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Director of the Clemson Composites Center, Professorship in Sustainable Materials

Clemson University
Greenville, SC

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Job Details

Director of the Clemson Composites Center, Professorship in Sustainable Materials

Greenville, SC
Open Date:
Sep 11, 2023
Clemson University’s School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering is searching for the Director of the Clemson Composites Center (CCC), a leading national research center in fundamental sustainable materials research applied to lightweight structural design for environmental and economic impact. This is a tenure track faculty position; we are seeking candidates at the full professor level with an outstanding international reputation in the field. An endowed chair or titled professorship may be available for an exceptional candidate.


Clemson Composites Center is a multi-million dollar research facility comprising some of the most advanced material characterization and processing equipment available in an academic setting, and allows for basic characterization through large-format manufacturing and testing. The center is located at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research in Greenville, South Carolina, a campus dedicated to providing talent and technical solutions to the mobility industry. The CCC Director will be responsible for a multi-million dollar budget and a thriving group of faculty and staff researching sustainable materials, manufacturing, and application of composite design across industries.


The position will have the opportunity to provide intellectual input to the Deep Orange vehicle development education program (, the flagship educational program of the Department of Automotive Engineering.


The position is based in Clemson’s Department of Automotive Engineering, a fully integrated tenure-granting department within the College of Engineering, Computing, and Applied Sciences at Clemson University. The department offers B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Automotive Engineering and is partially funded with $36 million in endowments. The department is located on Clemson’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) campus in Greenville, South Carolina, which currently houses 20 on-site campus partners and is engaged with over 130 industry partners, including top global manufacturers and suppliers. More information about CU-ICAR and the Automotive Engineering Program can be found at and

Leading candidates should possess the following:

  •  A Ph.D. or equivalent in a relevant technical discipline (such as Materials Science, Polymer Chemistry, or Mechanical Engineering);
  • Renowned scholarship and research areas of special interest include:  
    •  Composite Materials Design and Simulation: .
    • Sustainable and Recyclable Composite Materials: .
    • Composites Manufacturing Processes and Systems: .
  • Experience with transportation applications, particularly automotive technologies with significant connections to the industry;
  • The qualities of an “entrepreneurial scholar.” This means an individual who converts a vision into reality through superior strategic planning and execution skills while leading the intellectual exploration of new methods, processes, and tools;
  • A research and funding track record and demonstrated management of research groups, programs, and associated budgets;
  • Experience as an educator, graduate student advisor, or mentor in academic/industrial settings;
  • A grand vision to continue growing the Clemson Composites Center to new levels of internationally recognized excellence.
  • Demonstrated ability to support economic development by partnering with internal and external stakeholders that include industry, state and federal agencies, and community and economic development organizations.

Expectations for the position include:

  • Being a leader and role model in research, education, and scholarship in the areas of Mechanical or Automotive Engineering.
  • Successfully securing extramural funded research at a high level.
  • Advising the thesis and dissertation research of a substantial number of graduate students, especially PhD students.
  • Providing leadership in the scholarship of discovery, integration, and application through a high level of publication in the archival literature.
  • Developing courses and teaching in the School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering.
  • Enhancing the national and international reputation and status of Clemson University and the School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering through professional or other forms of service.
  • Actively engaging in research and innovation activities that advance South Carolina’s economy and help fuel the state’s knowledge-based economy.
  • Lead faculty teams to develop a highly funded, word-class research and education program in Mechanical or Automotive Engineering.
The vision of this position is a person who establishes a globally reputable research program around composite materials, structures, and processes. Automotive-focused products/processes are a primary demonstration platform, but the technologies are open to other industry applications. This position is open to a wide interpretation of the ideal area(s) of specialization.


The position includes a competitive salary and startup package, and an annual discretionary fund to support the research, education, and translational vision of the center and its research. Internationally reputed individuals with scholarly excellence and leadership in composite material design, manufacture, and education, both from industry and academia, are invited to apply. The successful candidate is expected to work closely with industry and be a researcher, entrepreneur, mentor, and educator.

