Computational Scientist - Distributed and High-Performance Computing for Flood Forecasting

1. Position information

Vacancy No.: VN20-10
Grade: A2
Job Ref. No.: STF-PS/20-10
Department: Forecast
Section: Development
Reports to: Production Services Team Leader
Closing Date: 30 April 2020

2. About ECMWF

ECMWF is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing global numerical weather predictions and other data for its Member and Co-operating States and the broader community. ECMWF carries out scientific and technical research to improve its forecasts, runs one of the largest supercomputer facilities in Europe and manages a long-term archive of meteorological data.

For details, see

3. Summary of the role

This position sits in the Production Services Team within the Development Section of the Forecast Department. The Computational Scientist 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 EU funded and core funded scalability projects where it researches distributed computing algorithms for processing of meteorological products and for 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 are used in the time-critical pipeline that provides flood forecasting products, including participation in the TAMIR and CEMS-Floods projects. No prior knowledge of flood forecasting is necessary for this position.

The successful candidate will contribute to the developments of distributed computing software for the delivery of meteorological and flood forecasting products. They will apply their knowledge and expertise to contribute to future developments and ensure a successful delivery of this work within the Scalability Programme to ECMWF's operational forecasting workflows.

4. Main duties and key responsibilities

  • " Contributing to the development and software maintenance of distributed computing and post-processing software stack and services at ECMWF, ensuring its quality of service and 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 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.

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 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 £60,590.64 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: To 31 January 2022.

Location: The position will be based in Reading, in Berkshire, United Kingdom. Successful applicants and members of their family forming part of their households will be exempt from immigration restrictions.

8. How to apply

Please apply by completing the online application form available at

To contact the ECMWF Recruitment Team, please email

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: 09 April 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.