Assistant Professor or Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Spac

Orlando, Florida
Apr 15, 2024
Jun 14, 2024

Unleash Your Potential With Us

As a next-generation public research institution, we are an inclusive community of thinkers, doers, creators, innovators, healers, and leaders striving to shape the future and solve the world's most challenging problems. No matter what your role is, when you join Knight Nation, you become an integral part of our mission to become a university for the future. You'll be met with opportunities to connect and collaborate with uniquely talented faculty, staff, and students across 13 colleges and multiple campuses and regional locations. That means greater challenges to tackle, more meaningful opportunities to grow, and rewarding experiences that go beyond a paycheck.

The Opportunity

As a national and world leader in Space, the University of Central Florida (UCF) is working to expand its research and education mission in this area. As part of this broad, university-wide strategic plan, the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) invites applicants for one (1) full-time, 9-month faculty position at the rank of assistant professor (tenure-earning) or associate professor (tenured), with affiliated faculty status in the Florida Space Institute (FSI).

We are interested in all areas of research relevant to space exploration and engineering. Example areas include, but are not limited to, space flight dynamics, guidance, and control; spacecraft structures, materials, and structural mechanics; space systems engineering; space robotics; in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing (ISAM); in-situ resource utilization for planetary exploration; and artificial intelligence in space applications.

The position has an anticipated start date of August 8, 2024. Both individual/interdisciplinary infrastructure and startup support will be provided with this new position. We are looking for team players who can contribute to current campus efforts in space. The successful candidate will have research impact as reflected in high-quality publications and the ability to build a well-funded and sustainable research program. The position will carry a rank commensurate with the candidate's prior experience and record.

UCF is one of the nation's largest universities with a diverse student body of approximately 68,000 students and has grown substantially in size, quality, diversity, and reputation. Today, the university offers more than 240 degree programs. In 2019, UCF was officially recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education and a "Green College" by the Princeton Review for our efforts in sustainability and environmental responsibility. UCF's students represent all 50 states and over 120 countries. UCF is in a centralized location that is 30 minutes to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando and 60 minutes to the beach. UCF has 16 sports teams including football, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and 600+ cultural, academic, and social student clubs and organizations all led by faculty mentors. In addition, UCF has several associations for faculty and staff, among them the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA), the Latino Faculty and Staff Association (LaFaSA), and the PRIDE Faculty and Staff Association. UCF received the 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, which recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The Florida Space Institute is a multi-disciplinary center for space-related activities aimed at facilitating and conducting leading-edge research in astrophysics and planetary sciences and is committed to supporting space education programs. FSI is composed of 25 researchers and over 20 affiliated faculty who support postdoctoral scholars, graduate, and undergraduate students. FSI operates three (3) laboratories for planetary surface and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) research, as well as space instrumentation development and testing. Available facilities include, but are not limited to, vacuum chambers with hot and cold temperature control, a cleanroom for hardware assembly, a vibration table, as well as partial and micro-gravity drop towers. In addition, the Exolith Lab develops and produces high-fidelity lunar, Martian, and asteroid regolith simulants, and makes them available to students and researchers around the globe. FSI manages the Florida Space Grant for NASA as well as Florida's Space Research Initiative (SRI) program. With the overarching mission of advancing space research, hardware development, and education, FSI is in a strategic position to lead and coordinate interdisciplinary efforts to accelerate space-related activities at UCF.

Central Florida has been known to be the center of space activities. With NASA Kennedy Space Center less than an hour from Orlando, several well-known companies such as Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman have major headquarters and facilities in central Florida. All these companies share the same talent pools available in this region.

The Carnegie Foundation classifies UCF as an R1 Doctoral University for its high research activity and community engagement. This past fiscal year, UCF brought in $215M in research funding. For the fifth consecutive year, UCF has been recognized among the nation's most innovative universities according to U.S. News & World Report, while Kiplinger's and The Princeton Review have ranked UCF as one of the nation's best values for a college education. UCF has been the #1 supplier of aerospace and defense engineers seven years in a row as published by Aviation Week.

UCF is an economic engine, attracting and supporting industries vital to the region's future while providing students with real-world experiences that help them succeed after graduation. UCF's Orlando location also puts it at the center of the Florida High Tech Corridor. The corridor has an excellent industrial base that includes software, defense, space, simulation and training, and a world-renowned entertainment industry. Adjacent to UCF is a thriving research park that conducts over $2 billion in funded research, hosting more than 100 high-technology companies and UCF's School of Modeling, Simulation, and Training. UCF also has an accredited medical school that was established in 2006, and is a neighbor to the Orlando VA Medical Center, Nemours Children's Hospital, and the UCF Lake Nona Medical Center. Great weather, easy access to the seashore, one of the largest convention centers in the nation, and one of the world's best airports are just a few features that make Orlando an ideal location. We encourage you to learn more about UCF at

Minimum Qualifications:

Doctoral degree from an accredited institution in an area appropriate to aerospace or mechanical engineering at the time of appointment. Evidence of strong commitment to academic activities, including teaching, scholarly publications, and sponsored research.

