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WSU-PNNL Advanced Grid Institute appoints Noel Schulz co-director

Schulz standing in front of banks of computer servers.
Noel Schulz in a computer lab at the WSU College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. (Photo by Robert Hubner, WSU Photo Services)

Noel Schulz has been appointed co-director of the Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) Advanced Grid Institute (AGI). Schulz, the Edmund O. Schweitzer III Chair in Power Apparatus and Systems in the WSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, co-leads the institute with Jeff Dagle, chief electrical engineer at PNNL. She previously served as the AGI’s interim co-director.

“We are excited to announce Noel Schulz as the permanent co-director of the WSU-PNNL Advanced Grid Institute,” said Christopher Keane, vice chancellor for research in Pullman and vice president for research at WSU. “Through her leadership as interim co-director, Schulz has provided a framework for vision and strategic growth that will advance scientific discovery and drive innovation to improve energy resiliency.”

The WSU-PNNL Advanced Grid Institute is a joint research collaboration created in May 2018 to promote the evolution of advanced grid modeling to support planning and operations of complex power systems of the future.

The institute combines complementary expertise from PNNL and WSU in the fields of advanced grid modeling, wide-area measurements, demand response, energy storage, grid architecture, cybersecurity, and power system reliability research. The goal is to enhance the resilience of the power grid to withstand all hazards, including natural disasters and malicious threats.

“Noel Schulz’s leadership has been critical to the Advanced Grid Institute’s growth and success in its formative years and the PNNL team is delighted that Noel will continue to provide that leadership in a permanent capacity,” said Jud Virden, associate laboratory director for the Energy and Environment Directorate at PNNL. “The challenge we face as a nation in building and operating a cleaner, more resilient power grid makes the AGI’s dual scientific and educational mission more important than ever.”

Schulz’s research has focused on power systems modeling and analysis, smart grid applications, microgrids, renewable energy, and shipboard power systems. She has published 175 papers and two book chapters. During her academic career, Schulz has brought in more than $40 million in external research funding through individual and collaborative projects, including a National Science Foundation CAREER award.

Schulz was selected as a new member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences class of 2021. She is the recipient of the 2016 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow, the 2014 IEEE Education Society Hewlett-Packard Harriet B. Rigas Award for outstanding contributions in advancing recruitment and retention of women in IEEE and the engineering professions, and the 2014 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Fellow.

Schulz arrived at the university with her husband, WSU President Kirk Schulz, in mid-June 2016 where she also serves as the WSU First Lady.

Prior to WSU, she served as associate dean for research and graduate programs in the College of Engineering at Kansas State University. She also directed the KSU Engineering Experimental Station and Electrical Power Affiliates Program and was the Paslay Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Schulz has more than 26 years of faculty experience at six U.S. universities including WSU.

For more information about the WSU-PNNL Advanced Grid Institute, visit https://natlab.wsu.edu/grid/.

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