PAEI

Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering (tenure-track)

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver campus, invites applications for up to two full-time tenure track positions at the rank of Assistant Professor in the areas of Renewable Energy Systems (renewable energy conversion, energy technologies) and/or Design in Dynamic, Evolving Built Environments (modeling, measurement, analysis, and design in areas including, but not limited to, health and the environment, smart mobility or localized manufacturing). The anticipated start date is July 1, 2022, or shortly thereafter. Appointment at the rank of tenured Associate or Full Professor may be considered for an applicant of appropriate qualifications.

We welcome all applicants from these broad areas, and are looking either for applicants who would engage with existing fields of strength in our department or who would inspire new areas of growth. Our department is committed to fostering interdisciplinary research. Most faculty in our department are collaborative members of partner institutions within UBC (such as the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems, or the Institute of Advanced Mathematics). We are looking for applicants who have the ability to collaborate and innovate across disciplines, both within and beyond mechanical engineering, as well as to play a significant leadership or collaboration-building role in the President’s Academic Excellence Initiative described below.

UBC’s Vancouver campus is situated at the tip of Point Grey on the unceded lands of the Musqueam people, surrounded by forest, ocean and mountains. Vancouver is consistently ranked as one of the most diverse cities in Canada, and one of the most livable cities in the world. UBC seeks to recruit and retain a workforce that is representative of Vancouver’s diversity, to maintain the excellence of the University, and to offer students richly varied disciplines, perspectives and ways of knowing and learning.

All of our work is shaped by our values: professionalism and integrity; scholarship and teaching excellence; commitment to students; partnerships and collegiality; initiative, innovation, and willingness to change; community, the environment, and sustainability. We hold these values as an integral frame of reference to inform our decisions and actions at every level and in every situation.

Context: President’s Academic Excellence Initiative

This opportunity is part of the University of British Columbia’s President’s Academic Excellence Initiative (PAEI) within the Faculty of Applied Science. In the Faculty of Applied Science, the leadership of the constituent Schools and Departments is seeking to build a cross-disciplinary community of scholars ready to challenge prevailing paradigms and create fresh ways of generating strong impacts in two interdisciplinary cluster areas: (1) “Revolution in the Cycle: Transforming the Product Lifecycle for Global Good” and (2) “Healthy, Equitable, Adaptive Cities & Communities”. More details about how we envision Mechanical Engineering participating in these clusters may be found below.

While inequality and the climate emergency have long been pressing concerns, their pertinence and implications have been amplified in the context of the global Covid-19 pandemic. As societies look towards creating new pathways to the future, it is more important than ever that the scholarly community seeks innovative approaches in the ways we study, learn and research. This includes how the questions we address are identified, how we do research and with whom, how we learn together across disciplinary boundaries and cultural traditions, and how we share and develop ideas and knowledge. If scholarly knowledge is to have impact, new methodological approaches are needed, creating new intellectual traditions which better contribute to the realization of healthy, safe, inclusive and thriving communities.

The Faculty of Applied Science (APSC) at UBC is uniquely positioned to advance this creative and impactful vision through a distinctive constellation of units, with expertise and academic programs in health, technology, design and communities guided by a strategic plan (Transforming Tomorrow) that prioritizes transforming ourselves, our scholarship and our learning to address the urgent challenges facing communities and cities, near and far. The Faculty consists of three Schools: Nursing; Architecture and Landscape Architecture; and Community and Regional Planning; and six engineering departments: Chemical and Biological Engineering; Civil Engineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Materials Engineering; Mining Engineering; and the School of Biomedical Engineering.

Applicants must hold a Ph.D. (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering or a related discipline, and should demonstrate both clear potential to develop an independent, internationally recognized research program aligned with and contributing to the PAEI goals described above, as well as excellence in teaching. Applicants must also be eligible to obtain a full or limited license with Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia within five years of appointment. In addition to developing excellence in research, successful candidates are expected to teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels, supervise and mentor Master’s and Ph.D. students, and provide service to the University and the community.

Applications are invited immediately and will be reviewed as they are received. All applications received by February 28, 2022 will receive full consideration. The position(s) will remain open until filled.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants should submit a single PDF file including a cover letter, CV, list of four references, and research, teaching, and diversity statements, via our application website: https://ubc.wd10.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/ubcfacultyjobs/job/UBC-Vancouver-Campus/Assistant-Professor–tenure-track–in-Mechanical-Engineering_JR5768. For more details regarding expectations for these statements, please see below. 

To comply with the Government of Canada’s reporting requirements, the University is obliged to gather information about applicants’ status as either Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada. Applicants need not identify their country of origin or current citizenship; however, all applications MUST include one of the following statements in their application package: “I [am]/[am not] a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.” Applications that do not include this information will be deemed incomplete.

Details on Research Statement: Please include both information about your research experience and expertise and about your research plan as a new faculty member, including as appropriate current and potential collaborators (at UBC and elsewhere) and sources of funding. Please also include a description of how the research would contribute to one of the “Revolution in the Cycle” or “Healthy, Equitable, Adaptive Cities and Communities” clusters.

Details on Teaching Statement: Your teaching statement should describe your teaching experience at any and all scales from one-on-one tutoring to small group tutorials to teaching large section courses. Also, please explain your teaching philosophy, including specific examples that have informed the evolution of that teaching philosophy.

