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Department Head, Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering (UPDATED)

Please see Special Instructions for more details.

Please note: You will be required to provide contact information for a minimum of three professional references within your application. Should you be selected as a finalist for this position, your references may receive an automatic email. This email will ask your references to complete a brief questionnaire in regard to your suitability for the position as well as request the attachment of a letter of recommendation.

Position Details

Position Information

Title Department Head, Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering (UPDATED)
Department Aerospace & Mechanical Engr (2305)
Medical Sub-Speciality
Location Main Campus
Position Summary

Please note: the anticipated start date for this position has been updated to “on or before the first day of the 2018-19 Academic Year”. Additionally, the review date has been extended to 09/25/2017.

The University of Arizona’s Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME) invites applications for the position of Department Head. The new Department Head will lead a successful organization to expand and elevate its undergraduate and graduate programs, research impact and visibility, industrial partnerships, and faculty appointments. With a strong local and national research reputation and the largest student enrollment in the College of Engineering, AME is well poised to lead in the evolving research, education and service landscape of these critical disciplines for the 21st century. We seek an engaging and articulate leader to collaborate with the department’s faculty, staff, students, donors, and other departments and colleges, to develop and realize a vision to meet that challenge. The anticipated start date is on or before the first day of the 2018-19 Academic Year.

The Department Head will facilitate the development of innovative approaches to enhancing student engagement, increasing diversity, and expanding collaborations with community and business partners. The successful candidate will have a proven record of transparent and effective strategic planning and the ability to engender cooperation and collaboration among the department faculty and other constituencies. In addition, the successful candidate will have the proven ability to inspire trust and respect, to motivate people, and to build consensus. The ability to communicate effectively and articulate the value of both the aerospace and mechanical engineering disciplines with all constituencies is key.

The AME Department is one of the eight academic departments in the College of Engineering at The University of Arizona. The department has a long history going back almost to the turn of the previous century. The first BS degree in Mechanical Engineering was awarded in 1909-10. In 1936, the Mechanical Engineering program was one of four initially accredited engineering programs at this University. The Aerospace Engineering program was established in the late 1950s and was first accredited in 1960. The first BS degrees in that program were awarded in 1959-60.

Since its inception, the AME Department has made outstanding contributions to both disciplines, both by creating relevant and impactful research and by offering leading edge educational programs. The department has well-established and highly successful research that has generated over $27M in funded research projects since 2012. AME faculty members have also been successful commercializing their research into new ventures.

The AME Department offers undergraduate, masters, and PhD programs in both aerospace and mechanical engineering. Current enrollment is approximately 550 undergraduate and 85 graduate students. US News & World Report currently ranks the Aerospace Engineering Graduate Program #30 among 63 universities and the Mechanical Engineering Graduate program #51 among 177 universities.

The successful candidate will have an exceptional record of scholarly achievement and appreciation for a wide spectrum of AME research topics and professional accomplishments. Our 30+ tenured, tenure-track, and lecturer/adjunct faculty are dedicated to innovative interdisciplinary research and teaching across the core areas of the two disciplines with focus on active flow control, aerospace guidance navigation and control, astrodynamics, biomechanics, computational fluids and solids, experimental fluids, mechatronics, multi-body dynamics, nanotechnology and renewable energy. AME faculty currently lead two Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives (MURIs) funded by AFOSR and DoE in the areas of material failure prediction and heat transfer fluids. In 2016, AME had research expenditures of over $5M with 20 active research faculty or an average of $250,000 per faculty. The latest research initiatives in collaboration with other parts of campus are in hypersonics, space object behavioral sciences, and autonomous vehicles and systems.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

Accepting a new position is a big life step. We want potential candidates and their families to be able to make informed decisions. Candidates who are considering relocation to the Tucson or Phoenix area, and have been offered an on-site interview, are encouraged to use the free services offered by Above & Beyond Relocation Services (ABRS).Ask your department contact to be introduced to ABRS prior to your visit.

The University of Arizona has been recognized on Forbes 2015 list of America’s Best Employers in the United States and has been awarded the 2016 Work-Life Seal of Distinction by World@Work! For more information about working at the University of Arizona, please click here.

Duties & Responsibilities

The Department Head is responsible for academic, and organizational leadership and for advancing AME at the college, university, local, state, national, and international levels.

