Department Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Competition 700

Department Faculty of Engineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering Dept
Posted date March 27, 2024
Closing date Will remain open until filled.
Position Type Full Time


Closing Date: Review of applications will be scheduled to begin on April 22, 2024, and will continue until a successful candidate is identified.

Term: 5 Years

The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and the School of Mining & Petroleum Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta are passionate about innovative solutions for the world’s most pressing issues. As we look to continuously build upon our record of scholarship, teaching, and service, we are seeking a Department Chair to join our leadership team for a 5-year term, with the possibility of renewal, in conjunction with a tenured appointment. If you wish to focus your career on resourcing and developing researchers, students, and trainees, please apply!

Our people work to address many of today’s most pressing issues to build better communities for the future by improving engineering approaches through enhancing construction safety, transportation systems, power distribution, pollution reduction, and water treatment while considering ecology and the environment in development and conservation efforts. Our vision is to create a vibrant and inclusive environment that empowers people from all backgrounds to thrive, fosters a sense of belonging, and drives social responsibility in serving diverse communities. We have more than 900 undergraduate and 500 graduate students, as well as over 70 faculty members, with interdisciplinary activities across engineering, the university, and industry. There are opportunities to engage with students in and out of the classroom in research laboratory work, capstone projects, and student teams, including the Civil and Environmental Engineering Students’ Society and Engineers in Action, and interdisciplinary clubs like Renewable Energy Design, Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race, Level 7 Plastics and Mine Rescue Club.


In the Faculty of Engineering, the Dean of Engineering supervises Department Chairs who oversee their department's operations as the administrative head of their academic department (more information here). We are seeking candidates with experience in university teaching, research, and administration. They will participate as a member of teams and committees with other University administrators and staff at the Department, Faculty, and College levels. In line with the Faculty of Engineering’s strategic priorities, the successful candidate will oversee the Department in modernizing undergraduate and graduate programs with industry-relevant curricula; fostering a positive, inclusive, and safe culture for faculty, students, and staff; and supporting research effectiveness, interdisciplinary research, and mentorship of trainees and new faculty members. They will advance the University's priority of creating an inclusive and equitable environment that seeks to learn the needs of and value the contributions of all members of the campus community.

A Department Chair:

Strategically positions the Department for success

  • Positions and represents the Department to ensure it is acknowledged internally and externally for its contributions.
  • Builds the Department's image and reputation within its discipline so that it has standing within the Faculty and the University as well as provincially, nationally, and internationally.
  • Promotes strong partnerships that benefit the Department, Faculty, and the University.
  • Integrates departmental goals with Faculty and University goals and missions.
  • Creates a departmental mission in alignment with the Faculty’s.

Creates and encourages a positive working environment

  • Works to build a cohesive Department by promoting a positive, supportive climate with good morale, cooperation, and collegiality.
  • Builds commitment to the Department’s vision by encouraging a culture of equity, respect, and collaboration, where everyone understands the vision and how they contribute to the Department’s and Faculty’s overall success.
  • Recognizes and acknowledges the contributions of all.

Manages the administration of the Department within the parameters established by the Faculty and University

  • Makes efforts to find, develop, acquire, and fairly distribute the resources to fulfill the vision.
  • Manages the budget. Adopts policies and procedures for the Department that ensure the appropriate stewardship of operating budgets and trust funds. Investigates expenditures and possible inappropriate uses of trust funds.
  • Designs departmental processes and structures to ensure the smooth operation of the Department.
  • Ensures, to the extent possible, the necessary support systems (e.g., space and infrastructure) are available to staff members.
  • Understands the legislative policies and procedures of their position (e.g., FOIPP, safety, harassment, accommodation) and responds accordingly.
  • Understands the requirements of the University as written in the University Policy and Agreements.
  • Ensures resources required for teaching (e.g., equipment) are maintained.

Builds and maintains good internal and external departmental relationships

  • Models and fosters good communication within the Department.
  • Represents the Department in dealings with the Dean and Central Administration.
  • Works to support the Faculty and University as a whole (e.g., through participation on committees).
  • Seeks out opportunities for collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Deals with conflicts between staff members as they arise.
  • Encourages intra- and trans-disciplinary collegial relationships.

Develops and evaluates Departmental staff

  • Works to maintain and improve the performance of the Department by providing people with feedback and suggestions for improvement. Promotes faculty development.
  • Recognizes superior performance in addition to consistent contribution.
  • Ensures junior staff members are mentored/ coached and provided with the opportunities to succeed.
  • Ensures all departmental staff (Faculty, Administrative Professional Officers, Faculty Service Oficers, and Non-Academic Support) have their performance evaluated in a timely fashion.
  • Represents the faculty through the Faculty Evaluation Committee process (i.e., tenure, promotion, and incrementation).

Plans for the Future of the Department

  • Contributes to the Faculty and University’s academic plan.
  • Develops a departmental vision, through consultation, to foster the Department’s areas of strength.
  • Recruits to positions that support the Department’s vision for the future and move it into emerging areas within the discipline.
  • Identifies and develops individuals with the potential to serve in future academic leadership roles.

Builds academic programming and assigns work accordingly

  • Develops and maintains excellence in academic programming for both undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Contributes to a quality learning environment for students.
  • Leads staff in setting and maintaining academic standards and quality.
  • Assigns teaching loads equitably while balancing the need to give appropriate time for research.

Pursues scholarly activities

  • Maintains teaching and/or research activity and, where applicable, engages in the practice of their profession, at a level sufficient to remain active in the discipline.

