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Who's hiring in PGH? CCAC, Alcoa, American Heart Assoc. and more...

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week's roundup.

The City of Pittsburgh is hiring a bicycle pedestrian coordinator. Candidates must have at least two years of full-time experience in urban planning, engineering, bicycle advocacy, public policy or a related field.
 
Management Science Associates is hiring numerous positions in client service, data management, data processing, operations management, human resources, and information technology. Visit the MSA career page for details.
 
Community College of Allegheny County is hiring a registrar, a bursar, a director of accounting, a director of support services, a career and technical education director, a dean of student development, a dean of academic affairs and an associate dean of academic affairs.
 
Carnegie Mellon University is hiring a communications coordinator for the School of Drama. The communications coordinator is responsible for various tasks related to marketing and recruiting for the school. CMU is also hiring a robotics engineer and an electrical engineer for its National Robotics Engineering Center and a manager of communications for the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
 
UPMC is hiring a manager of media relations for its downtown Pittsburgh location. Five or more years of experience in media relations, journalism or communications is required.
 
Alcoa is hiring to fill numerous engineering positions at its Alcoa Center facility. See details on Alcoa career website.

U.S. Steel is hiring a communications program management analyst. This position will be supporting transformation, analytics, communications and continuous improvement initiatives relating to the Carnegie way.
 
The American Heart Association is hiring a foundation relations director. Day-to-day work includes strategic evaluation of potential donors to match donor funding interests with mission, donor relationship cultivation and correspondence, preparation of grant proposals/applications, collaborating with program staff on opportunities, and appropriate stewardship and follow-through. The Pittsburgh office is also hiring a quality and systems improvement director.
 
The Northside Leadership Conference is hiring a coordinator to serve as the liaison between the neighborhood groups of the conference and Allegheny General Hospital in the implementation of the Northside Partnership Agreement for the purpose of supporting and advancing the comprehensive revitalization of the Northside.
 
PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience) is hiring a high-energy program coordinator to help the organization as it grows.
 
The Alzheimer’s Association is hiring an associate director of events to manage the overall events strategy throughout the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter. 
 
The Arthritis Foundation Great Lakes Region is hiring a community development manager to handle all aspects of special events fundraising including planning, execution and evaluation.

Have a job to submit? Email us here.

Test your theory at Pittsburgh's first community biotech lab this fall

Many communities offer resources on how to shoot a basketball, swing a bat, or catch a football — but there’s often no place for one to channel an interest in science, says Andre Samuel, who recently received his Ph.D. in biological sciences from Duquesne University. Thanks to a partnership with Duquesne University and Urban Innovation21, such a resource is coming to Pittsburgh this fall.
 
Duquesne and Urban Innovation21, a public-private partnership that boosts regional economic development through innovation-driven entrepreneurship, are teaming up to establish Pittsburgh’s first community biotechnology laboratory space, which Samuel has been selected to direct.
 
The lab and wide-ranging access to it will benefit local education, innovation and economy. The facility will be open to middle and high school students, college students, and small businesses, says Alan W. Seadler, associate academic vice president for research and technology at Duquesne. Users will be trained on how to use the lab safely and efficiently.
 
“No biotechnology space is available for use by high school educators and their students outside of what is accessible within their school system, and the university lab spaces which might be used are always in high demand by professors and their students,” says Seadler. “This lab will provide educational and community outreach, in keeping with Duquesne’s strategic plan, particularly for urban students whose schools might not have these capabilities. It also will give startup biomedical companies access to research-grade instruments.”

William Generett, president and CEO of Urban Innovation21, says the build out for the lab will begin in early September and it will be open to the public in the late fall.
 
“There’s an excitement about the lab. We can’t open it soon enough to fill the need,” says Generett.
 
Larry Miller, the life science executive in residence at Innovation Works, says the new lab will provide a similar catalytic experience that the Tech Shop did for rapid prototyping, but for the biotech science community.
 
“Their biotech lab will provide “wet labs” to university grads and undergrads as well as entrepreneurs. This is the population from whom most of our start-ups are imagined and launched. Having ready access to wet lab space, standard lab equipment and state of the art tools will speed up the testing of their hypothesis. Overall, our goal is to keep these talented scientists and engineers in the region.”
 
“At Innovation Works, about one-third of our investment portfolio for the last 10 years has been in life science companies,” says Miller. “So, we support the Biotech Lab concept—it solves a number of limited resource constraints and opens up the life science experience to the general population. It’s just what we need to develop biotech engineers and scientists and compete in the global economy today.”
 
Partners serving on the biotech lab’s advisory panel include ASSET STEM EducationCarlow UniversityCommunity College of Allegheny CountyCarnegie Science CenterDuquesne University’s School of EducationPenn State Center PittsburghThermoFisher and UPMC.

