Visit Information for Faculty Recruitment Candidates

Detailed information regarding all aspects of your recruitment visit to our department is provided below. Please read ALL sections to avoid problems with your visit and reimbursement at the conclusion of your trip.

For any questions about your visit, please contact:
Kathryn Hopkins, Assistant to the Chair
(805) 893-8080

1. The Department will reimburse the cost of two nights hotel, airfare (or other transit), and other eligible travel expenses for your period of business travel only. We will not pay for extra nights, extra days, expenses for travel companions, or car rental, gas, meals, or incidentals outside of your active business travel dates and times. Per UC policy, a rental vehicle must have a justifiable need to be reimbursed, consequently any rental vehicle reservation must be approved by the department prior to your visit.

2. In order to comply with UC policy, all travel reimbursement claims must be submitted to the ME offices within 30 days of the completion of your trip

3. Campus WiFi Services: Pick "UCSB Wireless Web" from the network options and select "Guest Registration" under the credential login. Once registered, guests will receive a SMS/text message with a username and password, which will be enabled for a seven-day connection. 


1. Travel

The Mechanical Engineering Department prefers visitors to make their own travel arrangements, with the exception of hotel reservations. Please do NOT book your own hotel, the Chair’s Assistant will arrange your hotel for you.

Air travel
Per UC travel policy: 

  • We can only reimburse coach class or economy tickets. 
  • Airline receipts must include itinerary, total cost, and proof of purchase (e.g. visa xxxx xxxx 1234).
  • You can purchase airfare through sites like Expedia and Kayak as long as it meets the above two requirements, but you cannot purchase packaged deals (airfare and rental car). Do not purchase anything from Hotwire as they do not show a breakdown of expenses.
  • Multi-destination trips that involve stops not related to UC business are not reimbursable, e.g. stopping at a conference on your way back from your engagement at UCSB. If you have a situation such as this, please contact the Chair’s Assistant before booking your tickets.
  • The Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) is directly next to UCSB and many airlines fly into it. Alternately, you can fly into LAX and take the Airbus or rental car into Santa Barbara only if the cost would be less than flying directly into SB.
  • If you are concerned about delays into or out of Santa Barbara, be aware that San Francisco, Denver and Chicago can have delay issues. Phoenix and LA are more reliable connectors.
  • If your airfare exceeds $850, please contact Assistant to the Chair for approval before booking your ticket.

Local Transportation
UCSB and the hotel we use (Best Western South Coast Inn) are both within 2 miles of the Santa Barbara Airport, and a car is not needed for your visit. The hotel provides a free shuttle to the airport, campus, and the train station between 7:30am and 10:00pm, or you can use a taxi. 

  • You can request a shuttle pick up by calling the hotel directly at 805-967-3200
  • When requesting a shuttle to or from campus, the drop off you should request is the UCSB KITP (Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics) drop, which drops off right behind our building (Engineering II).
  • For taxi service you can contact Paradise Cab Co. at (805) 377-1112 (call or text). There are usually also taxis queued at the airport.

Rental Cars
Rental cars are not reimbursable unless there is a provable need, e.g. it is your mode of transportation into Santa Barbara from LA. Due to the strict UC auto rental policies, if you feel you need a rental car during your visit, please contact the Chair’s Assistant to obtain prior approval before making any reservations, and to obtain the necessary UC contract code. If you do not obtain prior approval for a car rental, we reserve the right to refuse reimbursement for the expense. The UC will not reimburse the cost of a rental insurance rider.

Amtrak runs multiple trains daily into and out of Santa Barbara and Goleta. We recommend all train travelers use the Goleta (GTA) stop, as the Santa Barbara one is quite far from the University. The Best Western South Coast Inn offers a free shuttle that will pick up/drop off at the Goleta Amtrak station.

Personal Automobile Travelers
The personal mileage reimbursement rate is 54.5 cents a mile (this includes gas and wear). You must have liability insurance if you use a personal car.

Campus Parking
Please notify the Chair’s Assistant if you will be parking on campus. A reserved parking space can be arranged for you in Parking Lot 10.


2. Lodging

The Chair’s Assistant will arrange your hotel for you. Please do not book your hotel yourself, as the invoices from online vendors do not list the necessary information to obtain reimbursement. The hotel we use is the Best Western Plus South Coast Inn in Goleta.

