Karen Butler-Purry is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University, where she also serves as Associate Provost for Graduate & Professional Studies. She leads a research group at Texas A&M’s Power System Automation Laboratory, which investigates all aspects of automation, control, and protection of electric power systems. Her research interests are in the areas of protection and control of distribution systems and isolated power systems such as all electric power systems for ships, mobile grids, and microgrids, cybersecurity protection, intelligent systems for equipment deterioration and fault diagnosis, and engineering education.
Butler-Purry is passionate about attracting the next generation of minority and female students into STEM fields. She has been involved in fellowship and education program projects with the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education and directed several of these programs that target recruitment, retention, and advancement of pre-college, college, and graduate students in STEM fields. She currently leads a National Science Foundation-funded project studying the use of video games to transform student learning and influence the attitudes of college and high school students toward electrical and computer engineering. In addition, she serves on the Advisory Council for the Young Women’s Preparatory College Academy in Houston, Texas.
Prior to Texas A&M University, Butler-Purry held technical positions at Hughes Aircraft Company Radar Systems Group, IBM, and MIT Lincoln Laboratory.
Butler-Purry holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Howard University, an MS in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Southern University. She is a registered professional engineer in the states of Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. In 2018, she was elevated to Fellow status with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).