Requisition ID:  29579

Managing Director, AIDA

Job Summary

A new multidisciplinary research center founded by Purdue University and an innovative UAV company from UK – – on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Digital, Autonomous, and Augmented Aviation (AIDA), is looking for a managing director to help realize the center’s mission to produce breakthrough innovations. AIDA is one of the first center’s to be launched as part of the University’s new Institute For Physical Artificial Intelligence (AI). AIDA’s research outcomes will be high intellectual merit while also broader impacts on all activities related to aviation and aerial transportation (from demand analytics to delivery and maintenance in commercial logistics to meteorological sensing and real-time weather prediction) - with a focus on autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs); AI in this context is best described as physical AI to close the loop between sensing, data and trustworthy actions and control in the real, “physical” world (airspace, on ground etc.). 


The Center’s vision is to become the leading R1 research center that performs user-inspired and applied research, translating research from the lab to “life”, e.g. real-world applications. The center follows a consortium model, offering other universities, industry partners, and governments. Further, it is truly interdisciplinary involving multiple colleges (technology, engineering, science, liberal arts, and agriculture). To make AIDA a true success we seek a motivated and experienced managing director, who can build upon her/his experience in growing and managing the operations of large-scale research centers involving multiple disciplines, partners in academia as well as industry – guided by the ambitious goal of the center. 


The Managing Director will work closely with the founding scientific director Dr. Sabine Brunswicker and will be responsible for overseeing consortium members as well as the internal research projects and teams involving faculty members from different colleges at Purdue. 


This is a hybrid position, and you will work both on campus and remotely. 

What We’re Looking For:

Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree in engineering (IT or aviation related) or business/technology management
  • Minimum of four years’ experience in project or program management, business, development, or research administration
  • In lieu of degree, consideration will be given to an equivalent combination of education and experience


Skills Needed

  • Experience in:
    • large-scale R&D projects, ideally related to software/AI, robotics, and aviation
    • strategic planning, programmatic execution, and assessment
    • business and/or research development and/or large proposal preparation
    • working with funding agencies like DOD, NASA, NSF, ARL
  • Strong communication skills; comfortable engaging leadership at peer institutions, small businesses, and large industrial companies
  • Strong organization and project management skills including projects related to cyber-physical systems, software and AI
  • Familiarity with digital tools for managing large scale projects (e.g. from video conferencing tools like Zoom to project management tools like Trello, Github, Gitlab, etc.)
  • Understanding of budgeting and fiscal policy in an academic environment


What is helpful (Preferred)

  • PhD 
  • FAA UAV certificate and PMP certification 
  • Experience and exposure to R&D projects related aviation, UAVs, and autonomous systems 

Additional Information:

  • Purdue will not sponsor an employment authorization for this position
  • A Background Check will be required for employment in 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
  • Benefit Statement: Purdue University offers a substantial Benefit Package, including medical, dental, and vision insurance as well as a generous paid time off package for sick and vacation days

Nearest Major Market: Lafayette