AlphaLab company Jetpack Workflow helps accountants be more productive

David Cristello’s software idea had 10 accounting firms forking over money before a single line of code was written. He founded Jetpack Workflow, a cloud-based recurring client management system for professional service firms that was recently presented to the public at AlphaLab’s Demo Day.
 
While the system will have wider applications in the future, he’s currently focused on serving the accounting profession, as accountants must manage many forms and checklists for each client. The Jetpack Workflow team interviewed thousands of accountants and bookkeepers about the most time-consuming or painful problems they deal with in their jobs. The resulting software makes it easy for accountants to keep track of numerous forms, and allows them to ditch the antiquated file cabinet system some firms still rely upon.
 
Currently, the market offers broad-based tools like customer relationship management systems that aren’t built for managing recurring client work and project management tools that aren’t suited to track hundreds of clients, says Cristello.
 
“The original concept came from hearing the pain of tracking due dates, client work, staff and recreating similar client files over and over again,” says Cristello. “Jetpack Workflow exists because we want to alleviate pain and frustrations from their firms so they can become more fun, productive and profitable. When they can save admin time, better track staff, or not deal with complicated software, it frees up their time and focus to serve their clients and build their firm.”
 
With features that allow users to apply filters and automatically clone checklists, Jetpack Workflow is designed to eliminate a lot of headaches. In the future, it will also be able to integrate with other cloud platforms.
 
Managers can also use Jetpack Workflow to track the progress of their staff – something that has been nearly impossible for them until now.
 
Since the service launched about a month ago, it has tripled the number of firms it’s working with and is setting up new features to further serve users.
 
So far, clients are thrilled.
 
"It’s definitely been a time saver, and instead of getting lost trying to track so many tasks, now I know where they are and can get instantly focused on what requires attention,” says Rob Olson of Apex Payroll.
 
There is a small team in Pittsburgh and other members in Louisiana and Slovenia with backgrounds in back-end development, front-end development and design, sales and marketing.
 
“We're fortunate to be in a time where talent can come from anywhere, although we look forward to continuing to build up our presence here in Pittsburgh,” says Cristello.

Who's hiring in PGH? Start-ups, universities and more...

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week's roundup.
 
Conversant Labs is looking for software engineers to help build mobile apps for the blind and visually impaired. Developers will get to work with speech recognition and natural language processing technologies to create powerful applications that improve the lives of our users. Contact info@conversantlabs.com for more info.

Diamond Kinetics, a company actively commercializing a revolutionary new technology platform to improve player performance in both baseball and softball, is hiring a lead software developer (web and mobile) and a cross-platform mobile developer.
 
Rent Jungle, online apartment search engine, is hiring a Python developer to oversee day-to-day coding for the back-end systems that power the company's data-gathering systems.
 
Treatspace, an emerging healthcare IT startup in Pittsburgh, is hiring a project manager to provide clients with software implementation services. 
 
Murray Avenue Apothecary, Pittsburgh's premier compounding and wellness pharmacy, is hiring a clinical administrative assistant (certified pharmacy technician) to process and schedule consultations for clients, organize and execute "Lunch and Learn" events, process RX refills, enter patient data, manage inventory, develop and maintain working relationships with physicians throughout the city and region, and assist staff with other administrative tasks as they arise. 
 

The Environmental Charter School is looking for a creative and catalytic K-3 Arts Thinking Lab Fellow to co-teach alongside a science co-teacher. Successful candidates must be progressive minded, and embody a can-do spirit and work ethic. The school is also seeking a principal for its upper school. This position will support the infusion of culture within the educational experience at ECS, and lead faculty in building and evolving an innovative school in the city of Pittsburgh.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is seeking a full-time executive assistant to provide administrative support for the Executive Director. The candidate must be a professional, highly motivated and reliable individual with exceptional writing, communication, organizational and multi-tasking skills.

Conservation Consultants, Inc., located in the Southside, is hiring a part-time bookkeeper with at least five years of experience and an extensive knowledge of Quickbooks. Experience with nonprofits is a plus.   

Carlow University is hiring a web and social media content editor. The position requires a creative and engaging professional to handle a mix of responsibilities including social media, photography, video creation, writing, web wrangling, and out-of-the-box problem solving.
 
Carnegie Mellon University is hiring an executive director of alumni relations and annual giving; an assistant director for the Tepper School of Business Masters Admissions Office; a computer services systems administrator; and a policy and compliance coordinator for its Computer Security Office.
 
The University of Pittsburgh is hiring a marketing content coordinator for its Office of Admissions and Financial Aid; a web application developer for Pitt business programs; a development associate for the Eye & Ear Foundation; and a server systems manager for the NSABP Biostatistical Center.
 
Robert Morris University is hiring an annual giving specialist to oversee its phonathon program and other fundraising initiatives as well as a major gifts officer.
 
Point Park University is hiring a director of student life, a financial aid administrator, and an assistant registrar to manage registration database and provide technical support to students and faculty.

