Copernicus Data Store Manager

Job reference: VN21-48
Location: Reading, UK
Deadline for applications: 07/12/2021
Salary and Grade: Grade A3: £76,707.96 net annual basic salary + other benefits
Contract type: STF-PL
Department: Forecast
Contract Duration: Four years, subject to the continued availablity of funds. There would also be possibility of contract extension.

About ECMWF

ECMWF is the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. It is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1975 by a group of European nations and is today supported by 34 Member and Co-operating States, mostly in Europe. The Centre’s mission is to serve and support its Member and Co-operating States and the wider community by developing and providing world-leading global numerical weather prediction. ECMWF functions as a 24/7 research and operational centre with a focus on medium and long-range predictions and holds one of the largest meteorological archives in the world. The success of its activities relies primarily on the talent of its scientists, strong partnerships with its Member and Co-operating States and the international community, some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and the use of innovative technologies such as machine learning across its operations.

Over the years, ECMWF has also developed a strong partnership with the European Union, and for the past seven years has been an entrusted entity for the implementation and operation of the Climate and the Atmosphere Monitoring Services of the EU Copernicus Programme, as well as a contributor to the Copernicus Emergency Management Service. The collaboration does not stop there and includes other areas of work, including High Performance Computing and the development of digital tools that enable ECMWF to extend its provision of data and products covering weather, climate, air quality, fire and flood prediction and monitoring.

ECMWF has recently become a multi-site organisation, with its headquarters based since its creation in Reading, UK, its new data centre in Bologna, Italy, and new offices in Bonn, Germany.

Copernicus is the earth observation component of the European Union (EU) space programme. Based on the exploitation of spaced based and in situ (earth-based) observations and scientific models, Copernicus provides information services for land, marine, atmospheric and climate monitoring, as well as emergency management and security. These services, and their free, open and quality assured data and tools, support a range of environmental and security applications across sectors and policy domains.

For details, see www.copernicus.eu

The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) service provides consistent and quality-controlled information related to air pollution and health, solar energy, greenhouse gases and climate forcing, everywhere in the world.

For details, see https://atmosphere.copernicus.eu

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) service provides authoritative information about the past, present and future climate, as well as tools to enable climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies by policy makers and businesses. 

For details, see https://climate.copernicus.eu

Summary of the role

This is an exciting and critical position engaged at the heart of the Copernicus activities of ECMWF. The Copernicus Data Store Manager reports to the Copernicus Production Lead and is responsible for delivering and managing the Climate Data Store (CDS) of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and the Atmosphere Data Store (ADS) of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

The CDS (https://cds.climate.copernicus.eu/) is a cloud-based service forming the cornerstone of the C3S infrastructure. It contributes to the provision of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs), climate reanalyses, projections and indicators at temporal and spatial scales relevant to adaptation and mitigation strategies for various sectoral and societal benefit areas. The ADS (https://ads.atmosphere.copernicus.eu/) is the main point of access to data on atmospheric composition from CAMS. The ADS is built using the same infrastructure as that of the CDS and contains datasets related to the distribution of aerosols and chemical species in the atmosphere, covering forecasts, reanalyses of the past and estimated emissions. In the following description, the ADS and CDS will be collectively referred to as the data stores.

The data stores have been designed to support a wide range of users with different needs, by facilitating the processing of large data volumes, as well as the creation of simple visualisations based on multiple data sources. The data stores provide an environment and a set of tools for enabling users to analyse and visualise the underlying datasets and develop their own applications online. This environment will be enhanced in the next development phase to provide a more open and flexible workspace. Collectively, the data stores currently serve around 100 different datasets to more than 100,000 users worldwide, delivering on average around 80 Tbytes of data per day. Further datasets are being made available for ingestion into the system.

As part of the EU’s Copernicus Earth observation programme, ECMWF, EUMETSAT and Mercator Ocean have joined forces to implement a Data and Information Access Service (DIAS) platform called WEkEO (https://wekeo.eu/), which will enable third parties to develop their own value-added products and services. As well as providing access to data from the Copernicus Sentinel satellite programme, WEkEO will work hand-in-hand with existing Copernicus services; C3S, CAMS and the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS), for the provision of data from these services.

