Job ID: 120796

Computational Science Research Faculty

The University of North Dakota

  • Mar. 8, 2019
  • Computational Science Research Faculty
  • Engineering
  • The University of North Dakota
    Grand Forks, ND
  • Mar. 25, 2019
  • Negotiable
  • Research Professor
  • Computer/Information Sciences
1  2 

The University of North Dakota
Presidential Computational Research Initiative, Faculty Recruitment

"If we invest in collection of big data and all work together, everyone will benefit. That’s how we win as a state." -North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum

The University of North Dakota (UND), the state’s flagship research university, is launching the President’s Computational Research Initiative (PCRI) and is seeking research-intensive senior and early career Computational Science faculty who will form the core of a Big Data research cluster, significantly enhance cutting-edge computational research and raise the level of research across the university’s research Grand Challenges. It is expected that the Big Data faculty cluster will help propel UND to Carnegie R1 status and further advance the positive impact the university and its industry partners have on health, energy, unmanned aircraft systems, cyber security, and rural population health across North Dakota, the country, and the world.

Position Overview
The Big Data faculty cluster will consist of research-intensive faculty and will leverage the existing computational research center at UND to drive research success across the university. Recognizing the critical importance of this research to the institution and the high expectations for research performance and funding, faculty to be recruited as part of the cluster will be provided highly competitive compensation and start-up resources and will have minimal teaching and service responsibilities.

To prepare for the creation of the Big Data cluster, UND has made significant investment over the past 18 months in order to enhance its High-Performance Computing environment and increase its high-speed data storage capacity, resulting in a multi-million-dollar upgrade of UND’s computational infrastructure.

The Big Data faculty cluster will report directly to the Dean of the College of Engineering and Mines or his/her designee and will be housed together in a "Big Data Hub" at the center of campus. This group will significantly increase external funding, both for individual faculty as well as for research centers/institutes.

UND anticipates members of the cluster will individually and collectively work with colleagues across the university in order to help the university realize a significant enhancement in activity in all areas of research, but particularly in those areas the university has designated for growth – Grand Challenges. These areas are poised for enhancement with the addition of computational capabilities in Big Data, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence and related fields.

About the Grand Challenges
UND has defined five research Grand Challenges that are aimed at generating opportunity by helping diversify North Dakota’s and the nation’s economies in areas where UND already excels and where external funding opportunities are abundant, and by addressing social issues, particularly in rural communities and across the country.

Grand Challenges Goals

  • Promote energy security and environmental sustainability
  • Address health challenges through basic, clinical and translational discovery
  • Help rural communities solve their unique health and social problems
  • Drive the world-changing developments of UAS and do so in a way that reflects UND’s values
  • Effectively, efficiently, and ethically produce, manage, and securely use information in the age of big data

Energy and Environmental Sustainability
Our goal is to promote energy security and environmental sustainability.

"Energy research has positively impacted jobs, research, and lives in North Dakota," says Tom Erickson, CEO of the UND Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC). "Lignite coal is more efficient and cost effective today because of the research EERC has done."
The EERC has a record of leveraging state funding through federal and industry partnerships. For example, a project to generate ammonia using wind energy has transformed a $437,000 state investment into a $2.9 million payoff. Similarly, a UND carbon capture project which traps carbon dioxide emissions from a power plant and injects it into oil wells to boost output has netted $12.7 million from a $3.2 million state investment.

UND can do even more, said Erickson, to increase oil recovery while decreasing environmental impacts, and by harvesting rare-earth elements, activated carbon, cobalt and other high-demand products from coal. And a one percentage point increase in oil extraction, Erickson said, could yield $3 billion per year in state economic activity and hundreds of millions of dollars in state taxes.
One area where computational research is helping to increase oil production is in the modeling of unconventional oil reservoirs, such as the Bakken Shale deposits in western North Dakota. The Big Data cluster will have an important impact on this research.

Human Health
Our goal is to address health challenges through basic, clinical and translational discovery.

