Support Engineer - User Services

1. Position information

Vacancy No.: VN20-14
Grade: A2
Job Ref. No.: STF-C/20-14
Department: Forecast
Section: User Services
Reports to: Computing and Software Support team leader
Closing Date: 15 October 2020

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

The User Services section comprises of twenty staff distributed between three teams that provide data (Data Support Team), computing and software support (Computing and Software Support Team) as well as training and outreach activities (User Outreach and Engagement Team). The section focuses on providing an integrated approach to support, learning provision and user engagement. The Support engineer role is in the Computing and Software Support team.

The primary role of this position is to provide users to make the most of ECMWF’s cloud-based facilities.

User Services is a vibrant section at the heart of organisation with a strong user focus. With a growing user community and changes in technologies, there are more demands on the section to keep abreast of the latest innovative technologies. Open data and cloud services ( have brought an increased number of data users and diverse applications resulting in the need for highly efficient and effective support processes. The support paradigm for cloud services relies on increased attention to software quality control, definition of best practices for applications, software and tools, cloud onboarding for users, troubleshooting across applications and performance assessment of the services. The increased number of queries following the availability of open data, has called for an effective user self-service system which is now in development and will provide support for users who want to find their own solutions.

Moreover, ECMWF operates as a multi-site organisation and as such requires coherent and coordinated support across sites.

The Computing and Software Support team is responsible for the 2nd-line support of ECMWF computing services (including cloud services) and software. This role is crucial to ensuring customer requirements are met in terms of communication, prioritising, escalating and resolving incidents and requests. A rota system is in place to handle user queries during office hours. The support is provided in a timely manner to internal and external users. Support queries are dealt using a well-established help desk tool which facilitate their resolution or escalation to level three support, where appropriate.

4. Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Providing technical advice and support on the use of ECMWF cloud services, computing facilities and archiving services
  • Installing and maintaining program libraries and other software packages Participating in the design and maintenance of a consistent environment and toolset for users of cloud services together with other participating members
  • Providing training to users on computing/software when required
  • Reviewing, improving and developing processes and workflows to effectively support users
  • Contributing to the creation of documentation to support a self-serve service for users
  • Working in close collaboration with other teams in the section and in other departments playing the key user advocacy role

5. Personal attributes

  • Strong and effective communication and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive approach
  • Flexibility, with the ability to adapt to the changing requirements or priorities, user needs and services
  • Strong team play and dedication and enthusiasm to work in a diverse team environment

6. Qualifications and experience required


  • A university degree, or equivalent in a scientific discipline (for example computational science, engineering).


  • Experience in handling user queries and incidents with professionalism leading to successful resolution. (Essential)
  • Demonstrated experience in providing support for cloud services. (Essential)
  • Strong background in Cloud and Object Store technologies. (Highly Desirable)
  • Experience in providing services such as JupyterHub. (Highly Desirable)
  • Experience in providing technical training to users. (Desirable)

Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • Knowledge of a modern scripting language such as Python. (Essential)
  • Experience of administrating cloud a platform, particularly based on Openstack. (Highly Desirable)
  • Some experience of managing containers and of Kubernetes or other container orchestration tools. (Highly Desirable)
  • Knowledge of multi-cloud management tools. (Desirable)
  • Knowledge of software management and scripting in Linux environments, Windows and Mac OS. (Desirable)
  • Experience of compiling and running codes on high-performance computing facilities. (Desirable)
  • Knowledge of a high-level programming language, such as Fortran or C/C++. (Desirable)
  • 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 salary will be


net of tax. The Centre also offers a generous benefits package. 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, 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 the possibility of a further contract.

Location: The role will initially be based in the Reading area, in Berkshire, United Kingdom. However, ECMWF is currently in the process of selecting a location for an additional new duty station. Relocation to another ECMWF duty station in another country within the European Union may be required during the period of the contract.

Successful applicants and members of their family forming part of their households will be exempt from immigration restrictions.

Videoconference interviews (via Blue Jeans) will take place week commencing 2 November 2020.

8. How to apply

Please apply by completing the online application form available at

To contact the ECMWF Recruitment Team, please email

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.

Applications are invited from nationals from ECMWF Member States and Co-operating States, listed below:

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

Applications from nationals from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases.

published: 14 September 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.