Job Description
Req Id:  29112
Job Title:  Director of PARI Hypersonics Laboratory (PHL)
City:  West Lafayette
Job Description: 

As the Director of the Hypersonics Lab at the Purdue Applied Research Institute (PARI), you will be responsible for providing strategic leadership, vision, and direction to advance the PARI’s initiatives related to national security research and development. In this critical role, you will manage a multidisciplinary team of research professionals, technicians, and administrative staff.  The Director will have Profit & Loss (P&L) responsibilities with annual targets for delivering research income to PARI.  


PARI has received significant investment from Purdue including a flagship $41M Hypersonics and Applied Research Facility which will encompass world-leading hypersonic test capabilities and the HAMTC hypersonics materials testing facilities.


As Director, you will collaborate with various stakeholders, including government agencies, industry partners, and academia, to ensure the successful execution of projects and programs that contribute to the nation's security and defense capabilities. If you are a visionary leader with a passion for cutting-edge research and development in the national security domain, we invite you to apply and join our dynamic team of experts.

Hypersonics Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (HAMTC)

Purdue Applied Research Institute opens $41M Hypersonics and Applied Research Facility


1. Meeting P&L Targets: Develop and execute a comprehensive strategic plan for the National Security and Defense division, aligning with PARI’s overall goals and objectives.  Provide the leadership needed to secure and execute the research programs to grow the PARI Hypersonics Lab.  Oversee and guide the research and development efforts within the division. Direct the team in conducting cutting-edge research, exploring innovative technologies, and developing solutions relevant to national security challenges.


2. Collaborations and Partnerships/Business Development: Provide the leadership needed to cultivate strong relationships with government agencies, defense organizations, and industry partners to foster collaborations and secure funding for research projects. Seek opportunities to form partnerships that enhance PARI’s expertise and capabilities. 


3. Project Oversight: Ensure the successful planning, execution, and completion of national security projects. Monitor project milestones, budgets, and deliverables while managing potential risks and addressing issues that may arise during the project lifecycle.

4. Talent Development: Recruit, mentor, and develop a diverse team of researchers and professionals dedicated to national security initiatives. Foster a collaborative and innovative work environment that encourages professional growth and knowledge sharing.


5. Budget Oversight: Manage the budget for the PARI Hypersonics Lab, allocating resources appropriately to support ongoing and new research projects effectively.


6. Communication and Outreach: Represent PARI in national security forums, conferences, and events. Engage in outreach activities to promote the Institute's capabilities and achievements within the national security research community.


1. Experience: Experience in a P&L role or similar is required.  Must have experience in program management and in the supervision of staff.  Prior experience in government role with procurement or research lab experience is a plus.  Experience in a research lab or similar organization is highly desirable.  Experience with operations of and maintenance of research facilities.  Specific experience with below is desired:

  • research in areas related to hypersonics
  • operation of and maintenance of research wind tunnels and high pressure systems
  • 3D printing and additive manufacturing. 
  • materials testing
  • high temperature materials and specifically thermal protection systems
  • lab safety


2. Education: Terminal degree in Engineering with preference for Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering required.  Advanced degree desired.  Business degrees such as MBA also considered a plus.


3. Leadership Skills: Proven ability to provide visionary leadership and strategic direction to a multidisciplinary team. Strong aptitude for decision-making, problem-solving, and effective communication. Ability to develop and manage a budget with competing concerns.


4. Industry Network: Established connections within the national security research and development community, including government agencies, defense contractors, and industry leaders.


5. Research Excellence: A track record of conducting impactful research and development projects related to national security.  Candidates who have national recognition will be more likely to succeed in this role.


6. Security Clearance: US Citizen with active SECRET clearance is required. Ability to be granted TS is required. Maintaining this clearance(s) is a continuous condition of employment. Failure to retain the required clearance(s) may result in termination. US Citizenship is a requirement to be fully considered for this position. Active TS/SCI is desired.  


7. Collaboration: A history of successful collaboration and partnership building with various stakeholders, including government agencies, private industry, and academic institutions.


8. Project Management: Proficiency in managing complex research projects, including budgeting, resource allocation, and risk management.

Additional Information

  • Purdue’s benefits summary 
  • Purdue will not sponsor employment authorization for this position  
  • A background check will be required for employment in this position. Pre-employment checks are required for this position.
  • FLSA: Exempt (Not Eligible For Overtime)
  • Retirement Eligibility: Defined Contributions immediately  
  • Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply

About the Purdue Applied Research Institute

At PARI we create leading-edge solutions for complex problems in national security, global development, and technology. Established in 2021 by The Trustees of Purdue University, the Purdue Applied Research Institute is the non-profit applied research arm of Purdue University. PARI co-creates solutions and builds on the deep research strengths of Purdue’s faculty, students, and staff to solve dynamic challenges for the United States Government, industry, and non-profits. PARI partners to advance applied, interdisciplinary, and translational research in three divisions: National Security and Defense, Global Development and Innovation, and Technology Acceleration, including Digital Innovation in Agri-food Systems Lab (DIAL).

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked one of the top 10 Most Innovative Schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, With a $685+ million research enterprise, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery that drive discoveries and innovative solutions that have a critical impact on the nation and the world.

Posting Start Date:  4/5/24