Careers at Virginia Tech

Professor and Department Head

Apply now Job no: 517901
Work type: Teaching & Research Faculty
Senior management: College of Engineering
Department: Materials Science & Engineering
Location: Blacksburg Area, Other - International
Categories: Engineering, Instructional / Teaching Faculty

Job Description

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) is seeking nominations and applications for the position of Department Head. In support of the strategic initiatives of the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, the MSE Department seeks a dynamic leader committed to fostering an environment in which faculty, staff, and students from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and personal experiences are welcomed and can thrive. The Department Head is expected to be a strong advocate for the department and provide effective representation across the University, as well as foster strong relationships with industry representatives, development/advancement offices, government sponsors, alumni, and the MSE Advisory Board. We are seeking candidates motivated to lead and contribute to a collegial, interdisciplinary community with a strong tradition of both fundamental and applied research.


The department ( is home to 19 full-time faculty members, as well as approximately 60 graduate students and 180 undergraduate students. Our undergraduates’ education is enhanced by an Engineering Communication Program that provides substantial instruction in written, oral, and visual communications. Our faculty members have a diverse active research portfolio that includes metals, ceramics, polymers, electronic materials, biological materials, nuclear materials, and computational materials. Members of the faculty extensively collaborate with researchers in various campus-wide institutes/centers/programs, such as the Macromolecules Innovation Institute, the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, the Advanced Manufacturing Team, Virginia Tech Quantum Laboratory, the Nuclear Materials and Fuel Cycle Center, the Center for Photonics Technology, the Microelectronics and Nanotechnology Center, and the Center for Power Electronics Systems. The department’s Kroehling Advanced Materials Foundry or VT FIRE is a world-class facility for education and research in design and fabrication of cast-metal objects. We are excited that in Spring 2022, the department will move into a new and renovated building with more than 100,000 ft2 space of offices and laboratories.

Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world. Building on its motto of Ut Prosim (that I may serve), Virginia Tech is dedicated to InclusiveVT—serving in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. Virginia Tech actively seeks a broad spectrum of candidates to join our community in preparing leaders for the world. The College of Engineering undergraduate program ranks 13th and graduate program ranks 31st among all U.S. engineering schools (USN&WR). The Mission of the College of Engineering is to educate and inspire our students to be critical thinkers, innovators and leaders. Our core values are inclusiveness, excellence, integrity, perseverance and stewardship.

Virginia Tech's main campus is located in Blacksburg, Virginia, in an area consistently ranked among the country's best places to live. Our program located in the Washington, D.C. region offers unique proximity to government and industry partners and is rapidly expanding, with Virginia Tech's exciting new Innovation Campus in Alexandria, Virginia, that is slated to open in 2024.

Required Qualifications

The appointment requires a PhD in materials science and engineering or a closely related field. Professional qualifications and experience should be consistent with the requirements for appointment at the rank of Professor with tenure. The successful applicant will have a distinguished record of scholarly publications, funded research, effective teaching, and professional and/or university service. The ideal candidate should also have a proven record of outstanding administrative ability and academic leadership experience and a demonstrated commitment to inclusion and diversity in an academic environment.


How to Apply

Applicants must apply online at (job number 517901): application materials should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a vision statement for the Department, a statement on contributions to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, and contact information for at least three references. Review of applications will commence on January 4th, 2022 and continue until the position is filled. The anticipated start date for this position is August 10, 2022. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Guo-Quan (GQ) Lu, MSE Department Head Search Committee Chair, at (540-231-8686).


Additional Information

The department fully embraces Virginia Tech’s Commitment to increase faculty, staff and student diversity; to ensure a welcoming, affirming, safe and accessible campus climate; to advance our research, teaching, and service mission through inclusive excellence; and to promote sustainable transformation through institutionalized structures. Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law. If you are an individual with a disability and need an accommodation, please contact Ms. LeeAnn Ellis at or at (540) 231-9469 at least 10 days prior to the event.


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