Assistant Professor - Aerospace

The University of Kansas
University of Kansas Lawrence Campus

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Job Details

Position OverviewThe Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Kansas has embraced a growth model which began with the undergraduate program and is now focusing on research, discovery, and the graduate program. The undergraduate program size has more than doubled and the number of students identifying as female has quadrupled since 2016. In support of further growth in research and discovery, the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Kansas is seeking nominations and applications for two tenure-track faculty positions at the rank of Assistant Professor. The Aerospace Engineering faculty are currently engaged in numerous externally funded research programs, with support from Federal (NASA, NSF, ONR, AFRL, ARL, FAA), Industry (Lockheed, GE, Microsoft Research), and other sources. Faculty are integrally engaged in research supporting earth, energy, and the environment, through environmental remote sensing in the Center for Remote Sensing and Integrated Systems (CReSIS), and in other transportation-related research. At least one position is to expand in the area of aerodynamics (theoretical and experimental) and/or aerospace propulsion (gas-turbine engines, turbomachinery, hybrid electrics, hydrogen fuel cells, hypersonics, advanced air mobility systems). The ideal candidate for the first position will have experience and interest in both teaching and research aspects of aerospace aerodynamics and/or propulsion with a sustained plan for impactful research in aerospace propulsion and aerodynamic efficiency. The ideal candidate for the other position will support any existing areas of collaborative research, including but not limited to artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) for aerospace applications, preferably in autonomous systems, enabling cognitive remote sensing, human center AI, and self-learning systems. The department encourages interdisciplinary research, and the new hire will collaborate with many faculty in Aerospace, Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical, and Petroleum Engineering, as well as other disciplines 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 a closely related field in Engineering by the time of appointment. Candidates should demonstrate a sustained commitment to excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching, scholarly research, local and international service, and departmental and student mentoring. The successful candidate will be results-oriented, have a record of superior scholarship demonstrated by: 1) a promising vision for and experience in developing and maintaining externally funded research, and 2) ability to teach high-quality courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and mentor M.S. and Ph.D. students. The department values diversity in pedagogy, in the curriculum, in outreach to students, and in research.Job DescriptionThe 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 is a multi-faceted approach that drives growth in facilities, faculty, leadership, research, and, most importantly, students, as it helps industry partners find the new talent, designs, and techniques they need to fuel economic growth and business success. 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 and vibrant 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 exemplary, 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.

The Department of Aerospace Engineering currently has 11 tenured/tenure-track faculty, with programs leading to bachelor's, master’s, and doctoral degrees. KU is a comprehensive educational and research-intensive AAU institution that operates through a diverse, multi-campus system, with 27,600 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 97,000, located 30 minutes west of Kansas City in the forested hills of eastern Kansas. 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 Description

40% Teaching

Develop curriculum and teach undergraduate and graduate courses, in-person and virtually 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% Research/Scholarship

Develop and direct a 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 internal and external research constituents.

20% Service

Participate in University, School, Departmental, and professional service activities, including department and school service committees, technical committees, industry boards, or other programs related to the field. 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 in Engineering, by the start date of appointment.
  2. Demonstrated (or high potential for) teaching excellence in a university setting including the ability to develop and teach online courses.
  3. Demonstrated (or high potential for) record of scholarship as evidenced by publications, awards, presentations, books, and/or patents.
  4. A well-defined and promising vision for an externally funded research program
Additional Candidate InstructionsEvaluation of required qualifications 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 (e) names and contact information of three professional references.

Screening of applications will begin on December 4, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. The target starting date is August 18, 2024.

Complete applications will include:
  1. Cover letter
  2. Complete curriculum vitae
  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 question at the time of application. Each response must be within 4,000 characters or less.
  • Describe your experiences working with people from diverse backgrounds, and explain how those experiences reflect your commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Review of applications will begin December 4, 2023 and continue until a qualified pool of applicants is identified. Contact Information to ApplicantsSearch Committee Co-Chairs Dr. Z.J. Wang, 785-864-2440, and Dr. Shawn Keshmiri, 785-864-2974,; or Department Chair Dr. Richard Hale 785-864-2949, rhale@ku.eduAdvertised Salary Rangecommensurate with experienceApplication Review BeginsMonday December 4, 2023Anticipated Start DateSunday August 18, 2024Apply to Job


Working at the University of Kansas 

Join the University of Kansas, and you’ll become part of a Jayhawk family that spans the globe. Wear your KU shirt in London, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Nairobi or anywhere else, and you will likely hear a resounding “Rock Chalk!” from a stranger. Of course, the appropriate response is an enthusiastic “Jayhawk!” Because, after all, they’re not really strangers, they’re family.

