Professor/Department Head of Mechanical Engineering

South Dakota, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Sep 29, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at South Dakota State University invites applicants for the position of Department Head. South Dakota State University seeks a dynamic and collaborative leader to serve as Head of the Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department. The Department Head will work closely with the Dean and the leadership team of the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering (JJLCOE) to promote the land grant mission and an ambitious agenda to address the world’s grand challenges. This position is a 12-month, full-time, benefits-eligible, tenure-track position. This position is supervised by the Dean of the College of Engineering.

SDSU is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to and/or coordinate course offerings that address the experiences of underrepresented minorities in organizations. Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.


The Department Head will be expected to lead the ME Department in identifying future areas of growth and investment while providing organizational and administrative expertise to the department and the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering. There is also an opportunity for a qualified leader to expand and accelerate the development of engineering innovation and entrepreneurship in the JJLCOE, at South Dakota State University, and in the state and region.


  • Earned doctorate degree in Mechanical Engineering or a closely related field;
  • A distinguished record in teaching, scholarship, and service commensurate with that of a tenured faculty member with the rank of Professor in the department;
  • Demonstrated experience overseeing budgetary and fiscal matters, strategic planning and personnel management;
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills, and interpersonal skills;
  • Candidates must be authorized to work in the U.S. Sponsorship is not available for this position.


  • Successful professional experience in academic administration and/or comparable experience in research management;
  • Strong advocate for student education as demonstrated through active participation in development, implementation and administration of innovative programs, practices, or activities;
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in recruitment, retention, and success of faculty, staff and students from diverse backgrounds;
  • Clear understanding of current and emerging trends in Mechanical Engineering, as demonstrated by the candidate’s knowledge of rapidly changing workforce needs, and the implications on interdisciplinary education and research;
  • Ability to build strong relationships with regional industry leaders and understand industry trends to prepare students for existing and emerging careers;
  • Visionary and strategic leadership style with commitment to transparency, consensus-building, and collegial environment;
  • Evidence of professional service to technical societies in Mechanical Engineering;
  • Ability to lead and manage ABET accreditation procedures.


Commensurate with qualifications.


South Dakota State University offers a wide range of benefits including medical, dental, and flexible benefits, retirement plans, compensation packages, paid holidays, and vacation leave. Employees also have access to internal and state-sponsored training as well as reduced tuition for state-supported courses at all State of South Dakota academic institutions.


Ranked as the No. 2 best place to work in South Dakota by Forbes, South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive university with more than 200 programs and an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students. 

SDSU offers a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusion and access through inspired, student-centered education, creative activities and research, innovation and engagement that improve the quality of life in South Dakota, the region, the nation and the world. Its employees embrace the university’s core values of being people-centered, expanding knowledge through creativity, embracing organizational and personal integrity, commitment to diversity, and excellence through continuous improvement.

As the state’s 1862 Morrill Act land-grant institution, the work of the university is carried out on its main resident campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, and Aberdeen, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across South Dakota.

SDSU was recognized as one of 54 institutions in the United States as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities in 2014. The university’s total research expenditures are greater than $60 million. SDSU is the state’s first High Research Activity institution as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 

Jackrabbits Athletics competes as an NCAA Division I member with membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the Summit League and the Big XII for wrestling. 

Brookings is home to approximately 24,000 residents and is located 60 miles north of Sioux Falls and 200 miles west of Minneapolis. rates Brookings as an ideal community for families, students, young professionals and retirees. It considers Brookings among the safest and most vibrant cities in South Dakota.

The Brookings Public School District educates approximately 3,300 K-12 students and ranks among the state’s highest academic achieving school districts. The district includes three elementary schools, an intermediate school for fourth and fifth grade, one middle school and a high school. 

The city also boasts an abundance of attractions and activities, including the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, Dakota Nature Park, South Dakota Art Museum, McCrory Gardens, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Outdoor Adventure Center and the Brookings Summer Arts Festival.


Position is open until filled with full consideration given to applications received by December 15, 2020.


SDSU accepts applications through an on-line employment site. To apply, visit:, search by the position title, view the job announcement, and click on “apply for this job.” This system will guide you through the electronic application form. This employment site will also require the attachment of a cover letter which should specifically address how the candidate meets the qualifications as outlined in the advertisement, Curriculum Vitae, teaching statement (attached as ‘other’ document), research statement (attached as ‘work sample’), and a reference page with the contact information for three professional references. Email applications will not be accepted. Please contact SDSU Human Resources at (605) 688-4128 if you require assistance with this process.

Any offer of employment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to, successful completion of a criminal background check.

South Dakota State University is a tobacco free environment. It is the policy of the University to maintain a drug-free environment and to thereby establish, promote, and maintain a safe and healthy working and learning environment for employees and students.  This position is subject to South Dakota State University's Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy 4:14.  

For questions on this position, contact Dr. Nadim Wehbe, Search Chair at (605) 688-5427 or

South Dakota State University is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its faculty, staff and students. Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Arrangements for accommodations required by disabilities can be made by emailing SDSU prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, gender, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran’s status or any other protected class in the offering of all educational programs and employment opportunities. Individuals with concerns regarding discrimination should contact: Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources, Morrill Hall 100, SDSU, Brookings, SD 57007. Phone: (605) 688-4128.