Forecast Analysts for Destination Earth (multiple vacancies)

Job reference: VN21-65
Location: Bonn, Germany
Deadline for applications: 17/01/2022
Salary and Grade: Grade A2: Ł63,782.28, net annual basic salary + other benefits
Contract type: STF-PS
Department: Forecast
Contract Duration: Two years

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's Copernicus component of its Space 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.

For additional details, see www.ecmwf.int.

About DestinE

It is foreseen that ECMWF will be a major partner in the implementation of the Destination Earth (DestinE) initiative starting later in 2021, together with ESA and EUMETSAT as partners. The objective of the European Commission DestinE initiative is to deploy several highly accurate thematic digital replicas of the Earth, called Digital Twins.  The Digital Twins will help monitor and predict environmental change and human impact, in order to develop and test scenarios that would support sustainable development and corresponding European policies for the Green Deal. 

DestinE will thus contribute to revolutionising the European capability to monitor and predict our changing planet, complementing exisiting national and European efforts such as those provided by the national meteorological services and the Copernicus Services. It will be run in several phases, of which the first, the implementation phase, covers the period end-2021 – mid-2024. Future phases are foreseen (subject to funding) that will operationalise the digital twins, scale-up system production and add applications and new twin options. 

DestinE covers several demanding digital technology aspects required to develop, implement and operate the two high-priority digital twins on weather induced and geophysical extremes and on climate change adaptation. ECMWF will be responsible for the delivery of these digital twins, which will rely on complex Earth-system simulation models, data assimilation methods for fusing simulations and observations through inverse modelling and the integration of observations and models from sectors such as water and food management, renewable energies and socio-economic risk and disaster management. 

These science components require advanced digital technology solutions to maximize the efficient computing and data handling on extreme-scale infrastructures, and to adapt and operate these infrastructures across different heterogeneous architectures within a federated framework. This federated framework includes the Core Platform and Data Lake developed, deployed and operated by ESA and EUMETSAT respectively. 

The DestinE developments take forward the long-term investments of the ECMWF Member States in building a unique European prediction capability and will support the further advancement of member states services and Copernicus Services.

For more information on DestinE, see https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/destination-earth-destine and https://www.ecmwf.int/en/about/what-we-do/environmental-services/destination-earth

Summary of the role

ECMWF has several exciting opportunities for analysts to join the Production Services Section to specifically help bring the developments from DestinE into a quasi-operational state during this first implementation phase.

Each of the successful candidates will be embedded within one of the existing teams in Production Services Section:  

  • Team 1: Observations Team, responsible for the acquisition and pre-processing of observations
  • Team 2: Integration Team, responsible for integrating and implementing software updates in the ECMWF Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) and adapting operational suites to run on new or upgraded hardware
  • Team 3: Data Archives and Dissemination Services Team, responsible for archiving of operational and research data into the MARS archive and Fields DataBase (FDB) and the generation and dissemination of ECMWF’s products.

These teams work closely with colleagues from across ECMWF to bring developments and improvements from research related to DestinE into a quasi-operational state. The successful candidates will collaborate with other teams across ECMWF to demonstrate a successful weather-induced extremes digital twin implementation in the first phase of DestinE. They will also strengthen the links between Production Services Section and other parts of ECMWF and external partners in DestinE.

Note that each candidate will not have to cover all aspects of the operational chain. ECMWF will place the successful candidates in the most suitable team depending on their previous experience and will also consider their preference. Also note that these roles will be embedded in teams that provide second line operational support, including on-call.

These positions will be based in Reading, UK. However, there will be strong collaboration with staff based at all three of the ECMWF sites, also including in Bonn, Germany. Travel between these sites may be required.

Main duties and key responsibilities

Some of the main duties and responsibilities are generic to positions in all three teams including: to participate in the development and support of DestinE’s operational systems; to work with colleagues in ESA and EUMETSAT to problem solve and plan for the new ways of working within this collaboration; to communicate well with colleagues across ECMWF; ability to write documentation and use collaborative tools such as Jira; Supporting the team in other tasks related to operational production system when necessary.  

