Professor Roy J. Schulz was honored with a retirement ceremony in September in gratitude for his 29 years of service to the University of Tennessee Space Institute. In his introduction, UTSI Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Greg Sedrick said of Dr. Schulz, “We considered making this a roast, but we couldn’t find enough people to say unkind things about you.”
A faculty member and long-time chair of UTSI’s Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering (MABE) Department, Dr. Schulz was also heavily involved in several research projects at UTSI. Schulz was responsible for the design and development of the high temperature combustion system for the magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) facility at UTSI as well as for part of the heat recovery systems in the exhaust system of the facility. He also helped support several other major research projects at UTSI for the US Department of Energy and for NASA.
At the retirement ceremony, Interim UT Associate Vice President for UTSI Dr. Angie Bukley bestowed upon Dr. Schulz the title of Professor Emeritus, making him only the fourteenth to earn this status from UTSI. UTSI Support Council Chairman Dick Farrar and Members John Greeter and Dr. Roger Crawford presented Dr. Schulz with a Support Council plaque in recognition of his service to UTSI.
Crawford and Schulz worked together for many years in the Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering (MABE) Department at UTSI. Dr. Crawford, who is also retired, spoke about the “good ol’ days” at the retirement ceremony. Crawford presented two cowboy hats to the audience, one white and one black. He said that they frequently wore these hats while advising graduate students. Dr. Crawford, who would wear the black hat, said that he would make the students cry, and they would run to Dr. Schulz, in the white hat, who would comfort them. At one time, Crawford said, he and Schulz had over 50 students in Mechanical Engineering and 50 in Aerospace Engineering. Crawford also said that he believed Dr. Schulz advised more students that any other professor at UTSI, with the possible exception of founding Professor Bob Young, who was Schulz’ mentor.
Dr. Ahmad Vakili, another UTSI faculty member that worked for years with Dr. Schulz spoke at the retirement event. “Academics never really retire,” joked Vakili, “they just lose their faculties.” On a more serious note, Dr. Vakili said that he had benefited greatly from Schulz’ advice and his friendship. Vakili served on many, many dissertation committees with Schulz. He described Schulz as a “strong and solid pillar supporting UTSI’s roof.”
Dr. Bukley said she too has relied on Dr. Schulz for advice since taking over the helm at UTSI, because she knew that he would tell her the truth. She also said that he was one of the hardest workers she’d ever known. “If we all worked as hard as Roy, we’d be ahead of the ball game,” stated Bukley.
Dr. Schulz said that he has really enjoyed his time here and has made lifelong friends. “I had more fun than a human should have during the MHD days,” said Schulz
Support Council Member John Greeter, Interim UT Associate Vice President for UTSI Dr. Angie Bukley and Support Council Member Roger Crawford look on as Support Council Chairman Dick Farrar shakes hands with Dr. Roy Schulz, thanking him for his 29 years of service to the Space Institute. Drs. Crawford and Schulz worked together for many years at UTSI and are shown above wearing the white and black hats that Dr. Crawford said they frequently wore while advising graduate students in the Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering Department. Dr. Crawford said that when he would make the students cry, they would go to Dr. Schulz, who would comfort them.