Coming & Going: Pittsburgh professionals on the move

Jackie Baker recently joined Bricolage as the theater’s new general manager. Baker was formerly the development manager at Kelly Strayhorn Theater. In addition to overseeing Bricolage’s day-to-day administration and the long-term healthy functionality of the organization, she is working to double the staff and usher in a new strategic plan.

Mayor William Peduto recently hired FBI Special Agent Stephen A. Bucar as Pittsburgh’s new Public Safety Director. Bucar, who was raised in Washington County, has overseen the analysis of information associated with domestic and international terrorism investigations for field offices across the United States as a supervisory special agent section chief in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division in Washington, D.C. He was also formerly an assistant special agent in charge of a branch within the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, the largest office of its kind in the nation.

C. Todd Gibson has recently joined the global law firm K&L Gates LLP as an investment management partner in its Boston and Pittsburgh offices. Gibson was formerly with Reed Smith LLP. Focusing his practice on international investment management and globally distributed fund products, Gibson advises clients such as U.S. and international investment managers, broker-dealers, hedge funds and private equity funds on regulatory compliance matters, investment management services, and the sale of pooled investment products across borders.

As special U.S. counsel to funds organized under the European Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities directive, he also advises on cross-border acquisitions of foreign asset managers and compliance with foreign laws and regulations.

Brad Stephenson recently joined Level Interactive/University Bound Agency as its Director of Strategic Accounts. Stephenson was previously the senior digital marketing manager at Philips Respironics. In his new position, Stephenson ensures marketers stay informed on the effectiveness of how their money is being spent.

Burns White LLC, a full-service law firm that provides corporate, litigation and consulting counsel to clients operating across a broad spectrum of industries nationwide, recently hired three new associates at its Pittsburgh office:

Matthew J. Glenn’s energy practice involves the conducting of research, review and preparation of due diligence and title curative measures, as well as the writing of certified title opinions for clients in the oil and gas industry. Glenn was formerly an abstractor at Turner Oil & Gas Properties.
 
Andrew W. Lawrence assists clients in the oil and gas industry with due diligence review, title curative measures and certified title opinions. Lawrence was formerly an abstractor at Definitive Energy Solutions LLC.
 
An experienced litigator and a trial attorney, Candace G. Ragin brings a diverse practice in civil and criminal law to the Transportation Group at Burns White. Ragin is an adjunct professor in the Sociology and Law Department at Saint Vincent College and was formerly an associate attorney for the Allegheny County Office of Conflict Counsel and an assistant solicitor in the City of Pittsburgh Law Department.

Do you have news to share about Pittsburgh professionals on the move? Submit to Pop City via email.

Art Institute of Pittsburgh alum works visual effects magic on new X-Men film

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the new X-Men film X-Men: Days of Future Past, you are missing out on visual effects by Pittsburgh’s own Joseph A. Spano III. Spano, who received his bachelor’s degree in visual effects and motion graphics from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2009, worked as senior compositor for Digital Domain on the film starring Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellan and Jennifer Lawrence.
 
Prior to his graduation from The Art Institute, Spano sold nearly all of his belongings in preparation for his cross-country move to Los Angeles. Determined to hit the ground running, he packed up his car and embarked on his journey the day after receiving his diploma. He’s since made himself at home in Hollywood with more than 29 films under his belt, including Iron Man 3, Wolverine, 42 and A Good Day to Die Hard. He's also worked on numerous  television productions, including True Blood, Behind the Candelabra, Mad Men and CSI.
 
Spano says the highlight of his career has been getting a job with Digital Domain, which was his “dream studio” in college. As part of the Digital Domain team, he worked on Iron Man 3, which was nominated for an Academy Award for its visual effects.
 
“A career in visual effects is interesting in that almost every day I have a new, unique challenge to face,” says Spano. “Specifically as a digital compositor, my job is at least 50 percent problem-solving.”
 
Spano is responsible for the final shot as it appears on screen. To do this, he combines the work from other departments like CG, Environments and FX, and is responsible for color corrections and green screen keys among other preparations. 
 
Spano says the visual effects work is a much heavier process than people tend to think. Things shot in front of a green or blue screen do not magically vanish. Spano says they spend sometimes hundred of hours to attain photo-real results.  
 
The technical work is just one aspect of the challenges Spano faces in his career.
 
“If I were to single out the absolute most challenging aspect, it would have to be the difficulty of leading a normal life while working,” he says. “We constantly have to move for work, often working 12- to 20-hour days, six or seven days per week. This starts to put a huge strain on your day-to-day life, as well as your social life."
 
Spano recently worked 47 consecutive days without a day off.
 
It may be exhausting, but Spano says he loves his career.
 
“I absolutely love knowing that my work is going to be around long after I am gone -- living on in these films.”

Who's hiring in PGH? The Parks Conservancy, C-leveled and more ...

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week’s roundup.
 
