Department Head & Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Applications and nominations are invited for the position of Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). The EECS Department offers BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Computer Science (CS) with minors in CS, cybersecurity, data center technology and management, and machine learning. In addition to these in-person programs, EECS also offers a fully online MS degree program in CS designed for working professionals. All three undergraduate programs are accredited by the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission.

With a growing enrollment of more than 1,000 undergraduate and 250 graduate students, the department has 44 full-time, tenured/tenure-track faculty members, including two members of the National Academy of Engineering, 13 IEEE Fellows, and 13 NSF/DOE CAREER awardees. EECS also employs 22 full-time research and teaching faculty with annual research expenditures exceeding $21.8M. Currently, the graduate programs are ranked 29th (Electrical Engineering), 34th (Computer Engineering), and 42nd (Computer Science) among public universities (U.S. News and World Report, 2023). Our faculty lead three major research centers namely CURENT (Center for Ultra-Wide-Area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks), ICL (Innovative Computing Lab), and NICS (National Institute of Computational Sciences). EECS also plays an important role in the AI Tennessee Initiative focused on the State of Tennessee’s unique strengths and opportunities to improve lives through AI research and education. UTK is the state’s flagship campus and leading research institution with a strong partnership with the nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), where many EECS faculty have ongoing joint positions and/or joint research projects. 

The next head will have the opportunity to lead the department during a transformative period in its pursuit of excellence through significant growth and strategic hires in initiatives at the college and university levels. Primary responsibilities of the department head include: 1) providing visionary leadership, and encouraging excellence and innovation in research, teaching, and service; 2) advancing the professional development of faculty, staff, and students; 3) promoting productive relationships with all constituents including students, parents, alumni, industry and government agencies; 4) fostering productive interdisciplinary relationships with a variety of entities across the University community; and 5) advocating for and promoting the interests of the department within and outside the University.

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.

Applications should be addressed to Dr. Kivanc Ekici (, Search Committee Chair, and submitted via Interfolio through Applications should include: 1) a curriculum vitae, 2) a statement that addresses the applicant's leadership experience/philosophy, and vision for the EECS Department, and 3) the names and contact information of five references. Review of applications will begin on November 15, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is August 1, 2024

The Tickle College of Engineering is undergoing an unprecedented period of growth and success and anticipates adding over 30 new faculty over the next three years as part of ambitious cluster hiring campaigns led by Chancellor Donde Plowman and Dean Matthew Mench. The college has set records in research expenditures, enrollment, incoming student GPA, diversity, and intellectual property development for two years running. New facilities include the state-of-the-art Zeanah Engineering Complex, the University of Tennessee Manufacturing and Design Enterprise (TN-MADE) facility, and the Innovation South building now under construction that will house UT’s Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility (FCMF). TCE currently has 185 T/TT and 67 NTT faculty in its seven academic departments and offers 12 undergraduate, 16 MS, and 15 PhD degree programs. Affiliated with TCE and located in Tullahoma, Tennessee, the UT Space Institute is a hub of aerospace and defense research. The college is also home to eight research centers and three interdisciplinary institutes. With approximately 3,800 undergraduate and 1,150 graduate students, the college sits 31st among public universities in the most recent U.S. News and World Report graduate rankings. Faculty in the college have won 21 early career awards (NSF, DoE, DARPA, AFOSR, and ARO) since 2016. In FY22, the college had NSF HERD research expenditures of $109 million.

Knoxville is a regional center for employment, commerce, and health care with an elegant and walkable downtown, rich and varied nightlife cultures, vibrant neighborhoods, eclectic restaurants, and amazing access to outdoor activities of all kinds as well as exciting cultural events throughout the year. UTK is in Knoxville TN, within an easy driving distance to Nashville, Atlanta, Asheville, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From Knoxville’s TYS Airport, Knoxville has nonstop flights to 22 major airports in the US, including direct flights to cities such as DC, NYC, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Phoenix, Orlando, and Miami.