Careers at Virginia Tech

Director, Mission Systems Division

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Work type: Research Faculty
Senior management: Vice President for Research
Department: VTNSI
Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
Categories: Research / Scientific

Job Description

With presence in Blacksburg and the Washington, D.C. metro area, the mission of the Virginia Tech National Security Institute (NSI) is to meet the pressing needs of the defense and intelligence communities by advancing interdisciplinary research, technology, policy, and the development of specialized talent.

The VT National Security Institute operates three research divisions. The Mission Systems Division is focused on intelligent and resilient platforms for the 21st Century. The Director of the Mission Systems Division is responsible for overall leadership of division personnel and programs and is a member of the Institute's executive leadership team. For qualified candidates, tenure-track or tenured appointments may be made in an appropriate academic department of the university.

Research Leadership (30%): The director is responsible for providing technical leadership of the division's major programs which includes serving as principal investigator, delivering work products to sponsors and contributing to scholarly publications, and managing a team of students and research faculty and staff.
Research Development (30%): The director is responsible for supporting division-wide program development efforts through sponsor engagement, proposal authorship, and industry engagement.
Division management (40%): The director serves as the line manager for the team of researchers and is responsible for supporting mentorship and career development, transaction oversight, division operating budget management, and labor programming across the division.

The position will be principally responsible for sustaining current research and growing additional programs in coordination with Institute, researchers and partners from industry and government. The division currently is comprised of groups in Integrated Sensing, Resilient Platforms, and Trusted AI and Autonomy, and has a portfolio of research which spans topics ranging from seabed to sky. The successful candidate is expected to have broad expertise across these disciplines and deep technical expertise in specific areas as demonstrated by previous research contributions, academic publications, and program success as a principal investigator. The successful candidate will have demonstrated research leadership and program development skills, including strong connections within the defense and intelligence communities, academia, and industry.

Depending on the qualification of the successful candidate, the research professorial rank level will be determined upon offer.

Required Qualifications

• An earned Doctoral degree in Aerospace Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Ocean Engineering, or related discipline.
• Evidence of excellence in research and development, and program leadership.
• Experience with leading and conducting research and development in all aspects of space, atmosphere, or ocean systems and related areas.
• Proficiency with the tools germane to field of research.
• Given the nature of research conducted within the Virginia Tech National Security Institute, the candidate will need to conduct sensitive research relating to national security.
• Consequently, US citizenship and the ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance are required.
• Demonstrated ability to work as a member of a team in executing upon research projects
• Strong communications skills.

Preferred Qualifications

• Interest and/or experience in working effectively with a diverse faculty, staff and student population;
• Experience working in an academic or government laboratory environment;
• Experience conducting research programs supporting the federal government;
• Experience working with defense science and technology agencies such as DARPA, ONR, and AFRL.
• Strong influencing skills and reputation for highest level of integrity.

Appointment Type


Salary Information

commensurate with experience

Review Date

September 30, 2023

Additional Information

Because of the nature of the Institute's work, all candidates must be US citizens and have the ability to obtain and maintain a top secret security clearance.

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.


About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Sue Kass at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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