Burson-Marsteller’s Consumer and Brand Marketing team is searching for a client executive, a public relations professional with a minimum of one year of previous public relations work experience, to be an integral member of the account team and service the client through research, writing, program development and management, and day to day account administration. The global agency is also searching for a senior associate, a public relations professional with a minimum of six years of previous public relations work experience, that will be responsible for day-to-day client projects and/or events to ensure the quality of work meets the client’s objectives and provides value. This role will manage diverse internal teams, drive project deliverables, achieve deadlines and deliver outstanding results. Enthusiastic, tireless, passionate and driven people are encouraged to send a resume and cover letter indicating interest in either of these positions to Annette Capp at annette.capp@bm.com. No phone calls please.
 
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is hiring a grants manager to handle all phases of the grants application and administration processes, from the identification of potential new sources of funding and proposals, writing and submitting the grant requests, ensuring compliance with grant requirements and preparing reports in a timely and accurate basis. The ideal candidate will have at least seven years of grant management and writing experience, including grants from foundations, corporations and government entities.

The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, which is currently being developed on 460 acres along the airport corridor near Settler’s Ridge, is seeking a horticulture and facilities manager. The position is responsible for the construction of horticultural exhibits, and maintenance of living plant collections, garden buildings and infrastructure. The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in horticulture, botany, natural science or a related field and at least five years of progressive experience in managing horticultural staff, preferably in a public garden.

First Insight is hiring a product marketing manager to develop, implement and maintain First Insight’s product line. The position is responsible for directing and performing all aspects of product development, product changes and product promotions including development procedures, specifying components, packaging and header design, product positioning, pricing, catalog and sell sheet copy, training aides and point of purchase merchandisers.

InRhythm, a fast growing, innovative technology company, is hiring a distributor support specialist. The position is responsible for providing ongoing personalized support and training of the InfoMetrics database program to client distributors and their staff.
 
Carnegie Mellon University is hiring several interesting positions, including a director of marketing for Student Affairs Operations to develop and implement marketing strategies and initiatives for Conference & Event Services, Dining Services, Housing Services, and the Cohon University Center. A bachelor’s degree in marketing, business administration, or a related field and a minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in a marketing role is required. CMU is also hiring a campus affairs financial manager to assist in providing financial data and analysis, communicating and assuring policy compliance, and facilitating colleagues' abilities to anticipate needs, identify potential problems, and forecast resource requirements.
 
The University of Pittsburgh is hiring an assistant manager for its computing services department. This senior level technical assistant manager position reports to the director of system engineering involving analysis, planning, requirements, design, development, maintenance and testing of enterprise/ departmental system and services.
 
C-leveled is hiring an account executive to manage three to five company accounts by maintaining and directing client contact and managing client expectations to ensure client satisfaction. The ideal candidate will have two to five years of experience in managing accounts; agency experience preferred. 

Are you hiring? Send your job openings to Pop City at innovationnews@popcitymedia.com.

CMU launches cross-disciplinary institute to spur innovation

With the launch of Carnegie Mellon’s Integrated Innovation Institute, it becomes the first university to cross train students in engineering, design and business. The market-focused institute is meant to speed the pace of innovation via collaboration, something that has long been a hallmark of CMU. Students take courses across disciplines to understand how those other disciplines think, so they will be ready to be successful innovators in the marketplace.
 
"Global business challenges demand a new breed of executive talent,” says institute co-director Peter Boatwright, the Carnegie Bosch Professor of Marketing at the Tepper School of Business. “Our integrated innovation tenets force students outside their previous training and comfort zones, creating hybrid thinkers and doers. We've been moving toward this pivotal point for years, training students in a deeply integrated and pragmatic method that directly addresses the barriers inhibiting speed in industry."
 
The institute was inspired by the cross-disciplinary curriculum of CMU’s Master of Integrated Innovation program, which was founded in 2003 as the Master of Product Development program, says co-director Eric Anderson, an associate professor in the School of Design and associate dean of the College of Fine Arts.
 
Anderson says the program’s success has been the result of tackling the “fuzzy front end of development” — figuring out the kinds of things that should be designed and what features customers want to see in products.
 
In addition to the Pittsburgh-based Master of Integrated Innovation for Products in Services, the core of the institute includes the Master of Science in Software Management, based in Silicon Valley and founded in 2004; and a professional master’s degree planned for fall 2015 as part of Carnegie Mellon’s new Integrated Media Program at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
 
“I think the challenges most folks have is that they don’t always start off with integration of disciplines in mind,” Anderson says of typical snags in the innovation process that the institute aims to alleviate.
 
“Companies are still very linear in how they think of product design. In companies that are more successful, they collaborate in points of the process. But we distinguish ourselves because we are integrated in how we teach — so people become hybrid thinkers and doers. It’s hard to get disciplines together to think about a problem at a high enough level that people can work through the difficulties.”
 
Anderson says being empathetic to other disciplines helps identify opportunities and shape potential solutions to challenges.
 
“Our students, from day one, they are thinking in an integrated environment,” he says. “And they are being taught the fundamentals of other disciplines.”
 
