Chair of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Michigan Technological University seeks a visionary leader to serve as chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

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Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, the University offers more than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.

More than $77 million in total research expenditures and 18 research centers and institutes help us foster a world-class and diverse faculty, staff, and student population. Partnering with industry and federal institutions like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and research organizations within the Department of Defense, we develop, apply, create, and demonstrate the future in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

We work across disciplines to do things like building nanosatellites, equipping vehicles with technologies that improve ecological decisions and energy use, deploying underwater robots, and developing the technologies health providers need to do their jobs—better.

The Role of the Chair of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

The chair is the chief administrative officer of the department and is responsible for the department’s administration, hiring, promotion, and budget, as well as being the leader in continuously improving the culture of inclusion and excellence in teaching and research. The chair serves as the primary liaison between the department and the College of Engineering and the rest of the University and external constituents, and is expected to foster collaborations, both internal and external to the University, that advance the department’s mission.

The undergraduate program of Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics is currently eighth in enrollment in the US. We have been in the Top 30 in BSME degrees awarded for the past 36 consecutive years.

Our graduate program is ranked 63rd nationally among the 182 (top 35 percent) doctoral granting mechanical engineering departments by U.S. News and World Report 2022: America’s Best Graduate Schools (ranked in 2021). Our department is fifth in MSME enrollment, 16th in MSME degrees awarded, 26th in PhD enrollment, and 21st in PhD degrees awarded in the US, according to the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). The National Science Foundation (NSF) ranks mechanical engineering in research expenditures at Michigan Tech 16th in the latest rankings, with $20.015 million among all mechanical engineering departments in the US.

Based on the foregoing as our foundation, we the faculty and staff of the department, with the support of the College and University, aspire to move our national and international recognition to that of a Top 20-ranked department for both our graduate and undergraduate programs. We seek a chair with international recognition, leadership experience, strong commitment, and creative insight to lead us in our efforts to reach that target over the next 5-10 years. In doing so, the new chair will facilitate the department’s role in meeting the challenges of the 21st century, illustrated by our Tech Forward initiatives, while continuing to improve the educational and research strengths of the department.

Personal Qualifications and Requirements

Essential duties and responsibilities:

As Chief Administrative Officer:

  • Is responsible for all aspects of the educational, research, and service activities within the department.
  • Provide strong leadership for excellence in teaching, research, and service while promoting a culture of safety, inclusion, and continuous improvement.
  • Effectively engage the department and other stakeholders in executing the department's mission and strategic plan toward our vision.
  • Ensure alignment of the department's vision, plan, and goals with those of the College, University, and other stakeholders.
  • Engage and collaborate with the College of Engineering’s leadership council to help execute the strategic plan of the College.
  • Foster partnerships and collaborations with other academic units and research centers on campus to create new strategic opportunities, initiatives, and/or synergisms that will enhance the reputation of the College and University.
  • Manage the department's finances responsibly and strategically to achieve short- and long-term goals.
  • Recruit, develop, and retain an outstanding and diverse population of faculty, students, and staff.
  • Support faculty in research and educational endeavors and guide the mentorship of junior faculty.
  • Manage the supervision of department faculty and staff; conduct progress reviews of nontenured faculty and make recommendations on reappointment, tenure, and promotion cases; conduct performance reviews of all department faculty and staff.

Resource acquisition and advancement for achieving department aspirations:

  • Advocate for resources for the department through individual and collaborative efforts and by leveraging existing resources.
  • Engage in generating resources through fundraising.
  • Establish relationships with alumni, academic, industry, and government groups to promote the goals of the department in academics and research, and their funding.
  • Contribute to College and University advancement activities by reaching out to prospective donors, leading stewardship activities for current donors, and, as appropriate, leveraging department resources in support of department and College growth.

Promote department and ensure excellence:

  • Serve as department spokesperson and advocate within the University and with external constituents; actively promote the success of the department's students, faculty, and staff.
  • Support ABET and University assessment activities.
  • Support initiatives to improve the quality of the BS, MS, and PhD degree programs.
  • Proactively promote and conduct activities that engage students, faculty, and staff from all backgrounds and demographics to cultivate and sustain an inclusive environment.

Required education, certifications, licensures (minimum requirements):

  • An earned PhD degree in mechanical engineering or a closely related field.

Required experience (minimum requirements):

  • Demonstrated leadership experience in an academic, government, or industrial setting.
  • Scholarly achievements and activities appropriate for a tenured appointment in the Department Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Tech.
  • Demonstrated supervisory, budgetary, and resource allocation accomplishments in an academic, government, or industrial setting.
  • Demonstrated experience in successfully working with diverse individuals.
  • Demonstrated experience in working with engineering programs at the university level.

Desirable education and/or experience:

  • Experience in supervising professional staff.
  • Experience in generating resources through fundraising.
  • Experience working in and with industry and/or government.
  • Experience in curriculum development in mechanical engineering or a closely related engineering field.
  • Experience in strategic plan development and implementation.

Required knowledge, skills, and/or abilities (minimum requirements):

  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships and to effectively recognize and resolve conflicts and mediate disputes.
  • Demonstrated fiscal responsibility and ability to manage budgets.
  • Demonstrated commitment to providing an inclusive and welcoming working environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to promote a culture of safety.
  • Demonstrated excellent communication ability, including interpersonal, oral/written, and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated leadership with national and/or international professional organizations.

Desirable knowledge, skills, and/or abilities:

  • Demonstrated leadership ability and personnel management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries.
  • Evidence of leadership in developing innovative and distinctive education and research programs.
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit, develop, and retain talented and diverse students, faculty, and staff.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

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Leadership at Michigan Tech

Richard J. Koubek

Richard J. Koubek

Jacqueline E. Huntoon

Jacqueline E. Huntoon
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Janet Callahan

Janet Callahan
Dean of the College of Engineering

About the College of Engineering

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Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.


Tech Forward

The Fourth Industrial Revolution