University of Alberta

Director, Supercomputing HUB

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Competition No.  -    A104038663
Closing Date  -    Will remain open until filled.

The University of Alberta and Faculty of Engineering have been given funding to start an AI Supercomputing HUB via the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  With over 2M in funding this new HUB is expected to become the focal point in the AI industry.

We are seeking a detail-oriented, thorough, and organized director to join and lead the AI-Supercomputing Industry and Academic Collaborating Hub located in the Faculty of Engineering (FOE) under the guidance of a PI in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). In this position, you will be accountable for establishing and managing an effective and efficient administrative support system for the AI SuperHub. You will be tasked with finding innovative ways to support and serve industry and diversify the economy of Alberta and Western Canada by enhancing productivity and building capacity through machine learning.   Candidates should have a strong working knowledge of the IT or Alberta industry along with experience in interacting with diverse based companies, an academic working environment, performance and operations management to optimize productivity and employee satisfaction in the AI area.

Responsibilities and Duties include but are not limited to:

  • In collaboration with the PI, develop a multi-year strategic plan to provide direction for the establishment, growth and sustainability of the AI-Supercomputing Hub  
  • Direct the delivery and day to day execution of all key aspects of implementation of the Strategic Plan, including but not limited to development of annual work plans, business development, risk assessment, communications, cost/benefit analysis, time/cost estimates, and budgeting
  • Set the administrative strategic direction for the AI Hub
  • Identify and develop external partners and collaborators
  • Participate in problem and risk identification in relation to the operating budget, staff, infrastructure goodwill and image
  • Coordinate recommendations with PI regards to the course of action taken
  • Engage effectively with the PI to anticipate, advise, plan, problem-solve, communicate problems, and discuss implications of decisions Assess opportunities for growth of the Hub
  • Assess and report progress in meetings with the principal investigator and Dean of Engineering
  • Track performance metrics and adapt to shifts in the business context of the AI-Supercomputing Hub  
  • Identifies needs and establishes goals in project management and data analysis projects in collaboration with the PI
  • Act as a professional advisor to the PI on all aspects of the Hub activities
  • Liaise with government, university, industry and the committees for reporting and management of the operations ie.  Western Diversification, an Advisory Board that will include key Industry, Government and University representatives
  • Liaise with senior executives at the university including the Dean, Assistant Dean Operations, Department Chair, RSO Director
  • Liaise with the PI, Department Chair and the Dean of Engineering – to ensure that goals of the AI HUB are being met
  • Liaise with the Industry Advisory – includes members of the diverse based companies utilizing the AI HUB
  • Oversees the human resource management for the AI group, which includes but not limited to:  developing job descriptions, screening and hiring personnel, recruitment, training and performance management 
  • Supervises, coaches and mentors the Business/Project Manager and other team members to support their professional development and technical knowledge
  • Contributes to the budget development in conjunction with the PI and Industry sponsors and monitoring of expenses for the AI Hub
  • Manages strategic and financial planning for the HUB in conjunction with UAPPOL policies and University of Alberta Finance regulations
  • Plans and facilitates committees, chair meetings, overseas management and reporting for the PI and the Dean of Engineering
  • Provide guidance of events and conferences as needed;  - there are at least one major conference/events within a year
  • Generate necessary reports for the executive team; read subordinates’ reports and provide feedback or edits for reports that are generated
  • The Director will report to the PI and interact with the External Industry Advisory Board
  • This position is Industry focused and intended to build capacity and global competitiveness of companies in Alberta and Western Canada.
  • The Director will establish and maintain relations with senior level executives, industry leaders, government agencies, and Faculty and students 
  • The AI SuperHub has an operating budget of approximately $300,000 that includes 3 staff members inclusive of this position.   
  • Supervise a minimum of two key positions that includes the Business Project Manager and the AI HUB IT specialist and reports to the PI
  • Liaising with the external client group – currently approximately 15 external clients with the expectation of this growing to 40 client groups, other industry participation and internal users within the university
  • Liaising with various stakeholders both internal and external can be complex in itself as there is a balance required to ensure all end-users needs are being met
  • Currently the AI-technology at University of Alberta is ranked 2nd in the world – significant impact on reputation
  • Will be expected to assist with the growth of the HUB to ensure continuity of funding


  • Minimum of Master’s or PhD preferred in the Computing Science or Engineering field, with significant private sector business experience and have worked in innovation industry.
  • Strategic and visionary leader with proven analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Demonstrated experience in management (5-10 years of experience) – experience in working in a post-secondary environment an asset
  • Superior skills and successful experience in motivating and collaborating with others to build successful partnerships, teams, coalition and alliances;
  • Knowledge and understanding of University of Alberta research services, financial and human resources procedures policies and agreements is an asset
  • High-level problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to organize ideas and information and to communicate clearly and concisely in both oral and written form
  • Solid computer skills, including Microsoft Office and relational databases and software 
  • Exceptional communication and public speaking skills
  • Outstanding leadership and organizational skills
  • Excellent facilitation, collaboration and conflict management skills
  • Advanced skills in problem-solving
  • Demonstrated initiative, resourcefulness, problem-solving abilities and results achievement
  • Able to maintain high quality relations with external and internal networks and partners, including collaborators, funding agencies etc.
  • Competent collaborator and skilled cross-functional communicator

In accordance with the Temporary Administrative and Professional Staff (TAPS) Agreement, this position is an initial appointment until August 31, 2021, with the possibility of renewal, and offers a comprehensive benefits package found at Faculty & Staff Benefits and annual salary range of $65,906 - $109,772.  This competition will remain open until filled; a review of applications will begin on April 25, 2019.

Along with your resume, please submit a cover letter that outlines why you believe you are the right person for this position. In your cover letter, please provide a detailed answer to the following question:

“How will you contribute to a culture of trust, effectiveness, and execution in the Faculty of Engineering?”

Applications received without a cover letter will not be considered. Applications received with a cover letter that does not specifically address these important items will also not be considered.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Note: Online applications are accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time of the closing date.

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.