The Department Head is expected to optimize AME instructional programs and seek interdisciplinary, campus-wide opportunities to meet emerging needs. The Department Head will expand and elevate AME scholarly activities and ensure mentoring and support to better position faculty members for leadership opportunities in their respective fields. Given our land-grant mission, it is also critical for the Department Head to prioritize and promote service, outreach, and community activities.

The University recently moved to a Responsibility Centered Management budget model that permits unparalleled opportunities for financial growth. Exceptional resource management and budgeting skills are required along with thoughtful and inclusive strategic planning.

Finally, clear and consistent communication – within the department and college and across the campus; with local and state governments; alumni relations; and community partners and stakeholders – will be essential to helping realize AME’s full potential.

•Provide vision and leadership to continue and enhance the AME Department’s reputation and distinction in the field.
•In conjunction with faculty, develop and promote educational plans reflective of the needs of students by increasing hands on experiences.
•Identify and promote research opportunities and actively facilitate and participate in interdisciplinary research.
•Work with external constituencies and engage in fund raising.
•Establish and maintain mutually beneficial industry collaboration initiatives.
•Oversee the department’s operations including budgets, resources, fiscal management, and ABET accreditation.
•Plan for and supervise faculty recruitment, development, and promotion.
•Mentor faculty, staff, and students.
•Create an inclusive, positive workplace environment for all.
•Teach engaging courses.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

•Excellent communication, interpersonal and negotiation skills.
•Demonstrated administrative experience and skills.

Minimum Qualifications

The successful candidate will have a distinguished record of achievement in scholarship, research, and/or professional practice commensurate with an appointment at the rank of professor with tenure. The candidate should also demonstrate effective managerial leadership, clear communication, and a commitment to diversity, shared governance, and community engagement.

•PhD in Aerospace Engineering or Mechanical Engineering or related field;
•Demonstrated record of excellence in research and teaching, including an on-going research program;
•Demonstrated record of leadership experience;
•Previous experience advising PhD students;
•Research record appropriate for appointment at the rank of Full Professor in AME.

Preferred Qualifications

•Previous administrative experience as head or associate head, center director, or equivalent leadership position;
•Membership on boards of academic journals and/or professional associations;
•Experience with online programs;
•Demonstrated ability to obtain extramural funding;
•Skills necessary to perform as an effective communicator to internal and external constituencies;
•Commitment to participatory decision making processes.
•The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated record of engagement with diversity issues, diverse students, women in engineering, and other diversity-related faculty, staff, and student communities.

Rank Professor
Tenure Information Tenured (T)
FLSA Exempt
FTE 1.0
Full Time/Part Time Full Time
Number of Hours Worked per Week 40
Benefits Eligible Yes - Full Benefits
Posted Rate of Pay DOE
Job Category Administrative and Professional
Type of criminal background check required: Fingerprint criminal background check (security sensitive due to title or department)

Posting Detail Information

Posting Number F20856
Number of Vacancies One
Desired Start Date 08/14/2017
Position End Date (if temporary)
Limited to Current UA Employees No
Contact Information for Candidates

Nancy Preble

Open Date 02/13/2017
Close Date
Open Until Filled Yes
Review Begins On 09/25/2017
Special Instructions Summary

Please note: You will be required to provide contact information for a minimum of three professional references within your application. Should you be selected as a finalist for this position, your references may receive an automatic email. This email will ask your references to complete a brief questionnaire in regard to your suitability for the position as well as request the attachment of a letter of recommendation.

Diversity Statement

At The University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. We translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we encourage diverse candidates to apply, including people of color, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff, and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

Quick Link for Internal Postings

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Can you perform the essential functions (job duties) of this position with or without accommodation?
    • Yes
    • No
  2. * Where did you first learn about this position?
    • Arizona Daily Star
    • Arizona Republic
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • Department of Economic Security (DES)
    • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
    • Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
    • Jobing.Com
    • LinkedIn
    • Local Job Banks
    • Pima County One-Stop
    • Professional Conference
    • Professional journal/publication
    • Referred by UA Employee
    • Invited by Dept to Apply
    • UA Website
    • Other
  3. * Do you have a PhD in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or a related field?
    • Yes
    • No

Documents Needed to Apply

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Statement of Teaching Philosophy
  4. Statement of Research Interests
  5. List of Publications
Optional Documents