Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Materials
Case Western Reserve University - Cleveland, OH

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The Institute for Advanced Materials (IAM) at Case Western Reserve University provides a central hub for collaborations among the university’s researchers, private industry and government partners that drive innovation of new materials from ideas to proven models to marketable technology. Focusing in the areas of advanced energy, sustainability, and materials for human health, IAM’s nearly 100 faculty leverage their expertise in specialties ranging from metals, ceramics, and alloys to polymers, composites, and biomaterials. The executive director will provide national and international leadership in the formation of strategic partnerships and alliances with industry, government, and other academic institutions as the cornerstone of the institute’s approach. The executive director will help define and implement an integrated research strategy for existing and future innovations and applications of materials research, and identify and pursue commercialization opportunities based on well-funded, cross-disciplinary, interdepartmental research projects. The executive director will also identify, target and secure significant funding opportunities from private and public sectors. Additional responsibilities include the development of a long-term strategic plan to guide the institute activities. The executive director will have a dual reporting relationship to the dean of the Case School of Engineering and the faculty director of the institute.


  • In collaboration with the faculty director, provide executive level leadership for planning, implementing and evaluating the institute’s programs and services.
  • In collaboration with the faculty director, develop and implement a plan which incorporates goals and objectives that work towards the strategic direction of the institute and metrics to measure the institute’s success.
  • Work closely with the institute’s faculty advisory board. Meet at least annually with the board to discuss strategic and technical directions, and report on progress in implementing the institute’s strategic plan.
  • Work with the faculty director to develop and cultivate an external advisory board (EAB). Keep EAB apprised of progress and organize and run an annual meeting of the EAB.
  • Identify and target funding sources for materials research. The executive director will work with the faculty director to establish teams drawing on faculty from CSE and across the university and establish partnerships with external organizations (academic and industrial) to pursue and secure significant funding opportunities.
  • Build positive working relationships and collaborative arrangements with community groups, funding agencies, politicians, and other organizations to help achieve the goals of the institute.
  • Identify and target funding for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and K-12 outreach. Serve as the primary contact for maintaining the relationships.
  • Work with the Institute’s proposal developer to coordinate the development of fund raising plans and help in the development and writing of proposals.
  • Function as the primary point of contact between researchers, national and international industry and government funding agencies.
  • Foster synergy among the researchers and maintain the institute as a cohesive enterprise with a unified focus.
  • Identify and evaluate risks to the institute’s operations and proactively implement measures to control risks.
  • Develop and manage an annual budget to support the institute. Ensure the accomplishment of daily administrative and development activities.
  • Keep stakeholders informed of the institute’s work.
  • Monitor changes in needs of the community served by the institute, and initiate responses where necessary.
  • Promote/ market the institute and materials research at CWRU both within and outside the university, including development of website content.


    Perform other duties as assigned.


    Department: Regular contact with the faculty director of the institute to develop and implement strategic plans, anticipate opportunities, organize responses to proposal opportunities, industrial interaction and other strategic aspects of the institute. Regular contact with the institute’s proposal developer to ensure effective response to funding opportunities. Regular contact with the faculty leadership committee of the institute to disseminate information, define strategic and technical directions, target funding, report on progress in implementing the institute’s strategic plan. Regular contact with the Dean to report on strategic initiatives. Regular contact with Finance and Administration on budget issues. Regular contact with the Associate Dean Strategic Initiatives on industrial and government research opportunities.

    University: Contact with all departments and CWRU faculty participating in the Institute for Advanced Materials to access capabilities, define technical directions, and recruit proposal teams. Regular contact with the Office of Research and Technology Transfer and the Office of the Provost to discuss strategic directions, report on progress in implementing the institute’s strategic plan. Regular contact with staff in Corporate Relations, Foundation Relations, and Government Relations to coordinate activities in which affiliated constituencies are being engaged to support the institute’s priorities.

    External: Annual contact with the institute’s EAB to discuss strategic and technical directions, report on progress in implementing the institute’s strategic plan. Contact with federal government representatives such as Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Department of Defense (DOD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Energy (DOE), and National Science Foundation (NSF) program directors, center directors and administrators, as well as congressmen and senators. Contact with state government including Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) program directors and administrators, Lieutenant Governor’s office, Third Frontier administrators, and State senate and house representatives. Contact with representatives of international agencies and/or governments. Contact with representatives of local, national and international industry, vice presidents and program managers and/or directors, representatives of private (e.g. investors, venture capital, angel investors, etc.) and public organizations focused on local and national economic development. Contact with directors of other university materials research programs.

    Students: Little or no official interaction with students.


    Direct supervision of clerical support staff position.


    Experience: 10 years of experience in the materials industry and/or the formation of research and educational institutes in higher education.

    Education/Licensing: Bachelor of Science degree required, preferably in engineering or the sciences. Master’s degree preferred.


  • Demonstrated knowledge of materials science research and technology development required.
  • Demonstrated expertise in building and industry/educational research based board that supports a faculty led alliance within a complex research university.
  • Knowledge of organizational strategies of research initiatives on a global and multi-disciplinary scale required.
  • Understanding of the potential for economic impact in North America required.
  • Proved organizational, administrative, and interpersonal skills including the ability to interact on a professional level with faculty, staff, representatives from industry, government, and the community required.
  • Strong analytical, project and negotiating skills required.
  • Clear oral and written communication style required.
  • Creativity and problem solving capabilities required.
  • Conflict resolution skills required.
  • Knowledge of, and experience with grants administration, government laws and regulations relating to grants and contracts preferred.
  • Experience in a Microsoft Office environment.


    General work environment that includes normal office activities, speaking engagements, faculty meetings. Travel as need for meetings, workshops, conferences and other university business.


    Diversity Statement

    In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


    Reasonable Accommodations

    Case Western Reserve University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at 216-368-8877 to request a reasonable accommodation. Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.

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