Details on Diversity Statement: UBC’s strategic plan identifies inclusive excellence as one of our key priorities. We welcome colleagues with the experiences and competencies that can contribute to our principles of inclusion, equity, and diversity throughout campus life. In your application, please include a statement describing your experience working with a diverse student body and your contributions to or plans for creating/advancing a culture of equity and inclusion on campus and within your discipline.

We believe that equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence, and that an open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

Our department particularly encourages applications from peoples with disabilities and/or any other special needs. Accommodations are available on request for all applicants at all stages of the selection process. To confidentially request accommodations, please contact our Human Resources Manager, Mr. Rico Choi, at rico@mech.ubc.ca.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority. Successful candidates will be expected to register as a Professional Engineer in the Province of British Columbia.

Details on President’s Academic Excellence Initiative Clusters and Mech’s Vision

President’s Academic Excellence Initiative:

These faculty positions are being offered through a university-wide initiative called the President’s Academic Excellence Initiative, which is creating approximately 100 new faculty positions and associated infrastructure across the academic units of the University of British Columbia. In the Faculty of Applied Science, the leadership of the constituent Schools and Departments has come together around a shared vision to build a like-minded community of scholars ready to challenge prevailing ways and create fresh ways of generating and applying high-impact knowledge in key strategic areas.

While inequality and the climate emergency have long been pressing concerns, their pertinence and implications have been amplified in the context of the global Covid-19 pandemic. As societies look towards creating new pathways to the future, it is more important than ever that the scholarly community seeks innovative approaches in the ways we study, learn and research. This includes how the questions we address are identified, how we do research and with whom, how we learn together across disciplinary boundaries and cultural traditions, and how we share and develop ideas and knowledge. If scholarly knowledge is to have impact, new methodological approaches are needed, creating new intellectual traditions which better contribute to the realisation of healthy, safe, inclusive and thriving communities.

The Faculty of Applied Science (APSC) at UBC is uniquely positioned to advance this creative and impactful vision through a distinctive constellation of units, with expertise and academic programs in health, technology, design and community engagement guided by a strategic plan called Transforming Tomorrow that prioritises transforming ourselves, our scholarship and our learning to address the urgent challenges facing communities and cities, near and far.  The Faculty consists of three Schools: Nursing; Architecture and Landscape Architecture; and Community and Regional Planning; and six engineering departments: Chemical and Biological Engineering; Civil Engineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Materials Engineering; Mining Engineering; and the School of Biomedical Engineering.

Faculty of Applied Science Clusters and MECH’s Vision:

Within the Faculty of Applied Science, we have defined two broad theme areas aimed at creating collaborative research relationships across the departments and schools within the faculty.  The two theme areas are:

  1. Revolution in the Cycle: Transforming the Product Lifecycle for Global Good
  2. Healthy, Equitable, Adaptive Cities & Communities

We expect to make several new hires in each of these clusters; the successful candidates will be expected to work with experts in other domains to address complex multidisciplinary problems.  To this end, we seek candidates who feel that they would thrive in an environment with diverse technical and cultural viewpoints.

Within these broad clusters, the Department of Mechanical Engineering has defined particular interests in the following two sub-areas:

  1. Renewable Energy Solutions for Sustainable Communities
  2. Design in Dynamic, Evolving Built Environments

A brief description of how our department views the opportunities and challenges in these two sub-areas follows:

Cluster 1: Renewable Energy Solutions for Sustainable Communities

As we transition to a future without fossil fuels, we need to develop alternative energy conversion systems that rely entirely on renewable sources.  The future is likely to see some mixture of all of these different pathways to a sustainable energy; each of them faces challenges that urgently need to be addressed with research.

Our current strengths are primarily in the area of biofuels and policy; we are recruiting a leader that will take us into a new direction, someone performing research that touches on any renewable energy conversion system at an internationally-recognized level.  The new recruit would be expected to contribute a valuable mechanical-engineering-based perspective to the Cluster, principally in connection with the Clean Energy Research Centre, wherein we would hope that the recruit would find ample opportunities for collaboration within the Faculty of Applied Science and beyond.

Cluster 2: Design in Dynamic Evolving Built Environments

Cities and towns are continually evolving, complex systems of human habitation.  As our society faces increasing pressures from forces such as climate change, pandemics and densification, we need to build new infrastructure and modify existing infrastructure so that we can address key human needs while minimizing our impact on (or, ideally, enhancing) the world around us.  In effect, we have to design and modify complex, interacting systems within a dynamically evolving, locally-specific, human-centred environment where it is difficult or impossible either to fully characterize the existing situation or to predict the consequences of the changes we design and implement.

We are seeking a candidate with expertise in designing systems for situations involving high levels of modeling uncertainty and in ways that maximize resiliency to limitations in our understanding of the current situation and potential future scenarios.  Such systems will typically involve combinations of physical processes (fluid and energy flows, noise, structural loads), complex sensors (distributed embedded sensor networks, data-intensive monitoring, artificial intelligence-based signal interpretation), and responsive actions (controllers, actuators).  Increasingly, systems analysis also calls on machine learning to interpret and understanding existing data and facilitate decision making.

We seek to recruit a candidate who works at one or more of the interfaces between Mechanical Engineering, Design, the Built Environment, Architecture and Sustainability.  Several examples of how a candidate’s primary technical and application area of expertise might align with the cluster theme include: (1) Sustainability (energy/water/environment, particularly in relation to buildings), (2) Health (pollutants, infection, acoustics), (3) Smart Mobility (autonomous vehicles, service robotics), or (4) Industry 4.0 (customized, locally-specific manufacturing).  Expertise in associated digital design methods associated relevant to the area of focus would be an asset.