Full Stack Web Developer for Environmental Forecasts

1. Position information

Vacancy No.: VN19-30
Grade: A2
Job Ref. No.: STF-PS/19-30
Department: Forecast
Section: Development
Reports to: Team Leader
Closing Date: 2 September 2019

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/.

ECMWF has long recognised the value of high-quality forecasts in mitigating the effects of natural disasters. Recognising that floods are among the costliest natural disasters in Europe, the European Commission instigated the development of the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) at its Joint Research Centre (JRC). Development and testing were carried out in close collaboration with national hydrological and meteorological services, European civil protection agencies (through the Emergency Response and Coordination Centre (ERCC)), and other research institutes. Since 2011, EFAS has been part of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service - Early warning for floods (CEMS-Floods) and it became fully operational in 2012, with ECMWF being the computational centre responsible for the production of its forecast and their dissemination through its own web service.

Alongside this, ECMWF co-operates with the JRC in the provision of the operational Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS), a scaled-up version of EFAS covering the global domain as a Copernicus EMS operational service since 2018. In addition, ECMWF is also part of the Aristotle-ENHP project, providing briefs to the Emergency Coordination Response Centre of the European Commission on possible upcoming floods in Europe and the world.

EFAS and GloFAS help to protect citizens, the environment, property and cultural heritage when major floods occur by providing:

  • added-value early flood forecasting products for hydrological services;
  • unique overviews of current and forecast floods in Europe (EFAS) and the world (GloFAS) more than 3 days in advance and;
  • a network of operational hydrological services.

Current products include pan-European/ Global overview maps of flood probabilities up to 15 days ahead and detailed forecasts at stations where the national services are providing real-time data. They are served through intuitive and interactive web interfaces (one for EFAS, one for GloFAS) designed to provide user experience and tools necessary for decision making. More than 70 hydrological services and civil protection services in Europe are part of the EFAS network, whilst there are more than 2000 registered GloFAS users.

Several European organisations, including ECMWF, are responsible for running the operational EFAS and GloFAS systems. In addition to providing ensemble meteorological forecasts, ECMWF:

  • acts as the EFAS and GloFAS Computational centre, the heart of data processing and model calculations and;
  • hosts the web interface for the EFAS and GloFAS Information Systems, and contributes to their development.

3. Summary of the role

CEMS-Floods offers two Information Systems in the form of webservices to its users (registered and public) through dedicated web platforms (https://www.efas.eu/ and https://globalfloods.eu/). The EFAS web platform allows its partners to access hydrological and meteorological forecasts and information and its forecasters to issue flood notifications to relevant EFAS partners and daily reports to the Emergency and Response Coordination Centre of the European Commission. The platform also allows non-authenticated users to browse past forecasts, while authenticated users access real- time forecasts issued twice a day. The GloFAS platform enables unrestricted browsing of its products to any self-registered user.

Both websites consist of two main components:

  • a back-end written in Django/python for the API definitions and Mapserver/ecCharts for the products generation. Together, the Django layer and the mapserver layers allow to handle computations and visualisations.
  • A front-end, based on DRUPAL version 8 and AngularJS (EFAS) and Django templates with REACT (GloFAS). The geo-referenced data are served by a MapServer instance using OGC/WMS standard and presented to the users using Leaflet plugin (EFAS). All the components are using docker containers technology deployed on a Kubernetes cluster.

The focus of this position is to maintain the CEMS-Floods web interfaces (for both EFAS and GloFAS) and continue their development by implementing new functionalities as identified, in an aim to use the same technologies for both services in the medium to long term. The Full Stack Web Developer will work within the Web Development team in close cooperation with the CEMS-Floods team. The successful candidate will participate in the design of new features, bringing their experience in web design and ensure that any new developments are smoothly integrated into the operational environment.

4. Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Updating forecasting system
  • Implementing geospatial layers in the GIS web portal
  • Ensuring the maintenance of the CEMS-Floods webservices
  • Designing and developing new functionalities when identified
  • Developing tools to display graphical Web products co-designed with the CEMS-Floods team
  • Integrating new developments into ECMWF operational system

5. Personal attributes

  • Excellent communication skills and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, and a proactive approach
  • Positive attitude towards working in an international environment
  • Flexibility, with the ability to adapt to changing priorities and user needs
  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work independently and in a medium-size team
  • Eagerness to work in a collaborative environment for shared ownership
  • Ability to work across disciplines and with different international organisations
  • Good eye for design and ability to understand hydrological forecasts

6. Qualifications and experience required

Education

  • A university degree, or equivalent experience, in computer science or a related discipline together with a certification in IT web development, web project management and programming.

Experience

  • Very good demonstrated experience of programming in Python.
  • Very good programming experience in the Django web framework.
  • Very good JavaScript-related experience, which must include:
    • Implementing JavaScript patterns
    • Experience with JavaScript libraries such as Angular, REACT or leaflet
    • Ability to write high-performance, reusable code
  • Some experience with Docker and/or Kubernetes.
  • Experience working within a larger web development team and maintaining an operational system would be an advantage.

Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • Solid experience in JavaScript 2 libraries
  • General knowledge about the OGC standards in use (WMS, WMS-T and SOS).
  • In-depth knowledge of GIS tools such as MapServer/GeoServer and PostgreSQL PostGIS.
  • In-depth knowledge of the GIS operations with vector and raster data (creation, spatial analysis, data management and conversion).
  • Good knowledge of code versioning is essential.
  • Knowledge of spatial projection and geographic transformation is essential.
  • Knowledge of the NetCDF data format would be 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 Centre’s other working languages (French or German) would be an advantage.

7. Other information

The successful candidate will be recruited at the A2 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be £59,228.40 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 www.ecmwf.int/en/about/jobs/, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: As soon as possible.

Length of contract: Until 31 July 2021.

Location: The role will be based in the Reading area, in Berkshire, United Kingdom.

Interviews for this position are expected to take place in Reading, Berkshire, between 7th & 9th October 2019.

8. How to apply

Please apply by completing the online application form available at www.ecmwf.int/en/about/jobs/.

To contact the ECMWF Recruitment Team, please email jobs@ecmwf.int.

At ECMWF, we consider an inclusive environment as key for our success. We are dedicated to ensuring 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: 22 July 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.