Postdoctoral Research Associate - Manufacturing Futures Institute

Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Institute (MFI) is a campus-wide institute whose mission is to bring together all facets of Carnegie Mellon excellence to inspire and engineer the world’s premier technological advances in agile, intelligent, efficient and resilient manufacturing. We own a culture of collaboration and activate across disciplines to create and conduct groundbreaking research that exploits the rapid pace of innovation for advancing manufacturing, to educate, empower and inspire manufacturing innovators and leaders through experiential learning, and to inspire fundamental discoveries and accelerate their translation toward commercialization.

We enable the digitalization of manufacturing and enhance the requisite human workforce through integration of advanced cyberinformation technologies, including, but not limited to, AR/VR, AI, cloud computing, cybersecurity, data analytics, IIoT, machine learning, simulation and virtual modeling. The appropriate infusion of these modern-era information technologies into manufacturing environments holds the potential to create new paradigms and policies when merged with advanced manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing, robotics and automation, micro/nanofabrication, and modular processing. MFI also seeks to incorporate cross-cutting areas of social sciences to applications in the digitalization of manufacturing, including the infusion of learning science to accelerate workforce development, technology-based policy to accelerate technology adoption, and ethics to provide a compass toward the future.

MFI operates 58,000 square feet (sf) of advanced manufacturing space at Mill 19 in Hazelwood Green on the Monongahela River, just a few miles from campus, to support industry-relevant and scalable research and development. MFI at Mill 19 is being developed as a shared workspace to incentivize innovation across areas and projects and to work alongside visiting industry and government collaborators. The facility includes 6750 sf of high bay space available for large-format workcells, 13,300 sf of flexible low bay space available for future factory technologies, a 2300 sf metals additive manufacturing facility and a machine shop to support research and operations.

The MFI Postdoctoral Fellowship Program seeks candidates that will support the vision of MFI by demonstrating research excellence and leadership in addressing challenges that further the digitalization of manufacturing. Example research themes, when applied to advanced manufacturing, include, but are not limited to: additive manufacturing, augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) systems, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, digital thread, digital twins, future of work, industrial internet of things (IIoT), intelligent robotics, materials discovery, process control, and sustainability. To perform such research, successful candidates will have experience and interest in relevant cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Proposed research must demonstrate a clear fit with the mission and areas of academic inquiry and translational opportunity of MFI. Both internal and external applicants will be considered. Applicants will need confirmed commitment from a CMU faculty mentor to be considered. Fellowship appointments will be for one year with the option for potential renewal, subject to annual performance review and availability of funds.

Applicants are required to submit the following materials listed below. Applications will be judged on the qualifications of the applicant, and the quality and applicability of the proposed research to the mission and goals of the Manufacturing Futures Initiative and its potential impact.
  • Thesis abstract – one page

  • Research proposal – 700-1,000 words (not including references and citations). Research proposals must be aligned with the mission and research thrusts of MFI. Proposals should be of high overall technical quality, represent novel, interdisciplinary research, and include a clear plan for how the contribution helps grow advanced manufacturing activity at CMU with particular attention to Mill. Submissions should also convey the impact of the proposed research, including, as applicable, social, economic, policy, and regional impact as well as the potential of the research to generate additional funding.

  • Education and background statement – 500-700 words describing your personal background and contributions to advanced manufacturing through your academic career

  • Curriculum vitae including publication list

  • Two letters of recommendation including one from the applicant’s PhD thesis advisor, to be sent directly to, that provide detailed assessments of the applicant’s qualifications and potential for innovative, ground-breaking independent research

  • Letter of support from the CMU faculty mentor who will advise you during your fellowship appointment addressing:
    • applicant’s planned research

    • extent to which the applicant will participate in department and campus activities and programs

    • facilities and resources available to the fellow

    • statement confirming that the faculty mentor’s department chair supports the items above

NOTE: Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty members currently affiliated with MFI as well as faculty members with research interests that could support MFI.

The tenure of the postdoctoral fellowship will be 12 months. Postdoctoral fellowships may not be deferred or delayed. Appointments may be renewed, subject to annual review and consideration.

Due date – applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Due to budget considerations, there may be a limited number of postdoctoral fellowships available at any given time.

Candidates will be notified of a decision upon review of their complete application. This process may take up to 60 days, but typically is no more than 30 days.

Formal acceptance of the fellowship must be made in writing no later than 30 days after an award notification has been made.

  • Completion of PhD or ScD prior to start date

  • No more than two years past the date of the doctoral degree at the time of appointment


Pittsburgh, PA

Job Function

Pre/Post-Doctoral Associates & Fellows

Position Type

Postdoctoral Associate / Fellow (Fixed Term)

Full Time/Part time

Full time

Pay Basis


More Information:
  • Please visit Why Carnegie Mellon to learn more about becoming part of an institution inspiring innovations that change the world.

  • Click here to view a listing of employee benefits

  • Carnegie Mellon University is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran .

  • Statement of Assurance

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