Job ID: 173233

Department Chair for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

University of Virginia

  • Nov. 23, 2021
  • Department Chair for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • University of Virginia
    Charlottesville, VA
  • Open Until filled
  • TBD
  • Department Head/Head/Chair
  • Mechanical Engineering
    Engineering - Other

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) within the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia invites applications for the position of Department Chair to begin in August 2022. The department has a history of bringing innovative and accomplished scholars from the broader Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering community to expand the impact of our research and educational programs. We seek a world-class scholar whose background allows them to be appointed at the rank of full professor, and a visionary and collaborative leader to lead the next phase of our growth.

The new Department Chair will lead the Department’s initiatives in strategic planning, faculty and staff development; and attracting and recruiting both internationally-renowned senior faculty and the next generation of department, school, and university faculty leaders. The Chair manages the Department’s budget and interfaces with School and University leadership with integrity and transparency.

Candidates must have a PhD in a Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering or closely related field.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at the University of Virginia is a thriving program of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty with a commitment to exploration, innovation, and engineering excellence. MAE’s focus on these three commitments has led to many international and national awards, scholarships and fellowships along with prestigious accolades and new research centers.

The department currently boasts 29 primary faculty members and nine courtesy appointments serving ~140 graduate students and ~360 undergraduate students (2nd-4th years). The department offers ABET-accredited B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and in Aerospace Engineering, and offers M.E., M.S., and PhD degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The department consistently performs well in national rankings, particularly given its size. U.S. News and World Report ranks the department #25 in Aerospace Engineering and #12 in Online Mechanical Engineering. Research strengths in the department include pillars in Cyber Physical Systems and Autonomy, Biomechanical Engineering for Health, and Sustainability in Engineering, Manufacturing, and Transportation, with several programs spanning and connecting multiple pillars. In FY2021, the department had over $11M in research expenditures and over $78M in research proposals. Highlights of the department’s current program strengths include:
o Aerospace Engineering – Aerospace Research Laboratory, the Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Center for Advanced Propulsion, and key projects in hypersonics, combustion and wind energy.
o Mechanical Engineering – Center for Applied Biomechanics (world leaders in auto safety engineering with $5 million in annual research), the Rotating Machinery and Controls Industrial Program (more than 40 member companies), a $7.8 million MURI in bio-propulsion, and award-winning nano-scale research.
The department is committed to creating and benefiting from an environment where a diverse group of capable, inspired individuals interact and collaborate to learn and advance knowledge without barriers. This commitment is reflected in a 450% increase in underrepresented graduate students, including women since 2015. More recent efforts are documented in the department’s Diversity, Respect, Inclusion, Vision and Equity (DRIVE) initiative. Details can be found at:….

The University of Virginia is annually ranked as one of the premier public institutions in the United States and is located in Charlottesville, a picturesque and vibrant small city perennially ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S. More information about town, the school, faculty benefits and other topics can be found at

UVA assists faculty spouses and partners seeking employment in the Charlottesville area. To learn more please visit .

Please apply online at… and attach the following documents:

1. a CV to include contact information for three references;
2. an overview of major research contributions and future research plans;
3. a teaching statement;
4. a statement describing your work related to diversity, equity and inclusion and working with diverse populations;
5. a cover letter describing your leadership philosophy and vision for the UVA Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department.

The University will perform background checks on all new hires prior to employment. This position will also require an Education Verification (FSAKA).

Review of candidates will begin on December 17, 2021, and will continue until filled.

For questions regarding the position, please contact Brian Smith, Search Committee Chair, at

For questions about the application process, please contact Rich Haverstrom, Faculty Search Advisor, at

With one of the highest graduation rates of undergraduate students from underrepresented groups and one of the highest percentages of women engineering students among public universities, the Department and the University of Virginia are fundamentally committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty and staff. UVA is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. We welcome nominations of and applications from women, members of minoritized groups, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. We also welcome others who would bring additional dimensions of diversity to the university’s research and teaching mission. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person’s perspective and lived experiences.

COVID Vaccination Requirement

Due to the scope of President Biden’s Executive Order 14042 issued in early September, all University employees, including remote employees, must receive their final vaccination dose by January 4, 2022, unless they have a University-approved religious or medical exemption. The University has updated policy SEC-045 to reflect these new requirements.  

If hired by the Academic Division, excluding School of Medicine, School of Nursing, UVA Physicians Group, and the Health Systems Library, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination or be willing to be vaccinated by January 4, 2022. Academic employees may apply for a University-approved medical or religious exemption.

Note: Some medical and safety-sensitive positions require vaccination and are not eligible for an exemption. For more information on how vaccination requirements will apply to you, please visit the UVA New Hire Vaccination Requirements webpage.

  • The University of Virginia, including the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician’s Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person’s perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Rich Haverstrom
    Faculty Search Advisor
    University of Virginia
    1101 Millmont Street
    Suite 101
    Charlottesville, VA 22904

New Search | Previous