Seeking Nominations

This is a national search for CBE Department Chair. Please use our nomination form to suggest prospective candidates.

Chemical & Biochemical Engineering Department Chair

The Department Chair (Department Executive Officer - DEO) provides strategic leadership and direction for all aspects of the department. The department chair coordinates and manages the day-to-day academic operations, including education, research, and service activities. The department chair will be appointed at the level of Professor with Tenure and will report to the Dean. 

The major responsibilities of the department chair include the following: 

  • Sets a compelling vision that inspires others to engage in transforming and executing the strategic direction for the department; 
  • Recruits, develops, and retains productive and diverse faculty, supports and promotes excellence in faculty research and educational endeavors, encourages and guides mentorship of faculty, conducts assessments of faculty and staff; 
  • Fosters a supportive, collaborative, and inclusive learning and research environment for faculty, staff, and students; 
  • Leads innovation in curriculum and educational programs, teaches courses, and advises students within department and collegiate programs; 
  • Maintains an active scholarship portfolio, including external funding and peer-reviewed publications; 
  • Ensures compliance with collegiate, university, state, and federal policies related to grant funding, legislative, and academic policies; 
  • Provides effective management of the department’s overall budget and departmental resources, and works with the development office to enhance departmental resources; 
  • Serves as a member of the collegiate leadership team that guides strategic initiatives and resource allocation to allow the college to meet its mission, vision, and goals; 
  • Works collaboratively and effectively with multiple stakeholders to develop and execute the department’s vision and strategic plan, integrate the department’s vision, plan, and goals with those of the college and university, and promote the department by engaging alumni, industrial representatives, and the broader community.

Candidates must have a have a doctorate in Chemical Engineering or in a related field and qualifications commensurate with an appointment as a tenured, full professor in our College of Engineering. (Candidates with equivalent qualifications for appointment as a tenured, full professor will also be considered). Successful candidates should demonstrate leadership experience in advancing a vision of inclusiveness, collegiality, and scholarly relevancy in the field of chemical engineering.

Candidates are expected to have:

  • a record of research productivity, including extramural funding, and a commitment to educational excellence;
  • success or knowledge of effective strategies for working with and mentoring diverse faculty, staff, and students;
  • excellent communication skills and interpersonal skills that promote transparency, respect, effective problem resolution, and ethical decision-making;
  • and a commitment to value shared governance and promote a diverse, equitable, and inclusive academic environment.

Desirable qualifications include a scholarly research program aligned with current departmental research thrusts, demonstrated experience building partnerships across academic disciplines, and successful experiences in managing a diverse group of scholars and students to strive for excellence in research, teaching, and service. 

The Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering (CBE) is a vibrant, collegial, research-active department with 11 tenured/tenure track faculty (including four endowed professorships), 3 instructional track faculty, approximately 200 undergraduate students, 35 funded graduate Ph.D. students, and a diverse team of master's students, postdoctoral researchers, professional and administrative staff. CBE has an established reputation for research innovation in the areas of biological systems, advanced materials, air quality, remote and smart sensing, and sustainable energy. Funding through the NSF, NASA, DOE, DoD, CDC, USDA, NIH, USBR, foundations, and corporate entities provides over $3 million annually in research grants and contracts. Departmental faculty enjoy strong collaborative relationships with colleges across campus, including the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Public Health, and Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as strong industrial and government research collaborations.

Our faculty are integrated into several interdisciplinary research centers, particularly the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, the Iowa Technology Institute, the Photopolymerization Center, the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute, and the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing. 

The University of Iowa’s status as a premier research university depends on the robust exchange of ideas. The university understands the link between diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and excellence in education. We embrace our shared responsibility to create a welcoming and inclusive campus culture so that all community members can unlock their own potential. Faculty in the College of Engineering contribute to DEI by designing curricula, research programs, and engagement opportunities that challenge the status quo, cultivate empathy, seek out diverse perspectives, and value global citizenship. 

Candidates should submit applications via the online jobs portal. Applications should include a curriculum vitae and a letter describing what attracts the candidate to this opportunity and how their accomplishments have prepared them for this leadership role. Candidates should also provide a statement identifying how their past and/or potential contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion will advance the University of Iowa’s commitment to inclusive excellence.

Inquiries regarding the position can be made to Dr. Jennifer Fiegel ( or Dr. Geb Thomas (, the search committee chairs.  

The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, associational preferences, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual. 

View the full position description and apply

Apply for the position of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering Department Chair through the University of Iowa's Jobs portal.