Robotics Program Director Needed at FIRST

Posted by Vince Wilczynski, Engineer on team #124, First Staff, from FIRST Staff and FIRST Staff.

Posted on 4/9/99 7:50 AM MST

As many of you may know, I have been guiding this year’s competition while on sabbatical from my regular job (teaching mechanical engineering at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy). FIRST is now in the process of finding a permanent replacement for the Robotics Competition Program Director. In short, this position is ideal for someone that has been associated with teams and is in a position to establish a career dedicated to making FIRST achieve its full potential. It is an awesome position that requires a very special person. I am taking the liberty to posting this job description on this web page (which I’ll let you know is read very closely by FIRST, though we don’t necessarily participate in the discussions too often) to give the announcement a wide distribution. I’d be happy to talk to any team member that is interested in this position either by phone (800-871-8326 ext. 404) or in person at Epcot. Thanks for your help in finding the right person to guide the future of the Robotics Competition - Vince Wilczynski

Job Description

FIRST Robotics Competition
National Program Director

General Description of Job Function and Purpose

The FIRST Robotics Competition National Program Manager is responsible for all aspects of a nation-wide robotics competition that partners industry with youth to help secure this nation’s technical literacy. This director is responsible for developing and executing a strategic plan to make this partnership program available at every high school in the United States. The director leads a staff that services nearly 300 business-youth teams from across the U.S. and directs robotics competitions at sites across the country. Responsibilities include developing plans to expand the current reach of the competition, securing and applying the necessary engineering, personnel and financial resources to make the competitions rewarding, profitable, and successful. This director reports directly to the Executive Director of the FIRST Foundation and is one of the senior managers that develop the foundations policy, standards, and strategy.

Deadline for Response:

Please mail resume to David Brown, Executive Director, FIRST, 200 Bedford Street, Manchester, NH 03101. Resumes may be faxed to FIRST at (603) 666-3907.


Develop & Implement a Strategic Plan for Growth

  1. Examine the current practices of the Senior Robotics Competition and device a strategy for sustainable 40% annual growth.
  2. Engage leaders of business, government, and education to implement that plan.
  3. Develop staffing, financial, operations, press relations and marketing models that support the strategic plan for growth.
  4. Establish an evaluation process that identifies the desirable outcomes of the robotics competition, the assessment procedures that measure the ability of the program to achieve those outcomes, and a feedback system for improvement.
  5. Serve as a resource to guide the operations and growth of other programs in the foundation.

Specific Duties:

Competition Leadership:

  1. Work with all constituencies to make the Competition events rewarding for the students and volunteers, financially self sufficient, attractive to new participants, and entertaining for the general public.
  2. Establish foundation, regional and team sponsors to support the Competiton.


  1. Oversee the engineering work force that support the competition. This group is responsible for soliciting donations for the kit of parts and making purchases for material that cannot be donated, designing a control and communication system to operate the robot components, and maintaining the engineering support infrastructure needed to conduct the competition.
  2. Oversee the staff responsible for the foundations computer network system.

Team Development and Management:

  1. Oversee all staff responsible for recruiting new teams and supporting existing teams.
  2. Develop and implement the processes to improve team development and management, with an emphasis on electronic methods for registration, information dissemination, and team tracking.

Event Logistics:

  1. Oversee staff to select event sites and schedules. Duties include developing local leadership teams to run the competitions, establishing press strategies to increase visibility, and negotiating with vendors to secure the best services.
  2. Work with local event hosts to execute the Competition and coordinate the efforts of the on-site staff, vendors and volunteers.

Other Areas:

  1. Serve as a technical, education, operations, planning, and public relations consultants for other member of the FIRST leadership team.
  2. Be responsive the needs of the FIRST Foundation Board of Directors.