Director of the Utah Water Research Laboratory

Logan, Utah
Commensurate with experience plus excellent benefits
Jan 14, 2019
Feb 13, 2019
Thomas Fronk
Career Level
Education Level
Desired Certifications
Professional Hydrologist
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

The College of Engineering of Utah State University is seeking a dynamic individual with strong leadership skills, knowledge, and experience in water and environmental research to fill the position of Director of the Utah Water Research Laboratory (UWRL). The UWRL Director reports directly to the Dean of the College of Engineering and is typically a tenured faculty member of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department with the rank of Professor. The UWRL Director is responsible for managing fiscal and personnel resources at the UWRL, requiring a broad knowledge of operations, external funding, contracts and grants, project management, personnel management, and business development. This position requires close relationships with Colleges outside of Engineering such as Agriculture and Natural Resources together with state and federal agencies and other stakeholders relevant to water and environmental interests.

To apply, visit

The UWRL has been a national and international leader in water and environmental research for over 50 years. As the oldest and one of the largest university-based water research facilities in the U.S., the UWRL is a unique facility capable of providing state-of-the-art laboratory space and research support for large-scale hydraulic and physical modeling and testing, water resources and hydrology studies, and environmental research. Housed in two buildings, UWRL facilities comprise 113,000 square feet of laboratory, computer, and office space for faculty, students, and staff. In addition to two world-class hydraulics laboratories, the UWRL also houses a state-of-the-art environmental quality analytical laboratory with instrumentation and capabilities for analyses of samples across environmental media (water, soil, and air). Funding to support UWRL activities is available from the State of Utah through Utah Mineral Lease and State Appropriated Funds, as well as through external research contracts and grants. Faculty within the Water and Environmental Engineering programs within the CEE Department are partly supported by the UWRL to promote research relevant to the state and also promote interdisciplinary research within and outside of Utah. More information about the UWRL is available at

Review of applications will continue until the position is filled.  To apply for this position, applicants should submit the following information through our hiring portal found at

  1. A cover letter that describes your vision for the UWRL (2 pages max).
  2. A full curriculum vitae.
  3. A statement (3 pages max) that addresses how you meet the minimum qualifications and provides a description of your experience and ability to perform the responsibilities of the UWRL Director.
  4. A list of the names and contact information (email and telephone number) up to five professional references that are familiar with your leadership capabilities, financial management record, research work, and qualifications for the position.


Primary responsibilities of the Director include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide leadership within the College of Engineering and Utah State University for basic and applied research related to water and environmental issues especially in securing external funding.
  • Oversee budgetary and personnel management for approximately 200 faculty and staff affiliated with the UWRL.
  • Work closely with State of Utah and other state and federal agencies and other stakeholder groups to promote applied research relevant to water and environmental needs of the State of Utah and beyond.
  • Work closely with the college and university administration to broaden research and support academic programs within the college as needed. 
  • Teach at least one water-related course in the College of Engineering.
  • Promote the land grant mission of Utah State University.
  • Pursue an innovative vision of collaboration with scientists at Utah State University in areas that intersect with water science and engineering.
  • Demonstrate a broad understanding of water, irrigation, and environmental engineering in interactions with all constituents.
  • Effectively communicate the various types of research ongoing at the UWRL to outside agencies as well as on-campus personnel.
  • Lead, unify and motivate others and genuinely value the contributions of all of the laboratory’s employees.
  • Be a strong advocate for the UWRL and promote its purpose and mission as well as build upon its past and promote its present and future.

Dept/College Highlights:

Utah State University (USU) is Utah’s land-grant university founded in 1888. The university is a Carnegie RU/H institution with approximately 28,000 students (25,000 undergraduates and 3,000 graduate students) on the Logan main campus, three regional campuses, two USU Eastern campuses, and 27 centers throughout the state. USU offers 159 undergraduate majors, 155 graduate programs, and a variety of innovative stackable associate and certificate credentials.

The USU main campus is in Cache Valley, a community of about 114,000 located in a picturesque mountain valley in Northern Utah about 80 miles from Salt Lake City. Outstanding recreational opportunities abound in the nearby mountains and proximate region. Additional information about Utah State University can be found at:

USU recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the university’s academic mission. USU is an AA/EO employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by University policy or local, state, or federal law. Learn more at USU is sensitive to the needs of dual career couples and will make attempts to offers Dual Career Assistance when needed.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Earned PhD or PhD-equivalent degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering or related discipline relevant to the UWRL.
  • Demonstrated evidence of effective leadership, management of resources, and mentoring of faculty and staff.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated academic and research qualifications and experience in water and environmental issues eligible to receive academic rank of Professor.
  • Demonstrated experience and leadership in securing and managing external funding.
  • An established record of effective teaching and student mentorship.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in fiscal oversight and budget development with multiple funding streams.
  • Experience in national and international outreach and developmental activities.

Opportunity Type: Full-Time w/benefits package Percent of Time or Hours per Week: 100% Advertised Salary: Commensurate with experience plus excellent benefits Required Documents (The names and contact information of 3 references will be collected during the application process): Cover Letter, Other, Resume/CV Other Required document types/Special Instructions to Applicants: A statement (3 pages max) that addresses how you meet the minimum qualifications and provides a description of your experience and ability to perform the responsibilities of the UWRL Director. Often Functional Requirements (25-75% time): Both hands required or compensated by the use of acceptable prostheses Continuous Functional Requirements (75%+ time): Routine visual requirements (e.g. reading with attention to details; seeing activities near and far),Routine hearing ability (e.g. whispers at close range; voices at 15 feet; converse by telephone) Continuous Environmental Factors (75%+ time): Inside ADA Cognitive Requirements: Apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions, in books, manuals, and mathematical or diagrammatic form. Deal with several abstract and concrete variables. ADA Math Requirements: Make arithmetic calculations involving fractions, decimals and percentages. ADA Communication Requirements - Speech: Expression of a level to communicate fluently with clients/customers and others to obtain and provide complex information. Vocalize and explain detailed and problem-solve, both in-person and by telephone. Capable of interpretation of technical materials, oral presentation of reports and able to adapt vocabulary, tone and content for listener. ADA Comm Requirements - Comprehension: Comprehension and expression of a level to routinely draft narrative information such as case histories, compose routine correspondence on own initiative, make interview notes. May involved a large volume of such composition. ADA Travel Requirements: Minimal travel required – ability to travel infrequently (i.e., annually) for activities such as developmental sessions at a centralized training center.