North Dakota has high rates of cancer, Alzheimer’s and substance abuse, with an aging population and health care disparities in rural and tribal areas, said Colin Combs, champion of the Grand Challenge to transform health care in the state.

Marc Basson, associate dean at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS), sees opportunities to reinvent health care across North Dakota by partnering with hospitals and patients to pioneer medical advances and deliver high quality care. The SMHS has received more than $120 million in federal funding over the last 15 years to examine such vexing questions as how environmental factors can lead to cancer, and must now apply its discoveries to improving patient care.
Computational research – bio- and particularly medical informatics – is critical to translating basic research into clinical outcomes. UND sees many opportunities to attract federal and industrial funding by enhancing its computational capabilities in these areas.

Rural Health & Communities
Our goal is to help rural communities solve their unique health and social problems.

Along with access to health care, rural and tribal communities face social problems, such as opioid addiction, alcohol dependence and domestic violence, said Thomasine Heitkamp, champion of the rural health and communities Grand Challenge. "The needs are greatest in those rural and tribal communities," said Heitkamp.

An addiction research center, headquartered at UND and serving other states in the region, is being created to harness addiction science and research, leading to better health outcomes and increased productivity. The center will work with other areas on campus, including nursing, medicine and social work. Already highly successful in attracting federal and private funding, Heitkamp believes the center will leverage that funding while benefiting North Dakotans.

Critical to affecting positive addiction outcomes is the management of large amounts of patient data and extracting insights from this data. The Big Data cluster will have a profound impact on this effort.

Autonomous Systems
Our goal is to drive the world-changing developments of autonomous systems.

A national leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) education and research that has pioneered its use in agriculture and energy as well as policy and law enforcement, UND is expanding its leadership through increased research in cyber security and data analytics, said Mark Askelson, champion of the autonomous system Grand Challenge.

The UND Research Institute for Autonomous Systems (RIAS) has yielded major funding from the FAA for ‘Detect and Avoid’ technology, and industry partnerships with companies such as Xcel Energy have yielded benefits for both industry and UND.

Askelson’s goal is to maintain UND and North Dakota’s leadership status by building a rapid response team for use by the military, FAA, industry and government that will quickly offer applied research and technology solutions.

The team will use computational research to create new methods of analyzing the tremendous amount of imaging and other data that are collected from autonomous systems and creating actionable information from this data.

Big Data
Our goal is to effectively, efficiently and ethically produce, manage and securely use information in the age of Big Data.

UND is already a leader in big data expertise as the lead institution in a multi-university project for digital agriculture, funded by the National Science Foundation. It is also co-lead in another NSF project to determine industry and academic computational needs in the Midwest.

UND can do more, says Grant McGimpsey, Search Committee Chair, Senior Associate to the Provost, and until recently Vice President for Research & Economic Development. "Big data is important to North Dakota," said McGimpsey. "We can convert data to valuable information." Agriculture, UAS, energy, utility, construction and transportation sectors all use big data, and it is critical to enhance acquisition, storage, communication and security, as well as to convert that data to usable information.

Immediate Collaboration Opportunities for Computational Researchers
There are both immediate and long-term collaborative research opportunities for cluster faculty in each of the Grand Challenge research areas and beyond. For example:

Autonomous Systems
UND’S global leadership in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) underpins an active aerospace private sector in North Dakota and beyond. Thus, the new Big Data faculty cluster’s computational expertise could make the most immediate impact on UAS. Already a national leader in UAS, the University of North Dakota and its premier John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences is poised to take advantage of its relationships and location in the heart of a robust UAS ecosystem. The university is surrounded by small startups and established heavyweights, such as Northrup Grumman, General Atomics and Harris Corp. There are strong connections to the nearby FAA UAS Test Site, Grand Forks Air Force Base, and Grand Sky, a new UAS business park adjacent to the air base. UND is currently pioneering Detect-and-Avoid and Beyond Visual Line of Sight technologies and the integration of UAS into civilian airspace. Such activities present interesting computational challenges and significant collaborative opportunities for members of the new computational research cluster.

