Computational Scientist (HPC) for Destination Earth's Digital Twins (2 positions)

Job reference: VN22-07
Location: Bonn, Germany
Deadline for applications: 07/03/2022
Salary and Grade: Grade A2: EUR 78,035.40, net of tax, annual basic salary + other benefits
Contract type: STF-PS
Department: Research or Computing
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 Change 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.

It has also adopted a hybrid organisation model which allows its staff to mix both office working and teleworking. This generous and flexible model provides our staff with considerable flexibility to spend time outside or away from their duty station and decide how they wish to manage their professional working time at ECMWF. ECMWF is an organisation that values the whole being and both understands and values the need for flexibility in the way its staff work.

For additional details, see www.ecmwf.int

About DestinE

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 existing 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 an exciting opportunity for two Computational Scientists to help shape and deliver DestinE developments in collaboration with partners throughout Europe. These roles will contribute to the provision of much improved prediction capabilities for environmental extremes. They will do so through advancing ECMWF’s Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) towards enabling the delivery of the Weather-Induced Extremes Digital Twin, which will rely on high-resolution (km-scale) short-to-medium-range simulations to drive much enhanced weather induced extremes predictions.

The roles advertised through this vacancy offer a unique opportunity in the area of high-performance computing and will be responsible for enabling the efficient execution of ECMWF’s IFS model across the many different supercomputing architectures that will support DestinE deliverables (e.g., EuroHPC).

The successful candidates will be responsible with the development of a benchmarking infrastructure to enable the execution and benchmarking of IFS across different supercomputing platforms as well as the optimisation, profiling and debugging of IFS to reach the levels of scalability and performance that are required for running km-scale short-to-medium range weather forecasts.

One role is in the Computing Department, with more emphasis on developing benchmarks and benchmarking code on different platforms, and the other is in the Research Department, and has more emphasis on profiling and optimising new developments, and supporting researchers.

The roles are in existing teams in ECMWF’s Research and Computing Departments and the successful candidates are expected to strongly collaborate with other teams across ECMWF to demonstrate a successful weather-induced extremes digital twin implementation in the first phase of DestinE.

As well as working closely with ECMWF colleagues, the successful candidates will also support the relationships with ECMWF’s DestinE partners ESA and EUMETSAT, interact with external contractors as required, and help with communications & outreach activities with dedicated partners of the consortia contributing to the DestinE implementation, stakeholders and the user communities, and contribute to regular progress reports to the European Commission.

Whilst these positions will be based in Bonn, Germany, there will be strong collaboration with staff based at the ECMWF HQ in Reading, United Kingdom, so it is anticipated that visits to the HQ in Reading will be required.

Main duties and key responsibilities

The main duties and responsibilities cover:

  • Investigating and improving the performance and scalability of ECMWF’s IFS model on the different computer architectures used in DestinE using a variety of programming models
  • Contributing to the development and maintenance of the ECMWF HPC benchmark suite built around the Integrated Forecasting System code base, and help with benchmarking and the performance analysis of IFS on a variety of high-performance computing systems
  • Ensuring the preparation and technical readiness for performing initialized coupled km-scale simulations and data assimilation for emerging HPC architectures
  • Contributing to the design, implementation and testing of complex workflows and computer codes in advanced digital technology environments on some of the largest computing and data handling infrastructures in Europe
  • Contributing to regular progress reports to the European Commission
  • Contributing to the work of technical officers and supporting procured activities within DestinE by ECMWF

In the online application, candidates should indicate whether their preference is to work on developing a benchmarking infrastructure for enabling the execution and performance analysis of IFS on different leadership class supercomputing infrastructures or work on optimising the IFS to achieve the necessary scalability and performance required for km-scale weather forecasting models. They should explain how their expertise, skills and knowledge meet their chosen area, considering all the job requirements outlined in the vacancy notice.

Personal attributes

  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive continuous improvement approach
  • Initiative and ability to work collaboratively with other ECMWF staff and DestinE partners, but also able to work independently
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Dedication, passion and enthusiasm to succeed both individually and across teams of developers
  • Highly organised with the capacity to work on a diverse range of tasks to tight deadlines and in a matrix management environment

Education, experience, knowledge and skills (including language)

  • A university degree (EQF Level 6 or above) in computer science, physical, mathematical or environmental science or equivalent experience
  • Recent experience in high-performance scientific computing; running, debugging, profiling and performance tuning of large scientific codes using Fortran, C/C++, MPI, OpenMP on massively parallel computer systems, is required
  • Experience with using UNIX/Linux tools to automate tasks and analyse results, including shell and at least one scripting language, ideally Python or Perl, is required
  • Experience with I/O tuning of applications on parallel file systems (e.g., Lustre)
  • Relevant experience with C++ is highly desirable
  • Relevant experience in working with GPGPU and other accelerator technologies would be an advantage as well as experience with programming models such as OpenACC, CUDA, HIP, SYCL etc.
  • Relevant experience using CMake in large code bases would be an advantage
  • A track record in identifying, investigating and resolving technical problems
  • Familiarity with methodologies of professional software development is essential
  • 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
  • An advanced university degree (EQF Level 6 or above) in computer science, physical, mathematical or environmental science or equivalent experience
  • Recent experience in high-performance scientific computing; running, debugging, profiling and performance tuning of large scientific codes using Fortran, C/C++, MPI, OpenMP on massively parallel computer systems, is required
  • Experience with using UNIX/Linux tools to automate tasks and analyse results, including shell and at least one scripting language, ideally Python or Perl, is required.
  • Experience with I/O tuning of applications on parallel file systems (e.g., Lustre)
  • Relevant experience with C++ is highly desirable
  • Relevant experience in working with GPGPU and other accelerator technologies would be an advantage as well as experience with programming models such as OpenACC, CUDA, HIP, SYCL etc
  • Relevant experience using CMake in large code bases would be an advantage
  • A track record in identifying, investigating and resolving technical problems
  • Familiarity with methodologies of professional software development is essential
  • 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 EUR 78,035.40 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 is due to end in May 2024. 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 duty station in Bonn, Germany.

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

Interviews by videoconference (Via Teams) are expected to take place in late March 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: 18 February 2022     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.