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Ecological Engineering Assistant Professor (Tenure-Track)

Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA

Date added to AEES Website:

January 17, 2023

Date to remove from AEES Website:

March 1, 2023

About the Role

The Biological Systems Engineering Department (BSE) at Virginia Tech seeks applications for a tenure-track position in Ecological Engineering at the Assistant Professor level (9 months, teaching and research). We are seeking candidates motivated to contribute to a collegial, interdisciplinary community with a strong tradition of both fundamental and applied research.


The goal of this position is to promote the development of sustainable ecosystems that integrate human society with the natural environment for the benefit of both by using natural processes in engineering design. The primary areas of interest include the use of ecosystems to reduce pollution (e.g., phytoremediation, natural treatment systems, green stormwater infrastructure); the imitation of ecosystems to address resource problems (e.g., circular bioeconomy, bioenergy); and the sustainable use of ecosystems for human benefit (e.g., nature-based solutions, sustainable agro-ecosystems).


The successful candidate will be expected to initiate, build, and sustain an externally funded, internationally recognized research program that complements existing faculty expertise in BSE’s focus areas of watershed science and engineering and bioprocess/biomolecular engineering. We are seeking an outstanding candidate who can contribute to Virginia Tech’s transdisciplinary Destination Areas, particularly Intelligent Infrastructure and Human Centered Communities and/or Global Systems Sciences. In addition, participation in one of Virginia Tech’s Integrative Graduate Education Programs is highly encouraged. Envisioned potential funding sources include NSF, USDA-NIFA, US EPA, and Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality.


Additionally, the successful candidate will be expected to contribute to a well-rounded academic experience for students, including teaching existing undergraduate and graduate courses, advising senior design teams, providing undergraduate research opportunities, and advising graduate and post‐graduate students. The person in this position will also be expected to develop and teach upper level undergraduate/graduate courses that reflect their area of expertise, and that complement and expand BSE’s existing course offerings.


The successful candidate will have earned a terminal degree in Biological Systems, Environmental, or Civil Engineering, Landscape Architecture, Ecology, Environmental Science, or closely related field. A strong record of academic accomplishments, experience in teaching ecological engineering design, a proven ability to work collaboratively, experience with and commitment to interdisciplinary research and instruction, a willingness to expand disciplinary boundaries to address complex technical and societal challenges, and eligibility to become a licensed professional engineer are preferred.


Virginia Tech is a public, land-grant university with an enrollment of approximately 36,000. Virginia Tech is 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.


Virginia Tech's main campus is located in Blacksburg, VA, in an area consistently ranked among the country's best places to live. In addition, Virginia Tech’s presence in the Washington, D.C., area offers unique proximity to government and industry partners. Virginia Tech’s activities in the DC Metro area are expanding rapidly, with Virginia Tech's new Innovation Campus in Alexandria, VA slated to open in 2024.


The BSE department currently includes 23 tenured or tenure-track faculty, 43 graduate students, and 142 undergraduate students who work in a broad range of biological systems, from natural systems, such as watersheds, to built systems, such as bioreactors and bioprocessing facilities. We seek to improve animal, human, and environmental health through the development and design of healthy food products, vaccines, bioenergy, biomaterials, and water quality management practices.


The BSE department is home to Virginia Tech’s StREAM Lab, a unique, world-class research center focused on understanding the interactions of natural and human systems . The department is affiliated with two nationally ranked colleges: the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering. The College of Engineering was recently ranked 30th out of 200 U.S. engineering schools (USN&WR).


Applicants must apply online at jobs.vt.edu (job number 522855); application materials will include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a statement on contributions to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and contact information for at least three references. Review of applications will commence on March 6, 2023 and continue until the position is filled. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Brian Benham at benham@vt.edu (540-230-7763).


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. If you are an individual with a disability and need accommodation, please contact the Human Resources Services Center at hrservicecenter@vt.edu or at (540) 231-9331.

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