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Department Head - Mining & Minerals Engineering

Engineering, Instructional / Teaching Faculty


Department Head - Mining & Minerals Engineering

  • 522450
  • Blacksburg, Virginia, United States
  • Mining and Minerals Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Instructional / Teaching Faculty
  • Teaching & Research Faculty
  • Virginia Tech University

Job Description

The Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering (MME) at Virginia Tech seeks applications and nominations from talented and motivated individuals for the position of Department Head. The Head oversees MME’s academic programs, which currently serve approximately 125 undergraduate (sophomore to senior) and graduate (PhD, MS, MEng) students. The Head is responsible for management of fiscal and human resources, including 9 tenured and tenure-track faculty and numerous research, teaching and administrative faculty and staff. The Head also acts as MME’s advocate and liaison to college and university administration, as well as to external stakeholders.

MME is one of the largest and most prominent mining-related programs in North America. It currently enjoys a reputation as a global leader in the field, with a stated mission to serve society through education and innovation that supports safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible production of energy and mineral resources. MME has world-class facilities in Holden Hall, which just underwent a complete renovation/rebuild to update 20,000 sqft in the 1940s-era original structure and add over 80,000 sqft of cutting edge research, teaching and advising space. The Department is home to two renowned and highly productive research centers (the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research, and the Center for Advanced Separation Technologies), and the faculty include globally recognized experts in mineral processing, geoenergy, and mine health and safety. The diverse research portfolio includes federal, state and privately funded projects, with annual expenditures averaging about $6,000,000 in the past eight years and a notable focus on capacity building and graduate student education. At the undergraduate level, MME’s contemporary curriculum is designed to shape future leaders who have exceptional technical capabilities as well the soft skills needed for a productive and impactful career. MME is a three-time recipient of the University Exemplary Department award, most recently in 2021 for its focus on community and student well-being. Graduates are highly sought after with placement rates consistently near 100%.

To further build its programs and infrastructure, MME is seeking a leader who will work internally to support faculty, staff and students, while also engaging a wide range of external stakeholders including alumni, industry and private partners, and research sponsors. The successful candidate should have a track record of effective leadership and demonstrated abilities that support the development and execution of strategic initiatives. This individual should also possess the interpersonal, organization, and decision-making skills needed for executive management. Moreover, a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusivity is essential. While predominantly an administrative and leadership position, the MME Department Head is also expected to contribute to the teaching, research, and service activities of the department.

Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, 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. The College of Engineering undergraduate program ranks 16th, and the graduate program ranks 31st among all U.S. engineering schools (USN&WR). The mission of the College of Engineering is to educate and inspire our students to be critical thinkers, innovators and leaders. Our core values are inclusiveness, excellence, integrity, perseverance, and stewardship. 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, our facilities in the Washington, D.C., area offer unique proximity to government and industry partners and are also expanding rapidly, with Virginia Tech's exciting new Innovation Campus in Alexandria, VA, slated to open in 2024.

MME is housed within Virginia Tech’s nationally ranked College of Engineering, and operates from the main campus in Blacksburg, VA. Blacksburg is a high-tech hub located in a scenic and vibrant community in the New River Valley between the Alleghany and Blue Ridge Mountains. The town is consistently ranked among the country’s best places to live and raise a family.

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. Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law. 

Required Qualifications

Candidates must hold a Doctoral degree in engineering or applied science that is substantially related to the field of mining and minerals engineering. Candidates from other engineering or applied science disciplines (e.g., civil, environmental, materials, mechanical, geoscience, etc.) with specific experience related to mining and minerals engineering are strongly encouraged to apply. The successful candidate must have academic credentials commensurate with appointment at rank of Professor with tenure in the Mining and Minerals Engineering department. An endowed professorship may be available for well-qualified individuals.

Preferred Qualifications

Demonstrated effectiveness in administrative leadership and financial management in an academic setting are preferred, along with a track-record of excellent teaching or advising students at the undergraduate and graduate level. A professional engineering (PE) license and strong ties to partners in the mining, minerals or related industry sectors are also desirable.

Additional Information

Candidates who wish to be considered for this position should apply online at www.jobs.vt.edu and must submit: cover letter expressing interest in this critical leadership position and vision for MME; full curriculum vitae; a statement on contributions to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion; and contact information for at least three references who can discuss the applicant’s leadership, communication, and decision-making style. Questions for the search committee should be directed to Emily Sarver (esarver@vt.edu) or Annie Lawrence (annie.lawrence@vt.edu). Review of applications will begin on December 1 2022, and will continue until the position is filled.

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with experience

Review Date

December 1, 2022

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Annie Lawrence at annie.lawrence@vt.edu  at least 10 business days prior to the event.


Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employer

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