Mechanical & Electrical Engineer

1. Position information

Vacancy No.: VN19-37
Grade: A2
Job Ref. No.: STF-C/19-37
Department: Computing
Section: Data Centre Operations
Reports to: Engineering Team Leader
Closing Date: 20 December 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

3. Summary of the role

ECMWF is moving its Data Centre to Bologna (Italy) and in preparation, ECMWF is looking to recruit a Mechanical and Electrical Engineer who, will be part of the on-site Engineering Team in Bologna. The construction of the data centre started in December 2018 and is expected to be fully operational by the last quarter of 2020.

The Engineering Team will oversee and operate the engineering services at the data centre in Bologna, including all aspects of the technical infrastructure and the building services that support the computing environment, such as electrical distribution, chilled water systems, air conditioning, data cabling etc.

It is envisaged that the Engineer will be expected to spend an initial period of familiarisation and training at the current data centre in Reading and therefore candidates must be prepared to be based in Reading for a short period of time at the start of their contract.

The focus of this post is primarily technical, but the Mechanical & Electrical Engineer will also be involved in the detailed planning and organisation necessary to ensure the timely and continuous provision of all services.

We are looking for an individual with a practical approach, with a sound engineering background and the ability and experience to take well-reasoned engineering decisions.

4. ECMWFs Bologna Data Centre

The new datacentre in Bologna will be located on the site of the old Manifattura Tabacchi complex which is being converted into the Bologna Technopolo. The facility is not yet built but a high-level summary of the scale of the facility is as follows.

The IT white space, circa 3000m2, will be housed within several of the “Bottis” on the site utilising a “box in box” strategy. The original building envelope is being retained and within that several boxes will be built to house data halls, data storage halls, plant and equipment and office facilities.

Five 2.5MVA diesel rotary UPS systems in an N+1 configuration, the outputs interconnected in an IPBus arrangement. This provides power to the whole facility.

The primary cooling system is comprised of a mixture of well water cooling, ambient air-dry cooling and chillers. The redundant capacity of the system is more than 7MW.

Fire Systems:
Addressable fire detection system throughout the facility augmented by an aspirated detection system in the IT spaces, Fire suppression systems are provided - argon fire suppression protects the IT spaces / critical switch rooms and high-pressure water mist protects office spaces.

5. Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Maintaining a thorough technical understanding of the day-to-day operation of building services throughout the facility including, for example, electrical and mechanical systems, data cabling infrastructure, fire detection and suppression systems, security and access control etc.
  • Planning and organisation of day to day work including
    • Design, installation, modification and maintenance of electrical supplies
    • Specification and ordering of materials/services
    • Installation, maintenance and modification of structured cabling systems
    • Installation, relocation and maintenance of IT equipment, i.e. servers, network equipment and storage systems
  • Monitoring the data centre whitespace and infrastructure using building management system, power and energy management system
  • Troubleshooting electrical and mechanical systems and advising on their capabilities, particularly when faults have occurred
  • Supervising and managing mechanical and electrical contractors that provide routine maintenance and installation work on site
  • Contributing to the specification of new and replacement infrastructure and participating in procurements, to ensure that new infrastructure is implemented successfully
  • Improving operational resilience and operating efficiency where possible
  • Overseeing the Data Centre infrastructure, provisioning of power, cooling and network connectivity to assets
  • Producing and maintaining procedures/documentation for safe operation of the facilities systems and infrastructure
  • Managing, updating and maintaining the DCIM and power / energy management packages
  • Switching LV electrical supplies
  • Setting cooling units
  • Providing 24*7 on-call support as part of a rota

6. Personal attributes

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including listening to and respecting the views of others
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills with a self-motivated proactive approach to work
  • An interest in identifying, investigating and resolving technical problems
  • Ability to work under pressure and to interact with others
  • Ability to write technical reports and make recommendations, to both technical and non-technical audiences
  • Flexible approach and adapting to changing work priorities
  • Willingness and ability to take a hands-on approach to resolve minor problems on site
  • Dedication and ability to work independently or as part of a small team
  • Health and safety awareness with special emphasis on electrical safety

7. Qualifications and experience required


  • A technical degree in mechanical engineering with an electrical experience or electrical/electronical engineering with a mechanical bias.


  • Substantial background and demonstrated relevant experience of working in a mission critical data centre or similar 24/7 environment.
  • Demonstrated relevant professional experience in electrical and mechanical services, preferably in a 24/7 mission critical data centre environment.
  • Experience with the practical application of Italian technical standards and knowledge of the Italian health and safety regulations and practices would be an advantage.

Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • Candidates must hold all relevant qualifications necessary to perform the above-mentioned duties and responsibilities in an Italian-based data centre.
  • Candidates must be fluent in both Italian and English as this role will involve reading and communicating highly technical documentation in both languages.
  • All interviews will be conducted in English.

8. 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 €64,085.88 NET of tax.

This position is assigned to the employment category STF-C as defined in the Staff Regulations. ECMWF offers an attractive salary package and the successful candidate will also be eligible to join the ECMWF Pension Scheme and will also be covered by Cigna, the Supplementary Health Insurance Scheme.

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: Four years with possibility of a further contract.

Location: The position will be located in the Bologna area, in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. It is envisaged that this role will involve a short period of familiarisation and training at the current Data Centre in Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom and candidates must be prepared to be based in Reading for a few weeks at the start of their contract. The exact period is project dependent.

9. How to apply

Applicants should apply via Experis, part of the Manpower Group, the agency that ECMWF have engaged to work with on this recruitment campaign.


Please refer to the ECMWF Privacy Statement. For details of how we will handle your personal data for this purpose, see:

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: 27 November 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.