Energy Through Oil in North Dakota
The Bakken Formation occupies approximately 200,000 square miles (520,000 km2) of the subsurface of the Williston Basin, underlying parts of Montana, North Dakota, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Past efforts to produce oil have faced technical difficulties until the deployment of hydraulic fracturing. Today, North Dakota produces 1.4 million barrels of oil a day from the Williston Basin, primarily from the Bakken. According to Forbes (2018), the Bakken is one of only ten oilfields globally to produce over 1 million barrels of oil daily. Machine learning research to analyze the large volumes of data collected from the thousands of wells currently producing in the Bakken will be a significant opportunity for members of the new computational cluster. Applications using data to help incrementally improve oil recovery could yield billions of barrels in additional recoverable reserves.

Power Grid Management, Power Infrastructure and Cybersecurity
Re-creating the nation’s new electrical power grids represents both an opportunity and a necessity. Significant energy savings can be realized by the intelligent re-engineering and management of power generation transmission and distribution. At the same time, our power grids, both old and new, are under daily threat from those individuals and nations bent on attacking our economy and sowing chaos. Smart, secure grid technologies rely on robust artificial intelligence, machine learning and targeted cybersecurity algorithms. UND’s energy research groups – the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) and Petroleum Engineering and Institute for Energy Studies are working diligently in collaboration with government and industry to develop secure energy and power. Members of the new computational research cluster will find ready collaborative partners in Smart Grid and cybersecurity within these groups and across the university.

Medical Informatics, Medical Devices and Healthcare Disparities
Researchers in the Grand Challenges and across the university are working to improve the quality of healthcare and increase access to quality healthcare, particularly for those in rural, disadvantaged, and tribal communities. For example, a multidisciplinary group is currently developing relationships with regional and national health insurance providers to extract and analyze data from patient records and develop insights on health disparities and the prevalence and geographic incidence of disease. Such areas of research are ripe for application of AI and machine learning techniques of the kind that members of the new computational cluster can develop. In other groups, researchers are combining next generation biomedical imaging systems, making use of advanced signal detection and processing to gain insights into neurological disorders. The new cluster will find many opportunities to work on image processing and other challenges.

UND Computational Research Center:
Facilities, Equipment & Other Resources

Current Computational Assets
Talon: The UND Computational Research Center (UNDCRC) operates Talon, an OpenStack-based private research cloud comprised of 24 compute nodes, 3 web-services nodes, two master nodes, and a 288TB CEPH storage system. Twenty of the Talon compute nodes are each equipped with 2 x Intel Xeon Skylake Gold 6140 (18-core, 2.3GHz) processors and 192 GB of RAM. Another two (2) Talon compute nodes are each equipped with 4 x Skylake 6140 CPUs and 3 TB of RAM. The Talon compute infrastructure is rounded out with two (2) HPE Apollo 6500 compute nodes, each with 2 x Skylake 6140 GPUs, 8 x Nvidia V100 GPUs connected by an internal 300Gbps NVLink interconnect, and 1.5 TB of RAM. Each of the web services nodes have 2 x Skylake 6140 CPUs and 768 GB of RAM. Cluster communication is provided through a private 10 Gbps Ethernet and 100 Gbps InfiniBand EDR networks. The IB EDR network has an additional 32 ports available for expansion at a subscription rate of 1-to-1. Talon offers the full Bright Computing HPC and Data Science software stacks and is capable of deploying Clusters-as-a-Service using both Linux and Windows operating systems.

Hodor: The UNDCRC operates Hodor, a Linux HPC cluster comprised of 32 compute nodes and a single head node. All 32 compute nodes within Hodor are equipped with dual quad-core 3.3GHz Intel SandyBridge processors and 64GB of RAM. Sixteen of these nodes each host an NVidia K20 GPU accelerator, and the remaining sixteen nodes each host an Intel Xeon Phi 3120p co-processor. Cluster communication is provided through a private 1 Gbps and 56Gbit InfiniBand FDR networks. The GS7K appliance described above is accessible through the FDR network.

