[Job] Assistant Professor of Flexible Packaging

January 23, 2023

The School of Packaging at Michigan State University invites applications for a fullā€time, 9-month tenure track Assistant Professor with 50% teaching, 40% research, and 10% service assignment. The position start date is anticipated to be August 16, 2023.

This position creates a teaching commitment to the domain of flexible packaging with special emphasis on ensuring students learn how to make science-based decisions and trade-offs when considering and designing flexible packaging solutions. The candidate will work closely with industry to develop curriculum and create experiential learning opportunities for students in labs and lectures and keep abreast of technology as well as environmental regulations, extended producer responsibility (EPR), design for circularity, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) trends that impact flexible packaging and prepare students for a future career working with flexible packaging.

The candidate is expected to initially teach one large (around 100 students) undergraduate course during spring and fall semesters on Packaging with Plastics. Expectations include incorporating the latest research developments in renewable based resins, degradable materials and how to advance their use in flexible packaging, bio-based and/or bio-degradable plastic films, end-of-life strategies for flexible packaging especially multilayer to reduce waste, and manufacturing, waste reduction during manufacturing, printing, and other relevant topics into the course. The candidate will also develop at least one graduate-level and one elective course related to flexible packaging with a focus on one or more topics such as design for circularity, optimized barrier performance, and measuring or evaluating the total carbon footprint to make fact-based assessments that optimize sustainability benefits across the value chain. The candidate may also be assigned to teach smaller elective classes and/or co-teach an existing class based on School need.

The School of Packaging is well known around the world for offering exemplary educational experiences in the science of packaging. The candidate would have the opportunity to create and teach short courses for industry professionals and contribute to the growth of the school’s outreach program.

The successful candidate will be expected to develop a nationally and internationally recognized multidisciplinary research program that builds collaboratively on MSU’s strengths, focusing on flexible packaging to provide novel packaging with enhanced functionality and improved sustainability. Research areas may include (but not limited to) sustainability and life cycle assessment with a circular solution, strategies for increasing its recyclability, and end-of-life emphasis, the use of flexibles across diverse product lines, machine optimization, material science fundamentals, and flexible packaging digital print applications. The candidate will establish innovative research programs, secure competitive grants, publish in high-quality refereed journals, and establish strong ties with the industry. The candidate will also mentor undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the same area.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree

Doctorate -Packaging, Chemical Engineering, Chemisty

Minimum Requirements

An earned Ph.D. in Packaging, or a closely related field such as Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Polymer Science, Paper Science, or Material Science. A demonstrated record of activities in teaching, research, and service relevant to the position.

Desired Qualifications

Desired qualifications:

  1. Experience working in research intensive, multidisciplinary environments,
  2. Ability to conduct basic and applied research while addressing the issues in the packaging industry,
  3. Knowledge of current and emerging needs of the flexible packaging industry,
  4. Ability to secure industry and/or competitive grant funding,
  5. Evidence for the potential to develop a strong publication record,
  6. Experience in mentoring peers, undergraduate and graduate students,
  7. Experience in teaching undergraduate and graduate student courses, as well as courses for industry professionals, and
  8. Interest in providing leadership and service in professional scientific associations.


Required Application Materials

Upload the following required documents in a single pdf file:

a) letter of interest that includes qualifications for the position (1 page)

b) a separate statement of research and teaching philosophy highlighting how your experiences align with the position (2 pages)

c) current curriculum vitae

d) a description of how you will contribute to our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals (1 page)

e) contact information for three professional references.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Together-we-will Statement

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at: https://msu.edu/together-we-will/

Special Instructions

Review of Applications: The search committee will begin reviewing applications on January 23, 2023 and continue until a suitable candidate is selected.

Questions regarding this position can be addressed to the Search Committee Co-Chairs: Dr. Laurent Matuana at [email protected] and Dr. Muhammad Rabnawaz at [email protected], School of Packaging, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.

Salary and Benefits: Salary will be commensurate with qualifications. MSU offers a generous benefits package (details at https://hr.msu.edu/benefits/index.html).

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. We actively encourage applications from, and nominations of, women, persons of color, veterans, persons with disabilities and other individuals who can contribute to the intellectual diversity and cultural richness at Michigan State University. MSU is committed to providing a work environment that supports employees’ work and personal life and offers employment assistance to the spouse or partner of candidates for faculty and academic staff positions.