Director of Project Design Activity - Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering (134617)

Job description


Director of Project Design Activity

The Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering

The Grainger College of Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering at The Grainger College of Engineering seeks applicants for the position of Director of Project Design Activity. Reporting to the Department Head, the Director of Project Design Activity is responsible for the stewardship of selected relationships with corporations and corporate relations staff to allow for the solicitation and oversite of industrially sponsored Senior Engineering Project coursework and study. This role provides leadership and support for the department’s required SE 494 Capstone Project Design coursework and activity and is responsible for the management and leadership in the operation of database software.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

Specific duties and responsibilities include:

  • Corporate Relations
  • Research, coordinate, maintain steward relationships with corporate stakeholders to continually solicit industrial projects suitable for analysis and resolution by design teams made up of 3-4 engineering seniors as part of their capstone design course SE 494
  • Explore and manage relationships with companies interested in engaging with the ISE senior design program.
  • Host corporate visits on campus and foster opportunities for new or continued collaboration with senior design industry partners. Coordinate information seminars for past and new industry sponsors, followed by telephone, email, on-site visits, etc. to generate new and continuing industry partner support.
  • Prepare senior design proposals for corporate partners and prospects. Negotiate project descriptions that meet both the need of the industry partners and department pedagogy.
  • Significant travel of 30-40% of the time for Corporate Engagement
  • Senior Design Project Management
  • Secure industry projects to include necessary operational funding for the course.
  • Provide general oversight and coordination of the Senior Design projects that create a high probability of project completion and success for in a 1-semester effort by a team of 3-4 senior students advised by 1 faculty member each. A variety of projects is needed so that the technical aspects appeal to GE and IE students and are reasonably based on their previous undergraduate work which provides a context for the learning curve each team must undergo to achieve technical proficiency and success in their project.
  • Examine roster of students, provide guidance as needed, based on project abstracts in recent course brochures.
  • Prepare new course manuals and calendars, modifications to the website, and pursue funding from outside sources to meet “big ticket needs for facilities, equipment, and infrastructure.”
  • Make student team and faculty advising and grading assignments according to reasonable project and pedagogical needs.
  • Monitor and manage project progress through various online, electronic feedback mechanisms from advisors, graders, students, and industry partners.
  • Prepare and deliver lectures to facilitate project success by the student teams.
  • Schedule and arrange interim project presentations to be attended by students and faculty to provide meaningful feedback and correction to eh project teams.
  • Schedule and arrange a final project presentation symposium to be attended by industry partners, students, faculty, staff, and guests.
  • Manage and administer the SE 494 access database, which provide the main information infrastructure for course communications.
  • Instruction for SE 261
  • Instruct SE 261 in Spring semester.
  • Graduate masters level projects
  • Solicit at least two graduate/MS level projects. (Delivery and execution will be done by ISE faculty.)
  • Supervision of Support Staff
  • Train for customer service focus to meet student and departmental needs
  • Train for confidential data entry
  • Manage personnel issues
  • Assign tasks as appropriate
  • Establish prioritized workflow
  • Other duties as assigned

Position Requirements & Qualifications:



  • B.S. in STEM field or Engineering field similar to Systems Engineering and/or Industrial Engineering.


  • Graduate degree(s) in engineering, business management or related field which positively impacts the candidate’s ability to successfully fulfill and perform tasks pertinent to the mission of ISE and SE 494.



  • Five years of experience in a broad range of engineering applications.
  • Five years work experience in industry in management or consulting capacities.
  • Experience working in or collaborating with an academic or higher education environment.


  • Experience working directly with students in an academic or higher education environment

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Excellent interpersonal and presentation skills, demonstrated outstanding oral and written skilles, proven organization skills and ability to multi-task.
  • Significant knowledge and experience in a wide range of manufacturing processes and systems.
  • Significant knowledge of engineering system applications used in industry, business, healthcare, and other major areas where student projects are likely to be found and secured.
  • Ability to research and learn new skills on and as-needed bases to permit flexibility to pursue new project avenues as opportunities present themselves.
  • •Excellent writing and communication skills to deal effective with corporate clients and be able to condense pertinent project facts and needs into succinct project descriptions for review and approval by company personnel.
  • Ability to travel overnight within the United States as needed.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision and take initiative as needed.
  • Proficiency in computer software including Microsoft Products, such as Access, and Outlook.

The Director of Project Design Activity position is a full-time, benefits-eligible academic professional position appointed on a 12-month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date. Applicants may be interviewed before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after that date. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.

To apply for this position, please create your candidate profile at and upload your cover letter, resume, and names/contact information for three references by September 30, 2020. Full consideration will be given to complete applications received by the closing date. For further information regarding application procedures, contact Rachael M. Follmer at [email protected] or 217-300-6304.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

College Name or Administrative Unit:Engineering Category:5-Education and Student Services Title:Director of Project Design Activity - Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering (134617) Open Date:08/27/2020 Close Date:09/30/2020 Organization Name:IndustrialandEnterprise Sys Eng




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Job No:
Posted: 8/28/2020
Application Due: 9/30/2020
Work Type: