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Director, Deason Family Innovation Gym

Southern Methodist University k

Dallas, TX

Jan 17
Job Description

Southern Methodist University (SMU) is seeking a Director of the Deason Family Innovation Gym. The Deason Innovation Gym is a 1200 sq. foot design space that emphasizes hands-on learning through real-life engineering projects and is a magnet for students who want to apply and expand their emerging engineering skills. Leading and supporting a wide variety of valued users will be an important part of the Director's job. The Director will run existing programs and help expand into new territories, particularly in graduate research and education and engineering entrepreneurship. Creativity, engineering skills, leadership and business acumen will be used by the Director on a daily basis.

Essential Functions:
Oversee and manage student projects via the IDEs (Immersion Design Experiences) typically conducted over academic breaks. Collaborate with the Associate Dean for Engineering Entrepreneurship and others to identify potential companies to fund and participate in the program and generate new student projects. Cultivate relationships with current or potential companies who participate in the program.
Oversee and manage proposed ad-hoc student projects, including deciding which projects the Gym can support. Mentor and guide students through design experiences. Assist students with curricular projects as needed/appropriate.
Oversee marketing, communications, and events for program, as well as represent the program at SMU and outside of SMU. Collaborate with the Associate Dean for Engineering Entrepreneurship to devise marketing and communications strategy for program. Promote program within SMU and outside, develop new programs to promote SMU as thought leading center for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
Recruit students to participate in program. Conduct student outreach to increase student use of Innovation Gymnasium. Leverage informal uses of Innovation Gymnasium to recruit students. Leverage other SMU programs and events to promote program.
Oversee and supervise lab manager and student workers to help with administration and facilities maintenance (e.g. ordering materials, keeping the space organized, enforcing safety in the space). Assess student needs and current /upcoming projects in order to make recommendations on tools and equipment the gym needs. Conduct research on tools and equipment (e.g. ensure they are state of the art, etc.).
Work with development staff and others to develop a fund-raising plan for the program. Direct and oversee annual Innovation competition. Meet with student teams, recruit judges, and coordinate logistics of competition.
Other duties as assigned.


Education and Experience:
Bachelor’s degree is required; Master’s degree is preferred.

Field of study for degree in Engineering or related field is preferred.

A minimum of 7 years work experience is required.

Experience in engineering design, engineering management, mechanical construction, electronics or programming is a plus.

Knowledge of and experience with the essential maker space tools such as 3D printers, vinyl cutters, laser cutters, power tools, hand tools etc. is required.

Fund raising experience is desirable.

Microsoft Office skills (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) are required.

Knowledge of graphic design and presentation software is preferred. Experience with programing on platforms such as Arduino (or similar) is preferred.

Experience working with students is preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Candidate must have excellent verbal and interpersonal communication skills to effectively work with a wide range of constituencies and diverse audiences. Must be able to quickly build rapport with students, colleagues and partner companies. Must possess the ability to develop and maintain effective professional working relationships. A strong customer service orientation is essential.

Candidate must demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in writing.

Candidate must be open-minded, creative and optimistic to effectively support and guide students’ ideas for projects.

Must have effective leadership and managerial skills.

Knowledge of and experience with the essential maker space tools such as 3D printers, vinyl cutters, laser cutters, power tools, hand tools, etc., is required.

Candidate must demonstrate strong problem solving and analytical skills with the ability to identify, analyze problems and devise solutions.

Must also have strong time management, organizational and planning skills with the ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks. Strong project management skills are essential.

Must be attentive to detail, and able to accurately and appropriately handle fiscal responsibility, including budget proposals, purchasing responsibility, and monitoring of expenditures against budget.

A strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office is required.

Knowledge of graphic design and presentation software preferred. Experience with programming on platforms such as Arduino (or similar) is desirable.

During peak times of the year, evening and weekend work is required.

Travel is minimal in this position.

Physical/Environmental Demands:
This position must be able to: bend, crawl, reach above shoulders, carry/lift 25-50 lbs., squat, climb, handle objects (dexterity), kneel, push/pull, and stand.

This position will work around moving machinery, work in confined quarters, and be exposed to excessive noise.

Deadline to Apply:
Priority consideration may be given to submissions received by: February 01, 2019.

Deadline to Apply: This position is open until filled.

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,

Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX The University SMU is a private university that employs 2,000 staff and faculty to support the more than 11,000 students. SMU's tree lined campus is just five miles north of downtown Dallas and offers a unique workplace environment, including historic Georgian architecture buildings, beautiful lawns, landscaped gardens and an exciting campus community. Choose a quality career at SMU The quality of a university is measured by the quality of its faculty, staff and students, and SMU seeks to attract, develop, and retain the highest of quality. Employees gain satisfaction in knowing that they are helping, in their own way, to complete the educational experience for a diverse body of countless students. Why settle for a job when you can have a career Among our employees, you'll find finance professionals, librarians, fund-raisers, researchers, HVAC mechanics, and IT professionals, to name a few. Career opportunities are available in the following areas: • Accounting and Fiscal Services • Information Technology Service • Administrative Services • Library Services • Athletics • Media & Editorial Services In addition to a multitude of career options, SMU employees also have access to resources that enhance their personal and social lives. Whether it's hearing a thought provoking lecture offered by the SMU Distinguished Tate Lecture Series or learning to "Pony Up" at an athletic event, employees have opportunities for cultural enrichment and entertainment that are unique to a university community. Overall, SMU provides opportunities for all levels of employment in a pleasant, empowering, and fun environment. Take a look at the campus, either in person or by visiting our Web site at