The University of California Merced seeks an experienced, collaborative leader to join the Office of Information Technology (OIT) leadership team as Director of Cyberinfrastructure and Research Technologies (DCRT). The Director will collaborate with faculty, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students and OIT leadership to plan and provide the infrastructure, applications and services required to support the University’s diverse and growing research portfolio. The successful candidate will assist with the development of research computing strategies, and deploy technologies to enable data intensive research programs. The position reports to the Chief Information Officer and has two direct reports.
Research at UC Merced
As it is at all University of California campuses, research is the cornerstone of UC Merced. Innovative faculty members conduct interdisciplinary, groundbreaking research that will solve complex problems affecting the San Joaquin Valley, California and the world. Students — as early as their first years — have opportunities to work right alongside them, sometimes even publishing in journals and presenting at conferences. The list of UC Merced’s research strengths includes climate change and ecology; solar and renewable energy; water quality and resources; artificial intelligence; cognitive science; stem-cell, diabetes and cancer research; air quality; big-data analysis; computer science; mechanical, environmental and materials engineering; and political science.
The research IT team strives to bring research computing, high-speed networking, and advanced visualization to campus researchers across all disciplines including mathematics, science and engineering, genomics, meteorology, remote sensing, molecular modeling, and artificial intelligence. The team works closely with the Library for data curation, data management and storage and provides support for technical grant writing. In many cases staff are included in the grant proposals, especially for grants involving cyberinfrastructure, major research instrumentation or cyber training. Successful NSF awards include:
MRI Acquisition: Multi-Environment Research Computer for Exploration and Discovery (MERCED) Cluster.
CC* Networking Infrastructure: Building a Science DMZ Network for University of California Merced.
Reducing Attrition of Underrepresented Minority and First-Generation Graduate Students in Interdisciplinary Computational Sciences.
UCM has access to both the San Diego Supercomputing Center (SDSC), the UCSD Nautilus Cluster, and the national-level computing resources known as XSEDE. UC Merced has four Fast Input/Output Network Appliances (FIONAs) allow UC Merced researchers to stage data for external collaboration and quickly access data hosted remotely. UCM also has close partnerships with the Calit2 institute and collaborations with UC Santa Cruz, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and UC Berkeley. Please refer to the OIT website for more information on the available research computing resources at UC Merced (https://it.ucmerced.edu/research-computing/).
The Leadership Opportunity
Through participatory and collaborative decision-making with the Faculty Committee on Research Technologies, the DCRT is responsible for managing the design, development, and delivery of a cost-effective mix of services that support research computing, including shared high- performance computing resources, data-analysis platforms, storage systems, and visualization tools and platforms across the UCM campus.
The DCRT will be expected to work closely with the Academic Deans, the Vice Chancellor for Research and the OIT leadership team to find opportunities across UCM to increase services to support research that will span across virtually every academic discipline with important applications in fields such as mathematics, science and engineering, genomics, meteorology, remote sensing, molecular modeling, and artificial intelligence. In general, this work will include:
Providing expertise, developing tools and techniques in scientific visualization, efficient parallelization of applications, data formats and I/O methods, grid computing, programming frameworks, optimization, and algorithms.
Providing oversight, direction, mentoring, coaching, and professional development to a cross- functional team of research computing systems professionals.
Managing the administration and operations of the Research Cyberinfrastructure team.
Assisting with networking, data storage/management systems administration tasks as necessary and appropriate.
Supporting grant proposals and funded grants.
Providing educational workshops and training for the UCM research community
Specific responsibilities of the position include:
Work closely with researchers, research units and schools across UCM to identify research computing needs and ensure that they are being met in the most cost effective manner; and lead a collaborative process to build out services and operational capacity in the design of a CyberInfratructure strategic roadmap for the campus;
Work with supercomputer users to develop their own research computing software or help them deploy and use third party software (commercial and/or open source);
Manage and mentor technical personnel responsible for providing quality service and support for the campus’ research computing activities;
Develop and report metrics that measure workload and performance of systems and services;
Engage in strategic planning, tactical design, and operational management of infrastructure and applications;
Maintain a robust infrastructure for research computing and data stewardship;
Identify opportunities and assist in testing the design, configuration, procurement, and use of cloud-based resources for research needs; and
Lead the delivery of support for containers, middleware, workflows, data management, data movement, compliance and security, and user training.
Teach research computing topics to individuals, small and/or large groups;
Support instruction using advanced research computing and data, on-boarding into new technologies, and deep engagement (“facilitation”) to guide researchers; and
Develop and/or collaborate on research projects and/or grant proposals that further the UCM CyberInfrastructure vision and strategy.
Strategy and Thought Leadership
Provide campus-wide leadership in developing, advocating for, and advancing research technologies into scalable and sustainable services in support of faculty research
Work with academic leadership to help identify business strategy, requirements, trends, and desired business outcomes for Research Computing;
Stay abreast of trends and new advances in the high performance computing industry by reading, researching, and participating in forums or communities of HPC professionals;
Establish, maintain, and/or participate in research computing consortia locally, regionally, and nationally; and
Establish effective relationships with relevant external research computing organizations and ensure that UCM is effectively utilizing national research infrastructure.
The following qualifications are required:
Bachelor’s degree in any STEM discipline (Master’s or equivalent preferred) , including but not limited to physical sciences, biosciences, geosciences, mathematics, computer science, engineering and/or social sciences AND
Minimum of 5 years’ experience leading or working in high performance computing – including software development, system administration, software applications, storage systems and networking.
PhD. in a related field will substitute for 3 years of experience.
Knowledge or experience in one or more of the following (and readiness and ability to develop skills in other areas):
Grid computing, programming frameworks;
Numerical methods and algorithms;
Software debugging, profiling and optimization in an HPC environment;
Scientific data visualization;
Experience with a variety of HPC applications.
Networking and/or cyber-engineering
Storage and big data management
Articulate, consensus building leader who can serve as an effective member of OIT’s leadership team.
The most competitive candidates will have many of the following additional qualifications:
In depth understanding of research cyberinfrastructure landscape and demonstrated experience with processes for procurement, deployment and operation.
Functional understanding of advanced computational environments needed for data-intensive research in physical and life sciences, engineering, information sciences, social sciences and humanities.
Strong program planning skills in order to develop services and solutions to meet needs in research computing.
Demonstrated expertise in specifying, designing, and implementing computing infrastructure, clustered and parallel file systems, large scale storage, backup and archiving and high bandwidth networking, software defined networks and Science DMZ.
Demonstrated experience supporting computational science and engineering or as a user of with experience with computational science and engineering applications.
Excellent customer service skills and ability to work directly with constituents or vendors to understand needs, resolve problems, and address systemic issues in service delivery processes.
Highly developed written, oral, listening, and presenting skills and ability to lead complex discussions and achieve outcomes through patient, transparent, consultation.
Successful experience developing budgets, tracking expenditures, and negotiating with vendors and contractors.
Please submit your cover letter and resume to UCM@itleadersearch.com. You may direct your questions or nominations in confidence to either Mary Beth Baker, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Phil Goldstein (email@example.com), Managing Partners of Next Generation Executive Search
The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and invites applications from all qualified applicants, including women, minorities, veterans, and individual with disabilities, who will enrich the teaching, research and public service missions of the university. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy (https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/DiscHarassAffirmAction)