Assistant, Associate, or Full Project Scientist in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Position Description

Recruitment Period

Open date: September 21st, 2020

Next review date: Monday, Oct 5, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Monday, Dec 21, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (, at the University of California, San Diego, ( is conducting an open search for Project Scientists (non-tenured Assistant, Associate or Full level). At UC San Diego, Project Scientists ( ) are academic researchers who are expected to make significant and creative contributions to a research team, but are not necessarily leaders of the research team. Project scientist positions are similar to postdoctoral fellow positions, but carry more responsibilities, a higher salary, and are typically of longer duration. Project Scientists are not required to carry out independent research or develop an independent research reputation but will publish and carry out research or creative programs with supervision by faculty. University and public service are encouraged but not required, and this position does not have formal teaching responsibilities.

UC San Diego will build a large research facility for distributed energy resources (DER) control and testing over 5 years. The DERConnect facility will serve as a national testbed for autonomous energy systems, distributed control algorithms, and electric vehicles, solar power inverters, smart buildings, and battery energy storage systems. This networked cyberphysical facility will enable the transition of the electric power system from a few centralized fossil generators to a renewable energy system with millions of interconnected, independent DERs in residences and businesses that would dramatically reduce costs and increase efficiencies.

The Project Scientist should have expertise in one or more of the following technical areas:
-Distributed controls including theory, algorithms, topologies, and implementation (Importance: high)
-Hardware, e.g. through physical experiments and embedded programming (high)
-Electric power simulation systems such as Real-Time Simulators and Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL) (medium)
-Cloud-based database systems, data workflows, and maintenance of open-source analysis tools (medium)
-Power engineering including Phasor Measurement Units and Real-Time -Automation Controllers (low)
-Distributed communications including IEEE protocols, security, and synchronous operation (medium)

Appointment durations vary depending on the length of the research project, availability of funding, and level of appointment (Assistant, Associate, or Full). We envision an appointment duration of 4 years total for the construction of the facility. The Project Scientist would be the intellectual lead during the construction and oversee an engineer, two postdocs, four PhD students, and a project manager. During transition to operations, we envision that the Project Scientist would become the director of the facility during operations. The Project Scientist would then have the opportunity to collaborate with partners across the US in proposal writing, experiment execution, and research papers.

Since the work will be highly collaborative, excellent communication, team-building, and leadership skills are essential.

Required Qualifications: Doctorate degree or its equivalent. Appointment level depends on academic experience, scholarly achievements, and funding record.

Preferred Qualifications: Postdoctoral or equivalent experience and commitment to independent research and funding, mentoring/training, university and community service, and to building an equitable and diverse scholarly environment.

Salary is commensurate with qualifications and based on published University of California pay scales. Applications (CV, Research Statement, and Cover letter, at minimum) must be submitted to the UCSD on-line application collection system, AP-On-Line Recruit, at:

The Office of Research Affairs at UC San Diego is committed to academic excellence and diversity within the academic, staff, and student body. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Applicants should summarize their past or potential contributions to diversity. See our Faculty Equity site for more information.

  • Misc / Additional (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 letters of reference required