Application Instructions:

Applications received before October 15, 2023 will receive full consideration; however, the search will continue until the position is filled. Please upload the following application materials to Interfolio:

  • CV
  • Cover Letter; Applicants should indicate their research specialties and interests in their cover letter
  • Teaching Statement
  • Research Statement
  • Diversity Statement; Please provide a one-page statement describing the candidate’s experience mentoring diverse individuals and/or how the candidate plans to contribute to the inclusive excellence of the School
  • Confidential Letters of Recommendation; Please provide contact information for our system to secure three confidential reference letters

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

Clemson University is an AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate against any person or group on the basis of of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, pregnancy (including childbirth, or related medical condition), national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information, or any other personal characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law. Clemson University is building a culturally diverse faculty and staff committed to working in a multicultural environment and encourages applications from minorities and women.


Working at Clemson University

Clemson is a dynamic research university located in Upstate South Carolina at the center of the booming I-85 corridor between Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta, Ga. One of the nation’s most selective public research universities according to U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Clemson University is the school of choice among top students in South Carolina and is increasingly competitive for the best students in the region and the nation. More than 17,100 students select from 70 undergraduate and 100 graduate degree programs through five academic colleges: Agriculture, Forestry and Life SciencesArchitecture, Arts and HumanitiesBusiness and Behavioral ScienceEngineering and Science; and Health, Education and Human Development.

Clemson’s transformation into a leading research institution — currently attracting in excess of $140 million in externally funded research and sponsored program awards per year — is based upon an academic plan that identifies eight emphasis areas in which the University has opportunities to increase education and research, to align with South Carolina’s economic development needs and to draw upon faculty strengths. Emphasis areas include automotive and transportation technology, advanced materials, biotechnology and biomedical sciences, leadership and entrepreneurship, sustainable environment, information and communication technology, family and community living, and general education.

Major economic development initiatives that have emerged from the academic plan include the Clemson International Center for Automotive Research — a 250-acre campus in Greenville, which has generated more than $225 million in public and private commitments in just four years; an advanced materials initiative at the Clemson Research Park, which includes a new LEED Silver-certified facility; and the South Carolina Health Sciences Collaborative — an initiative of the state’s three research universities and major health-care systems.

As the state’s land-grant university, Clemson reaches out to citizens, communities and businesses all over South Carolina. The Public Service Activities division includes the county-based Cooperative Extension Service, five off-campus research and education centers through the Clemson University Experiment Station and critical regulatory responsibilities for plant and animal health.

The University boasts a 1,400-acre campus on the shores of Lake Hartwell within view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Surrounding the campus are 18,000 acres of University farms and woodlands devoted to research. A warm campus environment, great weather and recreational activities offered by proximity to both the natural surroundings and large cities are part of the Clemson Experience.


Points of interest at Clemson include the following:

The Clemson Conference Center and Inn is a state-of-the-art facility for symposia, meetings, seminars and special events. The complex includes the Madren Continuing Education and Conference Center, the Walker Golf Course and the Martin Inn.

The South Carolina Botanical Garden, a 295-acre public garden, features several thousand varieties of ornamental plants and a unique collection of nature-based sculptures.

The Robert Howell Brooks Center for the Performing Arts brings an exciting array of concert, theater, dance, comedy and other live performances to the community.

The Robert Campbell Geology Museum at the Botanical Garden displays meteorites, minerals, dinosaur fossils and the largest faceted-stone collection in the Southeast.

The T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena is a showplace for livestock activities in the state and has hosted horse and livestock shows, rodeos, sales, 4-H activities, educational programs, and industrial and agricultural exhibitions.

Fort Hill, the home of John C. Calhoun and later of his son-in-law, University founder Thomas Green Clemson, is a registered National Historic Landmark located in the center of campus.

The Class of 1944 Visitors Center is the front door to Clemson — a friendly place to get tours, information, assistance and an introduction to this beautiful, historic university and community.

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