So what does this kind of cross-discipline collaboration look like in action?
 
“From the outside, it may seem like organized chaos,” Anderson says, with a laugh. “It is very dynamic. You have people sketching and making diagrams and papers and reports, all of which inform the process from different disciplines… They all weave it together at different stages in the process to make arguments about why what they are proposing is the best solution for the problem that has been stated.”
 
The university has dedicated a state of the art building to the institute that features open and flexible space that can be reconfigured at any time to accommodate talks or teams.
 
Not only are students constantly integrating other disciplines into their work, they are often immersed in the cultures and environments for which they are designing solutions. A CMU collaboration with the long haul truck company Navistar several years ago exemplifies the success of this level of immersion.
 
Anderson says during the project, students practically lived at truck stops. This environmental research yielded key insight students would not have otherwise learned.
 
“Students found in their research that when truckers are pulled over by state troopers — truckers must open their door to share their license and registration. And when the truck is dirty, truckers are more likely to get a ticket.”
 
For this reason, a cleaning zone was one of the five activity zones implemented in the redesign of the internal cab of the truck. The other zones included sleeping, working, meal preparation and pets. The five teams that designed the zones had their work patented and their features were translated to one large system. The truck won the 2008 Truck of the Year award.
 
“It’s because of this integrated approach that allows them to have these real world experiences and allows them to be immediately valuable in the marketplace,” says Anderson.

Highlights from Demo Day

On Tuesday, a crowd of about 500 people flocked to see demos by the current cohort of companies at Alphalab, which was recently ranked the sixth best accelerator in the country. This Demo Day also marked the debut of Alphalab Gear, a hardware and robotic startup accelerator. For the first time, the event was held at Stage AE to accommodate the ever-growing crowd, a testament to the excitement and momentum surrounding Pittsburgh innovation.
 
With so much talent in Pittsburgh, it’s no wonder Illana Diamond, managing director of Alphalab Gear, says it’s the mentorship and extensive alumni network that make Alphalab/Alphalab Gear standout from their counterparts. Indeed, in a survey led by MIT professor Yael Hochberg, entrepreneurs ranked Alphalab third in the nation for general mentorship and industry-specific knowledge.
 
Both Alphalab and Alphalab Gear are part of Innovation Works, the region’s largest seed stage investor. Investing in and providing business assistance to high-potential seed and early-stage tech companies in the Pittsburgh region, Innovation Works has made a name for itself as one of the nation’s most active seed investors.
 
While Innovation Works is certainly a major player in the Pittsburgh innovation scene, the city as a whole continued to outpace national averages in the amount of venture dollars invested in regional companies from 2009-13, according to a report by Ernst and Young and Innovation Works that was released earlier this spring. The report also points to the growing number of successful company exits as proof of Pittsburgh’s success as a hub for innovation.
 
Read on for highlights from the Demo Day presentations.
 
Last year, the United States threw away 40 percent of its food supply. FreshTemp, an Alphalab Gear company, aims to eliminate waste by making it easy to monitor and manage the temperature of perishable goods across the entire supply chain. Cloud-based Freshtemp automates temperature collection during production, transportation, and the storage of any product via state-of-the-art Bluetooth devices. The company is already working with some big names in the food industry, including Wendy’s and Popeyes.
 
What’s lighter than aluminum and stronger than steel? Carbon fiber. Just one problem, until now, manufacturing carbon fiber products has been cost prohibitive to only the aerospace and automotive industries. That’s where Alphalab Gear’s RapidTPC comes in. RapidTPC has developed a proprietary manufacturing process that enables consumer markets to automate the mass production of parts from composite materials – reducing both initial capital costs and production costs by 90 percent. Replacing materials with composites can reduce the weight of a product by 50 percent. The company is already working with a baby product company and plans to expand into the sporting goods industry in the future.

CDL Warrior, an Alphalab company, is a mobile platform for commercial truck drivers and fleets. It saves truckers time and increases productivity through tools that simplify mandatory logs that keep drivers compliant, thus avoiding costly fees and lost time on the road. The app also has a feature to quickly facilitate resolutions to long wait times and other events that delay drivers while sending automated, real-time alerts to their dispatch.

Who's hiring in PGH? Alcoa, Duquesne University, PULSE and more...

A note from the editor: Pop City will soon launch a regular series featuring recent hires and departures in Pittsburgh. Submit your hiring news and job openings via email.
 
Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week’s roundup.
 
DICK’S Sporting Goods is hiring a community and corporate relations coordinator with three to five years of relevant experience to create, support, execute and evaluate community relations events, charitable programs and corporate giving strategies.
 
Alcoa is hiring an innovation and technology communications manager with at least 10 years of relevant experience. This newly created position will develop and drive a dynamic technology communications strategy and brand vision for Alcoa globally.
 
