Director of Aeronautics Research Center

Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Mar 04, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time


Director of Aeronautics Research Center



The Department of Aeronautics anticipates hiring one full-time Aeronautics Research Center Director with an emphasis in Aeronautical Engineering, beginning 01 May 2021. We seek an energetic, experienced, passionate professional with a desire to inspire, educate and develop future Air Force & Space Force officers. The Air Force Academy is an undergraduate only institution focused on educating and commissioning officers in the US Air Force and Space Force. State of the art undergraduate research is an integral component of our academic program and 100% of Aeronautical Engineering cadets participate in sponsored research projects. Come join our team and work with talented students and collaborative colleagues in our nationally recognized Aeronautical Engineering program. We want an individual who possesses the skills to assume the primary leadership role for executing the $7M Aeronautics Research Center budget with 20 industry and DoD customers.

Required qualifications: An earned doctoral degree in Aeronautical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or a related discipline. Demonstrated expertise in at least one of the following disciplines: fluid dynamics, propulsion, stability and control, or materials and structures.  Demonstrated experience running a large, multi-faceted research program. Excellent oral and written communication skills are essential. Every faculty member must have the personal attributes of integrity, cooperation, and initiative.

Desired qualifications: Preference will be given to applicants whose education and experiences indicate the ability to lead a large stable of diverse research programs, as well as guide research projects in experimental methods and undergraduate independent studies. A strong record for research involving undergraduates is highly valued.

Applicants will be assessed based on their research and management experience, ability to mentor undergraduate research, record of scholarship, commitment to service, and the breadth and relevance of their educational background and life experiences. Please directly address the required and desired qualifications in your application. Applicants must submit a Curriculum Vitae, statement of Teaching Philosophy, and Undergraduate Research Philosophy.

The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), located just north of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is an undergraduate institution that awards the Bachelor of Science degree as part of its mission to educate, train, and inspire men and women to become officers of character, motivated to lead the United States Air Force and Space Force in service to our nation. Upon graduation, cadets are commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants in the Air Force or Space Force.  The Academy faculty is an integrated group of military and civilian educators.  The student body consists of approximately 4000 men and women representing every state and numerous foreign countries.  The curriculum includes core academic and professional courses, and numerous disciplinary and interdisciplinary majors.

The chosen candidate will join twelve other full-time civilian professors in a dynamic department that includes approximately a dozen military, 18 civilian faculty members, and numerous staff and contract researchers.  In addition, the candidate will engage with members of related departments, DoD and industry research sponsors through administration of the Aeronautics Research Center. Our faculty members work closely with each other in a collegial, collaborative, and mentoring environment.  The chosen applicant will be a person who understands the dual academic and military mission of the Academy and who recognizes the remarkable opportunities and sometimes demanding responsibilities inherent in this position.  The academic mission of the Air Force Academy focuses on active student learning and personal development.  We desire applicants who understand and appreciate the educational challenges and the technological culture of the current generation of college students. 

All faculty members are expected to contribute to the Academy’s primary mission of developing leaders of character through exceptional teaching, scholarship, and service.  The successful candidate will be expected to guide undergraduate research projects in a broad array of aeronautical engineering topics, engage students in undergraduate research, and serve as a mentor to cadets.  We seek an individual with a breadth of intellectual interests who currently has or will pursue an active program of scholarship to include leading edge aeronautical research.  Faculty members are also expected to engage in service activities benefiting the department, the Air Force Academy, and the professional engineering community.  

Applicants should be aware that employment at the Air Force Academy differs in significant ways from employment at other colleges or universities.  The USAF Academy does not offer tenure.  Initial faculty appointments are for 3 years.  At the end of the second year, the original appointment may be extended for an additional 3 years (6 years total) with the possibility of successive extensions. This appointment system provides long-term employment stability for reappointment-eligible faculty with extensions occurring with at least 3 years remaining on a current appointment.  Extensions are based on an assessment of performance, Air Force and departmental needs, and financial constraints.  Historically, 95% of eligible faculty are extended, and the average length of time on faculty for those currently serving in this system exceeds 12 years.

Faculty members are assigned duties and paid over a full 12-month calendar year and earn about 30 days of paid leave (vacation) per year. Additional holidays and “family days” bring the total paid time off per year to six to eight weeks. In addition, there are opportunities for annual summer academic research absences and sabbaticals every 7th year.  Academic progression proceeds through the traditional academic ranks of assistant, associate, and full professor.                                                                       

Requirements:  The selected candidate will be subject to a security investigation leading to successful completion of a background investigation with a favorable adjudication.  The selectee's failure to meet this requirement will be grounds for termination. 

Salary:  Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Note: Salary shown on the USA Jobs website is the minimum salary and may be negotiated to a higher level depending on qualifications and experience.

To Apply:  Go to Type in “USAF Academy” in the “Where” box and click on “Search Jobs.” Then scroll down until you locate this position. For questions, contact the search committee chair, Dr. Jürgen Seidel,

Applications must be received by 8 April 2021.  U. S. citizenship required.  The Federal Government is an equal opportunity employer.  The United States Air Force Academy values the benefits of diversity among the faculty to include a variety of educational backgrounds and professional and life experiences.