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How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your CV (one pdf). The cover letter should address your specific research interests and include contact information for at least 2 references ATTN: Professor James Cutler. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is found - while the start date is flexible, the target is as soon as possible.

Job Summary

The University of Michigan Space Institute in collaboration with the Michigan Exploration Laboratory (MXL) at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is seeking a postdoc to help develop a sustainable nanosatellite flight program centered on student education and novel space mission research. As part of the inaugural activities of the Space Institute, we are developing a multi-year course sequence that will teach scientists and engineers how to design, build, test, and fly space missions. This effort will leverage the technology and processes of over ten nanosatellite missions developed and flown by the University of Michigan and include close collaboration with faculty from multiple departments (such as Aerospace, Climate and Space, Electrical, and Astronomy) and the Space Physics Research Laboratory. As part of a team, the postdoc will participate in:

  • Feasibility studies of space missions and their impact on education and science.

  • Development, testing, integration and flight of satellite subsystems and payloads.

  • Collaboration and coordination with multiple national and international organizations related to active space research programs.

  • Authoring and presenting novel research and mission concepts.

  • Teaching and supervising the students in the nanosatellite flight courses and program.

This position is a good fit for someone with extensive experience in a particular space system capability and with broad, general understanding of all space mission systems. The ideal candidate will have excellent applied laboratory skills and experience developing flight hardware. As part of a team, the Fellow will be involved in all aspects of research and teaching of space missions, including design and execution of experiments and missions, data analysis, manuscript preparation, and presentation, and mentoring.

While salary and research funding are supported through this position, the Fellow will be strongly encouraged, with enthusiastic support from the PI, to apply for external funding to support mission research.

Mission Statement

Michigan Engineering’s vision is to be the world’s preeminent college of engineering serving the common good. This global outlook, leadership focus and service commitment permeate our culture. Our vision is supported by a mission and values that, together, provide the framework for all that we do. Information about our vision, mission and values can be found at:

The University of Michigan has a storied legacy of commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). The Michigan Engineering component of the University’s comprehensive, five-year, DEI strategic plan—along with updates on our programs and resources dedicated to ensuring a welcoming, fair and inclusive environment—can be found at:

Required Qualifications*

Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering or a Ph.D. in a space-related field with demonstrated research experience working with space systems.

Desired Qualifications*

Experience with design, built, test, and flight of space missions. Ability to develop novel ideas to create advanced space missions. Enthusiasm for mentoring students.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks.  Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is found – while the start date is flexible, the target is on or before August 23, 2021.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.


U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations are now required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all three campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working or learning remotely.  More information on this policy is available on the Campus Blueprint website or the U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint websites.