Job ID: 162584

Department Head, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

University of Arizona

  • Jul. 12, 2021
  • Department Head, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
  • Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
  • University of Arizona
    Tucson, AZ
  • Open until Filled
  • Aug. 15, 2022
  • Professor
    Department Head/Head/Chair
  • Mechanical Engineering

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.
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 field.
● 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.

  • It is the policy of the University of Arizona to provide equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information.
    The University of Arizona is also a federal government contractor and, as such, has certain obligations to take affirmative action to ensure that its policies and practices are, in fact, non-discriminatory.
    Therefore, it is our policy to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment covered veterans, individuals with disabilities, women, and minorities. Where required by law, The University of Arizona has established goals by which we may measure our progress in employing persons based on individual ability and merit and in the numbers reasonably expected based on their availability.
    The University of Arizona makes good faith efforts to reach covered veterans, individuals with disabilities, women, and minorities with information about our equal opportunity policy and, specifically, about employment opportunities at the University. This recruitment effort is particularly important for jobs where women or minorities are not currently participating in the numbers expected by their availability. It is the policy of the University of Arizona to invite all interested persons, both from outside the University and from within the University community, to apply for such opportunities.
    As a matter of law and as a matter of University policy, selection for opportunities for hire, promotion, transfer, or training, as well as decisions regarding demotion, termination, layoff, or other terms and conditions of employment shall occur without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national original, or other prohibited basis.
    The University has formally assigned the responsibilities contained in its written Affirmative Action Plans for Women and Minorities and for Individuals with Disabilities, and for Protected Veterans to each vice president, dean, director, department head, manager and supervisor and the University does insist that these employees adhere to the commitment made in each Affirmative Action Plan.

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