Pennsylvania State University

Location: State College, PA


Careers at the Applied Research Laboratory at the Pennsylvania State University
Deputy Director as the Head of the Fluid Dynamics and Acoustics Office (FDAO)

The Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at Penn State is an integral part of one of the leading research universities in the nation and serves as a University center of excellence in defense science, systems, and technologies with a focus in naval missions and related areas. We are looking for a high energy, highly skilled leader in fluid dynamics and acoustics to join us as the Deputy Director and Head of the Fluid Dynamics and Acoustics Office (FDAO) at our State College, PA, location. The FDAO is a team of approximately 80 research faculty, research engineers, technical/non-technical support staff, and students and is currently comprised of four research divisions, focused on core competencies in experimental and computational fluid dynamics, acoustics, and vibration.

In this role, you will be responsible for developing and executing strategic plans to sustain our research and development in basic and applied experimental fluid dynamics (marine systems, turbomachinery, and testing with concentrations in advanced flow measurement techniques, hydrodynamics testing, pump design, and marine renewable energy); acoustics research (vibration and noise reduction using experimental measurements and computational predictions in complex structures with concentrations in flow acoustics, structural acoustics, and engineering acoustics); computational fluid dynamics (advanced physics modeling using high performance computing where state-of-the-art design and analysis software tools allow us to execute high fidelity numerical simulation); and research concentrations (including pump design, multi-phase flow simulations, biological and biomedical simulations, vehicle control dynamics, and computational methods development). FDAO also supports a number of facilities for experimental testing and provides complete experimental support from initial concept and design to fabrication and performance evaluations, test model, electronics, and instrumentation designs and applications, and test articles and instrumentation fabrication and assembly.

Just as important, you will be responsible for fostering a positive and collaborative environment, providing guidance, support, and professional development for current and future generations of the FDAO team..

This position can be filled as a non-tenure line Research Faculty or as a Research and Development Engineer Level 5.

Minimum requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a scientific or engineering discipline (Master’s or Ph.D. preferred)
  • 19+ years of related experience.

A vision for the future of the FDAO, and the ability to develop and implement an effective strategic plan to realize that vision, is required.  Other requirements include:

  • Excellent leadership, interpersonal, problem solving, and technical management skills, as evidenced by career path, team development, and accomplishments
  • Experience with sponsoring offices for relevant technology areas
  • A record of technical accomplishments in one or more of the research areas noted above
  • Proven ability to obtain external funding for proposed research
  • Broad experience across relevant defense, intelligence, and related U.S. Government domains
  • Experience with DoD, Navy, and industrial research funding activities
  • Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Washington, DC, and other areas, visiting other ARL offices, representing ongoing programs with sponsors, and developing new research initiatives
  • Success working alongside a diverse group of people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds
  • Comfort level in environments where various forms of communication, presentation, and organizational skills are crucial to be effective
  • Characteristics of sound judgement, integrity, and a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging


You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply.  You will be subject to government security investigations and must possess a current eligibility for a secret security clearance; candidates holding an active TS/SCI clearance will be given preference.  Due to the financial or fiduciary responsibilities of this position, successful completion of a credit history check will also be required, in addition to standard background checks. Review of candidates will begin immediately and will continue until a qualified applicant is hired. Employment with the Applied Research Laboratory will require successful completion of a pre-employment drug screen.

To view the full job description, and to apply online, visit:

Faculty track:–FDAO-_REQ_0000042932-1

Engineer track:–FDAO-_REQ_0000042996-2

Happy Valley, aka State College, PA, is home to the Penn State Nittany Lions as a Big Ten college sporting event mecca and the Bryce Jordan Center, which has hosted some of the world’s best entertainers. We have miles of hiking trails, numerous lakes for water sports, and streams for world renowned fly fishing. If you want a quick getaway, we are within reach of the Finger Lakes of New York, Hershey's Chocolate Town, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and the Big Apple. Our local University Park airport can take you literally anywhere else! Whether you're in the mood for a family day at the lake, an educational day trip to the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex, want to catch a Steelers or Eagles home game, or need a long weekend at Maryland's beaches, you can do it all from here!

ARL is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion; we believe this is central to our success as a Department of Defense designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC).  We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are part of our workforce.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION on ARL, visit our web site at

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473. Penn State is committed to the health of our local and global communities. As a condition of employment, all employees are required to comply with COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirements.

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