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Employment Opportunities

The department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) is currently hiring for the following position:

Post-doctoral Scholar in Complex Collaborative Systems

The Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE) department at the University of Washington, located in Seattle, is seeking to fill a full-time, two-year academic research position at the rank of post-doctoral scholar. The successful candidate will be able to make major contributions to the design of complex collaborative systems. This position is housed within the Center for Collaborative Systems for Safety, Security and Regional Resilience (CoSSaR). CoSSaR is a multi-disciplinary center where professionals from a wide range of entities (Federal, State, County, City, Tribal, International, Public and Private) team with university experts to align strategies, processes and investments in systems for security, safety and resilience. 

The Project. The successful candidate will work alongside academic, public and private sector professionals on a transformative national model deployment project. Entitled “A Virtual Coordination Center (VCC) for Multimodal Integrated Corridor Management,” the project budget of $8.5M supports numerous stakeholders from the public and private sectors. The VCC is a robust cloud-based environment that enables regional stakeholders to share a common working environment in support of coordinated mobility management. The VCC will gather data from Seattle-area transportation management agencies and share this data through a common dashboard so responders across all the agencies can see incidents as they happen, coordinate responses and distribute unified public messages.

The successful candidate will receive an academic appointment as a Post-Doctoral Scholar. The position is intended to extend professional training for a candidate who recently received a terminal PhD. The Post-Doctoral Scholar will work directly with Dr. Mark Haselkorn and Dr. Sonia Savelli of CoSSaR on the VCC project, with regular interactions with other faculty and staff, as well as opportunities for continued training. As a member of the VCC project team, the successful candidate will:

  • Conduct and analyze a use-feedback-redesign process involving a range of operational stakeholders, as part of the agile development of a cloud-based collaborative environment. Methods will be participatory and will draw on the values of “action research” where the researcher actively engages in, and also analyzes, the agile development of a cloud-based, transformative, national model deployment project.
  • Work collaboratively to capture the benefits (e.g., coordination, safety, mobility, etc.), costs, and effectiveness of the project deployment, as well as lessons learned and recommendations for future deployment to other regions.
  • Apply existing, relevant conceptual frameworks to advance knowledge in how to design for complex multi-organizational systems (e.g., infrastructure studies, coordination theory, computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), organization science, sociotechnical systems, information studies).
  • Work with leadership to develop and manage an ownership strategy including policies and governance.

This is a grant- and project-funded, 24-month appointment. Salary will be competitive and based upon candidate qualifications and experience.  Full University of Washington benefits are included.

Postdoctoral scholars are represented by UAW 4121 and are subject to the collective bargaining agreement, unless agreed exclusion criteria apply. For more information, please visit the University of Washington Labor Relations website.


  • PhD in one of the following or related fields: human centered design, computer science, information science, systems engineering. Degree must be conferred by position start date
  • Experience with human centered, iterative and participatory design, action research
  • Experience with agile development methodology
  • Strong qualitative, quantitative, and analytical skills
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • An ability to work independently as well as part of a collaborative and multidisciplinary team
  • Preferred but not required: Interest and/or experience with transportation operations and management, government systems, cloud-based systems, manuscript writing, student mentorship, and project management


Applications should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of future research interests, and three letters of reference. The group values contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM fields, and to outreach; these can be described in the cover letter. Applications received by March 15, 2021 will receive full consideration. Inquiries should be directed to:

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.

Commitment to Diversity

The University of Washington is committed to building diversity among its faculty, librarian, staff, and student communities, and articulates that commitment in the UW Diversity Blueprint. Additionally, the University’s Faculty Code
recognizes faculty efforts in research, teaching and/or service that address diversity and equal opportunity as important contributions to a faculty member’s academic profile and responsibilities.


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