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Department Head, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

University of Arizona
Arizona, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted date
Jul 9, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Education, Education Administration & Leadership
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME) at the University of Arizona (UA)
is seeking nominations and applications for a department head with excellent leadership skills and
enthusiasm for world class research, innovative teaching, and industry/government collaborations.
The future AME Department Head must be an innovative and visionary academic leader who can
spearhead the continuing transformation of AME for the challenges of the 21st century. The
Department Head is responsible for leading a dynamic department which includes a diverse group of
faculty, staff, students, as well as modern teaching and research laboratories and other facilities.
Candidates are expected to have extensive research and teaching experience at a level sufficient to
qualify for appointment as a tenured Full Professor.

The AME Department at the University of Arizona has a strong local, national, and international
reputation for undergraduate and graduate education and research. The department has 23 tenured
or tenure track faculty (including one National Academy of Engineering member), 7 Career Track
teaching and research professionals, and 5 adjunct faculty that support teaching, research and
service missions. The department has 463 undergraduate (sophomore-senior), 45 M.S, and 63
Ph.D. students enrolled as of fall 2020. According to US News and World Report, the University of
Arizona ranks No. 53 as Best Undergraduate Engineering Schools, No. 30 as Best Graduate Online
Engineering Schools, and No. 62 as Best Graduate Engineering Schools with Aerospace
Engineering ranked at No. 33 and Mechanical Engineering ranked at No. 62 among US Public
Institutions. The annual research expenditures for the Department are nearly $5 million.

The AME department houses strong programs that cover a broad spectrum of traditional, emerging
and interdisciplinary areas of interest. The department has had a longstanding and internationally
recognized strength in fluid dynamics with a recent focus in hypersonic flow and related areas. In
addition, departmental research strength exists in the traditional areas of thermal sciences,
dynamics and control, design and optimization, computational mechanics and solid and structural
mechanics. The department also has a strong presence in university centered interdisciplinary
research efforts in orbital mechanics, space situational awareness, space exploration, robotics and
optical sciences. The AME department is housed in a modern building with total assignable square
footage of 91,059 of which 50,350 square feet is laboratory space. Applicants are invited to consult
the department’s website to review our academic and research programs as well as research labs
and centers. (

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!
The University of Arizona has been listed by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers in the
United States and WorldatWork and the Arizona Department of Health Services have recognized us
for our innovative work-life programs.

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.

Candidates will be required to provide contact information for a minimum of three professional references, a Statement of Teaching Philosophy, a Statement of Research Interests and a Leadership Statement to include commitment to Diversity and Inclusion.  Please upload your documents under the “Additional Document” slots within your application.


Duties and Responsibilities
● Lead the AME department by collaboratively developing and reviewing annually a 3-yr
department plan that supports the UA’s goals for the university and aligns with other related
programs at the university.
● Implement a plan to keep stakeholders informed on progress and changes.● Make equity-informed decisions on faculty recruitment, diversity, development, performance,
retention and promotion.
● Lead the department in achieving student and faculty recruitment goals.
● Keep the department focused on educating aerospace engineering and mechanical
engineering graduates that are equipped to be productive in a modern industrial setting.
● Identify and promote research opportunities and actively facilitate and participate in
interdisciplinary research.
● Maintain existing and create new relationships with alumni and the aerospace and
mechanical engineering industry.
● Maintain an inclusive, positive workplace environment.
● Act entrepreneurially to manage and enhance the department’s financial condition through
increasing enrollments and initiating new programs that capitalize on other revenue streams.
● Implement new initiatives and oversee current commitments with respect to bachelor’s
degrees, international micro campus programs, on line graduate programs, and accelerated
master’s degree options.
● Build on existing ties and build new relationships with industry with respect to funded
research such as laboratory testing and participation on research teams.
● Oversee the department’s operations including budgets, resources, fiscal management, and
ABET accreditation.
● Foster a sense of community for students, alumni, staff and faculty.
● Assist the College of Engineering in fund raising activities.

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 Full Professor with
tenure. The candidate should also demonstrate effective managerial leadership, clear
communication, and a commitment to shared governance, community engagement, and diversity,
equity, and inclusion. The successful candidate must demonstrate high ethical standards and is
expected to operate in a transparent and collegial way. The candidate must be responsive in a timely
manner to the needs of faculty, staff, and students in the department.
● Earned doctorate (Ph.D.) in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or related
● A record of technical papers published in nationally recognized, peer-reviewed journals;
scholarly achievement.
● Strong oral and communication skills.
● Proven leadership skills with multi-disciplinary teams.
● Track record of collaboratively building a vision and the skills to follow through to make the
vision a reality.
● Capable of inspiring and recruiting great students as well as exceptional faculty and staff.
● History of successful funding from industry and government.
● Commitment to an inclusive departmental culture.


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.
● Experience working with industry, either through direct employment or through cooperative
research and development activities; skills necessary to perform as an effective
communicator to internal and external constituents.
● Commitment to a participatory decision-making process.
● Demonstrated record of engagement with diversity issues, diverse students, women in
engineering, and other diversity related faculty, staff, and student communities.
● Experience in fundraising.



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