Other main duties will vary depending on the team in which the successful candidates are embedded, as shown below:

Team 1: Observation Team analyst will involve:

  • Collaborating with the Research Department and Evaluation Section on novel data observations that will need to be assimilated as part of DestinE and on how to transition these into operations
  • Becoming a Data Governance (DGov) Facilitator for observations related to DestinE and working collaboratively with ECMWF’s existing DGov Facilitators to build expertise in the data format standards involved in the observations
  • Working with the Observation Team to learn about the Acquisition and pre-processing systems and get involved in adapting these if/where necessary to facilitate new observations required for DestinE which will include careful testing, documenting and communication
  • Collaborating with ESA and EUMETSAT on the interfaces between the Data lake and the other sources of observations, and the processing of these observations
  • Taking on some responsibility for pre-processing and monitoring of new observation types to support high spatial and temporal resolution simulations which will involve closely collaborating with the Observation Monitoring Team in Evaluation Section and with the Observation Team in the Research Department

Team 2: Integration Team analyst will involve:

  • Performing quality assurance for science and technical contributions related to DestinE at the earliest possible stage
  • Ensuring developments in research are compatible with operations and have appropriate levels of optimisations and reliability
  • Advising on contributions to new versions of the software, responding to pull-request and contributing pro-actively to code-review, considering user requirements and operational constraints
  • Communicating with colleagues about upcoming changes and ensuring all relevant people are aware and understand the impacts of these changes
  • Developing necessary suites for DestinE
  • Monitoring progress and performance of the suites related to DestinE and solving problems as they arise, using operational tools, procedures, best practice and internal expertise
  • Providing a connection between production and research via strong links to the IFS Section in the Research Department

Team 3: Data Archives and Dissemination Services Analyst will involve:

  • Supporting the data handling requirements of DestinE. Collaborating with EUMETSAT and ESA on the interfaces to the Data Lake and Core Service Platform
  • Taking the responsibility for relevant elements in terms of the storing/archiving of the weather-induced extremes digital twin into the Data Lake, in close collaboration with EUMETSAT  
  • Collaborating with the Development Section and research teams at ECMWF and with external partners, on new technologies and tools required for the data handling requirements of DestinE
  • Participating in work on GRIB mapping from GRIB Edition 1 to GRIB Edition 2, which is required to support DestinE’s high-resolution output
  • Becoming a Data Governance (DGov) facilitator for matters related to DestinE and working collaboratively with ECMWF’s existing DGov Facilitators and building expertise in the data format standards involved (GRIB, NetCDF and others)  

In their application, candidates must select one or a maximum of two of the teams (listed in the job summary above) indicating their preference. They should explain how their expertise, skills and knowledge meet their chosen team(s), considering all the job requirements outlined in the vacancy notice.

Personal attributes

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are vital, to communicate with a wide range of technically skilled colleagues at ECMWF and in partner organisations, also to non-technical staff
  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work as part of a team, taking initiative to work collaboratively with other team members and project partners
  • Ability to at times work independently, but to know when it is important to seek advice
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive continuous improvement approach
  • Ability to work with precision and care and having a good awareness of the need to test thoroughly and document changes appropriately
  • Ability and willingness to collaborate with internal and external experts on related aspects of the operational production of DestinE
  • Active listener who seeks and respects the views of others
  • Highly organised with the capacity to work on a diverse range of tasks to tight deadlines
  • Flexibility, with a willingness to adapt plans if partner organisations work at different paces, and if priorities shift over time

Education, experience, knowledge and skills (including language)

  • An advanced university degree (EQF Level 7 or above) or equivalent professional experience is required
  • Programming skills with scripting languages (such as Python) in a UNIX/Linux environment required
  • Experience in an operational or time-critical environment would be desirable
  • Some work experience in a scientific environment would be advantageous
  • Experience in managing distributed applications and a good understanding of performance-related issues (memory, disk I/O, networking, etc.) would be advantageous
  • Familiarity with big-data analytics, cloud technologies and machine learning fundamentals would be an advantage
  • An understanding of Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) would be advantageous
  • Knowledge of standardised data formats for international exchange would be advantageous
  • Knowledge of programming languages C and C++ is desirable
  • Experience curating large scientific datasets would be advantageous for working in the Data Archiving and Dissemination Services team position (not required for the other roles)
  • 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 candidates will be recruited at the A2 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be Ł63,782.28 net of tax. ECMWF also offers a generous benefits package, including a flexible teleworking policy. The position is assigned to the employment category STF-PS 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: The contract duration is expected to be two years. The DestinE Contribution Agreement is likely to be divided in phases, the first of which will last approximately two years. There may be the possibility of further contract extensions in the future depending on requirements and funding availability.

Location: These positions will be located 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.

Interviews by videoconference (Via Teams) are expected to take place in February 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, as well as from all EU Member States:

ECMWF Member and Co-operating States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, 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: 16 December 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.