Assistant Professor Aerospace Engineering - University of Kansas

Position Overview

The Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Kansas is seeking nominations and applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor in the area of Aerospace Propulsion. Exceptional applicants may be considered for higher rank depending upon experience and qualifications. The Aerospace Engineering faculty are currently engaged in numerous externally funded research programs, with support from Federal (NASA, NSF, ONR, AFRL, ARL), Industry (Lockheed, GE, Microsoft Research), Private (Heising-Simons Foundation) and other sources. We are seeking to expand in the area of aerospace propulsion including but not limited to gas-turbine engines, turbomachinery, hybrid electric, rocket propulsion and related areas. The ideal candidate will have substantial experience and a continuing interest in the development and design of aerospace propulsion systems. The department encourages interdisciplinary research, and the new hire will collaborate with many faculty in Aerospace, Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and others to advance research and education, and build a sustained externally funded research program.

Applications are sought from candidates with earned doctorates in Aerospace Engineering or closely related fields by the time of appointment. Candidates should demonstrate a sustained commitment to excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching, scholarly research, local and international service, departmental and student advising. The successful candidate will be results-oriented, have a record of superior scholarship, have a promising vision for externally funded research, have experience in externally funded research commensurate with the rank of appointment, develop or maintain an externally funded research program, and teach high quality courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our department values diversity in pedagogy, in the curriculum, in outreach to students, and in research.

The University of Kansas School of Engineering has embarked on a strategic plan that leads to significant expansion while taking explicit care to maintain and improve the high-quality student programs for which the university is known. This “Building on Excellence Initiative” is a multi-faceted approach that drives growth in facilities, faculty, leadership, research and, most important, students, as it helps industry partners find the new talent, designs and techniques they need to fuel economic growth and business success. Our undergraduate student body has grown by 100% and our PhD student body has grown by 45% in the last six years. Special consideration will be given to applicants committed to excellence, who can contribute to the University's innovative, collaborative, and multidisciplinary initiatives to educate leaders, build healthy communities, and make discoveries that will change the world. The University of Kansas School of Engineering (SOE) and the Department of Aerospace Engineering strongly value Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.   KU SOE is one of only 29 universities to achieve the exemplar, inaugural ASEE Diversity Recognition Bronze Award  In a continuing effort to enrich its academic environment and provide equal educational and employment opportunities, the university actively encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups in higher education.

Job Description

Position Overview (continued):  The Department of Aerospace Engineering currently has 12 tenured/tenure-track faculty, approximately 300 undergraduate students and 45 graduate students, with programs leading to bachelors, master’s, and doctoral degrees.  KU is a comprehensive educational and research-intensive AAU institution that operates through a diverse, multi-campus system, with 28,500 students and 2,800 faculty members. Opened in 1866, KU’s main campus is considered one of the most beautiful in the nation, occupying 1,000 acres on Mount Oread in Lawrence, a thriving city of 95,000, located 30 minutes west of Kansas City in the forested hills of eastern Kansas. The School of Engineering and KU have developed an overall Strategic Plan, which is available online (  All qualified (including international) candidates are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate must receive valid U.S. work authorization prior to the specified start date.

Job Duties:
40% Teaching - 
Develop and teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Aerospace Engineering and associated disciplines. Participate in undergraduate and graduate student academic advising. Mentor graduate students in research and serve as the major advisor and chair of master’s and doctoral level thesis committees.

40% Scholarship - Develop and direct a significant and sustainable research program that includes directing students, establishing a strong externally-funded research program, and disseminating findings through peer- reviewed manuscripts and/or issued patents. Collaborate with faculty and professional staff on KU campuses. Research productivity at KU is evaluated with respect to publications in respected academic journals as well as success in acquiring external research grants, and financially supporting and mentoring master’s and doctoral students.

20% Service - Perform University, School, Departmental and professional service activities and serve on committees normally expected of university faculty commensurate with rank. Serve on professional society technical committees as appropriate. Foster a positive relationship with industry and the community. Perform other duties as assigned by the Department Chair.

Required Qualifications


  1. Earned doctorate in aerospace engineering or a closely-related field by the start date of appointment.
  2. Demonstrated expertise in Aerospace Engineering or a closely related field, with a demonstrated record of scholarship as evidenced by a rank-appropriate publication record in reputable refereed journals, books and/or patents.
  3. A well-defined and promising vision for an externally-funded research program

Evaluation of the these requirements will be made through (a) your letter of application describing your work and educational experiences, including your commitment in working with diverse groups or how your teaching, service and/or scholarship has supported the success of students from racial, ethnic, and gender backgrounds that are underrepresented in your academic field; (b) record of accomplishments and productivity in research and teaching as addressed in the c.v., including research publications and conference presentations; c) a statement addressing your vision for a sustainable program of funded research; (d) a statement addressing your teaching philosophy and commitment/approach in the use or development of inclusive teaching/advising practices, pedagogical techniques and course materials, and information provided from three professional references.

Contact Information to Applicants

Search Committee Chair Dr. Z.J. Wang, 785-864-2440,; or Department Chair Dr. Richard Hale 785-864-2949,

Additional Candidate Instruction

Screening of applications will begin on January 1, 2020 and continue until the position is filled.

The target starting date is August 20, 2020. Applications must be submitted at
Complete applications will include:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Complete curriculum vita
  3. A vision statement for research interests and plans
  4. A statement of teaching philosophy and plans including efforts to diversify the field of engineering
  5. The contact information for three professional references

In addition to the materials above, learning about each applicant's contribution and engagement in areas of diversity is an important part of KU's mission.   As a result, applicants will be presented the following questions at the time of application. Each response must be within 4,000 characters or less.

  1. Please describe your experience, approach or methodologies to create and implement inclusive teaching and advising practices, pedagogical techniques and/or course materials to create an inclusive classroom environment.
  2. In your current and/or previous role, please provide an example outlining how you demonstrate your ongoing commitment in working with diverse groups/populations.