Job ID: 170753

Department Chair, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

University of Iowa

  • Oct. 29, 2021
  • Department Chair, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
  • Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
  • University of Iowa
    Iowa City, IA
  • Open until filled
  • August 2022
  • Department Head/Head/Chair
  • Chemical/Petroleum
    Bioengineering (all Bio-related fields)

The Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa seeks a dedicated and experienced leader for the position of Department Chair (Department Executive Officer). The department chair provides strategic leadership and direction for all aspects of the department, coordinates and manages the day-to-day academic operations, including education, research, and service activities. The department chair will be appointed at the level of Professor with Tenure and will report to the Dean.

The major responsibilities of the department chair include the following:

  • Sets a compelling vision that inspires others to engage in transforming and executing the strategic direction for the department;
  • Recruits, develops, and retains productive and diverse faculty, supports and promotes excellence in faculty research and educational endeavors, encourages and guides mentorship of faculty, conducts assessments of faculty and staff;
  • Fosters a supportive, collaborative, and inclusive learning and research environment for faculty, staff, and students;
  • Leads innovation in curriculum and educational programs, teaches courses, and advises students within department and collegiate programs;
  • Maintains an active scholarship portfolio, including external funding and peer-reviewed publications;
  • Ensures compliance with collegiate, university, state, and federal policies related to grant funding, legislative, and academic policies;
  • Provides effective management of the department’s overall budget and departmental resources, and works with the development office to enhance departmental resources;
  • Serves as a member of the collegiate leadership team that guides strategic initiatives and resource allocation to allow the college to meet its mission, vision, and goals;
  • Works collaboratively and effectively with multiple stakeholders to develop and execute the department’s vision and strategic plan, integrate the department’s vision, plan, and goals with those of the college and university, and promote the department by engaging alumni, industrial representatives, and the broader community.

Candidates must have a doctorate in Chemical Engineering or in a related field and qualifications commensurate with an appointment as a tenured, full professor in our College of Engineering. Candidates with equivalent qualifications for appointment as a tenured, full professor will also be considered. Successful candidates must demonstrate leadership experience in advancing a vision of inclusiveness, collegiality, and scholarly relevancy in the field of chemical engineering.

Candidates are expected to have a record of research productivity, including extramural funding, and a commitment to educational excellence; success or knowledge of effective strategies for working with and mentoring diverse faculty, staff, and students; excellent communication skills and interpersonal skills that promote transparency, respect, effective problem resolution, and ethical decision-making; and a commitment to value shared governance and promote a diverse, equitable, and inclusive academic environment. Desirable qualifications include a scholarly research program aligned with current departmental research thrusts, demonstrated experience building partnerships across academic disciplines, and successful experiences in managing a diverse group of scholars and students to strive for excellence in research, teaching, and service.

The Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering is a vibrant, collegial, research-active department with 11 tenured/tenure track faculty (including four endowed professorships), 3 instructional track faculty, approximately 200 undergraduate students, 35 funded graduate Ph.D. students, and a diverse team of master’s students, postdoctoral researchers, professional and administrative staff. CBE has an established reputation for research innovation in the areas of biological systems, advanced materials, air quality, remote and smart sensing, and sustainable energy. Funding through the NSF, NASA, DOE, DoD, CDC, USDA, NIH, USBR, foundations, and corporate entities provides over $3 million annually in research grants and contracts.

Departmental faculty enjoy strong collaborative relationships with colleges across campus, including the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Public Health, and Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as strong industrial and government research collaborations. Our faculty are integrated into several interdisciplinary research centers, particularly the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, the Iowa Technology Institute, the Photopolymerizations Center, the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute, and the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing. Further information about the department can be found at:

The University of Iowa’s status as a premier research university depends on the robust exchange of ideas. The university understands the link between diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and excellence in education. We embrace our shared responsibility to create a welcoming and inclusive campus culture so that all community members can unlock their own potential. Faculty in the College of Engineering contribute to DEI by designing curricula, research programs, and engagement opportunities that challenge the status quo, cultivate empathy, seek out diverse perspectives, and value global citizenship. To learn more, visit

The University of Iowa is located in Iowa City, a Midwestern college town with modest cost of living, an excellent public school system, excellent healthcare with a world-class teaching hospital, and superior venues for the performing arts ( The University of Iowa is committed to recruiting and retaining the most talented and diverse faculty and staff, which includes providing opportunities for employees to "Build a Career | Build a Life." The University offers several benefits to support faculty and their families in achieving a healthy work/life balance. For more information, please visit:

Review of applications will begin on January 24, 2022. Candidates must submit applications online at requisition #74301. Inquiries regarding the position can be made to Dr. Jennifer Fiegel ( or Dr. Geb Thomas (, the search committee chairs. Applications should include a curriculum vitae and a letter describing what attracts the candidate to this opportunity and how their accomplishments have prepared them for this leadership role. Candidates should also provide a statement identifying how their past and/or potential contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion will advance the University of Iowa’s commitment to inclusive excellence.

  • The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, associational preferences, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual.

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Contact Information

  • Jennifer Fiegel and Geb Thomas
    Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
    University of Iowa
    Iowa City, IA 52242

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