Chief Scientist

Toronto, Ontario, ca
Company: Autodesk Construction Solutions
Category: Scientific
Published on 2021-03-29 20:25:53

Position Overview

As the Chief Scientist in Autodesk Research, you will lead and empower all of our science teams. The teams are focused on topics in: Machine Learning, Human Computer Interaction, Visualization, Human Learning, Robotics, Simulation, Optimization and Systems. They have a strong track record of producing breakthrough innovations (such as Generative Design), a significant publication history, and an ability to work closely with both industry and academia to realize technologies in industrial contexts.

Your responsibility will be to ensure we are effectively exploring the right science while also maximally exploiting overlaps in our various research tracks. We maintain a wide range of collaborations with academic and institutional partners that you would also manage. Today this consists of engaging with industry and academic thought-leaders as well as leveraging our Advisory Boards. You will also be instrumental in discovering and advocating for new research areas that we are not currently considering.

You will have overall responsibility for budget, staffing and providing the necessary resources for our scientific research teams to be successful. This includes collaborating with the other Research units that: provide engineering expertise; perform industry or customer collaborative research; perform strategic foresight; drive our community programs; and run our technology centers where many of our research projects are physically realized.

Lastly, as a leading technologist and scientist in Research, you will be in a position to influence engineering and technical leaders across Autodesk, representing our technology agenda and bringing back insights and ideas from those teams. The work we do at Autodesk touches nearly every person on the planet. By creating software tools for making buildings, machines, and even the latest movie, we get to empower some of the most creative people in the world to solve problems that matter!


As the Chief Scientist (Senior Director position), you will have a range of responsibilities including:

  • Building and maintaining relationships with leading academics and technology thought-leaders

  • Developing and managing our Advisory Boards program, including identifying and fostering relationships with future potential members

  • Developing and managing research budgets including ensuring appropriate funding and allocation for grants, programs and partnerships

  • Overseeing a compelling portfolio of scientific and technical research across our science teams. Building research strategies that span scientific disciplines to increase the scope and impact of our innovations

  • Identifying blind spots in our research portfolio and developing plans for understanding and addressing them

  • Collaborating closely with our industry research teams to identify partners and customer experts with whom we should work to advance technology innovations

  • Ensuring that the science teams have the appropriate level of software engineering support

  • Emphasizing the importance of open research and publication while also driving the teams towards applying our science to real world problems

  • Scrutinizing and critiquing research publications to ensure a consistently high standard

  • Working closely with our legal teams on issues related to IP protection such as our patent portfolio strategy and trade secret programs

  • Ensuring continued professional development of our scientific staff and leaders

  • Attracting and recruiting top research talent

  • Raising the profile of scientific thinking in Autodesk by connecting with other senior engineering and technology leaders to provide guidance and learnings

  • Fostering research collaborations with product and technology teams within Autodesk

  • Publishing and promoting Autodesk’s scientific focus, approaches and application areas throughout Autodesk and at conferences

  • Minimum Qualifications

    A successful candidate should have the following:

  • A PhD in a field related to our core scientific focus: Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Machine Learning, Robotics and Sensing, HPC, Human-Computer Interaction, or Computer Graphics and Visualization

  • A proven leader of researchers and research initiatives either in an academic or industrial research context

  • Experience managing budgets and resource allocation.

  • Experience publishing and reviewing papers and research proposals

  • Experience with Intellectual Property concerns and patents.

  • Highly effective working on a senior leadership team, collaborating closely with other leaders on issues of: operations, strategy, prioritization, budget and resource allocation

  • An appreciation of the power of enabling others and assigning ownership and decision-making authority to those most suitable.

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Ability to communicate concepts, data and scientific results impactfully for different audiences

  • Proven ability to influence and provide thought-leadership across either a large organization or many disparate organizations.

  • Comfortable working in newly forming ambiguous areas where learning and adaptability are key skills

  • Preferred Qualifications

    Experience in some of the below areas would also be beneficial:

  • If coming from an academic background, experience as an Associate or Full Professor advising students and post-docs

  • If coming from an industrial research background, experience leading research teams and programs that seek to advance the company’s technology portfolio

  • Experience running a research department consisting of multiple research teams, or multiple Associate or Full Professors.

  • Exceptional public speaking and writing skills

  • Knowledge of any of: engineering, design, architecture, manufacturing or construction workflows and industries

  • Good understanding or knowledge related to: computational methods, geometry, topology, physics, electronics, dynamics, mechanics of deformable solids, fluid dynamics, and information theory

  • Experience and understanding of the principals of design, user experiences, human behavior, and systems thinking

  • Working knowledge of Machine Learning methods such as: Deep Learning; Reinforcement Learning; Statistical Methods; etc.

  • A history of attracting top research talent through outreach, relationships and a compelling research agenda

  • At Autodesk, we're building a diverse workplace and an inclusive culture to give more people the chance to imagine, design, and make a better world. Autodesk is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and considers all qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected characteristic. We also consider for employment all qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with applicable law.

    Are you an existing contractor or consultant with Autodesk? Please search for open jobs and apply internally (not on this external site). If you have any questions or require support, contact Autodesk Careers.

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