Assistant Director

Network Engineering and Research

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides supercomputing and advanced digital resources for the nation's science enterprise. At NCSA, University of Illinois faculty, staff, students, and collaborators from around the globe use advanced digital resources to address research grand challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA has been advancing one third of the Fortune 50® for more than 30 years by bringing industry, researchers and students together to solve grand challenges at rapid speed and scale.

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) seeks to attract an Assistant Director (AD) to lead our Network Engineering and Research Team. The ideal AD will have an interest in applied networking research and have the opportunity to advance state-of-the art networking practice directly through research efforts and support of an advanced operational high-performance network for NCSA. The AD reports to the Cybersecurity & Networking Division Director and is responsible for leading the research and operational activities of the NCSA's networking group. This includes two imperatives: 1) acquiring new funding that expands the research acumen of the team and supports new activities to benefit the center, and 2) leading a team of network engineers supporting and architecting high performance networks. The AD develops and recommends long-range strategic direction for NCSA networking and establishes goals and timelines to meet the needs of the center and the many stakeholder projects. The AD ensures staff and resources are directed efficiently toward achieving center and project goals within the specified timelines. The AD also maintains key contacts internal to NCSA and acts as the primary liaison for critical external relationships (e.g., industry partners, campus, and funding agencies). Being an academic environment, the position will offer a lot of intellectual freedom to qualified and self-managing individuals. NCSA is committed to increasing the diversity of the campus community. Candidates who have experience working with a diverse range of faculty, staff, and students, and who can contribute to the climate of inclusivity are encouraged to apply.

This search runs concurrently with NCSA's Technical Program Manager search, #A1800079. Only one Assistant Director or one Technical Program Manager will be selected to lead the Network Engineering and Research Team.

Key responsibilities

  • Provide leadership to set direction and facilitate the accomplishment of goals for the group.
  • Maintain an in-depth technical understanding of the state of the NCSA network infrastructure.
  • Plan for the long-term support of NCSA's networks and anticipate maintenance and upgrade needs.
  • Summarize data about group activities, network utilization, research activities, and trends for use in reports, presentations and proposals.
  • Manage the recruitment, hiring, and orientation of project staff. Supervise assigned staff including task assignment, ongoing performance management with coaching and feedback, career development mentoring, leave/travel approval, and conducting annual performance reviews.
  • Actively pursue and maintain a continuing base of research and development funding from government and industry.
  • Actively represent NCSA and the group's work on the state, national and international level.
  • Ensure the group's results in terms of technical work as well as research and development are documented and reported regularly to the NCSA management, and as appropriate, to the stakeholder projects.
  • Submit technical papers to journals, conferences and other notable sources to build NCSA’s networking research and development program.
  • Ensure staff and resources are directed efficiently toward achieving center goals and the milestones of multiple projects/stakeholders on time and within budget.

Required education and experience

  • Master's degree required, preferably in computer science, alternative degree fields will be considered/accepted if accompanied by equivalent experience (depending on nature and depth of experience as it relates to current NCSA business needs).
  • Minimum of five years' relevant experience leading a technical team.
  • Experience as a primary investigator (PI) or co-PI on a federal grant, such as, an National Science Foundation (NSF) award.
  • A record of peer-reviewed publications in the area of networking.

Preferred experience

  • PhD in computer science preferred. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted if accompanied by equivalent experience (depending on nature and depth of experience as it relates to current NCSA business needs).
  • Experience working in either in an advanced or a high-performance computing environment.

Key skills/knowledge

Knowledge Requirements
  • Project and personnel management techniques.
  • Presentation, interpersonal communication and documentation skills.
  • Current knowledge in technical areas related to the group work scope, including hardware, operating systems, software, services, and programming technologies.

This is a regular academic professional position at NCSA and is an annually renewable, 12/12, 100%-time appointment with regular University benefits. Salary is commensurate with experience and start date will be as soon as possible after the close date of the search. Applicants must possess required education and experience by start date of position. Interviews may occur before the closing date; however, all applications received by the closing date will receive full consideration.

To apply, please create your candidate profile at and upload your cover letter and CV/resume by the close date, March 6, 2018. Contact information for three references must be included on the application (letters maybe also be uploaded or sent to the contact below). For full consideration, candidates must complete the Hiretouch application process by the above date.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with a disability. Illinois welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. Visit

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