Faculty Position in Water Desalination Technologies and Systems

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Chile 🇨🇱

The School of Engineering and the Institute for Sustainable Development (IDS) at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), one of the leading engineering academic institutions in Latin America, invites outstanding candidates for a full-time joint faculty position in the area of Water desalination technologies and systems at the Department of Hydraulics and Environmental Engineering (Departamento de Ingeniería Hidráulica y Ambiental, DIHA) and the IDS. This is a joint appointment position co-funded by the Endowment program at PUC through the Chair for Water Sustainability Antofagasta Minerals (Cátedra de Sustentabilidad Hídrica Antofagasta Minerals, CSHAM). Although this call is initially intended for candidates at the Assistant Professor level, exceptional applications at the Associate Professor level are also welcome.


High quality teaching (at engineering undergraduate and graduate levels), and conducting independent research. Additional duties include knowledge transfer, outreach, student counseling and university administrative tasks. The new position in Water desalination technologies and systems should conduct research in topics such as technologies and systems for water desalination and wastewater reuse, use of membranes and/or distillation processes, strategic topics in desalination science and technology, etc.


At the undergraduate level, the candidate must develop teaching activity at both the DIHA and the IDS. Thus, the candidate should be able to teach an undergraduate course on environmental engineering or fluid mechanic. On the other hand, the undergraduate teaching activity of the candidate at the IDS should focus on teaching or co-teaching an interdisciplinary course on water resources or sustainability that would gather students from different careers at PUC. This course would cater to students from various disciplines at PUC, and will be integrated into the IDS academic program. Finally, at the graduate level, the candidate should teach an advanced course related to his or her research background. Overall, the candidate is expected to teach three courses per year, and join teaching groups according to their lines of development.

The candidate is expected to show proactivity and a willingness to work as a team, train and supervise graduate students (Master and Doctorate) at the School of Engineering, and eventually the IDS, once graduate programs are created. Minimum goals to be achieved in the first five years are as follows: i) positive teaching evaluations; ii) graduate three MS Students; and iii) supervise two PhD. students.


The professor is expected to apply to national and international research funds. The candidate is expected to work together with investigators from the engineering school, as well as social sciences, economics, biology, ecology and other fields different from engineering that can enhance the activity related to the water research line of the IDS. Minimum goals to be achieved within the first five years are as follows: i) lead the application to a national or international research fund embracing faculty from the DIHA and IDS; and ii) publish eight WoS articles, with two of them being with co-authored with members of DIHA and IDS.

Knowledge transfer

The candidate is expected to carry out applied projects with public and private entities. Three projects for knowledge transfer are expected within the first five years.


Applicants must have earned a Ph.D. degree in Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering Materials Sciences, or a related field with emphasis on water desalination science and technology, wastewater reuse, membranes and/or distillation processes, or alike, at the time of hiring. Due to the nature of our School the applicant will have the opportunity and should be willing to work collaboratively with other Departments in the School of Engineering, and faculty members at IDS in areas such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, ecology and sociology, among others. The following are some examples of development areas highly welcomed:

  • Innovative experimental research to develop new low-cost separation processes.
  • Energy-efficient systems for robust water desalination/purification from seawater or brackish waters.
  • Investigation of the physical, chemical and electrical aspects related to water separation/purification and brine disposal.
  • Innovative methods and approaches for brine management under social and environmental constrains.

Previous experience in teaching and research, having led or participated in research and development projects, and having an experimental/technological approach based on the fundamentals of the discipline will be positively considered. Previous postdoctoral or international academic experience should be stated in the application.

If selected for the position, foreigners that apply from abroad must obtain the appropriate visa in their country of residence, to join the University faculty. Candidates do not need to be fluent in Spanish at the time of application, but should be prepared to learn the language well enough to teach in Spanish in the short term (two years maximum). Fluency in English is a requirement.

Applicants must demonstrate a strong commitment to all aspects of academic life and public good of the institution. They must be highly motivated to continuously improve their teaching skills, have a genuine interest in getting involved with our graduate programs (specially the doctoral program) and be able to develop and maintain an active research agenda leading to high quality publications, securing research grants, generating and participating in interdisciplinary projects, leading scientific and industry-liaison initiatives, strengthening and creating national and international academic networks, etc. The candidate will also be expected to create new undergraduate and graduate courses and teach traditional courses in related areas.

Application instructions

Applicants should submit the following documents to [email protected] (in the email subject line, please indicate: Faculty position in Water desalination technologies and systems; see note A) by September 30th, 2023 (late applications will be considered until the position is filled).

  1. A research statement (in English) indicating the immediate and long-term goals of the applicant’s research plan and detailing potential collaboration networks with other researchers and plans for interactions with scientists in Chile and other countries.
  2. A teaching statement of purpose (in English) indicating why the applicant should be considered for the position and the plans for teaching. The applicant should be as specific as possible by providing examples of the plan to transfer knowledge to undergraduate and graduate students.
  3. An updated curriculum vitae (in English, see note B).
  4. If available, copies of five recent Web of Science publications that are relevant to the context of the application (see note C).
  5. At least, three letters of recommendation, which must be e-mailed directly by the signatories to [email protected].
Note A:
The applicant will get a response from this email address confirming that the documents have been received. 
Note B:
The CV must be organized as follows: Personal information: name, address, contact telephone number (with country and city codes), email address, web page (if any). Education: all academic and professional degrees, indicating the granting institutions and dates. If the applicant is currently enrolled in a doctoral program, please indicate the expected date for the degree. Educational experience (university or institution, courses taught and years). Professional experience (employer, duties, years). Research: List of Web of Science journal publications (see note C). List of other publications such as reports, books or book chapters, conferences attended, research projects participated in, patents, etc. Other: awards, computer skills, languages, and any other relevant background information.
Note C:
Please avoid padding the list with other publications, such as those published in journals not indexed in the Web of Science database, conference presentations and alike. 

Once the complete set of application materials has been received, the applicant will be contacted within two months after the application deadline and informed whether the application has been accepted for further consideration. If this initial screening is successful, the candidate will be asked to continue the process following the steps described in Appendix 1.

Further information

Additional information can be obtained by emailing the Department Chair, Jorge Gironás ([email protected])

EEO/AAP Policy Statement

The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile is committed to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, or marital status in its activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. Moreover, according to the “Regulation for the Selection of Academics” of the Engineering School UC, in case of equal academic merits, the hiring of a female academic should be favored.

Other Chilean and University employment benefits may be found in:

All members of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile subscribe the Code of Ethics that can be found in https://www.uc.cl/codigodehonor

 Appendix 1. Application steps

  • Interviews/Seminar:
    1. Interview with the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering
    2. Interview with the Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development (IDS)
    3. Interview with faculty members of the Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering
    4. Interview with the Selection Committee
    5. Psychological Interview
    6. Seminar (open to faculty members of the School of Engineering)

The interviews and seminar are generally carried out within a week.

  • Selection of the final candidate by the Department and the Selection Committee
  • Ratification of the selected candidate by the School Council
  • The selected candidate is informed (offer letter)

The time that elapses from the interviews until the final resolution is typically around two months.





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