Carnegie Mellon University

Associate Director of Business Development

We are looking for a self-starter to lead NREC’s expansion into new and existing commercial markets. In this position, you will be responsible for leading many of the business development activities for our group, including analyzing needs and opportunities and establishing relationships with decision makers in key organizations in each market. We need someone who can think strategically and rapidly identify and qualify project opportunities within large commercial companies in target markets. You will collaborate with robotics researchers, engineering staff and NREC leadership to define customer needs, present NREC capabilities, generate interests in funding R&D projects to address these needs, and lead the entire business development process until closure. You will also collaborate with NREC’s leadership to formulate a strategic plan for growth and execute the plan to meet the objectives. You may also lead long-term initiatives to help NREC establish new sources of revenue.

  • Profile, qualify and identify potential opportunities for robotics R&D projects within large market sectors and accounts in both industry and government. This includes conducting market research to understand trends, unmet needs and identifying the key players.
  • Contact key players in these markets to promote NREC’s capabilities and generate interest.
  • Qualify each opportunity to make sure the potential project would be a good fit for NREC and the company has sufficient financial resources and interest in funding a R&D project.
  • Approach different types of industry players such as manufacturers and end-users to formulate the most favorable approach to funding projects that address the needs of the industry sector.
  • Collaborate with NREC management and technical leadership to formulate strategic plans for growth and to secure new sources of revenue.
  • Lead and execute the strategic plan in collaboration with NREC management.
  • Work with NREC’s Customer Relationship Management system to collect information about potential opportunities and potential sponsors.
  • Provide weekly updates to the Associate Director on the pipeline of opportunities.
  • Work closely with the Associate Director to prepare quarterly reports on opportunities.
  • Manage NREC’s marketing and branding effort.
  • Coordinate and attend trade shows in targeted markets to generate new leads.
Note: This position requires some travel. We anticipate one or two short trips per month on average with two to four longer trips per year to visit potential sponsors and attend conferences and/or trade shows.
  • Bachelor's Degree.
  • 15+ years of successful business development experience with an engineering, R&D, or technology services firm.
  • Consistent track record of closing projects of $1M or more.
  • Capability to lead and handle complex sales process to closure.
  • Ability to reach to C-level executives and VP-level decision makers within Fortune 500 Companies.
  • Understanding of intellectual property terms as well as other fundamental contractual terms.
  • Familiarity with government contracting mechanisms and terms.
  • Ability to profile and qualify large companies.
  • Ability to initiate, generate, analyze, supervise, evaluate and alter strategic plans.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills (both verbal and written).
  • Entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Ability to quickly learn market needs and robotics technology.
  • Good knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Availability to travel both in U.S. and international (15-30% of time).

Note: this position may require access to export controlled material and is therefore restricted to U.S. Persons only (i.e. U.S. Citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents).

We want to hear from you if you have experience or qualifications in ANY of the following areas:

  • Experience selling R&D services.
  • Experience in a non-profit environment, especially negotiating agreements within a non-profit organization.
  • Deep understanding of robotics technology.
  • Scientific or Engineering background.

Join our talented team at NREC, an operating unit within the world-renowned Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

NREC has 20+ years of experience and is globally renowned for developing and deploying robots into many applications across multiple sectors, such as agriculture, mining, defense, energy, and manufacturing. We strive to provide solutions for real-world challenges where automation and robots have a greater impact on productivity and improve the safety and comfort of the labor force. Our unique expertise places us at the forefront of unmanned ground vehicle design, autonomy, sensing and perception, machine learning, machine vision, operator assistance, 3D mapping, and position estimation. With over 120 robotics professionals, we can solve challenges that no other organization can. 

NREC also leads in educational outreach through its Robotics Academy, which builds robotics curricula and software for K-12 and college-level students.

At NREC, we value diversity, support it, and thrive on it for the benefits of our organization, our employees and our community. Carnegie Mellon University is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran.