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Department Head, Mechanical Engineering

University of Texas at Dallas
Texas, United States
Salary Not specified
Date posted
Feb 20, 2024

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Engineering
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The University of Texas at Dallas Erik Jonsson School of Engineering & Computer Science seeks a visionary, collaborative leader and highly accomplished scholar to serve as the next Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (MECH).

Mechanical engineering at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) focuses on problems of global significance and is consistently one of the top choices for UT Dallas students. Currently more than 1,100 students are enrolled in the bachelor's degree program, and over 170 are at the master's and doctoral level. The department also offers the FastTrack program designed to accelerate a student's education so that both BS and MS degrees can be earned in approximately five years of full-time study. Led by 39 tenure-system faculty and six teaching-faculty members with industry experience and innovative research programs, graduates are prepared for careers in various fields, including energy, medicine, defense, aerospace, automotive, electronics, food processing, and nano-/micromanufacturing.

Created just over 10 years ago, the Department of Mechanical Engineering has been a major driver of the University's rapid growth. Its degree programs are expressly tailored to meet the most current needs of the 21st century mechanical engineer, providing instruction in State-of-the-art technical areas. While young, the department has quickly grown to be one of the largest programs in the state of Texas and its faculty have garnered successes and scholarly impacts that are broader and great in quantity than many older programs in the U.S. The departments research expenditures for FY23 were $7.1 million. Some of the departments recent accomplishments include eleven NSF CAREER recipients, one NSF Mid-Career Award recipient, five Department of Defense YIP awards, among many other accomplishments.

The Jonsson School of Engineering & Computer Science is one of the fastest growing and most- vigorous engineering and computer science schools in the United States. Since 2008, the Jonsson School has doubled in size with the creation of four new departments and nine new degree programs while maintaining an undergraduate student body whose average SAT scores are among the highest of any public university in Texas. Strategically located in the Dallas area's Telecom Corridor, home to hundreds of high-tech companies, Jonsson School's areas of expansion include programs in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science, analog electronics, cybersecurity, systems engineering, robotics, and control systems. The Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex is home to commercial leaders in these industries, which provides outstanding opportunities for post-graduate employment and university/industry technology collaboration.

The Jonsson School has identified five research thrusts areas including advanced Manufacturing, Energy Science and Technology, Health Innovation, Semiconductor Science and Technology, and Transportation Science and Engineering. The school also identified six cross-cutting technologies including Robotics Engineering, Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, Cyber Security, Imaging Sciences, Human Interactions and High Precision Mechatronics. The mechanical engineering department currently and will continue to play a vital role in the advancement of the research thrusts and cross-cutting technologies.

Reporting to the dean, the department Head is responsible for visioning, strategic planning, operations, finances, academic affairs, external relations, and advancement. The next Head will develop, with input from stakeholders, consensus around a strategic vision and plan for the department that aligns with the broader Jonsson School and the University's strategic priorities of recruiting and retaining excellent faculty and staff as well as supporting students and student success at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Likewise, the new Head will build connections to attract opportunities and resources from across the University, supporting a creative research environment — particularly but not solely in support of junior faculty development. In achieving these objectives, the next department Head must be a collaborative leader and possess the leadership skills, strategic capacity, and entrepreneurial spirit to advance the department. Additional essential qualifications include successful administrative experience in a university environment; a strong record of creating an environment of transparency, trust, and collaboration; the communication and interpersonal skills to engage a broad range of internal and external constituencies effectively; and a strong record of forging interdisciplinary partnerships. They must also possess a Ph.D or equivalent in mechanical engineering or a related discipline as well as the scholarly record required to merit a tenured appointment as a full professor in the department.

UT Dallas, a growing public R1 university with more than 31,000 students and 140 academic degree programs, is known for its top-ranked STEM, management, liberal arts, and social sciences majors and for nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship. It is ranked the No. 1 top-value public university in Texas by Forbes. Founded in 1969, the relative youth and high quality of the education at UT Dallas makes it an ideal candidate to evolve from a young, promising university into a nationally pre-eminent, top-tier research university — an asset that the Dallas area urgently needs. The Dallas-Fort Worth area has the most job growth of any metropolitan area in the country and is home to 24 Fortune 500 companies, all of which have hired UT Dallas graduates.

WittKieffer is assisting The University of Texas at Dallas in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by April 1, 2024. Additional information about the opportunity, can be found in the leadership profile.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer's candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Jessica Herrington and Corin Edwards

Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action

The University of Texas at Dallas is committed to providing an educational, living and working environment that is welcoming, respectful, and inclusive of all members of the university community. The University prohibits unlawful discrimination against a person because of their race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status.

The University of Texas at Dallas is an equal opportunity/affirmative action university.


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