The successful candidate will have a pivotal role in leading the operation and future evolution of all components of the data store infrastructure to ensure the provision of quality services to the users of C3S and CAMS. They will be responsible for managing the development, deployment and maintenance of the data store software and cloud-based infrastructure services, as well as of the governance and integration of data and applications into the data stores. To this end, the Data Store Manager will lead a distributed team of dedicated data and software analysts operating and evolving the data store services. This team will be distributed throughout multiple teams across ECMWF and will be managed using a matrix management approach. The role will also involve managing all related development and maintenance activities, mostly via external procurement contracts. Moreover, the successful candidate will be responsible for managing and delivering ECMWF’s contribution to the development of the Copernicus Data and Information Service (DIAS) Platform, WEkEO. The role of Copernicus Data Store Manager will involve extensive communication with contractors, data providers and internal and external stakeholders.

Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Leading the activities of the Climate/Atmosphere Data Stores and providing strategic insight on the availability of Copernicus data through cloud-based systems
  • Taking ownership of the Climate/Atmosphere Data Store infrastructure and service provision to support the delivery of C3S and CAMS services in line with the expectations of the users
  • Driving continuous innovation and improvement processes for the Climate/Atmosphere Data Stores service provision to the benefit of C3S and CAMS users
  • Managing the development and maintenance activities, including defining the scope of work, the procurement of work, following-up on procured activities and managing significant budgets of subcontracted work
  • Delivering ECMWF’s contribution to the development of the Copernicus DIAS Platform, WEkEO
  • Managing the governance of data and applications available through the data stores, including the evolution of the internal common data model used by the data store tools
  • Ensuring the future evolution of the data store software and infrastructure services is aligned with the over-arching vision for the Climate and Atmosphere Data Stores whilst taking account of feedback from users
  • Interfacing with providers to enable the efficient integration of data and applications into the data store catalogue
  • Matrix-managing a distributed team of data and software analysts supporting the infrastructure and service provision
  • Developing and managing the interaction with stakeholders, including the European Commission and external organisations involved in the provision of Copernicus data and information access platforms
  • Contributing to Copernicus reporting to the European Commission and stakeholders
  • Representing ECMWF at meetings with the European Commission and at international conferences and workshops

Personal attributes

  • Strong leadership skills, with proven ability to lead, influence and motivate
  • Ability to motivate and facilitate a team to deliver and to coach, mentor and support colleagues as required
  • Ability to work collaboratively with key stakeholders within the organisation and outside the organisation
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive approach
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to work efficiently and complete diverse tasks in a timely manner
  • Ability to work in a matrix-managed environment across multiple locations

Education, experience, knowledge and skills (including language)

  • An advanced university degree (EQF Level 8) or equivalent in software development, IT, or a relevant subject
  • Extensive experience of software development of user applications with experience of managing software projects and operational service delivery
  • Experience with cloud-based service solutions
  • Experience of managing a team or multiple staff. Additionally, experience of managing a diverse and international team is desirable
  • Experience handling geospatial data, including cataloguing, discovery, data storage and retrieval would be an advantage
  • Experience with different data formats such as NetCDF, GRIB or any based on XML/JSON would be an advantage
  • Experience of managing procured activities through external contracts would be an advantage
  • Good knowledge of web technologies and service-oriented architectures
  • Good knowledge of requirements of the EU INSPIRE directive and standards of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)
  • 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

Other information

Grade remuneration

The successful candidate will be recruited at the A3 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be £76,707.96 net of tax. ECMWF also offers a generous benefits package, including a flexible teleworking policy. The position is assigned to the employment category STF-PL as defined in the ECMWF Staff Regulations. Full details of salary scales and allowances available on the ECMWF website at www.ecmwf.int/en/about/jobs, including the ECMWF Staff Regulations and the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: As soon as possible

Length of contract: Four years, subject to the continued availability of funds. There would also be the possibility of further contract extension.

Location: The position will be based at ECMWF's headquarters in Reading, UK.

As a multi-site organisation, ECMWF has adopted a hybrid organisation model which allows flexibility to staff to mix office working and teleworking.

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

Videoconference interviews (via Microsoft Teams) are expected to take place mid to late January 2022.

Who can apply

Applicants are invited to complete the online application form by clicking on the apply button below.

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 and all EU 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: 11 November 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.