Arya: A second Linux HPC cluster, known as Arya, is available to host compute nodes purchased by individual research projects, in what is known as a "condominium-style" cluster setup. Nodes that the researcher provides through this program are available to that researcher with override privileges. If not in use by the researcher, other cluster users can schedule work to these nodes knowing that they may be bumped from use. Similar in configuration to Hodor, Arya is comprised of one head node and 6 compute nodes, all of which are of the Intel Haswell chipset. Two compute nodes each contain dual 8-core CPUs with 32 GB of RAM. Four compute nodes each contain dual 12-core CPUs with 64 GB of RAM. This system does not contain any accelerators or co-processors. Going forward, projects wishing to have dedicated compute resources will be advised to buy into Talon rather than Arya.

Storage: A Data Direct Networks (DDN) GS7K storage appliance offers a GPFS parallel file system and 1000 TB of raw disk to Talon, Hodor, and Arya via the FDR and EDR InfiniBand networks. This appliance is expandable up to 3PB. Data backup is currently provided by Veeam and Rsync service (schedule to be transitioned to DDN Data Flow – see below) to the UNDCRC QNAP backup clusters housed off-site and connected to UNDCRC storage systems through dedicated dual 10Gbps fiber network connections. UNDCRC and UND Libraries collaboratively participate in the University of Oklahoma OURRstore project (NSF #1828567), which provides off-site tape archive services at reasonable cost through the GLOBUS data transfer service. UND Libraries will store duplicate archive tapes in its climate-controlled vault for any projects wishing to take advantage of this service.

Virtual Machine Farm: Though scheduled to be superseded by Talon’s web-services nodes, computational support servers are maintained though the UNDCRC Virtual Machine farm, which consists of three IvyBridge server machines, each with dual 10-core CPUs and 768GB of RAM. Systems supported include a GIT code repository, UND Globus infrastructure, Sage2 collaboration server, BOINC middleware server for the Citizen Science Grid ( volunteer computing project (now currently providing 25 TFlops of research computing), and the National General Aviation Flight Information Database platform.

Visualization: In collaboration with UND Libraries, the center maintains a science data visualization laboratory consisting of two 65-inch stereoscopic 4K monitors, a Microsoft HoloLens, an Oculus Rift VR Headset, five Oculus Go VR Headsets, Lenovo VR Classroom Kit with 20 headsets, and associated workstations for use by researchers who require advanced visualization systems to analyze research data.

Software: Though the CRC maintains a variety of advanced computing APIs and language compilers (Intel, Portland, GNU – C, C++, Fortran, R, Python, MATLAB, CUDA, and MPI as well as various docker packages available through container libraries such as the Nvidia GPU Cloud) for researcher use, the center recognizes that users may require scientific software packages not actively maintained by the center. Additional software may be installed upon request, license and resources permitting.
XSEDE & Midwest Big Data Hub: Aaron Bergstrom, UND Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Manager is available to consult with UND researchers as the university’s campus champion to assist with access to XSEDE cluster allocations for those projects that require HPC resources beyond those that are available locally. Mr. Bergstrom also serves as the university’s coordinator with the Midwest Big Data Hub and can aid with accessing hub expertise in data science.

Data Center: CRC houses its computational systems in North Dakota University System (NDUS) data center, located on the University of North Dakota campus. The data center has been built to criteria of a Tier 3 data center as defined by the Uptime Institute. Data center features include 5000sqft (currently 3,000 sqft built out with power, cooling and racking) of machine room space, redundant power and cooling systems, as well as dual fiber networks connecting the data center to the UND campus network, Internet1, and Internet2 through the North Dakota Statewide Technology Access for Government and Education network (STAGEnet) and Northern Tier Network (NTN). The data center network is designed with up-to-date routing and switching, next generation security appliances, and application delivery solutions. Network connectivity, security, and management is provided in a highly redundant configuration for secure and reliable service delivery. STAGEnet and NTN research networks currently operate offer 10 Gbps capacity.