In addition, Department Chairs in the Faculty of Engineering also oversee:

  • Student enrolment target planning;
  • Budget planning, financial management, and oversight; and
  • Other department activities

Requirements for the Role

The appointment will take effect on July 1, 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter.

The Department Chair will be appointed as a tenured faculty member. The successful candidate must:

  • Hold a PhD in an engineering discipline or related field;
  • Have held a tenured Faculty position at the Associate or Full Professor rank;
  • Have demonstrated academic leadership experience; and
  • Have or obtain, and maintain, licensure as a Professional Engineer in Canada.

University of Alberta

The University of Alberta exists to inspire and ignite the human spirit in pursuit of a better tomorrow. Its work is rooted in its commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion while honouring Indigenous identities, languages, cultures, and world views. As one of the world’s top 100 teaching and research universities, the U of A ranks among the top 5 in Canada, providing a $19.4 billion annual economic impact in Alberta alone. The U of A seeks to challenge, to change, and to always be Leading with Purpose. More than 44,000 students and 13,000 staff shape the U of A, with outstanding achievements in learning, research, creativity, innovation, and engagement across five campuses — including one rural and one francophone. The U of A attracts top talent in rigorous undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in 17 faculties across three colleges and more than $550 million in sponsored research revenue. The U of A has more than 300,000 alumni worldwide.

Working and Living Here

Our Faculty Culture

The Faculty of Engineering believes that innovation, professionalism, and excellence in engineering stem from those who value perspectives and people. Collaboration, mentorship, creating meaningful change in society, and going above and beyond to help others in all aspects of our roles – research, teaching, and service – are core to all of us. Faculty members are offered parental and medical leave, retirement benefits, and healthcare benefits. The Faculty of Engineering values families and aims to minimize long-distance separation when possible through our spouse/partner hiring practices.

Benefits, Health, & Wellness

We offer a health and wellness benefits package that includes a health spending account, parental leave, and pension benefits. For Faculty members, some moving and relocation expenses may be reimbursed. Spouses/partners are offered employment services through the University’s Spousal/Partner Employment Program. The campus offers a medical clinic, and there are multiple childcare and housing options within steps of campus.

Living in Edmonton

Edmonton, or, amiskwaciy-wâskahikan, is Alberta’s capital and is home to over one million people. Its key sectors include health & life sciences, AI technology, food & agriculture, as well as clean technology. The city includes a vibrant start-up and technology ecosystem, federal and provincial government offices, the Corporate Offices of the provincial healthcare system, and an international airport. Edmonton offers the amenities of a large urban centre within a friendly, community-oriented atmosphere. There are many multi-family and single-family housing options within walking and biking distance of the University, as well as several nearby primary and secondary schools within one of Canada’s top provincial school systems. Edmonton is also known internationally for its thriving arts and festival scene, offering one of North America’s largest stretches of urban parkland, and top-ranked healthcare services.

We invite you to visit these websites for more information:

If you would like to discuss this posting and learn more about joining the academic community at the University of Alberta, please contact Ivan Fair (, Vice Dean and Chair of the Selection Committee. All inquiries will be treated in confidence and will not form part of the selection decision.

How to Apply:

Please submit all the below documents together in one single PDF document:

  • A cover letter that includes highlights of your profile
  • The names and contact information of three referees
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Leadership statement (4 pages maximum) that describes your previous administrative experience and your vision for the Department
  • Research statement (2 pages maximum) that outlines the main areas of current research as well as short- and long-term research goals
  • Teaching dossier (2 pages maximum) that includes a teaching philosophy and evidence of teaching effectiveness
  • Equity, diversity, and inclusivity (EDI) statement (2 pages maximum) that outlines your philosophy, experience, training, and future interests and goals in these areas related to the Department Chair role as well as your research, teaching, and service work. The future interest and goals section should be aligned with institutional and disciplinary strategies, such as:

Next Steps

  • Upon closing, University representatives will review your application package, you may be contacted for an online pre-interview should the Hiring Committee advance your application.
  • Please note that applications with missing information or components will not be considered for this role.
  • For applicants selected for interviews:
    • We invite requests for reasonable accommodations and inquiries about accessibility from candidates during the recruitment process in line with the University's Accommodations Policy. For a confidential conversation, candidates should contact the Faculty of Engineering’s human resources service partner team at
    • Three letters of reference will be requested. Applicants will be expected to contact the three referees and arrange to have them submit their letters of reference via email attachment. Details will be provided to those candidates selected for interviews.

Studies have shown that members of minority and racialized groups are less likely than others to apply for jobs if they don’t perceive themselves as having adequately met every single qualification listed in a job description. We are looking for the best candidate for the job and recognize that candidates may come from a less traditional background. The University of Alberta and the Faculty of Engineering are committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women, First Nations, Metis and Inuit persons, members of visible minority or racialized groups, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.

The University of Alberta aims to increase our diversity, equity, and inclusivity and has 5-year plans in the Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Indigenous Strategic Plan. We also support Engineers Canada's 30 by 30 Goal to increase the proportion of newly licensed female-identifying engineers to 30% by the year 2030. The Faculty of Engineering is taking steps in our outreach, student recruitment, and hiring processes to have a community as diverse as that which we serve.

References will only be contacted for applicants selected for interviews. Review of applications will be scheduled to begin on April 22, 2024, and will continue until a successful candidate is identified. Only those applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

At the University of Alberta, we are committed to creating an inclusive and accessible hiring process for all candidates. If you require accommodations to participate in the interview process, please let us know at the time of booking your interview and we will make every effort to accommodate your needs.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.