The Rock Ethics Institute

This is The Rock

Engineering and Ethics of Drones

The Pennsylvania State University ( is embarking on a transformative series of co-funded hires in ethics designed to ensure that Penn State becomes a leader in ethics-informed interdisciplinary research and the integration of ethical literacy throughout the curriculum.

The Department of Aerospace Engineering and the Rock Ethics Institute (the “Rock”) invite nominations and applications for an open-rank tenure-track position starting in 2016. The Department seeks an outstanding individual who is committed to undergraduate and graduate education and to the establishment of an externally-funded research program that supports graduate education. Candidates must possess technical expertise related to the design and engineering of unmanned air vehicles and systems, as well as demonstrable complementary interests in the societal and ethical aspects of such systems. The Department seeks to build on its strengths to expand into new areas—candidates who can contribute to interdisciplinary and collaborative programs involving UAS and ethics are of primary interest. The research area represented by this search could be viewed as a special aspect of a broader one at the intersection of robotics, autonomy, and ethics. Applicants must have an earned doctorate in aerospace engineering or a related field; at least one degree in aerospace engineering or related experience is preferred. Responses received before January 2015 are assured full consideration, but the search will remain open until the position is filled. Applicants should send an email with a single pdf attachment to the Faculty Search Committee at The file should contain: a cover letter; a CV; statements of research and teaching interests; a statement of how the candidate’s work is relevant to the Rock’s vision and how such a position would enhance their own work; and the names and contact information for at least three references.

This is one of twelve tenure-track appointments funded by the University to augment the Penn State mission in the important area of ethics. Co-funded faculty members will be hosted as affiliates of the Penn State Rock Ethics Institute ( We seek candidates who will build on the Rock’s tradition of excellence in collaborative, interdisciplinary ethics research and ethically informed decision support for significant societal issues, as well as its success in integrating ethics into the curriculum. We seek individuals who will be effective working on and leading interdisciplinary teams that embed ethical analysis into research projects, including decision support research, and who have experience and interest in integrating ethics in curricula. In order to enhance collaboration with faculty and students on existing ethics research and curricular initiatives as well as building new initiatives and programs in conjunction with the Institute’s mission, co-funded faculty members will receive a one-course teaching release for the first five years.

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