Human Resources

Postdoctoral Scholar, Vehicle Propulsion & Engine Control

Apply now Job No: 22043
Department: Mechanical Engrg-Engrg Mechanics
Work Type: Staff - Full Time
Location: Advanced Power Systems Research Center (Near Houghton County Airport)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Engineering

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

The Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Department at Michigan Technological University is hiring a postdoctoral research associate working in the area of controls and optimization for vehicle propulsion specializing in engine control and optimization. The position will be working with a team of staff engineers, graduate students, and research partners vehicle OEM’s to develop and integrate real-time embedded controls and optimization for advance engine technologies. In addition to embedded controls development, the position activities will include advanced engine instrumentation, combustion, and emissions analysis for engine mapping and optimization.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

Your primary duties will be: (1) Development of controls including advance actuation charging, cam systems, injection, and ignition, (2) control system setup and programming in high-level languages for multi-rate, time and angle tasks for engine control, (3) CAN communication between systems including combustion feedback, (4) verification, calibration, and testing of the systems demonstrating improvements in controls and energy reduction, (5) presentation and publications to our research partners and to peer-reviewed journals and (6) apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

• A Ph.D. in mechanical engineering or a closely related field.

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

• Controls and optimization for real-time embedded systems,
• Engine actuator control and sensing,
• Engine operation for steady-state mapping/optimization.

Desirable Education and/or Experience

• Experience with real-time embedded controls for engines including Pi-Innovo, New Eagle, Mototune, and/or dSPACE tools with programming for multi-task angle and time-based systems.
• Advance sensing for dynamic systems including combustion knock, misfire, stability limits, etc.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

• Advanced knowledge consistent with a Ph.D. degree in engineering, engine systems, controls, optimization, etc.
• Advanced modeling and controls techniques using MATLAB and Simulink.
• Advanced knowledge of combustion sensing and characterization specifically for real-time systems.
• Demonstrated abilities in (1) oral and written communication and (2) working with diverse groups of students, faculty, and staff.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

• Optimization methods including physics, AI and ML methods.

Language, Mathematics and/or Reasoning Skills


Work Environment and/or Physical Demands


Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 4 required pieces of training; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

  • Annual Title IX Training


Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Other Conditions of Employment:

The successful applicant will be responsible for ensuring eligibility for employment in the United States on or before the effective date of the appointment. This is not an E-Verified Position.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status


Appointment Term

12 months



Pay Rate/Salary


Title of Position Supervisor

Professor & Director

Posting Type

Internal & External

Dependent on Funding


Special Instructions to Applicants (if applicable)

To apply, upload these required documents; Cover letter, Curriculum Vitae, including a list of your publications; a one-page description of your relevant research experience and career goals and contact information for three references.

Applications will be reviewed as they arrive with the goal of selecting by March 31, 2022, with a start date between May 2022 and September 2022.  

Additional Information


Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
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