's presidency will provide many benefits to the university.

"Noel Schulz's leadership and research expertise in this important area is just one example of how the College of Engineering will play a vital role in reaching the goal of K-State 2025," English said. "Professor Schulz is touting the accomplishments of the electrical and computer engineering department, the College of Engineering and Kansas State University as she carries out her presidential duties in the worldwide IEEE Power and Energy Society."

Schulz joined the Kansas State University faculty in 2009 when Kirk Schulz became the university president. 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 recruiting and retaining women in engineering, promoting faculty development and encouraging international experiences in education. She has initiated faculty networks for women at three universities. She served as 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 doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota.