Vice President for Research
David Schultz serves as NAU’s Vice President for Research, with administrative responsibility for the university’s Office of Sponsored Projects, Office of Research Compliance, and intellectual property management and commercialization unit, NAU Innovations.
Previously, he served as Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation at the University of North Texas (UNT), a State of Texas designated emerging research university, and before that as Chair of the Department of Physics at UNT, Group Leader of Atomic Physics at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Research Professor at the University of Tennessee. At ORNL, he became well-known for development of new research programs and for strategic planning, strengthening support for research by the U.S. Department of Energy and developing broader funding for work from other agencies such as NASA and the Department of Homeland Security.
Dr. Schultz is an accomplished theoretical physicist whose research involves both basic studies of few-body atomic-scale systems and applications of atomic physics in astrophysics and plasma science. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 scholarly papers treating, for example, the computational solution of the quantum mechanical few-body problem, diagnostics of fusion energy plasmas, spectral emission from the atmospheres’ of planets, and use of ultra-intense, ultrafast laser pulses as particle accelerators. In recognition of his research and research leadership he has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and of the Institute of Physics in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Schultz has served on a wide range of advisory and review panels such as the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences and as a consultant and advisory group member for the Atomic and Molecular Data Unit of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He is also a past Chair of the APS Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics.
While an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied physics and astronomy, he worked as a lecturer and tour guide at the McDonnell Planetarium. He then refined the focus of his study to concentrate in the field of atomic physics with applications in plasma science and astrophysics at Drake University in Des Moines, transferring to the University of Missouri, Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) where he completed a PhD in Physics.