Head and Professor of Aerospace Engineering
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Department of Aerospace Engineering
United States

Head and Professor

Department of Aerospace Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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The College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign seeks a highly accomplished scholar and strategic leader as Head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering.  The Department is at an exciting time of research and innovation, and offers degrees at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels.  Aerospace Engineering is consistently ranked nationally in the top 10 of undergraduate and graduate programs and is internationally renowned due to its successful faculty and state-of-the-art research facilities.  The Department houses approximately 25 tenure system and specialized faculty members, 520 undergraduate students, and approximately 170 graduate and professional students. For more information on this dynamic Department, please visit our website at https://aerospace.illinois.edu/ where you can find more information on our academic and research programs.


Aerospace Engineering seeks a new Head to lead it through a period of continued growth. Over the last five years, the Department increased its faculty by 20%, research expenditures by 60%, graduate enrollment by 40%, and undergraduate enrollment by 10%.  Talbot Laboratory, which houses Aerospace Engineering, will undergo a major expansion beginning in Spring 2019 to add a state-of-the-art composite/additive-manufacturing lab and a nanosatellite technology lab. Aerospace Engineering faculty are international leaders who engage in basic and applied research with global impact, supported by world-renowned research facilities on campus along with academic, government, and corporate partnerships. The College of Engineering recognizes the opportunities presented by the changing field of aerospace and expects the incoming Head will further enhance the Department’s research, education, and service missions.


The Department Head is a tenured full Professor in Aerospace Engineering who reports to the Dean of the College of Engineering. Applicants must have an earned Ph.D., a scholarly record commensurate with the level of a full professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a renowned reputation in research. The position has responsibilities for leading the faculty in the development of research, teaching, and public service, as well as engaging with industry, private foundations and alumni to advance the success and excellence of the Department.  The position also has primary oversight for all administrative, budgetary and promotion decisions for the Department.  The successful candidate will:


  • lead the Department by presenting a compelling vision for Aerospace Engineering at Illinois;
  • sustain and expand the scholarly excellence of the Department and endeavor to become the leading aerospace program in the country;
  • foster, advocate, and promote cutting-edge, innovative undergraduate and graduate curricula as well as multidisciplinary research collaborations through effective leadership and management;
  • demonstrate a commitment to diversity and work with faculty and staff to promote and create initiatives for diversity and inclusion throughout the Department
  • promote an engaging environment for Assistant and Associate faculty members, grounded on effective mentoring and academic and professional development;
  • leverage both existing and new long-term connections with industry to better position Aerospace Engineering as a leader for cutting-edge research and industry partnerships;
  • endorse a culture of active alumni engagement with the Department that celebrates its graduates as agents of its impact to the world and as the stewards of its long-term excellence;
  • direct the Department’s advancement campaign and establish strategic engagement and partnerships with foundations and private institutions that share the department’s passion and vision for overall excellence.


The Head position is an administrative appointment accompanied by a 100% tenured faculty appointment with full University benefits. To apply for this position, candidates should create a profile at http://jobs.illinois.edu  and submit a cover letter articulating their vision for this position and a statement on commitment to diversity, together with a curriculum vitae, and names and contact information for three references, all as a single PDF file. The statement on diversity should address past and/or potential contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion through research, teaching, and/or service. Complete applications should be received by September 1, 2019, for full consideration, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  The start date is as soon as possible and salary is commensurate with skills and experience.   Please direct questions pertaining to the search or application procedures to Lori Willoughby at rairden@illinois.edu or 217-333-3837. 


We have an active and successful dual-career partner placement program and a strong commitment to work-life balance and family-friendly programs for faculty and staff (http://provost.illinois.edu/faculty-affairs/work-life-balance/).


The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.


The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.





The Grainger College of Engineering: Head and Professor - Aerospace Engineering (110535)

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