Opportunity: Assistant Professor in Spaceflight Engineering

Application link: https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/JPF04472

Application Window

  • Open date: October 5th, 2021
  • Next review date: Thursday, Dec 16, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
    Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
  • Final date: Monday, Jan 31, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
    Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position Description

The Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering seeks candidates for a tenure-track Assistant Professor faculty position, with a focus on Spaceflight Engineering. This search is a part of UC Davis’ commitment to hiring leading research faculty with a strong commitment to teaching, research and service that address the needs of our increasingly diverse state, faculty, and student populations.

A new campus Center for Spaceflight Research was founded in 2019 to strengthen UC Davis’ space research efforts and to take advantage of burgeoning opportunities in spaceflight research. This new center provides opportunities for the successful candidate to play a key role in shaping research directions at UC Davis by adding depth to our current expertise while strategically addressing spaceflight engineering questions of tactical importance to our nation and the world.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. degree or equivalent in aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, or a related field. Applications are encouraged from candidates with a strong background in any current or emerging area that contributes to Spaceflight Engineering. Any area relating to spaceflight/spacecraft/space mission/space exploration/space vehicles engineering will be considered, including technology related to either human or robotic missions in any aspect. We are particularly interested in candidates who use their creativity, engineering skills, and leadership opportunities to promote the collaborative discovery of solutions to difficult challenges in space flight.

The current teaching expectation in the department is three courses per academic year. These courses will include material in the successful candidate’s area of expertise for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as core and elective undergraduate and graduate courses, and the development of new courses, as necessary. In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to promote the professional development of graduate students in the M.S. and Ph.D. programs through high-quality mentoring that promotes diversity, equity and inclusion.

In addition, the successful candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the barriers preventing full participation of members from historically underrepresented and marginalized student communities in higher education, such as (but not limited to) women, underrepresented minorities, individuals self- identifying as LGBTQIA+, veterans, individuals with disabilities, economically disadvantaged groups, first-generation, undocumented students, or students with any intersections in between.

Successful candidates will help advance UC Davis’ strategic goal of improving access and building an inclusive community for all marginalized populations. The successful candidate also will have an accomplished track record of, or potential for (calibrated to career stage) teaching, research, or service activities addressing the needs of underrepresented minorities, and a clearly articulated vision of how their work at UC Davis will continue to contribute to the University’s mission of serving the needs of our diverse state and student population. Applicants’ track record of engagement and activity related to diversity, equal opportunity, and inclusion and/or their plans for future engagement will be a significant part of the overall evaluation of the candidate’s qualifications for a faculty appointment.

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Minimum Qualifications

  • Ph.D. degree or equivalent in aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, or a related field.

Additional Qualifications

  • Evidence of excellence or strong potential for excellence in research that complements or extends existing research strengths in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and the potential to attract extramural funding.
  • Evidence of commitment to or strong potential for commitment to the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion for historically underrepresented and marginalized student communities, and how this commitment integrates with teaching, research, and service.
  • Commitment to excellence in teaching. Must demonstrate evidence of ability to perform well at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and to develop and teach new undergraduate and graduate courses or seminars.

The appointment will be as an academic year (9-month) tenure-track Assistant Professor.

Application Requirements

For full consideration, applications must be completed by December 15, 2021, with appointment starting as early as July 1, 2022. Application packages should be submitted online through RECRUIT link and should include the following documents:

We also encourage applicants to explore the College's, and Department’s websites.

We strongly recommend that all candidates visit our website for additional information about how their application materials - including their Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - will be assessed by the Search Committee in the screening and review process.

Inquiries should be submitted to Professor Sanjay Joshi, Recruitment Committee Chair, mae-search-space-2022@ucdavis.edu.


Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, full in-person campus operations, including in-person academic, research and scholarly activities, are expected to resume in Fall 2021. As a result, interviews, seminars, and additional consultations are expected to occur in-person. If remote platforms, including Zoom, are necessary, we will provide access.

Our Commitment

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values of the University of California, Davis that are embedded within our Principles of Community and are tied with how to best serve our student population. Our excellence in research, teaching, and service can best be fully realized by faculty who share our commitment to these values, which are included in our recently developed Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Vision, our new strategic plan: “To Boldly Go,” our Principles of Community, the Office of Academic Affairs’ Mission Statement, and the UC Board of Regents Policy 4400: Policy on University of California Diversity Statement. The Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (HEDI) has outlined similar goals in their Anti-Racism and DEI Action Plan. The University has taken many steps to uphold these goals and visions, which are outlined through this timeline.

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