Conestoga-Rovers & Associates is hiring an environmental engineer with at least 10 years of environmental experience to manage projects, maintain budgets, oversee remedial system installation, conduct field activities, maintenance and operations.
 
Winchester Thurston School is hiring a director of eLearning to provide leadership, planning, and oversight of the school’s teaching and learning that is delivered, supported and enhanced through the use of electronic and/or digital technologies. 
 
Pittsburgh Council of Higher Education is searching for an executive director with seven to 10 years of experience in higher education to work to strengthen existing partnerships and to create new collaborative opportunities for PCHE's member institutions. The position will act as a spokes person for PCHE and promote and support other collaborative efforts for PCHE institutions through fundraising, proposal writing, program development, and joint sponsorship of academic and non-academic programming. 
 
Duquesne University is hiring an advancement communications coordinator to plan and execute a wide range of communications projects, including electronic and printed materials, feature articles, reports and other collateral for the Development, Alumni Relations and External Relations functions within the Division of University Advancement. 
 
Carlow University is hiring a web and social media content editor with at least three years of professional experience working in a web content development role or similar function.
 
Carnegie Mellon University is hiring several exciting positions, including an associate director of Corporate Relations and Career Services at the Integrated Innovation Institute, an associate director of the Career Opportunities Center (Technology Careers) at the Tepper School of Business, a computer security information analyst at the Software Engineering Institute, a software developer and senior software developer at the Software Engineering Institute, a director for strategic initiatives and engagement in the Office of the Provost, and a data services librarian who has a demonstrated understanding of data curation and lifecycle management of data in an academic setting.
 
The University of Pittsburgh posted several interesting positions last week, including a director of fan engagement and new media with at least five years of relevant experience and an assistant director of media relations for the athletics office.
 
PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience) is hiring a high-energy, part-time office administrator to coordinate office work and help support fundraising efforts for 20 hours per week. Cover letter, resume and salary requirements should be sent to ccooke@pulsepittsburgh.org by 5PM on June 6.

New real-time traffic signal technology to hit the streets this June

The city is soon extending its cutting-edge system of real-time traffic signals that adapt instantly to shifting traffic conditions. The new traffic signal technology is coming to the Baum-Centre corridor. This $1.8 million pilot project will provide the first-of-its-kind smart traffic technology from the city’s eastern edge almost to Downtown.
 
This work is being done in cooperation with the locations foundation community and two Carnegie Mellon University entities: the University Transportation Center (UTC), which explores cutting-edge technologies that could influence everything from the safety of vehicles and roads to the analysis of traffic flow, and Traffic 21, a multi-disciplinary research initiative addressing problems facing the transportation system of the Pittsburgh region. The UTC and Traffic21 project call the technology the Scalable Urban Traffic Control system, or Surtrac.
 
“Pittsburgh uses its quirks -- in this case a tight urban street grid packed with pedestrians, bikes and commuters -- to make itself great. We don’t have the resources to widen roads or buy up properties to solve our traffic issues -- we use brainpower to create efficiency instead,” says Mayor Peduto.
 
“What also makes Pittsburgh special is the way government works alongside university and private partners to make splashes, such as with this project, that get noticed on the world stage. This is a proud moment for CMU and our city.”
 
Traffic21’s Surtrac project has studied adaptive traffic signal control technology to control real-time optimization of urban traffic flows for the last four years. Prior adaptive signal technologies typically focused on straight-ahead traffic flows common to suburban areas. Surtrac senses constant shifts in crossflows of traffic that dominate urban areas and adjusts green lights on a second-by-second basis, accounting for changes in the traffic flow resulting from breakdowns, accidents, special events or street closures. The system is decentralized, meaning each intersection manages its own local traffic and neighboring intersections communicate to coordinate behavior.
 
“The Baum-Centre corridor serves as a critical gateway to Oakland, Shadyside, Bloomfield, Friendship and East Liberty," says Councilman Dan Gilman. "This project will not only improve traffic between these neighborhoods, but will also improve the health of residents and visitors by reducing vehicle emissions by over 20 percent."
 
According to the Mayor’s office, an existing UTC traffic signal project at 18 intersections in East Liberty and Shadyside has cut vehicle wait times by 42 percent, travel times by 24 percent and vehicle emissions by 21 percent.
 
The project will soon be expanded to another 23 intersections along Baum Boulevard and Centre Avenue going west to Craig Street. Installation of the system is scheduled from mid-June through the end of the year, and should be operational in early 2015.
 
The project is underwritten by UPMC, the Hillman Foundation, the Heinz Endowments and the R.K. Mellon Foundation, as well as the city, U.S. Department of Transportation and PennDOT. The foundations are funding nearly $1.3 million of the work and government bodies are funding $512,000.

Two Pittsburgh companies team up to bring sustainable goods to market

Two Pittsburgh-based companies recently teamed up to bring new sustainable bags to market that are both fashionable and functional. Moop specializes in quality canvas bags that are made in Pittsburgh from start to finish, while Thread transforms discarded plastic bottles from Haiti into dignified jobs and the fabric of sought-after goods.
 