To be eligible for appointment as a tenured associate professor upon hire, the selected candidate must have a demonstrated record of teaching, research, and service commensurate with a tenured faculty appointment at the rank of associate professor.

Preferred Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will:

  • Have a strong record of research productivity, including experience mentoring students, collaborating in teams, publishing results in leading venues, writing proposals, and securing external research funding.
  • Express novel ideas for future research directions that span multiple disciplines.
  • Have excellent teaching ability and experience, involvement with relevant professional societies like AIAA, and experience participating in STEM outreach events.

Additional Application Materials Required:

UCF requires all applications and supporting documents be submitted electronically through the Human Resources employment opportunities website, In addition to the online application, candidates should upload the following:

1) A cover letter;

2) A current curriculum vitae;

3) A 1-2 page teaching statement;

4) A 2-3 page research statement;

5) A list with contact information for three (3) professional references, including email addresses.

The selected candidate will be required to submit official transcripts (and, as applicable, U.S. degree equivalency evaluations) documenting the conferral of their qualifying academic credentials.

NOTE: Please have all documents ready when applying so they can be simultaneously uploaded. Once the online submission process is finalized, the system does not allow applicants to submit additional documents later.

Screening of applications will begin on December 31, 2023, and will continue until the position is filled.

Questions regarding this search should be directed to Ms. Lori Froehlich (

Special Instructions to the Applicants:


Job Close Date:

Open until filled.

Note to applicants: Please keep in mind that a job posted as ‘Open until filled' may close at any time without notice. As such, we encourage you to submit your application and all required documentation as quickly as possible to ensure consideration for the posted position.

Are Benefits Important to You?

Working at UCF has its perks! In addition to helping drive change and having a positive impact by supporting our students, staff, and faculty, UCF offers:

  • Benefit packages including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, healthcare flexible spending accounts, and an Employee Assistance Program.
  • Paid time off, including annual leave (12-month faculty) and sick leave and paid holidays.
  • Retirement savings options.
  • Employee discounts, including tickets to many Orlando area attractions.
  • Education assistance.
  • Flexible work environment.

And more…For more benefits information, go to ‘Prospective Employees' on the UCF Human Resources website (

Who Are We?

Founded in 1963 to fuel the region's talent pipeline and support the growing U.S. space program, UCF is built to make a better future for our students and society. It's one of the reasons U.S. News & World Report ranks UCF among the nation's top 20 most innovative colleges, while Forbes, Kiplinger, and The Princeton Review rank us a best-value university. UCF is one of 14 universities nationwide designated as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Research 1 university. With 13 colleges, including a fully accredited College of Medicine, UCF offers more than 240-degree programs between its main campus, downtown campus, hospitality campus, academic health sciences campus, and 11 UCF Connect centers located throughout the region. In addition, UCF extends its reach to communities in and beyond Central Florida by offering complete online programs leading to bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, Ph.D.'s, certificates, and more.

The University of Central Florida is proud to be a smoke-free campus and an E-Verify employer. Unless explicitly stated on the job posting, it is UCF's expectation that an employee of UCF will reside in Florida as of the date the employment begins.

Additional Requirements related to Research Positions

Pursuant to Florida State Statute 1010.35, prior to offering employment to certain individuals in research-related positions, UCF is required to conduct additional screening. Applicants subject to additional screening include any citizen of a foreign country who is not a permanent resident of the U.S., or who is a citizen or permanent resident but is affiliated with or has had at least 1 year of higher education, employment, or training in China, Cuba, Iran, Russia, North Korea, Syria, or Venezuela.

The additional screening requirements only apply to employment in research-related positions, including, but not limited to faculty positions (including employed visiting positions), graduate positions, individuals compensated by research grants or contract funds, postdoctoral scholar positions, and undergraduate positions.


College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) - Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE)

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Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

The University of Central Florida is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer including Disabled/Vets. Click on UCF's Equal Opportunity Statement to view the President's Statement.

The UCF affirmative action plans for qualified individuals with disabilities and protected Veterans are available for inspection in the Office of Institutional Equity, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., upon request.

As a Florida public university, UCF makes all application materials and selection procedures available to the public upon request.

The University of Central Florida is proud to be a smoke-free campus and an E-Verify employer.

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