ASSURE/ARDC Technical Director of Research

Apply now Job no: 498991
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 193700 - ASSURE
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Professional
Position Open Date:

Salary Grade/Minimum Salary:

17/ Minimum: 69,700

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Serves as technical lead on all UAS related projects, research, tasks and testing and works closely with FAA, research sponsors, ASSURE/ARDC partners, and other UAS related partners.
2. Manages ASSURE/ARDC teams that consist of multiple universities’ researchers, industry partners and other stakeholders, all with different agendas, priorities, and systems.
3. Leads planning and implementation of UAS projects, tasks, research and recommendations.
4. Evaluates project scoping requirements, research, builds research teams and validates with stakeholders.
5. Creates ROM cost estimates for related research tasks, defines project goals, scope, and key deliverables and provides technical expertise and guidance to researchers and stakeholders.
6. Reviews research data and technical reports that capture effort performed including objectives, approach, data generated, analysis of data, conclusions and recommendations.
7. Participates in all ASSURE/ARDC related technical meetings.
8. Performs related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor's degree in Engineering, Management, Business, Geospatial Sciences or Aviation-related field.

Five years related experience with aviation; systems design; engineering; program management; research and development; or test or evaluation of unmanned aircraft or applicable systems.

Preferred Qualifications:

Master’s degree in Engineering, management, Business, Geospatial Sciences or Aviation related field.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

• Knowledge of both theoretical and practical aspects of project management.
• Knowledge of project management techniques and tools.
• Direct work experience in project management capacity; particularly aviation and government-sponsored projects.
• Experience in planning and executing government exercises (e.g. DoD, DHS, emergency management or law enforcement)
• Experience in managing and leading project teams.
• Experience in strategic and tactical project planning.
• Experience in risk assessment, mitigation and management.
• Proficient in project management software.
• Demonstrated experience in the operation of Group 2 (20-55 lbs. GTOW) and/or Group 3 (56-1,320 lbs. GTOW) UAS.
• Knowledge of UAS flight control software.
• Knowledge of applicable FAA regulations and guidance pertaining to the operation of UAS in the national airspace system.
• Knowledge of the UAS industry, including key manufacturers, suppliers, service providers, and integrators.
• Knowledge of Microsoft Office, computer networking and programs, and computer-based systems.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort:

• Employee is required to have and maintain an FAA Class 3 or higher medical certificate.
• The position may require employee to work with hazardous materials. Employee is required to wear personal protective equipment.
• Physical requirements include frequent sitting, talking, hearing, walking, and standing. Occasionally requires reaching, climbing or balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling handling objects with hands, and lifting up to 55 pounds.
Vision requirements: Ability to see information in print and/or electronically. Externally exposed to deadlines; set and revised beyond one’s control; interruptions influence priorities; difficult to anticipate nature or volume of work with certainty beyond a few days; meeting of deadlines and coordination of unrelated activities are key to position; will involve conflict- resolution or similar interactions involving emotional issues or stress on a regular basis.

Instructions for Applying:

Submit an application online and attach a resume and cover letter. If you have any questions, please contact Kim Schmidt at

Restricted Clause:

Position contingent upon funding availability.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, disability status, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.


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