Senior Research Scientist or Engineer - Applied Research Institute (136925)

Job description


Senior Research Scientist or Engineer

Illinois Applied Research Institute (ARI)


Advanced Materials Testing and Evaluation Laboratory (AMTEL)

The Grainger College of Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Illinois Applied Research Institute (ARI) and the Advanced Materials Testing and Evaluation Laboratory (AMTEL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are seeking applicants for a Senior Research Scientist/Engineer position in mechanical testing and materials characterization. The distinction between the “Scientist” and “Engineer” titles is one of background field, experience, and expertise – successful candidates will be able to specify which title is preferable for their fields. The professional hired into this position will be involved in a variety of research and development (R&D) and scientific collaboration activities in areas of applied science, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science/technology.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

ARI’s mission is to translate innovation to practice as part of the thriving technology ecosystem at the University of Illinois. Its professional research staff provides translational, multidisciplinary solutions for real-world problems in defense and security, manufacturing and materials, and building science. ARI staff perform research and development leveraging their broad government- and industry-based expertise in algorithm and software development, materials development and characterization, and monitoring, diagnostics, and controls with sensors and data fusion, and workforce training. ARI possesses unique capabilities for open, proprietary, and classified projects and works with collaborators across government, industry, and academia. More information about ARI can be found at

AMTEL’s mission is to provide an environment for state-of-the-art mechanical testing of a range of advanced materials under a range of conditions. A large part of AMTEL’s task is to help individual users (such as undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs, research scientists) design their unique experiments that can target the needs of the phenomena they are studying. In this sense, each experimental set-up in AMTEL is unique and requires special knowledge and understanding of mechanical testing and materials response over a very wide range of different methods and materials in order to assist users in the most appropriate fashion. More information about AMTEL can be found at

Champaign-Urbana is not only the home of a world-class university – it is also a community that supports a comfortable, family-friendly lifestyle, including:

  • very affordable and spacious homes with numerous new building options
  • a maximum 20-minute commute time within Champaign-Urbana
  • plentiful, high quality, and reasonable childcare options
  • a strong public school system with a gifted program, as well as several private options at all levels
  • a wide variety of recreational sports and performing arts engagement opportunities
  • an active regional airport with jet service to hubs in Chicago, Dallas, and Charlotte

For more information, see the following sites that profile our community:

This position requires the ability to contribute to the formulation and execution of high-impact applied research in ARI in mechanical testing and materials characterization in response to private or government customer needs and the willingness and/or demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in a diverse team to attract and successfully execute external research contracts. This position also includes direct engagement with faculty and students in the design, set-up, and performance of experiments in AMTEL. The professional development pathway for this position includes increasing levels of responsibility and leadership in the origination of new research programs and leadership/management of highly collaborative teams as well as the expansion of the use and capabilities of AMTEL facilities.

Job Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Work collaboratively and/or independently to develop, manage and submit proposals to funding sources, conduct high-quality applied research, and lead tasks within such externally- and internally funded projects. This includes collaboration and partnership with other ARI research staff as well as professionals across campus and external entities including government agencies, industry, and foundations, to deliver interdisciplinary solutions for customers.
  • Engage directly with faculty and students in the design and set-up of experiments in AMTEL by providing expertise on mechanical testing within the laboratory.
  • Provide guidance on, work directly with, and train AMTEL users on various techniques for using the equipment, and work directly with a variety of equipment in a hands-on fashion.
  • Assist with the oversight of research contract finances/spending, project management/milestones, reporting, and related personnel management.
  • As appropriate, present research results through publication of scientific papers, conference presentations and technology demonstrations, and travel for visits to sponsors, industry days, and contractually mandated reporting meetings.
  • Work with Illinois students who utilize the laboratory for their research projects, including but not limited to, providing training on equipment and laboratory policies.
  • Interact with, and assist as needed, other multi-user testing facilities (e.g., Materials Research Lab) and other individual faculty/researchers working in the area of materials testing.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, materials science, or a related field
  • Five years of experience in mechanical testing or related areas
  • Proficiency in some form of computer programming and software installation
  • Experience with proposal preparation, as a co-author or author, resulting in externally-funded R&D support and successful program execution
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment
  • Strong written, oral, and listening communication skills

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Doctoral degree in mechanical engineering, materials science, or a related field or a bachelor’s or master’s degree plus 7-10 years of experience in materials development and testing or related areas
  • Publications in internal and external venues and related patents
  • Experience leading and managing research groups and professionals
  • Experience with materials informatics

This position is full-time, benefits-eligible academic professional positions appointed on a 12-month service basis (See for details.) The expected start date is as soon as possible, based on the business needs of the organization. Salary and position level are commensurate with experience and qualifications.

To apply for this position, please create your candidate profile at and upload your cover letter, CV/resume, and names/contact information for three references as a single PDF file by October 27, 2020. Interviews may take place prior to the closing date and early applications are encouraged; however, full consideration will be given to complete applications received by the closing date. For further information regarding application procedures, contact Summer Redman at [email protected] or 217-300-5400.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit “Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment."

As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility. The University of Illinois must also comply with applicable federal export control laws and regulations and, as such, reserves the right to employ restricted party screening procedures for applicants.

College Name or Administrative Unit:The Grainger College of Engineering Category:6-Research Title:Senior Research Scientist or Engineer - Applied Research Institute (136925) Open Date:10/06/2020 Close Date:10/27/2020 Organization Name:Applied Research Institute




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Job No:
Posted: 10/7/2020
Application Due: 10/27/2020
Work Type: