Professor and Head of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Pennsylvania State University

United States

Professor and Head, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Penn State University

Campus/Location:University Park Campus

Campus City:University Park, PA

Date Announced:10/11/2019

Date Closing:open until filled

Job Number:91399


Work Unit:College of Agricultural Sciences

Department:Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Full/Part Time:Full–Time


The Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University seeks applications for an accomplished scholar to serve and lead in the role of Department Head. Primary responsibilities include maintaining and further developing the outstanding department culture of scholarship, integrity and community; expanding opportunities for advancing interdisciplinary research; growing our tradition of excellence in education, extension and service; fostering industry partnerships; and leveraging substantial investments into department infrastructure and facilities to bring new support for department programs. The position reports to the Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and serves on the executive leadership team in the College of Engineering. Department: Administered by the College of Agricultural Sciences and formally aligned with the College of Engineering, the department is composed of 27 faculty and nine affiliated faculty. Undergraduate and graduate programs consistently rank in the top 10 in the US. In May 2018, the department completed a major new building project to provide state-of-the-art research, teaching, and collaborative spaces. The new 93,500 sq. ft. facility supports three undergraduate degree programs (Biological Engineering, Biorenewable Systems and Environmental Resources Management) and two M.S. and Ph.D. graduate programs (Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Biorenewable Systems). Research in the department includes a diverse portfolio focused on food and bioprocessing, bioproducts, natural resources engineering, agricultural engineering, business and ethics.

The building is also home to the new CSL Behring fermentation facility, a Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences user laboratory. More information is available at University and College: Penn State consistently ranks among the top one percent of the world’s universities. Across 24 campuses, our 100,000 students and 17,000 faculty and staff know the real measure of success goes beyond the classroom—it’s the positive impact made on communities across the world. Our ideals stem from our origins as Pennsylvania’s sole land-grant institution, which allow us to continue to bring positive impact to humanity through our teaching, research, and engagement mission. For more information visit As part of a national land-grant system, the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences addresses the challenges of feeding a growing population while tackling looming issues such as developing sources of renewable energy; enhancing human and animal health; advancing agricultural production systems; and protecting our air, water, soil, forests, and other natural resources. The college invests nearly $97 million in research and graduate study yearly and consists of nine academic departments with 17 undergraduate majors and 22 minors. Additionally, the college maintains 67 extension offices across the state, and operates numerous research and extension centers.

For more information, please visit


Required Qualifications: The successful candidate will possess a doctoral degree in agricultural and biological engineering or related discipline (at least one earned degree must be in engineering) and present a distinguished record of scholarship appropriate for appointment at the rank of tenured professor at Penn State. Clear evidence of successful leadership, mentoring, and an understanding of the land-grant university system is required.

The candidate should have a strong commitment to maintaining and building a positive culture focused on integrity, diversity, faculty governance, and excellence in mentoring, teaching, research, extension and service. The candidate should have working knowledge of state and national funding environments, be able to develop creative interdisciplinary collaborations, effectively communicate and advocate for the vision and goals of the department and be capable of effectively managing the many duties of the position including recruitment, promotion, mentoring of faculty and staff, interacting with students, interfacing with department stakeholders, managing fiscal and physical resources, and fundraising.


Application procedure: Applications will be reviewed beginning December 5, 2019 and will be accepted until a suitable candidate is chosen. Salary will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the applicant. Desired start date is July 1, 2020 or as negotiated. Qualified candidates are requested to submit a letter of application; a statement of their vision for the agricultural and biological engineering department; a statement describing their leadership philosophy; a statement of management approach; a complete curriculum vitae; and the names and contact information for five references. Initial nominations and inquiries will be kept confidential, references will be contacted only upon approval by the applicant.

Inquiries can be addressed to: Dr. Robert Roberts at Applications must be submitted on Penn State’s online job website (


In your application, please refer to