Assistant Professor of Practice

Knoxville, Tennessee
Feb 07, 2024
Mar 08, 2024
Position Type
Educator / Faculty, Engineer
Manufacturing, Other
Full Time
Employment Type
Organization Type

The Tickle College of Engineering (TCE) at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) is seeking applications for a full-time assistant professor of practice in the area of design and manufacturing to begin February 1, 2024 or August 1, 2024. This position is a non-tenure track, renewable, 9-month appointment, with opportunity for additional funded work in the summer. The successful candidate is expected to build an exceptional record of course development, teaching, and student engagement, leading to career-track promotions to associate and full professor of practice.


This position is for a machining instructor and design support faculty member. The Kao Innovation & Collaboration Studio (KICS) assistant professor of practice reports to the Edwards Assistant Dean and Director of Integrated Engineering Design (IED). The KICS is home to well-equipped metal, welding, water jetting, woodworking, electronics, and 3D printing shops. More than 1000 undergraduate students use the KICS each year. Responsibilities include managing the KICS machine and welding shop, training and supervising student consultants, and developing and delivering training modules for metal working tools. The faculty member will be an expert in the area of Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machining, as well as related processes, design for manufacturability, and metrology.


A key activity will be providing in-person training and train-the-trainer opportunities in direct support of the America’s Cutting Edge (ACE) CNC machining training program. The faculty member will also provide daily management as part of the KICS's staff team, including training safe operation of the equipment, preventative maintenance, student mentoring, manufacturing support for senior design and TCE researchers, and other operational aspects of the KICS. The faculty member may assist with securing funded senior projects, mentoring senior project teams, and guiding the design and fabrication of prototypes to support technology commercialization efforts.


The Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee is seeking candidates who have the ability to contribute in meaningful ways to the diversity and intercultural goals of the University. We are committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and particularly invite candidates who will strengthen our diversity and educational mission of teaching excellence. The Department, College, and University strive to be a welcoming community where students, faculty, and staff from all backgrounds are able to belong, thrive, and contribute. The university has established a number of policies to promote work-life balance and support the professional development and overall well-being of faculty. Knoxville boasts a vibrant economy, mild climate, diverse cultural opportunities, a lively downtown area, proximity to many natural and outdoor activities, and affordable cost of living.




  • Organize and host ACE in-person CNC machining training events at the KICS and adapt the ACE week-long format to be delivered over an academic semester.
  • Annually, support ACE train-the-trainer CNC machining training events at partner locations.
  • Prepare KICS users and student consultants to safety operate metal and welding shop equipment

Curriculum development

  • Complete the ACE train-the-trainer CNC machining training at the UT Machine Tool Research Center (MTRC) and adapt this training for advanced KICS student consultants.
  • Locate, adapt and/or create training curriculum for equipment in the metal and welding shops.

Design and research support

  • Collaborate with and support undergraduate students to design and fabricate systems and components for class, senior design, and personal projects. Practice and promote design for manufacturability.
  • Collaborate with and support researchers fabricating research instruments and components.
  • Support the design and fabrication of prototypes for technology commercialization efforts.

 KICS operations

  • Coordinate with KICS Academic Support Specialist III to provide operational coverage during leave, and supervised evening and weekend hours for the KICS.
  • Supervise and mentor the KICS student staff members assigned to the Metal and Welding Shops.
  • Specify and assist with the purchasing and installation processes for new and replacement tools and equipment in the KICS.
  • Implement equipment scheduling, preventative maintenance, safety and 5S processes

Senior projects

  • Serve as a project mentor for sponsored senior projects
  • Support the IED director in securing funded design projects from industry



Required Qualifications and Experience

  • BS in Engineering and 7 years’ experience in a manufacturing environment or an MS degree in Engineering and 3 years’ experience      
  • 3 years teaching/trainer experience in CNC machining or 1 year for MS degree
  • Ability to interpret GD&T notation on dimensioned drawings and design models to produce metal, polymer, and composite parts from design drawings/models using CNC machining
  • Intermediate CNC programming experience     
  • Ability to teach CNC machining processes, workpiece setup, and CAM tool path generation
  • Professional attitude, welcoming to all, and able to adapt to different learning styles
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and excellent organizational skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work and/or lead within a team; strong interpersonal skills to deal effectively and tactfully with personnel at all levels.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or higher
  • Knowledge about machining dynamics and skill to perform modal testing (tap testing) to measure structural dynamics of machining setups and use this information to select best operating parameters.
  • 7 years’ industrial experience in manufacturing and design
  • Expert CNC programming experience; ability to weld with TIG, MIG or arc processes.
  • Experience leading or supervising engineers and technicians
  • Six Sigma Blackbelt and Professional Engineer license


Application Instructions

Applications should include (1) a letter addressing the applicant’s technical expertise and qualifications, (2) a teaching statement, including the candidate’s background and experience that make them an ideal candidate, (3) a curriculum vitae, and (4) the names and contact information (address, phone number, and e-mail address) for at least three professional references. Please contact Dr. Keith Stanfill at with any questions regarding this position. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.


Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admission without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, and parental status, or any other characteristic protected by federal or state law. In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the university. Requests for accommodations of a disability should be directed to the Office of Equity & Diversity, 1840 Melrose Avenue Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-3560 or or (865)974-2498. Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color and national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), the ADA (disability), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Investigation & Resolution 216 Business Incubator Building 2450 E.J. Chapman Drive Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 or (865) 974-0717 or