In the wake of the Port-au-Prince earthquake in 2010, Ian Rosenberger founded Thread and Team Tassy, both of which share a core philosophy: ending multidimensional poverty by investing in the poor to create as many dignified, sustainable jobs as possible. Thread processes recycled plastic, converting it into fabric and that is eventually turned into finished goods and jobs for Team Tassy families.
 
“Helping other companies make their products more responsible, more sustainable and more valuable is at the heart of our mission,” says Rosenberger, who happens to be a former competitor on the hit TV show Survivor. “We know that by connecting customers of things like bags, shoes and jackets to the poor, we can use a simple thing like fabric to help end poverty."
 
This industry is still among the dirtiest in the world. Even ‘sustainable’ fabric companies have a tendency to make only half of their product from recycled materials. Many times the other half comes straight from a barrel of oil. We think there are plenty of companies who are searching for more responsible alternatives that can prove their impact through every piece of the supply chain."
 
The two special edition Moop + Thread bags, which can be purchased on the Moop website, are the newest additions to the product line. Moop’s Messenger No.1 and Paperback utilize Thread’s fabric as the lining, with between eight and sixteen bottles used to produce the lining of each bag.
 
“We are always looking for new materials to work into our product line,” says Wendy Downs, Moop owner, designer and manufacturer. “We like fabrics that have a legacy, an important history or a reputation for being the most durable. When Thread approached us with their story, we felt like it would be a good match and we started developing a fabric with them.”
 
Because we design and hand-manufacture each and every Moop bag in our studio, we keep our overall product offering to a tightly curated selection so we can stay on top of our daily production volumes. We’ll keep the conversation going with Thread as the project evolves.”

Who's hiring in PGH? Carnegie Library, Carlow University, Philips and more...

A note from the editor: Pop City will soon launch a regular series featuring recent hires and departures in Pittsburgh. Submit your hiring news and job openings via email.
 
Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week’s roundup.

Carnegie Library is hiring a teen services coordinator to provide system-wide leadership for the identification, planning, delivery and evaluation of innovative, responsive, high-quality programs, services and outreach activities for teens and young adults in Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh service areas and throughout Allegheny County.
 
Big Heart Pet Brands is hiring several positions, including senior buyer, application engineer II, software quality assurance manager, data architect, senior technologist, sourcing assistant and a business intelligence developer.
 
The University of Pittsburgh is hiring an annual programs coordinator in Institutional Advancement and a temporary marketing manager for the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence.
 
Carlow University is hiring several positions, including a multimedia production specialist, web and cloud services applications analyst and an advancement data services manager.
 
MAYA Design’s Human Services Group is hiring a user experience architect with 7-10 years of experience and a chief information security officer with at least 10 years of experience.
 
Summa Technologies is hiring a sales lead development representative with a minimum of three years of information technology sales, telemarketing and/or lead development experience.
 
CyberCoders is hiring several positions, including a senior web development engineer, front end developer, Linux systems engineer and firmware engineer.
 
ThermoFisher Scientific is hiring a product services coordinator.
 
Philips is hiring a software engineer to design, implement and document high performance enterprise software applications that support and add value to Respironics’ ventilators and devices that treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
 
Bessemer Alliance is hiring a software engineer to work with their design and development team, take ownership of at least one aspect of the application’s infrastructure and help out elsewhere when needed.
 
LegalSifter is an early stage start-up based in Lawrenceville that is developing an innovative application to help organizations evaluate, analyze and store legal contracts. It is hiring a senior web development engineer who has experience deploying large, complex websites with significant traffic.
 
Highmark is hiring a director of IT to oversee and manage the client, sales and product suite of applications. The position supports three managers and between 60 to 80 application developers and will work to position the client/product technology platform for performance and growth with architectural enhancements and modernized applications. 
 
McKesson is hiring a senior software engineer with at least four years of experience for its Moon Township location.
 
Branding Brand, which powers mobile commerce sites and apps for over 200 of the world's leading retailers, including American Eagle Outfitters, Crate & Barrel, Ralph Lauren and Sephora, is hiring a director of app development. The ideal candidate has experience working with and managing highly skilled software developers, thrives in a rapid, high-energy environment and is up-to-date on the current and future direction of iOS and Android platforms. The best applicant will have experience and success in previous startups that have grown to large, established software companies. 
 

New technology helps customers answer the question: Is it bumpin'?

New technology answers the question: Is it bumpin'?
 
If you've been to Commonplace Voluto lately, you may have noticed a new device lurking by the door. Then again, it's so discrete that you may have overlooked it. The device, installed just about two weeks ago, is the technology behind IsItBump.in?an intended solution for people who want to make the most of their time and avoid waiting in long lines.
 
The device is the brainchild of Matthew Pegula, creative software engineer at Deeplocal and longtime Commonplace Voluto customer, who enjoys pursuing personal projects off the clock.
 
