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Applications being accepted for Executive Director, AU Applied Research Institute, in Huntsville

Applications being accepted for Executive Director, AU Applied Research Institute, in Huntsville

March 20, 2024 @ 2:51 p.m.
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Auburn University invites nominations and applications for the position of Executive Director, Auburn University Applied Research Institute, to be located at the Auburn University Research and Innovation Campus in Huntsville, AL. As the inaugural Executive Director, this individual will be responsible for providing oversight and leadership for a multi-disciplinary applied research program to serve the defense, aerospace, and biotech sectors. This will include working very closely with the Auburn University Senior Vice President for Research, the Dean of Engineering and other college deans. The Executive Director will be the primary voice for Auburn University in the Huntsville community and in other related sites with significant defense and aerospace efforts. The Executive Director will conduct high level interactions with funding sources in defense, aerospace and biotech sectors; connect funding opportunities to the Applied Research Center within the Institute and to research professionals on Auburn’s main campus; provide leadership to ensure appropriate research staff are available for projects within the Institute; and be responsible for local oversight for operations of the Auburn University Research and Innovation Campus. Ongoing research programs in the Institute includes digital engineering, advanced manufacturing, design for additive manufacturing, cyber and critical infrastructure security, systems engineering, space and missile defense systems. The Executive Director will be expected to provide the following essential functions:

STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP - Develops long-term vision, strategies, and tactics for the Applied Research Institute, ensuring that the Institute gains a prominent role in applied research and innovation among the defense, aerospace and biotech sectors. The Executive Director will work closely with leadership on Auburn’s main campus to maintain alignment and connections with overall university research priorities

RESEARCH MANAGEMENT – Works closely with the Institute personnel to ensure the Institute goals are achieved within budget and time constraints and projects are carried out with high quality.

FUNDING AND BUDGETING – Works closely with leadership on the Auburn University main campus to secure necessary resources for basic operational support of the Institute. Focuses significant efforts on engaging with external funding agencies and identifying research opportunities that can be pursued by the Institute or interdisciplinary teams of researchers on Auburn’s main campus. Manages the Institute’s budget to effectively allocate and utilize resources.

TEAM BUILDING AND MANAGEMENT – Works with the Director of Corporate Relations; the Director of the Applied Research Center; and the Director of Business Operations, Community Relations, & Special Events to recruit, mentor, and oversee a team of professionals to achieve the goals of the Applied Research Institute. Fosters a collaborative environment and promotes continuous growth.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT - Engages with community, industry, and other stakeholders to ensure the Institute's contributions are aligned with their needs and priorities. Facilitates engagement of Auburn University main campus faculty and students with Institute activities and the Huntsville community at large.

REPORTING - Provides regular reports to senior Auburn University leaders and stakeholders about the Institute’s progress, achievements, challenges, and future plans. Conducts activities with input from an advisory council for the Institute. May perform other duties as assigned by supervisors. The successful candidate must manage the direction, coordination, continual growth and assessment of the campus and work with the Huntsville region and Redstone Arsenal on issues and various opportunities related to the campus.

The Executive Director will report to the Senior Vice President for Research and Economic Development and the Dean of the College of Engineering and be housed at the Auburn University Research and Innovation Campus in Huntsville but will be expected to maintain a significant presence at the Auburn University campus in Auburn, Alabama. For more information on the position, visit link.

Auburn University is an R1 institution and one of the nation’s premier public land-grant institutions. In 2023, Auburn was ranked 42nd among public universities by U.S. News & World Report. Auburn maintains high levels of research activity and high standards for teaching excellence, offering bachelor’s, master’s, educational specialist and doctorate degrees in agriculture and engineering, the professions, and the arts and sciences. Its 2023 enrollment of 33,015 students includes 25,379 undergraduates and 6,385 graduate and professional students. Organized into 12 academic colleges and schools, Auburn’s 1,435 faculty members offer more than 150 plus educational programs. In FY22, the university reported total research expenditures of $304 million. The university is nationally recognized for its commitment to academic excellence, its positive work environment, student engagement and beautiful campus.

The city of Huntsville has been named the second-best place to live in the United States by U.S. News & World Report's 2023-2024 rankings. The city's thriving job market, low cost of living and high quality of life were cited as the primary reasons for its top ranking. In the past ten years, Huntsville has watched its star steadily rise to claim top tier placements in numerous national standings ranging from affordability to jobs, quality of life, retirement, education, recreation and more. According to U.S. News & World Report’s data analysis, Huntsville’s diverse economy, excellent educational institutions, and vibrant community were acknowledged as its significant assets. The city’s reputation as a leading center for technological innovation and aerospace industries has created its ranking and the most populous city in the state of Alabama.

The successful candidate will have the following qualifications:

• Demonstrated record of high-level leadership of a complex research organization in the defense, aerospace or biotech sector.

• Demonstrated record of working with federal and state agencies and the private sector and securing extramural funding from these groups in support of applied research efforts.

• Excellent oral and written communication skills.

• Excellent skills in team building, creating alliances, and leading organizations.

• Master’s degree in engineering or science field is desired, plus a minimum of 15 years of experience in applied research or development in defense or aerospace sectors. A PhD would be an asset.

• A record of research scholarship through scholarly publications and presentations to the scientific and technical communities and/or a registration as a professional engineer might be helpful.

• Ability to obtain a DOD security clearance is required.

The candidate selected for this position must be able to meet eligibility requirements to work in the United States at the appointed time and continue working legally for the proposed term of employment.

Electronic submissions of all nominations and applications are encouraged. Those with interest in this position should submit a resume indicating experience as it relates to the position description to:

Search Committee – Executive Director, Auburn University Innovation & Applied Research Institute Email:

Candidate materials will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and until a successful candidate has been appointed.

Auburn University is an EEO/Vet/Disability Employer.

Auburn University Research & Innovation Campus in Huntsville, Alabama

Auburn University Research and Innovation Campus in Huntsville

Categories: OSVPRED

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