Spring & Summer 2019 Additions
Talon EDR InfiniBand Network Expansion: The Talon cloud IB network will be expanded from 36 non-blocking ports to 72 non-blocking ports, allowing for future expansion of compute and storage resources.

QNAP Expansion: UNDCRC will expand QNAP resources to approximately 2PB of usable backup storage.

NDILLI Science DMZ: In 2018, UND and North Dakota State University (NDSU) were granted an NSF CC* funding award (NSF Award #1826993) to implement a Science DMZ (SDMZ) between the data centers of UND’s and NDSU’s advanced computing facilities (UNDCRC and NDSU Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology – CCAST). The NDILLI SDMZ will be implemented over the Summer of 2019 as part of the scheduled 100 Gbps upgrade to STAGENET and NTN within North Dakota. The SDMZ will be managed through Access Control Lists so that any computational and storage resources connected to national Internet2 research networks can be added to NDILLI.

Data Flow – Backup, Archive, and Storage Solution: UND CRC is in the process of purchasing Data Flow, a data backup, archive, and movement solution from DDN. Data Flow (DF) will allow UNDCRC manage up to 2PB of research data easily across internal and remote systems. The amount of data managed can be expanded if necessary with additional licensing. Use of Veeam and Rsync for data backup will be discontinued once DF has been brought online. Beyond data backup and archive abilities, DF will allow remote collaborative storage assets to be mounted to UNDCRC systems using DF data-mover agents.

FIONA / Data Transfer Node: As part of the NDILLI award under the NSF CC* program, UNDCRC will deploy a Data Transfer Node (DTN) FIONA node directly on the SDMZ. This node will be equipped with GPUs providing a limited capability to perform AI edge computing. Beyond the scope of the CC* award, DF data-mover software will be added to this system in order to mount remote storage assets.
NVMe Drive & Edge Computing Additions: The GPU-enabled HPE Apollo 6500 compute nodes described in the above Talon section will receive high performance NVMe drives to provide data locality enhancements to their AI & Machine Learning. These compute nodes will also receive additional 100 GigE network adapters and containerized implementations of DF data-movers so that they may be directly connected to the NDILLI SDMZ for use as AI edge computing resources.

Data Visualization Laboratory: As part of the Chester Fritz Library building remodel, UNDCRC and UND Libraries will open a much larger collaboratively-managed data visualization lab in the Chester Fritz building. This enhanced space will feature all the assets described above plus a robotics lab, 3D Experience Space, 3D laser digitization services, 3D printing services, advanced 3D workstations and associated 3D and VR authoring software, and finally a connection to the NDILLI SDMZ at 40 Gbps.

About the University of North Dakota
Founded in 1883, six years before the state itself was established, the university gave North Dakota its name when the former Dakota territories separated into two distinct states.

Today, UND is the flagship research and liberal arts university and chief opportunity engine for North Dakota and is among the nation’s premier public research universities. Located in Grand Forks, the university has a busy 550-acre campus, the state’s largest. UND offers more than 225 fields of study, graduate programs and the state’s only law and medical schools.

The University of North Dakota is a Carnegie Doctoral Research Institution with an international reputation for research, notably in health sciences, nutrition, energy and environmental protection, aerospace, and engineering. These programs make a significant impact locally and regionally including:

  • $300 Million State Wide Economic Impact
  • $109 Million of internal and external research funding
  • 1600 jobs created in-state from UND research

"As the Energy U, Medical U and Unmanned U, we will continue to serve as the chief opportunity engine for this state and its citizens." – PRESIDENT MARK KENNEDY

About Grand Forks
Greater Grand Forks is a bustling community surrounded by tranquil and scenic countryside. It is a city where you will find friendlier people, livelier events, smarter schools, and healthier living. Located along the Red River of the North, Grand Forks’ population of nearly 60,000 is known for its warmth and friendliness. The city offers a wide variety of year-round outdoor and indoor recreational activities, boasts unique restaurants, robust industry, cool events that keep nights and weekends hopping, and a public school system the caliber of private schooling. The Grand Forks region has something for everyone.