Telephone: 805-967-3200
Address: 5620 Calle Real, Goleta, CA 93117

We will make a reservation under your name and a confirmation will be forwarded to you once we have your travel dates. Your hotel room will be billed directly to the Mechanical Engineering Department, however, any incidentals (such as room service) must be paid directly by you. Incidental expenses can be claimed as travel expenses if reimbursable under UC policy.

Note: If you depart Santa Barbara in the afternoon, you can bring your luggage with you and Assistant to the Chair can store it in the Mechanical Engineering offices.


3. Schedule, Seminars and Meetings

Schedule and Meetings
A personalized visitor schedule will be sent to you shortly before your travel dates. Schedules will include a research seminar the morning of day one, a chalk talk the morning of day two, and meetings with the Department Chair, Search Committee members, Dean of the College of Engineering, ME Department faculty, and potentially other CoE faculty.

If there is anyone you particularly want to meet with during your visit, including people in other departments on campus, please share their names with the Chair’s Assistant.

Please bring your own laptop, adapters, and anything else you feel is necessary for your presentations, but if you forget anything, don’t hesitate to ask the Chair’s Assistant for assistance.

Research Seminar: This should be a presentation of your current research directed to a general audience. We suggest you include a brief introduction of yourself, and a brief statement on your future research at the end. This talk will be broadly advertised and is open to faculty, staff, students, and colleagues of the Department. Your active presentation should be 50 minutes, which will allow time for Q&A at the end.

Chalk Talk: The chalk talk will be for department faculty only, and is meant to allow a deeper interaction between yourself and the faculty on the topics of your current research, your vision for your future research, knowledge of your field, and how you see yourself interacting and collaborating with members of our department, college, and campus. The format of this talk is interactive, and you may be asked to work at the board. Typically candidates present slides for 30-40 minutes, spend some time at the board, and answer a lot of questions, but the format is ultimately up to you.

We do suggest you include a brief research overview for anyone that missed your first talk, a statement on the vision of your field, your vision for your own future research (short & long term), potential collaborations and synergies you envision in our department and on campus, and a very short (1-2 minute) statement on your teaching experience or philosophy. You are welcome to allow a bit of overlap between your two talks.

Please keep in mind the following tips:

  • A projector will be available for power point, however, most of our seminar rooms have a projector screen that covers the white board, please keep this in mind when preparing for your chalk talk, as this can impact your ability to move between the projector and white board.
  • Be prepared to work at the white board as necessary to illustrate your work and answer faculty questions. Be prepared for interruptions at any time.
  • Our faculty like to multitask and are often on their laptops during the talk, but understand that they are all paying attention, and are often taking notes on your presentation.


4. Reimbursements

As UCSB is a publicly funded institution, we have very specific reimbursement policies for travel expenses. Detailed instructions and forms will be sent to you after your visit is completed. They can also be downloaded here. Per UC policy, all travel reimbursement claims must be submitted to our offices within 30 days of the completion of your trip in order to receive a reimbursement. To make sure you have everything required please keep the following points in mind:

All transportation receipts must be itemized, include a total amount paid, and the method of payment. If a credit card was used, proof of purchase must be included (e.g. visa xxxx xxxx 1234). Electronic receipts are accepted for airfare and inter-city transportation if they were purchased online.

  • Airfare documentation must include the travel itinerary
  • Rental car documentation must include the complete rental contract

Meals & Incidentals
UC Policy allows up to $62 per day of actual expenses for meals and incidentals while on travel within the US. You can submit itemized receipts, or keep a meal log. If you keep a log and there is a question regarding an expense, be prepared to supply the original receipt. Any individual expense over $75 requires an itemized receipt. Incidentals include tips or fees for services such as baggage handlers, waiters, etc.

Miscellaneous Expenses
These include parking, baggage fees, etc. Itemized receipts with proof of payment are required for these expenses.

Your hotel room and taxes will be billed directly to the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Did You Lose a Receipt? 
If you are claiming an expense that requires an itemized original receipt and you lost the receipt or don't have an itemized receipt you will need to fill out a Lost Receipt Form in order to be reimbursed for the expense. Please include the completed and signed form with the rest of your reimbursement documents.

Your Reimbursement
You will be reimbursed by check for your travel expenses once your paperwork clears the department financial office and the UCSB accounting office. This generally takes about 2-3 weeks if all information is correctly submitted.