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Professor and Dean, School of Robotics

Xi'an Jiaotong - Liverpool University - School of Robotics

Location: Suzhou - China
Salary: Competitive salary commensurate with experience
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 9th April 2024
Expires: 8th June 2024
Job Ref: 3592

Reports to: Team Leader, XEC Collective Leadership Team, XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang)

Academic Disciplines: Electrical and Electronics, Mechatronics, Intelligent Controls, Robotics Engineering, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Mobile Robotics, Machine Learning, Data Science and Analytics. 


In 2006 Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) was created by the University of Liverpool and Xi’an Jiaotong University – a top ten university in China. Offering a unique international education experience, XJTLU brings together excellent research practice and expertise from both institutions and gives students the skills and knowledge they need to secure careers in a global marketplace. XJTLU now has around 25,000 enrolled students in both Suzhou and Liverpool in the UK, with plans to grow to about 28,000 students by 2025. There are currently about 2,200 staff, among which about 1,000 academic staff, with an almost even split between citizens of the People’s Republic of China and international passport holders. XJTLU offers our undergraduates and postgraduates over 100 programmes with a diverse spectrum of courses.
With a focus on innovative learning and teaching, and research, XJTLU draws on the strengths of its parent universities, and plays a pivotal role in facilitating access to China for UK and other institutional partners. At same time, XJTLU is exploring future education by blending the educational theory, best practice and culture from west and east.
For detailed information about the university, please visit 


In 2019, the XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang) was launched as a pioneer of and an educational model for the future university and campus in developing talents and leaders to meet local, national, and global challenges arising from the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Developed in collaboration with the Taicang Municipal Government and industry partners, the XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang) moved to the university’s newly opened award-winning Taicang campus within Greater Suzhou in September 2022. As a result, there are opportunities at all levels for innovative academics in the fields represented by several different schools and education platforms.

For detailed information about the XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang), please visit: 


The School of Robotics is one of the seven industry-themed Schools in the XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang). Each School consists of an Education, Research and Development Institute (ERDI) for teaching and research collaboration, a one-stop School Office providing professional services to support student administration and activities, members of staff, and industry partners, and an affiliated School Joint-Venture Company jointly established by XJTLU and the School’s partner for industry-embedded teaching, learning, practical, and other activities. The governance of the School is through a School Council. The Dean of School oversees the School Management Team as well as contributing to the leadership of the college.

The School of Robotics is jointly developed by the University and an industry partner – Siasun, to deliver the industry-themed programme(s). The first degree programme that the School has launched for the Academic Year 2019/2020 is BEng Intelligent Robotics Engineering with Contemporary Entrepreneurship.  


Siasun is the international headquarter of Siasun Robot & Automation Co., Ltd. in Shanghai. It is committed to creating a leading-edge international, innovative and platform-based for the industry of robots. The main businesses of Saisun include intelligent robots, intelligent manufacturing, and industry incubating. For more information please see  


An XJTLU Dean is the head of a school on the Taicang Campus at XJTLU and is crucial to its effective operation. The Dean provides leadership and support to the strategic development of the School. The Dean is the key representative role for the School within the university and externally. The Dean is a member of the extended XJTLU Senior Management Team. The Dean reports to the Team Leader, XEC Collective Leadership Team, XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang) for the operation of the School. The initial term of appointment is three years.
We are looking for an academic leader from candidates in the fields of Advanced/intelligent manufacturing, industrial internet of things, industrial automation and control, electrical engineering and mechatronics, robotics vision and navigation, industrial/engineering management and operations systems.

The Dean will be responsible for:


  1. Provide leadership and oversight to the School and leads the School’s Management Team.
  2. Act as a full member of the XEC C0llective Leadership Team, Deans’ Advisory Group and Academic Board.
  3. Lead the School strategic planning process, with the support of the School Management Team. 
  4. Ensure teaching, research, and industry engagement activities within the School are adequate to fulfil its mission and vision, and maintain the international accreditation currently held.
  5. Develop the School’s external engagement, Grow collaborations with companies and other non-academic organisations, representing the School both domestically and internationally. This ambassadorial function contributes to the increased reputation and standing of the School.
  6. Provide executive-level strategic advice, briefings, and support to the leadership team, industry partners for innovation, knowledge exploitation, incubation and acceleration, and serve on a range of institutional committees and groups. 
  7. Provide leadership, guidance and input into business engagement by driving business growth by identifying opportunities, tracking new markets, and building sustainable client relationships.
  8. Keep under regular review the key strategic risks and opportunities, internal and external stakeholders relating to the campus strategic plan and the University’s priorities. 
  9. Provides support for the University leadership agenda, and acts to ensure a synergistic collaboration between the School and the rests of the University.


  1. Oversee all management and functional activities within the School.
  2. Take action on specific administrative tasks assigned by the university. These include service on committees and working parties; as chair of review panels and etc.
  3. Specific responsible within the School for:- Strategic and annual planning; Work allocation of the senior management staff; Budget development; School-level staff appointments; Staff Professional Development Reviews and processes; 


  1. The Dean line manages all academic staff.
  2. Ensure staff carry out their duties professionally, effectively, and at the highest standard possible. Management entails talking and communicating with people, providing support to them in their work, ensuring direction and providing useful and meaningful feedback to enable School work to be successfully completed. 
  3. Effectively manage the progress of the Annual Performance Review and Academic Promotion at School-level.