Grand Forks was named one of the Top 100 Places to Live by Liveability in 2018 and among the Top 100 of America’s Best Small Cities by CNN Money for a reason: "North Dakota Nice" is real. Quality of life is real. With an average commute time of 14 minutes, there is no rush hour and travel from UND to shopping districts and the vibrant and historic downtown takes only minutes.

This four-seasons community provides cool things to do all year. The Greenway is a 2,200-acre natural park (That is four times the size of Central Park!), which winds along the Red River. Outdoor activities available in the area include hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, kayaking, ice skating, sledding, fishing, boating, and snowmobiling – just to name a few. There are eight golf courses, gorgeous state parks, and legendary lakes are a short drive away. And UND Athletics engage the entire community!
If you enjoy live music, performances, arts, or delicious fare, the Grand Forks region delivers. Broadway performances can be seen at both the Empire Arts Center and UND’s Chester Fritz Auditorium. Local performance venues and local breweries host live music every night of the week, and museums and public art spaces abound. Grand Forks restaurants have been featured nationally, including the Food Network’s Girl Meets Farm, which is hosted by local chef, Molly Yeh, and is filmed in Grand Forks.

Everywhere you turn, you will find places for children to explore. City park districts, libraries, and community centers organize youth activities of all kinds. Math and science camps, performing arts programs, and sports leagues are designed to help kids find their niche. Paired with some of the best school districts, affordable housing, and safest neighborhoods in the country, Grand Forks is a place to raise a healthy and happy family.

About North Dakota
North Dakota is considered the newest U.S. economic hotspot, according to a recent report by the Brookings Institution. While North Dakota has a history of being very strong in energy and agriculture, and the oil boom has also boosted the state’s economy, the state is also actively pursuing diversification of its economy. The University of North Dakota’s research, and in particular the computational Big Data research that will result from this cluster hire will help drive this diversification.

North Dakota stands among the top-five states nationally in a broad measure of economic, educational, health and other metrics, as reported in US News & World Report’s "Best States Rankings". Highlights are listed below:

  • Ranked 1st for economic growth and 2nd in the overall measure of state economies
  • 1st in ranking of net migration of people into the state
  • Lowest unemployment in the nation and highest labor force participation
  • North Dakota’s young population grew at a higher rate that any other state’s from 2012 to 2015
  • High rating for roads, energy infrastructure and internet service
  • Highly ranked higher education

All these factors and more contribute to North Dakota’s high ranking in the opportunity it offers citizens – 7th nationally. Additionally, North Dakota has among the lowest poverty rates, higher median household incomes, most affordable housing in the nation, and reaches a high level of attainment of college degrees among its citizens.

Computational Faculty Role Specifications, Qualifications and Requirements
Senior Level:
Requirements and Qualifications

  • Internationally recognized research reputation in computational research in areas including but not limited to unmanned and autonomous systems, data analytics, algorithm development, machine and deep learning (AI); intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); machine vision; human-machine teaming; visualization; and cybersecurity.
  • Demonstrated ability to create and foster successful collaborative research teams.
  • Long and distinguished record of funded research. Well-funded from external sources (federal government and/or industry). Must demonstrate current success in obtaining large private and public funding that would follow researcher to UND.
  • Experience leading multi-faculty research efforts such as centers and institutes. Have strong relationships with funding agencies, particularly the defense, intelligence and homeland security agencies.
  • Possess a reputation that will attract early career faculty, post-doctoral associates and graduate students.
  • Experience is at a level to be granted tenure or to be quickly eligible for tenure at UND.
  • Ph.D. or terminal degree in a computational or closely related field.
  • Mid-career research faculty, likely tenured, and/or a rising star employed at R1 and top-ranked R2 institutions. Other potential candidates may be academic researchers who moved into industry.
  • Security clearance is a plus.