The Jayhawk community is united by more than 150 years of tradition and by our commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge, transforming the academic experience, and creating solutions through innovative research. KU’s mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.  

The University of Kansas is the state’s flagship university and one of just 66 invited members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). We consistently earn high rankings for academics and recognition as a premier research university.

KU faculty and staff embrace our role as the state’s flagship university, AAU member and R1 institution that serves the state, nation and world. We celebrate the energy and compassion that infuse the Jayhawk spirit; and, we remain true to KU’s historic values: the elevating force of education, the transformative power of research and the healing power of service.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging 

The University of Kansas is committed to a learning and workplace environment that is representative of our nation and global society, accepts and values everyone, appreciates our common humanity and understands that our multiple differences are the cornerstone of academic preparation, professional excellence and distinction. KU must be a place where all people feel they belong and have access to resources and support that help them attain their educational and professional goals.

We recognize there are inequalities and privileges generated by historical and persistent intersecting differences by race, ethnicity, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, abilities, religion, regional background, veteran status, citizenship status and nationality. And we hold ourselves accountable for policies, processes and programs that appreciate these and other differences and create more fair, safe and just learning, working and living environments for KU students, faculty and staff.


KU offers a broad array of undergraduate and graduate study programs, and we fulfill our mission through academic and research programs of international distinction, coupled with outstanding libraries, teaching museums and information technology. These resources enrich the academic experience for students from all 50 states and 112 countries, and provide enrichment resources for KU faculty and staff.


The university attains high levels of research productivity and recognizes that faculty are part of a network of scholars and academicians that shape a discipline as well as teach it. KU staff are integral to our research success, participating in and supporting discoveries that expand knowledge and improve lives.


The university and our employees serve society through research, teaching and the preservation and dissemination of knowledge. KU's academic programs, arts facilities and public programs provide cultural enrichment opportunities for the larger community. And, KU offers educational, research and service programs throughout the state. KU employees are encouraged to participate in and serve the campus and surrounding communities in a way that is meaningful to them.

International Dimension 

KU offers more than 100 programs of international study and cooperative research for KU students and faculty at sites around the world. The university offers teaching and research that draw upon and contribute to the most advanced developments throughout the United States and abroad. At the same time, KU's extensive international ties support economic development in Kansas.


The University of Kansas, our students and employees are committed to excellence. We foster a multicultural, inclusive environment in which the dignity and rights of individuals are respected. Intellectual diversity, integrity and disciplined inquiry in the search for knowledge are of paramount importance.

Our City and State 

KU sits atop Mt. Oread in the center of Lawrence, a town full of natural beauty and culture. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine named Lawrence one of the best college towns in the United States. Lawrence is home to more than 100,000 people, and has a charming, Midwestern friendliness that welcomes visitors and celebrates diversity. In addition to KU, Lawrence is home to Haskell Indian Nations University, the premiere tribal university in the United States.

Lawrence’s historic and thriving downtown features restaurants, nightlife and local shops offering unique finds that you won’t find anywhere else. The town has more than 50 parks, an encompassing mixed-use trail, and quick access to biking/hiking trails along the Kansas River and around Clinton Lake. A five-minute drive from Lawrence, Clinton Lake offers fishing, boating, beaches, camping and other outdoor activities.

Located just 40 minutes west of Kansas City, Lawrence offers the appeal of a mid-size, suburban town with quick access to the amenities of a large city, including an international airport. The Kansas City metro area is home to world-class museums and cultural activities, Jazz clubs and other nightlife venues, expansive shopping options, and exciting professional sports with the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC.

Kansas is in the center of the country, making it convenient and cost effective to fly or drive to destinations throughout the United States. Far from flat, the Flint Hills, just 90 minutes from Lawrence, offer panoramic vistas that showcase the breathtaking beauty of America.

Making KU Your Home 

Something about Lawrence is magnetic. Long-time residents are never surprised when a KU student or employee from out of state decides to make Lawrence their permanent home. And, even those who do leave often find themselves returning to “the nest” at some point in the future. In fact, Lawrence has been named by several publications as one of the best places to retire.

At the University of Kansas, you’ll join a global Jayhawk family and find a place to call home.

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