Tenure Track Assistant Professor Specializing in Composite Materials

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Feb 24, 2021
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time


The Materials Engineering (MATE) Department in the College of Engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is seeking a faculty colleague for a tenure-track position at the assistant professor level. The faculty position is primarily focused on composite materials and the practical application of composites in industry. The MATE Department is looking for a leader/innovator in the composites area to meet the market demand for materials engineering graduates with a strong composites background. Because of the wide use of polymer-matrix composites in engineering applications, the faculty position has a secondary focus on polymeric materials.

Applicants should have a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering (MSE) or a closely related field. An undergraduate MSE degree is preferred. The successful candidate will be proficient in teaching basic and advanced courses in composite materials in addition to basic courses on polymers, be involved in scholarly activity (research) in the composites area, and be enthusiastic about composite materials and their applications. The MATE Department is particularly interested in potential faculty with knowledge of the materials engineering aspects of composite materials. Those aspects are detailed below. Knowledge and/or experience with composite mechanics is required.

Highly desired expertise areas for composite materials include, but are not limited to: fibers for advanced engineering composites (glass, ceramic, carbon, aramid, extended chain polyethylene, natural, other); matrix materials (polymer, metal, ceramic); fiber-matrix interactions and reactions in composites; basic mechanics of composite materials (lamina and laminated plate responses); curing of thermoset matrices; use of thermoplastic matrices in polymer-matrix composites; fabrication and manufacturing methods for composites (polymer-matrix and other matrices); mechanical testing of composites (tensile, compression, flexure, fracture mechanics, etc.); nanocomposites; design and synthesis of environmentally-friendly composite materials; and smart composites. Areas of expertise for polymeric materials include, but are not limited to: polymer synthesis, grafting, and copolymerization; functionalization of polymers; manufacturing; self-healing and conductive polymers; polymer fibers. Additionally, familiarity with equipment such as mechanical testing equipment, and experience with characterization methods such as DSC, TGA, DMA, FTIR and electron microscopy is desirable. Industrial experience in composites and polymers is welcome.

Cal Poly’s values and student learning objectives include: learn by doing; diversity, equity, and inclusivity; and sustainability. The successful applicant should be able to clearly demonstrate how they have infused these values and student learning objectives into their work. They should be prepared to present a tractable plan for how they would infuse these areas into their work as a faculty member.

This tenure-track appointment comes with an expectation of teaching, scholarship, and service that enriches the student experience and is aligned with our MATE vision and mission. The primary responsibilities include teaching at undergraduate through master’s levels, including senior project supervision, and developing innovative and effective curricula and laboratory experiences in the composites and polymers areas. Additional responsibilities include advising students, making contributions of service to the University and the profession, contributing to the delivery of MATE service and core courses, supporting development of the department’s physical infrastructure, and engaging in externally supported scholarly work of nationally recognized quality. The projected start of the new faculty member is fall quarter 2021.

The MATE Department is a relatively small and dynamic community of collaborators meeting the technical challenges of the twenty-first century and contributing to our College’s vision of leading engineering education. We emphasize excellence and innovation in teaching, collaboration, and collegiality.