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Job ID: 228379

Department Head of Mechanical Engineering
University of Alabama

Date Posted Jan. 4, 2024
Title Department Head of Mechanical Engineering
University University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL, United States
Department Mechanical Engineering
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date August 2024
  • Professor
    Department Head/Head/Chair
  • Mechanical Engineering
    Manufacturing & Quality Engineering

The Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) and the College of Engineering at The University of Alabama invite applications for the position of Department Head of Mechanical Engineering with an anticipated start date of Fall 2024. 

Candidates with prestigious achievements in their field and exceptional national and international reputations will be eligible for consideration for significant endowment support through appointment as an Endowed Shelby Distinguished Professor (

It is an exciting time to join the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Alabama. The ME department has seen tremendous growth in both undergraduate student enrollment and graduate program enrollment, research activity, and research awards over the last decade. The department currently enrolls more than fifteen hundred students, representing the largest department within the UA College of Engineering, and offers two undergraduate and two graduate degree programs (B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, B.S. in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering). The department is currently on a multi-year effort to significantly expand its faculty size to help better serve its students and educational mission and to add both depth and breadth to the range of research activities represented across the department and its faculty. The department and its faculty and students are currently in the process of moving into their new departmental home in the UA South Engineering Research Center (SERC) in the heart of The University of Alabama campus and the UA engineering complex. This new home will provide brand new spaces, including a new central departmental administrative suite, that will allow the department and its programs to continue to thrive and grow while also providing a cohesive space to build community across the department amongst its faculty, staff, and students. The pace of growth and change in the department is both brisk and invigorating. The next Department Head for Mechanical Engineering will have a tremendous opportunity to help shape the future of the department and to work with the leadership of the College of Engineering to deploy the significant resources of the College and university toward the goal of making the department one of the preeminent mechanical engineering departments in the country.

It is also an exciting time to join the College of Engineering at The University of Alabama. Much like the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the College of Engineering has also seen explosive growth in its overall size, both in terms of student enrollment and faculty size, and its research intensity and productivity over more than the last decade. Under the leadership of its new Dean, Dr. Clifford L. Henderson, the College has embarked on an ambitious and transformative initiative entitled “Top-30 by ‘30”. The goals of this initiative center around the College continuing its meteoric rise to be a top-30 program in terms of impact in all aspects of its operations by 2030, including (1) the number of degrees produced at both the undergraduate and graduate level across its seven major departments and thirty different degree programs, (2) scholarly productivity in engineering and computer science, (3) research awards and expenditures to support its vibrant and quickly growing graduate education programs, (4) faculty size and the associated comprehensive range of fields and areas of expertise represented by the College, overall and within its respective departments, and (5) innovative and translational productivity of the College and its faculty and students in such forms as patents and startups. There are tremendous opportunities for the new Department Head of Mechanical Engineering to join in this visionary effort and lead the strategic growth and development of the department with the strong resources and leadership of the College of Engineering and The University of Alabama in support of their efforts.

The Department Head of Mechanical Engineering is the academic and administrative leader of the department. The expectation is that this individual will serve as Department Head for a minimum of 5 years. The Department Head is part of the College of Engineering (CoE) senior leadership team, serving as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College, and is directly supported by Associate Department Heads for Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, who are also faculty members in the department, and a departmental staff person who serves as an Administrative Assistant to the Department Head. The Department Head we seek will have an exciting opportunity to play a central role in a dynamic and growing education and research enterprise.

Successful candidates will be expected to contribute to the life of the department, college, and university by research, teaching, and service contributions consistent with the department head responsibilities. Candidates who have an accomplished track record in research and graduate education are strongly encouraged to apply, as candidates are expected to have a desire to continue to set an example for the department and its faculty by continuing to advise both graduate and undergraduate research students and to pursue an extramurally funded research program. Since the Department Head will serve and be appointed also as a tenured faculty member, it is expected that they will maintain a high-quality, high-impact, sponsored research program, teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels both as permitted by their schedule and duties, and advise and mentor Ph.D. students. The Department Head will be expected to provide service to the department, university, and broader scholarly community, commensurate with rank and in accordance with applicable university policies.

Applicants must have an earned doctorate in Mechanical Engineering or a closely related field from an accredited institution. Applicants must have conducted prior research work and have a record of impactful scholarly publications in refereed and other professional journals and venues.

Required application documents include: (1) cover letter that includes both the department name and the title of the position for which the candidate is applying, (2) 2 to 5 page statement describing how the candidate’s experience positions them well to serve as the Department Head for Mechanical Engineering at The University of Alabama, (3) resume/curriculum vitae, (4) statement of research interests and plans, (5) one to two page statement of teaching interests, and (6) the names and contact information for at least four professional references.

Review of applications will begin immediately, and the search will continue until the position is filled. The University of Alabama is an Equal Employment/Equal Educational Opportunity Institution. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment.

  • Prior to hiring, the final candidate(s) must successfully pass a pre-employment background investigation and information obtained from social media and other internet sources. A prior conviction reported as a result of the background investigation DOES NOT automatically disqualify a candidate from consideration for this position. A candidate with a prior conviction or negative behavioral red flags will receive an individualized review of the prior conviction or negative behavioral red flags before a hiring decision is made.

    The University of Alabama is an Equal Employment/Equal Educational Opportunity Institution. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetic information, disability or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against because of their protected status. Applicants to and employees of this institution are protected under Federal law from discrimination on several bases. Follow the link below to find out more. "EEO is the Law"

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