Assistant Professor of Creative Practices in Engineering
Aalto University
Finland

Assistant Professor of Creative Practices in Engineering

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto has six schools with nearly 11 000 students and a staff of more than 4000, of which 400 are professors. Our main campus is located in Espoo, Finland. Diversity is part of who we are, and we actively work to ensure our community’s diversity and inclusiveness in the future as well. This is why we warmly encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to join our community.

Aalto University School of Engineering invites applications for

Assistant professor of creative practices in engineering (tenure track)

The Department of Mechanical Engineering has a major role in educating the creative game changing engineers for the industry as well as promoting high quality research and innovations. Development of tangible engineering products and related services is a truly interdisciplinary activity that extends across engineering, design, and business and stems from a strong core of innovative mechanical engineering principles and practices. We have excellent collaboration with Finnish manufacturing industries and civil engineering companies. The demographics of the national economy drives the industry to search for growth with innovations in the global market. The geographical location of Finland, combined with high cost standards means that achieving a competitive edge requires a boldness to pursue new avenues in product and process development which distinguishes us from global competitors. Accordingly, our creative collaboration is diverse and spans across several stakeholders as educators, researchers, innovators, and leaders of product developers, thus having impact on society also through life wide learning.

We are now looking for an assistant professor of creative practices in engineering that will be placed at Design Factory (https://designfactory.aalto.fi/), the internationally awarded, first-of-the-kind experimental educational platform of the school. In this position, your focus in research and education will be on the development of creative practices and ways of working in mechanical engineering that become implemented as products, processes and practices as a competitive edge. Such activities have high relevance and innovation potential for our traditional partners that most often represent the more established larger industries, but more recently the importance and presence of small and medium-sized industries, and startups particularly has increased.

In this position you can make a large visible impact. Our students have already achieved remarkable results e.g., on the Product Development Project course that will be further used as a role model for developing the European innovation ecosystem at the Commission funded ATTRACT-project (https://attract-eu.com). In research, R&D&I topic has been successful in competitive funding, covering e.g., research of food startups, education for industry 4.0, empathic engineering, smart urban products and services, among others.

Your role and goals

  • leading research (team of approx. 5) and raising funds for them
  • responsible teacher for creative practices in engineering, co-teaching other courses (1000 ects/year)
  • supervising doctoral students
  • supervising Master’s thesis (often with company partners)
  • being one of the key parties for development of strategic openings and positioning Aalto University internationally
  • cooperation with industry (both quality and quantity) to secure the relevance and dissemination of the research as well as the capability of our students to meet the needs of the working life

Your network and team

Co-creation with other Aalto University stakeholders crossing the school borders is a particular characteristic for this position. You will be part of the Product Development group that is located at Design Factory, a community of 25 people from part-time student assistants to doctoral students, post-docs and professor colleagues. The Product Development group is an independent cooperation and cost unit with its productivity indicators. Your superior is the head of the department of Mechanical Engineering. You are supported by infrastructure and experts, e.g. machine shop, electro shop and print shop. The Design Factory has also various flexible learning spaces for blended learning, team working, interactive online learning and remote cooperation.

Creative practices in engineering should have an interface for all levels of learning: bachelor, master, doctoral and life wide learning included, and success in teaching will be extremely important, not only for our graduates’ careers but for the whole manufacturing industries.

Your experience and ambitions

We are eagerly looking for a candidate, who’s research interest focuses on the practices that could release the creative potential in engineering problem solving and development. An ideal candidate, with a relevant doctoral degree, has a track record showing cooperation with company partners and wide understanding and demonstrated capability to cooperate with various stakeholders. Your research publications preferably demonstrate a strong focus on creativity in product development and processes, and show evidence of your ability to translate scientific research to practical level solutions. A good record of and strong future potential for cooperation with engineering and manufacturing companies is necessary for a qualified candidate.

After all, we are also looking for a passioned educator, and we can’t highlight too much the importance of teaching and learning activities within the field. As a community of passion-based educators and pedagogical developers we hope that you are able to show some evidence about your educational development projects or cases.

In the long term your work will have a social impact also in wider perspective. Therefore, we hope that you will have a perspective beyond the individual creativity, creativity techniques, computational tools and optimization – more towards leading the creative practices in engineering through experimentation.

As a summary, we have a super interesting vantage position for an outgoing young academic, who is able to network with Finnish manufacturing industries and the academic community at Aalto University and beyond. However, for the right candidate the best part of the job is working with our students and further development of our interdisciplinary course offering.

What we offer

Aalto University provides an inspiring environment for the growth of young talents. Our university has several, globally highly ranked fields of expertise and it is one of the most international universities. Aalto Design Factory is the coordinator for the Design Factory Global Network (https://dfgn.org/), now spreading to 32 institutions. The vision of Design Factory is “educating the best product developers in the world” – what could be more inspiring job than being one of key enablers for that?

This position belongs to our tenure track system (https://www.aalto.fi/en/tenure-track) and will be filled to the assistant professor level. Please read more about our tenure track evaluation criteria and requirements at https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/tenure-track-evaluation-criteria.

The salary is based on Aalto University salary system, but you can also provide your own salary request.

Ready to apply?

Please submit your application no later than May 16, 2021 (before midnight Finnish time) through our recruiting system by using the "Apply now!" link below. Please include the following material (in PDF-format) in English:

  • cover letter
  • curriculum vitae
  • the list of publications (with the most significant publications highlighted)
  • a research statement describing past research and plans for the future research at Aalto
  • a teaching portfolio describing teaching experience and plans for teaching
  • names, positions, affiliations and e-mail addresses of 4-6 senior research leaders available for providing recommendation letters

General instructions for applicants including language requirements and guidelines for compiling the teaching portfolio and CV are at https://www.aalto.fi/tenure-track/interested-in-joining-our-tenure-track  

Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

For more information

If you wish to hear more about the position, you can reach out to professor Kalevi Ekman, kalevi.ekman(at)aalto.fi. In case you have questions related to the recruitment process, please contact HR Coordinator Jenni Koivisto, jenni.koivisto(at)aalto.fi

In Espoo, April 1, 2021.

 

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About Finland

Finland is a great place for living with or without family – it is a safe, politically stable and well-organized Nordic society. Finland is consistently ranked high in quality of life and was just listed again as the happiest country in the world: https://worldhappiness.report/news/its-a-three-peat-finland-keeps-top-spot-as-happiest-country-in-world/. For more information about living in Finland: https://www.aalto.fi/services/about-finland

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Want to know more about us and your future colleagues? You can watch these videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k_og_6zUJQ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUfEGVM-ZP8&feature=youtu.be


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