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Human Resources

Assistant Professor (Astronautics)


United States Naval Academy, Aerospace Engineering Department


Application review will begin on November 1, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.


The United States Naval Academy is a unique institution of higher learning located in desirable Annapolis, Maryland.  As an historic officer accession program and premier undergraduate college, the United States Naval Academy has its own distinctive niche amongst American educational institutions. Our talented faculty and staff are united by one common purpose--to develop the next generation of leaders for naval service. In order to deliver on this promise to our nation, we recruit from all segments of society to find faculty, instructors, and support staff who model the highest professional standards.

The United States Naval Academy is committed to building a diverse workforce who collaborate to provide a multi-disciplinary and hands-on approach to student learning and leadership development.  We believe that individuals from diverse backgrounds strengthen our programs and positively impact student success. We encourage qualified applicants from all backgrounds to apply for consideration.

Every year more than one million people tour "the Yard" to experience what our employees already know — the United States Naval Academy is a special place, with a special purpose. Those selected for employment will find challenging and rewarding work; state-of-the-art facilities which inspire academic and athletic excellence; the benefits of Federal employment; and exceptional quality-of-life.


The Aerospace Engineering Department invites applications for one tenure-track position in the field of astronautics, starting fall semester of 2022. Applications for the rank of Assistant Professor are preferred, but Associate Professor may be considered for exceptional candidates. Candidates specialized in rocket propulsion are preferred, including chemical, electric, or nuclear propulsion expertise. Candidates with space communication systems expertise such as RF communications, flight computers, or ground station systems are also encouraged to apply. Candidates should have a solid commitment to undergraduate teaching and to producing high-quality peer-reviewed research.

The Aerospace Engineering Department is committed to the value of a diverse faculty working as a team in an equitable and inclusive environment as we mentor a diverse student body. The department offers an ABET accredited Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and has been actively engaged in university small satellite and space experiment projects since 2001 in collaboration with NASA centers, Naval Research Laboratory, and Department of Defense (DoD) Space Test Program. Graduates have included leaders of the Naval Air Systems Command, aircraft and spacecraft development programs in DoD and NASA, innovative business leaders, and more astronauts than any other single institution.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • The candidates with rocket propulsion expertise should be willing to teach rocket propulsion, rocket system design, and related courses.
  • The candidates with space communication systems expertise should be willing to teach spacecraft communications, space systems laboratory, space systems design, and space environment.
  • Conduct high quality, peer-reviewed scholarly research. Promote research which involves midshipmen when appropriate.
  • Perform rank-appropriate service activities for the Department, School, and Academy.

This is a 10-month federal excepted service position with a three-year initial academic appointment.  Salary for this position will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.



  • A Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering or a closely related field from an accredited institution (anticipated completion of Ph.D. no later than June 2022 is acceptable).
  • Expertise in either rocket propulsion or space communication systems.
  • A solid commitment to undergraduate engineering education, a capacity to function effectively in a university environment including scholarly research and service, and excellent communications skills.


  • Expertise in rocket propulsion systems with space propulsion applications.
  • Laboratory experimentation or industrial experience.


Interested candidates should send a cover letter, a statement of your vision for the position and description of research/scholarly interests, curriculum vitae, transcripts, and the names of three professional references (include complete contact information) to Professor Pettit, Chair of the Aerospace Engineering Department. 

  • In the statement of teaching interests, candidates should describe their experiences and approach to working with students from diverse backgrounds, as doing so is integral to success as an educator at USNA. For more information on the range of student backgrounds our faculty interact with daily, please see the USNA 2024 Class Portrait ( )


  • As required by Executive Order 14043, Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee’s duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination by November 22, 2021 or before appointment or onboarding with the agency, if after November 22. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request of the agency a legally required exception from this requirement. Further information can be found at:
    • Please indicate in your application materials if you do or do not acknowledge and understand this requirement.

  • Please note: Initial review of applications will begin on November 1, 2021 and then continue until the position is filled. 


  • U.S. Citizenship Required
  • Per E.O. 14043, selectee(s) must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by 11/22/2021 or date of employment (which ever comes later) except in limited circumstances where an exception is approved due to a disability or sincerely held religious beliefs.

  • All Civilian Faculty Positions at USNA are subject to a background investigation. The selected candidate will be subject to a security investigation leading to successful completion of a background investigation with a favorable adjudication. The selectee's failure to meet this requirement will be grounds for termination.  More information about the background investigation process can be found at the Academic Dean and Provost’s website here


Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  

The Department of the Navy provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities.  Applicants with disabilities who believe they require reasonable accommodation should contact our Human Resource Office to ensure that the Department of the Navy can consider such requests.  The decision to grant an accommodation will be made on a case by case basis.

Submit a Demographic Information on Applicants Form to Your responses will not be shared with the panel rating the applications or to the official making the selection for this position

Announcement: AERO-21-22-1

The U.S. Naval Academy is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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