Computer Scientist – Distributed and HighPerformance Computing for Flood Forecasting

1. Position information

Vacancy No.: VN18-19
Grade: A2
Job Ref. No.: STF-PS/18-19
Department: Forecast
Section: Development
Reports to: Scalability Team Leader
Closing Date: 7 June 2018

2. About ECMWF

ECMWF is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States. ECMWF carries out scientific and technical research directed to the improvement of its forecasts, collects and processes large amounts of observations, and manages a long-term archive of meteorological data. Satellite and in situ observations provide the information for up-to-date global analyses and climate reanalyses of the atmosphere, ocean and land surface.

For details, see

3. Summary of the role

This position sits in the Scalability Team within the Development Section of the Forecast Department. The Analyst will contribute to the development of distributed computing systems, focused on the delivery of post-processed meteorological products.

The Team contributes to a series of European projects where it researches distributed computing algorithms for processing of meteorological products, storage and handling of massive multi-petabyte meteorological data sets.

In particular, this role will involve research into the scalability and parallelism of several tools and applications that constitute the pipeline that provides flood forecasting products, including participation in the SMUFF and CEMS-Floods projects. No prior knowledge of flood forecasting is necessary.

This role will also involve participation into the EU funded project EuroExa, where it will conduct research into the use of novel architectures (such as FPGA) for the generation of products.

The successful candidate will contribute to the developments of distributed computing software for the delivery of flood forecasting products and exploration of novel hardware architectures. He or she will apply their knowledge and expertise to contribute to future developments to ensure a successful delivery of this work within the Scalability Programme.

4. Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Contributing to the development and software maintenance of distributed computing and postprocessing software stack and services at ECMWF, ensuring its quality of service and also planning for its evolution with the team and providing third-line support to its users
  • Contributing to the development of scalable flood forecasting tools and applications and their integration into the workflow including adaptations for future hardware architectures
  • Contributing to ECMWF tasks and deliverables within the Scalability Programme and related projects
  • Contributing to the analysis and monitoring of ECMWF's data processing and product generation workload and propose improvements
  • Participating in projects, including the design, implementation and maintenance of the operational applications software

5. Personal attributes

  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive approach, together with an interest in identifying, investigating and solving technical problems
  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work in a small team
  • Ability to engage with staff with other technical background (i.e. environment scientists, statistics, GIS, web developers, production analyst etc…)
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, listening to and respecting the views of others
  • Ability to work under pressure

6. Qualifications and experience required


  • A university degree, or equivalent, in a discipline related to computer science, physics, mathematics or engineering is required. A PhD is desirable but not essential.


  • Very good experience of developing software for distributed computing and/or high-performance computing (using MPI or any other parallel processing mechanism).
  • Experience with developing and maintaining large scientific codes would be an advantage. Experience in programming with heterogeneous architectures such as ARM / GPU / FPGAs is an advantage.

Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • Very good knowledge of object-oriented programming and several years of experience developing with C/C++/Python.
  • Good knowledge of UNIX, experience developing software for UNIX systems (and/or Linux) and the use of system calls is essential.
  • Good understanding of computer science concepts (efficient algorithms and data structures) is required.
  • Experience in processing and managing large spatial data sets is an advantage.
  • Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English. A good knowledge of one of the C

7. Other information

Grade remuneration

The successful candidate will be recruited at the A2 grade, according to the scales of the Coordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be £58,238.40 net of tax. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-PS as defined in the Staff Regulations.

Full details of salary scales and allowances are available on the ECMWF website at, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: As soon as possible.
Length of contract: Two years, with the possibility of further contract subject to funding.
Location: The position will be based in the Reading area, in Berkshire, United Kingdom.

Interviews for this position will take place in Reading, Berkshire on 28th and 29th June 2018.

8. How to apply

Please apply by completing the online application form available at

At ECMWF, we consider an inclusive environment as key for our success. We are dedicated to ensure a workplace that embraces diversity and provides equal opportunities for all, without distinction as to race, gender, age, marital status, social status, disability, sexual orientation, religion, personality, ethnicity and culture. We value the benefits derived from a diverse workforce and are committed to having staff that reflect the diversity of the countries that are part of our community, in an environment that nurtures equality and inclusion.

Staff are usually recruited from among nationals of the following Member States and Co-operating States:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Staff from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases

published: 10 May 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.