"Deeplocal keeps me plenty busy, but it's fun to work on projects like this with no real deadlines that let you explore ideas."
 
His other side projects include apps Baby Selfie and the popular Yinztagram, which lets you pose with such Pittsburgh greats as Rick Sebak and a Primanti Bros. sandwich.
 
The idea for IsItBump.in came to Pegula when waiting in a long line at the grocery store.
 
"I thought, 'I wouldn't have come if I knew it was so busy.'"
 
That got him thinking about how he could know how busy places were before he left his house.
 
"I'm a new dad and time is tight—so if I can avoid waiting in line and use those 15 minutes doing something else, it's a big win," he says.
 
Using infrared sensors, the device detects people entering and exiting, keeping a running count. Numbers are reported back to a central server every minute and saved. Data is then made available via the website and an application program interface. The technology uses historical data to make predictions about when places will be busy to help people optimize their time.
 
"A coffee shop is a good example test bed because it's a place that doesn't take reservations, or have a seating policy. [It's a place] that you might get to and have to leave if they're too busy," says Pegula.
 
He says the test site is seeing consistent usage and encouraging trends.
 
Megan Drew, manager at Commonplace Voluto says, "People are just curious about it. We haven't noticed a change in business."
 
Other locations are currently in the works, including a test box at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Boxes are also en route to Australia and France.
 
"We've received lots of interest and we're planning our approach for fine tuning and getting it out there en masse," he says.
 
Pegula wants people to put it anywhere they have to wait or are inconvenienced if it's too busy, such as Laundromats, grocery stores and banks.
 
"The big picture is to make the devices cheap/easy enough that anyone can buy them and deploy them anywhere on their own," he says. "So, even if your local coffee shop didn't want to install IsItBump.in, you could buy one and do it on your own so you knew when it was busy."

Thinkerous: Helping communities solve problems through structured collaboration

The idea for Thinkerous, the free online platform that helps communities rank problems and track solutions, was born in a Carnegie Mellon residence hall.
 
When Aaron Zhang was a freshman at CMU studying electrical and computer engineering, he noticed it was hard for his peers to openly discuss ideas, and even harder to find a team to build these ideas. The following semester, he put up an “idea bulletin board” in his residence hall.
 
“This was the catalyst to several projects I saw completed,” he says. Among these projects were a custom RFID-protected wallet and a low-cost velcro snowboard.
 
Zhang realized the bulletin board was increasing structured collaboration, which resulted in more creative and productive communities.
 
Zhang and two friends pondered these realizations and developed Thinkerous. They launched the platform by the end of their sophomore year. In fact, it only took a few hours to get the first prototype up, running and public.
 
“People are passionate about solving problems they experience, but often don’t have the resources to do so,” says Zhang. “And people don’t always know how to verbalize their problems, but often have ideas to improve their current situation, whether at work, at home or in the community.”
 
There are lots of tools out there that simplify collaboration – so what’s different about Thinkerous? Structure. Whereas other collaborative software, such as Google Groups, lack organization, Thinkerous provides a guided method to help communities efficiently find and support the ideas that solve its most pressing issues.
 
The website is divided into three sections: Issues, Ideas and Thinkathons. The Issues section features factual problems that community members experience first-hand, while the “Ideas” section contains possible solutions to these issues, as submitted by community members. Thinkathons, are competitions, virtual or otherwise, where community members can work together to bring prototypes and business plans to fruition.
 
“Our platform has unique ranking and matching algorithms, to give decision-makers inside organizations more information when determining which ideas they should invest their resources in,” says Zhang.
 
Thinkathons bring issues and ideas together with judges, prizes and rules for 1-2 day events where people come in with issues and ideas and leave with working prototypes. Zhang compares Thinkathons to hackathons for “business people, designers and people who are actually experiencing the problems that need to be solved.”
 
The company is also piloting “Thinkerous for Enterprise” for corporations, non-profit organizations and government organizations, adding special capabilities like privacy controls, group management and analytics to help track the lifecycle and impact of a submission. Participants in the enterprise pilot include CMU, the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, TEDxGrandviewAve and Startup Weekend Pittsburgh. Zhang suggests communities with an interest in joining the pilot program contact Thinkerous at team@thinkero.us.
 
Because Thinkerous is always tweaking its algorithms and evolving, it will soon phase out Thinkathons in favor of focusing on enterprise software, as it has much greater long term viability than one-off events surrounding specific issues.
 
“We found that with Thinkathons and the like, most projects end up not surviving past the conclusion of the event and thus don't benefit much from our longer-term analytics and ranking algorithms,” says Zhang.
 
Thinkerous also recently worked with the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children to identify and solve leading problems in today's classrooms.
 
“Our software gave the opportunity for teachers from across western Pennsylvania to see which problems were the most common, and the opportunity for the local community to work together directly with teachers to build the solutions,” says Zhang.
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