The Pennsylvania State University - Head, Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics

PA, University Park

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

The Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM), one of 13 departments and schools in the highly ranked Penn State College of Engineering, is an internationally distinguished department recognized for its globally competitive excellence in engineering and scientific accomplishments, research, and educational leadership. The department is home to 95 undergraduate majors and 118 graduate students who are enrolled in its Master’s and PhD programs. In addition, many non-majors enroll in its courses. ESM offers an undergraduate degree program in engineering science and graduate degree programs in engineering science and mechanics, engineering at the nano-scale, and additive manufacturing. The department also offers a joint M.D./Ph.D. in engineering science and mechanics. The department’s Engineering Science Program is the official undergraduate honors program of the College of Engineering and attracts the University’s brightest, most creative, and most ambitious engineering students. The curriculum and multidisciplinary program emphasizes enhanced understanding and integrated application of engineering, scientific, mathematical, and statistical principles and prepares students for advanced studies and careers in leadership in a diverse array of scientific and engineering endeavors.

The ESM faculty has grown tremendously in recent years and this growth trajectory is projected to continue with key growth areas identified in its strategic plan. Many ESM faculty hold joint appointments with a number of departments and across the university and some are co-hires with Penn State’s Institutes. ESM faculty currently lead or co-lead nine research centers on topics that include: nanotechnology applications, education and career knowledge; neural engineering; composites manufacturing; innovative sintered products; laser-materials interactions; nano-characterization; dielectrics and piezoelectrics; and microwave processing and engineering. Numerous business ventures related to these topics have been established by ESM faculty and students.

Under the leadership of Dean Justin Schwartz, the College of Engineering 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. The ESM 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 build upon ESM’s research excellence; advance diversity, equity, and inclusion; recruit, develop and retain a faculty and staff of excellence; nurture and develop interdisciplinary collaboration across the College and University; engage alumni and industry partners and cultivate philanthropic support; and enhance the visibility and profile of ESM. The new head will support and nurture an environment of excellence 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 leadership experience; a strong record of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion; outstanding communication and interpersonal skills to convey the strengths of the department and engage various constituent groups; a deep intellectual curiosity to promote and support a wide range of research interests; 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.

A full Leadership Profile can be found under Related Documents section above. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible, and no later than February 11, 2022 for fullest consideration. Application materials should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the Leadership Profile.

Application materials should be submitted via the WittKieffer Candidate Portal, via the buttons below.

Nominations and inquiries may be directed to the WittKieffer consultants supporting this search, Suzanne Teer and Bree Liddell at:    

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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.