Head of Data Centre Operations

1. Position information

Vacancy No.: VN18-22
Grade: A5
Job Ref. No.: STF-C/18-22
Department: Copernicus Services
Section: n/a
Reports to: Director of Computing
Closing Date: 19 July 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 www.ecmwf.int/.

3. Summary of the role

ECMWF is moving its data centre to Bologna (Italy) in 2019. In preparation, ECMWF is looking to recruit a Head of Data Centre Operations who will take the overall responsibility for the effective management of the data centre operations and related activities. The construction of the ECMWF Data Centre will start in the autumn of this year.

This is a senior management position reporting to the Director of Computing at ECMWF. He or she will liaise closely with the Director of Computing on the specific activities related to the data centre and its operations. The successful candidate will have direct responsibility for the Data Centre Operations Section and he or she is expected to deal with a wide spectrum of technical complexity, people management including the management of financial resources, in liaison with the Director of Administration.

In this role, the Head of Data Centre Operations is expected to build excellent relationships with both internal and external stakeholders as well as overseeing the effective management of the data centre Operations, including the local administrative and regulatory matters. The Head of the Data Centre will provide strategic vision and insight on the activities and operations of the data centre in alignment with ECMWFs mission. He or she will also liaise and cooperate with other staff within the Department and across the entire organisation, to ensure that the ECMWF operations team based in Italy embraces the ECMWF culture and retains the ECMWF identity

4. Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Managing ECMWFs data centre operations in Italy, ensuring that the necessary IT and telecommunications infrastructure are consistently available to support ECMWFs activities
  • Delivering the services to users within authorised budgets, and agreed service levels and KPIs
  • Ensuring that comprehensive maintenance and development plans for the ECMWF Data Centre are prepared and implemented accordingly
  • Taking the overall local responsibility of the ECMWFs data centre related activities in Bologna, Italy, in close co-ordination with functional managers across the organisation
  • Ensuring effective communication with stakeholders in matters relating to data centre operations and development
  • Providing a suitable environment to support future development of the ECMWF IT infrastructure
  • Ensuring an effective risk identification and management plan is in place, together with a clearly defined and effective business continuity plan
  • Ensuring the effective management of the ECMWFs Italian regulatory, compliance, commercial and administrative obligations and relationships arising from its data centre operations

5. Personal attributes

  • Excellent leadership skills, to empower, motivate and guide the team of staff towards the common goals
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to manage complex operations
  • Ability to manage a range of conflicting and urgent issues to tight deadlines in a multi-disciplinary environment

6. Qualifications and experience required


  • Advanced university degree in a relevant discipline or equivalent professional experience.


  • Substantial experience of data centre management, preferably in a highly demanding 24/7 environment, with a deep understanding of operating a HPC
  • environment.
  • Experience of operating in an international context ideally with experience of working within an Italian environment would be highly desirable.
  • Experience of working in an international organisation would also be highly desirable.
  • Strong leadership and team management skills with experience of managing and developing teams to changing requirements is essential.
  • Experience of working with stakeholders at all levels and participation in organisation-level management teams.

Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • Candidates must be fluent in both Italian and English. All interviews will be conducted in English.
  • A good knowledge of one of the Centres other working languages (French or German) would be an advantage.

7. Other information

Grade remuneration

The successful candidate will be recruited at the A5 grade, according to the scales of the Coordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be 106,413.36 NET of tax. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-C as defined in the Staff Regulations.

Full details of salary scales and allowances are available on the ECMWF website at www.ecmwf.int/en/about/jobs, including the Centres Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: As soon as possible.
Length of contract: Four years, with the possibility of a further contract.
Location: The successful candidate is expected to spend a period of familiarisation of between three and six months in Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom at the beginning of the contract. Thereafter, the position will be based in the Bologna area, in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. The exact period is project dependent and will be discussed during the recruitment process.

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 www.ecmwf.int/en/about/jobs/.

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: 12 June 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.