Dr. Qualls received a B.A. in industrial and systems engineering and a M.S. and Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from Auburn University. During her graduate studies, she was a member of the Tethered Satellite Working Group, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. Prior to UNT, she worked at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control as a Senior Systems Engineer working on guidance systems development.
Her research on tethered satellites has been published in multiple international journals, and she has presented at several national conferences.