Applied Physical Sciences

Applied Physical Sciences lives in the collaborative space between science and engineering, combining knowledge and discovery with an engineering mindset, team-based science, and entrepreneurship to address real-world problems. Organized around “Ideas to Impacts”, the Department will unite with campus themes in health, water and energy to help Carolina continue to be a leader in science innovation and the application of knowledge.

New faculty hired into Applied Physical Sciences will join an extensive interdisciplinary environment including a number of applied scientists in other departments who have been instrumental in the formation of the Department. Affiliated faculty have utilized nanotechnology to target drug treatments for cancer and for cystic fibrosis, among other diseases. They have developed improved “lab on a chip” technologies to develop new devices for clinical diagnostics and for environmental monitoring. And they are working across many fronts to make solar energy more economical.

As the Department continues to expand, we will work with these affiliates and others to successfully address some of the great “What if?” questions of our era, using new advanced materials for applications that enhance health, improve water quality and sustainability, and make the scientific and technological advances that will be central to our energy future.

Drawing on the talents of faculty and researchers across the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, one of the highest rated educational institutions in the country, as well as those of individuals at other universities and research institutions in the Triangle, the Department of Applied Physical Sciences is on the cutting edge of the research and development, creating materials, methodologies, and solutions that will have worldwide impact for decades to come.

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The Department of Applied Physical Sciences educates the next generation of groundbreaking and entrepreneurial scientists in its nationally ranked Material Sciences graduate program. In the future, the Department will extend this training to a new Applied Sciences undergraduate major that embraces and leverages the Carolina culture in the liberal arts and innovation.

Open Positions

The Department of Applied Physical Sciences, APS, invites applications for two new faculty positions, prioritizing junior applicants while open to consideration of outstanding candidates at all ranks. The goal of APS is to bridge fundamental research and training in materials science and engineering with translational impact on society’s most challenging problems.

APS partners with all STEM and Health Affairs departments toward multidisciplinary, team-based research, education, and entrepreneurship in a top 10 public research university.


This hiring initiative continues an aggressive strategy to build a pre-eminent Department of Applied Physical Sciences, aiming for 20 new hires together with joint appointments from partnering departments. These new positions are intended to build upon existing strengths and aim for international prominence and leadership in materials science and engineering at the intersection of the physical, life, and energy sciences.

All candidates should have an established record or clear potential for research excellence, multidisciplinary collaboration, extramural funding including industry, and translational impact in education and entrepreneurship. Excellence and commitment to education are essential qualities for these recruitments. A PhD in a discipline that contributes to applied physical sciences is required.


New Faculty Member

Applied Physical Sciences at UNC is proud to welcome Professor Theo Dingemans as one of our new faculty members. Theo comes to us from prestigious Delft University of Technology, where he was a faculty member in Aerospace Engineering.

Theo Dingemans

Professor Dingemans' group focuses on the design and synthesis of high molecular weight all-aromatic polymers, low molar mass liquid crystals and the conjunction of these two topics in order to engineer new classes of high-performance polymers, for example liquid crystal network polymers, aramids, and polyimides, for structural applications such as high-strength fibers, films and (non)continuous (nano)composites.

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