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Head, Department of Biomedical Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University
State College, Pennsylvania
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The Pennsylvania State University College of Engineering seeks a visionary and strategic leader who is deeply committed to a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to research and education to serve as the next head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Applications, inquiries, and nominations are invited.

The Penn State Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) is one of the fastest growing departments in the College of Engineering. It will continue its growth trajectory as a program that is a vital and collaborative contributor to Penn State's strategic priorities of enhancing human health and empowering through digital innovation. The BME curriculum targets the intersection of engineering, medicine, healthcare policy, and biological discovery. BME prepares its students to become future leaders in the areas of medical device design, instrumentation, medical imaging, healthcare management, biomedical research and academia. BME offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in biomedical engineering. BME's highly interdisciplinary faculty hold joint appointments in a number of academic units including the Eberly College of Science, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and the College of Medicine.

BME is one of the 13 departments and schools within the highly-ranked Penn State College of Engineering. Within the College, BME is known as the department where multidisciplinarity is the norm and collaboration is essential to its approach. Annually over 225 undergraduate students enroll in its courses and more than 70 graduate students enroll in its Master's and PhD programs. In 2019, BME moved into a 109,100 square foot Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building, a new state-of-the-art learning and research facility built as part of the College's master facilities plan. Faculty work collaboratively across engineering disciplines, with the College of Medicine, and throughout the University, and with industry professionals to push the frontiers of innovation and education. Under the leadership of Dean Justin Schwartz, the College has outlined a bold vision for the future emphasizing impact on society and embracing the challenges facing humankind, redefining multidisciplinary activity, and engaging globally. The College's priorities include expanding research and graduate education, taking a national leadership role on equity and inclusion, and implementing a new master plan for buildings and infrastructure. As a member of the College’s leadership team, the BME head will play a critical role in the realization of the College’s vision.

Reporting to the dean, the head is responsible for visioning, strategic planning, operations, finances, faculty affairs, academic and research programs, external relations, and fundraising in support of the department's aspirations. The next head will provide leadership to create and execute a visionary plan for the department; advance diversity, equity, and inclusion; recruit, develop and retain faculty; nurture and develop interdisciplinary collaboration across the College and University, including the College of Medicine; engage alumni and industry partners and cultivate philanthropic support; and enhance the visibility and profile of BME. The new head will support and nurture an environment of innovation where faculty, staff, and students can thrive.

In achieving these objectives, the next head must be a collaborative leader who possesses the leadership skills, strategic capacity, and innovative spirit to advance the department. Additional essential qualifications include successful administrative experience in a university, industry or governmental research environment; a strong record of advancing equity and inclusion; the communication and interpersonal skills and deep intellectual curiosity to engage and support a diverse set of programs; and a strong record of forging interdisciplinary partnerships. The new head must possess the scholarly record required to merit a tenured appointment as a full professor in the College.

Penn State is a public, land grant, research-intensive university with campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855, the University has a threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. Annual enrollment at its 24 campuses totals more than 100,000 graduate and undergraduate students, making it one of the largest universities in the United States.

Applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile, which can be found at For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by November 19, 2021. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal. Nominations and inquiries can be directed to the WittKieffer consultants supporting this search, Suzanne Teer and Jessica Herrington, at [email protected] 

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report, which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

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