Endowed Chair in Mechanical Engineering Design

The Patrick Campbell Chair Opportunity at UBC

Our department has a strong history in mechanical engineering design pedagogy, and through the Patrick Campbell Chair in Mechanical Engineering Design, we aspire to become recognized worldwide as a leader in all aspects of engineering design.

Building off our existing strengths in design, this Chair will expand the scope and visibility of design activities at UBC.  Our vision is to establish a highly visible design presence at UBC, rooted in mechanical engineering, but drawing together design thinkers from across the university and connecting with our broader society to address the major challenges we face collectively.

We are looking to hire someone who has the vision and ability to play an integrating role across the faculty and university in this exciting emerging landscape. The person we are seeking will need to be communicative and collaborative, able to identify and build support for ways to bring people from a wide variety of backgrounds together to work on designing solutions to challenging interdisciplinary problems.

The Chair will receive approximately $100,000 per year from endowed funds for the Chairholder to use in pursuit of these objectives.

We look forward to hearing your vision for this exciting opportunity. The role description and application details are below. If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Jen Pelletier at jen@mech.ubc.ca.

A solid design foundation

The Department of Mechanical Engineering has put many key pieces into place:

  • UBC Mechanical Engineering was one of the first programs in Canada to establish a “design spine” throughout our entire undergraduate curriculum (our renowned integrated second-year program won an ASME Curriculum Innovation award, provide third-year design technical electives, and our fourth-year program features a well-developed client-based design experience).
  • We played a leading role in establishing the Canadian Design Engineering Network that led to the national NSERC-funded Chairs in Design Engineering Program, and a faculty member held a Chair.
  • We helped found the interdisciplinary Designing for People Research Cluster and associated graduate training program (funded by the NSERC CREATE program), as well as the New Venture Design program that now trains 90 engineering and business students each year in entrepreneurship focused on technological products.
  • We foster hands-on design education with an extensive student-focused machine shop, electronics shop, and makerspace (funded in part by an earlier endowment from the Patrick Campbell Trust).

Key university initiatives

Several initiatives at UBC that will further support this vision:

  • The Faculty of Applied Science will build a new 31,000 m2 centre to house integrated and interdisciplinary research, learning, and maker spaces. Applied One is being designed to create new collisions and opportunities, advancing integrated approaches to global challenges and fostering new learning through social experience, creative exploration and technical innovation.
  • UBC has established the President’s Academic Excellence Initiative (PAEI) to hire 100 new faculty members in interdisciplinary research clusters designed to build capacity to address large societal challenges. The Faculty of Applied Science is participating in two of these – one focused on Renewable Energy and the other on Designing for the Built Environment. The Patrick Campbell Chair position is additionally supported by funds from the PAEI.
  • Applied Science supports design education by integrating design into its common first-year engineering curriculum, and with design courses in its School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Its Engineering Design Centre is an interdisciplinary facility for all engineering students, supporting a variety of student design teams and providing machining and technical space.

Build something new with us

The Chair will design the role’s scope in collaboration with the Department. Some possible directions include:

  • Working to establish a new interdisciplinary research-based graduate program in Design, ideally reaching beyond engineering, possibly building on and coordinating with our existing experience with Designing for People;
  • Creating an overarching “identity” for our design-focused spaces and activities and developing a structure for opening our design spaces and facilities to a broad range of students, potentially bringing in people from across the university;
  • Building a design-focused research program, ideally connecting with other PAEI faculty and beyond, especially with stakeholders outside the university (industry, civil society organizations, cities, government, etc.);
  • Playing a role in faculty-level initiatives such as Applied One;
  • Envisioning ways to expand and evolve mechanical engineering design education.

Application Details

Find our job description and application details below, including information on our design, research, teaching and diversity statements, and submit your application online at https://ubc.wd10.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/ubcfacultyjobs/job/Endowed-Chair–Full-Professor–in-Mechanical-Engineering-Design_JR9872-1.

Endowed Chair (Full Professor) in Mechanical Engineering Design

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver campus, welcomes applications for the Patrick David Campbell Chair in Mechanical Engineering Design – a permanently endowed chair open to applicants qualified to be appointed at the level of Full Professor with tenure in Mechanical Engineering at UBC. The Chair appointment will initially be for a 5-year term and may be extended for additional terms, subject to satisfactory review. The position comes with a significant endowed fund to support Chair activities. The anticipated start date is July 1, 2024, or shortly thereafter.

We are seeking a highly collaborative and communicative person who can draw together people, ideas, and approaches from a broad range of disciplines and perspectives to design systems and technologies that address the world’s most challenging problems. The successful applicant will articulate a compelling vision for design within, across, and beyond the university, and demonstrate a passion for mentoring, training, and developing people in the practice of design thinking.

Our Department is strongly committed to interdisciplinary research, and we seek applicants who can foster new collaborations between researchers across and beyond our faculty, ideally building on recent coordinated hires made in cross-disciplinary research clusters (funded through the President’s Academic Excellence Initiative) that connect the Faculty’s Schools of Engineering, Urban Planning, Nursing, and Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent in Mechanical Engineering or a closely related field, and should demonstrate leadership and communication skills. They will posses a strong track record of scholarly eminence including an independent, internationally recognized research program, demonstrated evidence of success and excellence in teaching, and participation in academic and professional affairs. The ideal candidate will have a strong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion as well as indigenous engagement. The successful applicant will lead an independent, internationally recognized research program in design, 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. The successful applicant must either be registered, or be eligible to register, with Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (EGBC).

UBC’s Vancouver campus is situated at the tip of ʔəlqsən (Point Grey) on the unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (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 aims to amplify the power of its unique place, people, and expertise to create an engineering design program based in our Department and benefitting the broader community.

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.

We invite interested applicants to submit a single .PDF file that includes their CV, a list of four references, and statements on design, research, teaching, and diversity; for more details regarding expectations for these statements, please see below. Applications must be submitted online at https://ubc.wd10.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/ubcfacultyjobs/job/Endowed-Chair–Full-Professor–in-Mechanical-Engineering-Design_JR9872-1. For more details on UBC, our Department, and the application and interview process, see https://www.mech.ubc.ca/careers.

Details on Design Statement: In up to 2-3 pages, please describe your design-related experience and how your background and vision for your future work align with the goals of the Patrick David Campbell Chair in Mechanical Engineering Design.

Details on Research Statement: In up to 4-5 pages, please describe both your research experience and expertise and your research plans as a new faculty member, including, as appropriate, current and potential collaborators (at UBC and elsewhere) and planned sources of funding.

Details on Teaching Statement: In up to 2-3 pages, please describe your teaching experience at any and all scales from one-on-one tutoring to small group tutorials to teaching large section courses. Also, 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 equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout campus life. In up to 2 pages, please describe your experience working with a diverse student body and your contributions to creating/advancing a culture of equity and inclusion on campus or within your discipline.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. 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. Accommodations are available on request for all applicants with disabilities and/or other special needs, at all stages of the selection process. To confidentially request accommodations, please see our website FAQ. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority consideration.

The University of British Columbia is partnering with the executive search firm Perrett Laver on this search.