Key relationships

  1. The Dean is responsible for the School and reports to the Team Leader, XEC Collective Leadership Team, XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang).
  2. The Dean works closely with the Associate Vice-Presidents for Learning and Teaching and Research and Impact to ensure the ongoing development of the portfolio of degree programmes, research outputs, and international activities.
  3. The Dean works closely with COO for XEC, other Deans in XEC, and the Director of the Centre for Academic Affairs who acts to support the academic work of each department.
  4. The Dean works closely with the Director of ERDI (Education, Research and Development Institute) in the School and the School Manager to ensure the development of research synergies, provision of administrative services and economies of scale, and activities to raise the profile of the School.
  5. The Dean works closely with other Deans in the University, especially through the Deans’ Advisory Group which focuses on the strategic development of academic units and of academic staff.
  6. The Dean works closely with Heads of Department in the University, especially through issues raised through the Deans’ Advisory Group, which is the key forum in the university for the discussion of operational academic affairs.
  7. The Dean works closely with the XEC’s Chair of the Syntegrative Education Committee.
  8. The Dean is leader and mentor to all staff in the School, especially for managers at the School level.


  1. The Dean is responsible to the Team Leader, XEC Collective Leadership Team, XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang) for the academic development of the School. This includes lead on the development and implementation of appropriate academic programmes at undergraduate, postgraduate taught and research levels.
  2. The Dean is responsible for the regular assessment of teaching and research outcomes, and works with relevant administrative departments for the improvement of teaching and research outcomes.
  3. The Dean is responsible for ensuring the application of all university policies and regulations by members of staff in the School.
  4. The Dean is responsible for ensuring adherence to the laws and directives of the People’s Republic of China by staff in the School.

Personal Attributes

The School of Robotics is adopting a new higher education model based upon the concept of Syntegrative Education (SE). SE is a new model developed by the University to address an increasingly networked and complex future of work in the 4th Industrial Revolution. The model is core to the University’s strategy for its next ten-year development focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship. SE aims to train syntegrative leaders with Management skills, International perspective, Discipline-specific knowledge, and adaptability in Industry (MIDI). 
The position will attract academic leaders embodying these SE values and are passionate in engaging in a future-focused co-learning ecosystem comprising students, academics, practitioners, university, industry, and community. The School seeks a visionary leader who thrive by creating impact through authentic engagement, cross-boundary collaboration, collective learning and discovery, and action-oriented inquiries. The Dean is also a creative educator who adopts a systems mindset and use their knowledge, skills, and experiences to co-design and deliver an enriching educational experience for students. They view education as an integrative and life-long transformative process.
The candidate should have the:

  • Ability to proactively seek and respond to issues with flexible, effective and, where appropriate, innovative solutions. 
  • Ability to prioritise, take and implement decisions to achieve agreed objectives.
  • Ability to contribute to the strategic development of the University.
  • Ability to lead and develop academic staff and mentorship skills with the ability to coach colleagues. 
  • The ability to interact effectively with a range of stakeholders, including staff at all levels, students, and external organisations by possessing highly developed interpersonal and communication skills.

Essential Qualifications/Experiences

  • Candidates must be a PhD holder in Robotics or other related subjects from a world-renowned university or be able to demonstrate an equivalent professional practice and engagement.
  • Candidates must be willing/able to actively engage with new educational models such as Syntegrative Education (SE).
  • Candidates shall become familiar with and observe Chinese and UK rules and regulations of higher education. 
  • Candidates shall have management experience with good people skills and have the ability or experience to form or develop a new academic unit.
  • Candidates must have an international reputation and demonstrate impacts in relevant research fields and are expected to have a good sense of the technology trends and relevant research experience on industrial projects. Candidates should have experience to cooperate with industrial partners to develop R&D projects.
  • Candidates must have rich experience in research, academic leadership, financial management, strategic planning, people management, as well as senior academic management experience in a university, research institution or similar functions/areas.
  • Candidates must demonstrate a good track record of engagement with students and industry. 
  • Candidates must have a high level of communicative competence in English; an equivalent knowledge of Chinese would be an advantage.
  • Candidates with administration and management experience in international universities or Sino-foreign joint universities are preferred. 
  • Some experience of working in a relevant industry would be an advantage. 

Citizenship and Visa Regulations

Employment at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University is regulated by Chinese Labour Laws, and must comply with the regulations of the provincial government. These regulations stipulate who is eligible for legal employment with regard to obtaining work permits and visas. Please be advised candidates over 65 may be not eligible for a work visa in the P.R. China.

Career Development

  1. Clear career development path with annual review.
  2. Professional development trainings are provided.

Compensation & Benefits 

SALARY: Competitive salary commensurate with experience.


1. Allowance: XJTLU provide various month/annual/one-off allowances as

  • Housing allowance
  • Travel allowance
  • Education allowance
  • Relocation allowance 

2. Commercial insurance: International insurance plans customised for XJTLU staff and family members. (details refer to the University Policy) 

3. Paid holidays:

  • Statutory Holidays (11 days)
  • Annual Leave (36 days)
  • Family Matters Leave
  • Paid Sick Leave
  • Marriage Leave
  • Paternity/Maternity Leave
  • Parental Leave 

4. Working visa and residence permit in China: XJTLU sponsors working visas and residence permits in China for the staff.


Applications must be submitted in PDF that includes 3 parts in the order of:

  • An extended cover letter
  • A current CV, including country of citizenship, current location, and highest degree level
  • Contact details for three references 

Applications should be received by the closing date stated above. 

For specific enquiries relating to the position, please Dr Xiaojun Zhang, Team Leader, XEC Collective Leadership Team, XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang) by email on

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Ms Mingyu Yuan, HRBP at

To learn more about working & living in China, please visit:

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