Role Specifications

  • Drive collaborative work within the Big Data faculty cluster and across the university to increase funding.
  • Generate considerable extramural funding individually and contribute to successful efforts to create one or more externally-funded collaborative research centers or institutes.
  • Teaching expectations for this role will be minimal.

Early Career Level:

  • Strong research track record and demonstrated promise to attract major external research funding and/or already have significant funding.
  • Ability to work collaboratively across disciplines.
  • Teaching expectations will be consistent with significant research expectations.
  • Considerable research experience that is synergistic with that of senior faculty in areas including but not limited to unmanned and autonomous systems, data analytics, algorithm development, machine and deep learning (AI); intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); machine vision; human-machine teaming; visualization; and cybersecurity.
  • May be recently graduated Ph.D. or a tenure-track faculty member.
  • Employed by R1 or R2 institution, or may be employed by industry research centers. Experience securing public and private funding is important in either case.
  • Ph.D. or terminal degree in a computational or closely related field.

Attributes Desired of Senior Candidates

  • Proven innovator, collaborator, and leader.
  • A strategic and visionary thinker who keeps abreast of what’s relevant today and stays on the leading edge of future developments in the field.
  • A growth-oriented leader gifted at energizing and motivating constituents, catalyzing growth, and building momentum and broad advocacy for programs capable of competing at high levels nationally.
  • Excellent presentation, negotiation, verbal and written communication skills. An energetic and highly visible leader who can articulate and communicate the mission of the cluster to internal and external constituencies.
  • Effective social skills. Politically astute. Ability to sell a point in a non-polarizing manner.
  • Visible, accessible, and attentive, with responsive listening skills and active interest in the personal and professional development of others. Outstanding mentoring skills.

Key Attractors to Role

  • The opportunity to be part of something bigger than oneself as part of UND’s Grand Challenges, including the opportunity to work across several Grand Challenge goal areas.
  • Focus on Big Data with gubernatorial and legislative financial support of Grand Challenges goals and research. Substantial investment has been made and will continue for infrastructure and organizational structure to support the growth of Big Data research.
  • Highly competitive compensation, start-up resources, and state of the art facilities.
  • Initiatives have widespread support across the region, from Governor Doug Burgum to UND President Mark Kennedy, and from Grand Challenge Champion Hesham El-Rewini, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Engineering and Mines.
  • The state of North Dakota’s current and slated growth and economic advantages.
  • Opportunity to live a progressive four-season community and region that provides quality of life and access to every amenity an individual or family might desire – while maintaining a very affordable cost of living, superior schools, and immediate access to natural surroundings and extensive recreational activities.

For More Information
The University of North Dakota seeks a diverse pool of candidates with the tenacity, vision, and leadership skills necessary to realize the vision of the Grand Challenges.
For inquiries, applications and nominations, please contact:
Lisa J. Marks, Senior Partner
Leyla Kayi, Senior Search Consultant
Please provide a cover letter and CV.

  • Confidentiality of Application Materials – Note: Pursuant to NDCC 44-04-18.27, applications and any records related to the applications that identify an applicant are confidential, except records related to the finalists of the position, which are open to the public after the search committee has identified the top three finalists who will be invited to campus.

    EEO Statement – UND is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Applicants are invited to provide information regarding their gender, race and/or ethnicity, veteran’s status and disability status on the form found at This information will remain confidential and separate from your application.

    ND Veteran’s Preference – North Dakota Veterans claiming preference must submit all proof of eligibility by the closing date. Proof of eligibility includes a DD-214 and if claiming disabled status, a current letter of disability from the VA dated within the last 12 months.

    Clery Statement – In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the University of North Dakota publishes an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. The report includes the university’s policies, procedures, and programs concerning safety and security, as well as three years’ of crime statistics for our campus. As a prospective employee, you are entitled to a copy of this report. The report and statistical data can be found online at You may also request a paper copy of the report from the UND Police Department located at 3851 Campus Road, Grand Forks, ND 58202.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information


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