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Energy Science and Engineering Program Director - Bredesen Center

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN
Closing date
Apr 11, 2024

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Organization Type

Energy Science and Engineering (ESE) Program Director within the Bredesen Center

Description: The Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, contained within the University of Tennessee Oak Ridge Innovation Institute (UT-ORII) seeks applications for the Energy Science and Engineering (ESE) Program Director. This will be an Administrative Professional staff position with a negotiable FTE range from 25-50%. The ESE program encapsulates a broad intersection of scientific methods and problem-solving strategies derived from numerous disciplines that are applied to improve the world's ability to safely and sustainably create the energy required to power human activities. The ESE Program Director will serve as Director of Graduate Studies and will be responsible for administering the ESE PhD program, with support from Bredesen Center staff. The ESE Program Director will report to the Bredesen Center Director/UT-ORII Education Director. The program director will work in close collaboration with directors of other UT-ORNL joint interdisciplinary research programs including Data Science and Engineering (DSE) and Genome Science and Technology (GST) to bring about innovative ideas for convergent curricula that align with the missions and visions of UT and ORNL. The Program Director will become part of the educational leadership team led by the Educational Director of UT-ORII.



General Leadership
  • Serve as the face of the program, including leading the decadal academic program review process at UT
  • Document the successes of the program for the annual SACSCOC assessment
  • Contribute to reviews and updates of faculty and student handbooks and faculty bylaws

Graduate Affairs
  • Serve as Director of Graduate Studies for the ESE program
  • Support recruiting efforts
  • Guide incoming students to well-matched faculty advisers at ORNL and UT
  • Connect ESE students to new training opportunities (courses, workshops, etc.)
  • Mentor ESE students by offering consultation on academic matters of any kind
  • Ensure a fair, equitable and transparent exam processes, including the qualifying and comprehensive exams
  • Catalyze students' timely progression through the program (milestones such as identifying advisors, forming dissertation committees, completing qualifying and comprehensive exams, meeting graduation deadlines, etc.)
  • Help to resolve conflicts between students and advisers and/or instructors. Review and initiate ESE curriculum changes as needed

Teaching and Curriculum
  • Contribute to the teaching of core courses or identify appropriate instructors for ESE courses
  • Initiate reviews of the ESE curriculum and implement changes as needed
  • Serve as instructor for ESE seminar course, identifying speakers and topics relevant to students' research pursuits or professional development

Budgeting and Financial Oversight
  • Advocate for adequate financial support on behalf of ESE students
  • Arrange financial compensation for adjunct instructors or faculty from other departments contributing to the teaching of ESE courses
  • Ensure cost-effective use of the financial assets of the ESE program
  • Serve as Primary Investigator of UT-B contracts that allow ESE students to conduct research at ORNL. This requires oversight and approval of expenditures, generally not technical or research oversight.

Faculty Affairs
  • Recruit new ORNL staff in relevant areas of research to mentor ESE PhD students
  • Mentor faculty and staff at UT and ORNL on best practices in graduate training

Required Experience
  • Earned doctoral degree in a discipline related to energy science and engineering
  • Current or former tenured faculty member at UT, or current or former staff scientist at ORNL
  • Record of accomplished scholarship and funded research equivalent to that of assistant professor
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully mentor graduate students
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively teach at the graduate level
  • Commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in graduate education
  • Experience or familiarity in working with ORNL through collaborative research

Preferred Experience and Qualifications
  • Tenured faculty member at UT

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter detailing their basis for interest in the position, how their experience to date has prepared them for this role, and a statement of personal philosophy about their approach to graduate education. The cover letter should be submitted along with an abbreviated (two-page) c.v., and the names of three references who can speak to the candidate's ability to lead a graduate program.

Job: Executive/Administrative
Primary Location: US-Tennessee-knoxville
Organization: Bredesen Center
Schedule: Full-time
Job Posting: Sep 19, 2023, 7:14:25 AM

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