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Software engineer working at the Virgo Collaboration

Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the University of Barcelona
Fecha inicio solicitud: 
Mar, 13/10/2020
Fecha límite solicitud: 
Lun, 30/11/2020


The Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the University of Barcelona (ICCUB) is seeking a Software Engineer to join the Software and Data Engineering department of The Technological Unit of the ICCUB.

The ICCUB ( is an interdisciplinary center devoted to fundamental research in the fields of cosmology, astrophysics and particle physics. The ICCUB Technology Unit focuses on inventing and building the ambitious and innovative detection instruments of the future. This involves collaborating on large projects related to particle physics experiments, space missions, astronomical facilities and others.

The ICCUB is a center with more than 60 long term scientists, 20 engineers and 80 postdoctoral researchers (55% international) and PhD students (30% international) offering an international and multicultural environment. The ICCUB also hosts a vibrant fundamental research program in cosmology, astrophysics and particle physics, with a strong technology unit supporting our participation in international collaborations in observational astronomy and experimental particle physics.


Job description

Currently, the unit is composed by a team of around 20 engineers and researchers divided in two departments, Electronics & Instrumentation and Software and Data Engineering. The Software and Data Engineering department designs software to help producing high quality datasets, which give significance to the experiments and to the Physics behind, like Gaia ( or LHCb (

Since 2018, the ICCUB participates at scientific and technological level in the Virgo ( Virgo is a large Michelson interferometer with 3km arms, designed to detect gravitational waves predicted by the general theory of relativity.

We search for a highly motivated Software Engineer with demonstrated experience in collaborative software development for high-performance or high-throughput computing environments.

To know more about the research interests of the ICCUB, please follow this link.



The main tasks to develop are:

  • Support to the low-latency and alerts system:
    • Act as a reviewer of merge requests in Git
    • Take in charge coding and tests of change requests discussed within the LIGO/Virgo low-latency group
    • Support the implementation of a full end-to-end test facility with some component deployed at a Virgo Computing Centre and some on cloud (such as AWS)
    • Participate in the porting to cloud (via Ansible + Docker swarm / Kubernetes) of low-latency components
    • Support the deployment of a redundant hosting of GraceDB in Europe
  • Support to computing pipelines and data handling frameworks
    • Implementation of file catalogue and accounting systems
    • Implementation of an adequate Workflow Management System
  • Optimization and improvements of data analysis pipelines
    • E.g., revision and optimization of the whitening algorithm
  • Improvement of Virgo data handling
    • Discuss and, if agreed, support the migration of raw data from Frames to HDF5
    • Study the application of optimized data compressors to raw data
  • Preparations for Einstein Telescope (ET)
    • Study the ET case and work out an initial proposal (in collaboration with Virgo computing experts) for its data handling and computing strategy


-       Bachelor Degree or equivalent

-       Master Degree or equivalent

-       English C1 level


-       Linux, shell scripting, C/C++ and Python programming


-       SVN and/or Git, CMake, Conda

-       Knowledge or expertise on high-performance or high-throughput computing (specially HTCondor)

-       Knowledge or expertise on Docker, Kubernetes, ROOT, HDF5

Bonus track (desirable but not so important):

-       Knowledge or expertise on Rucio, Kafka, CVMF


Employment conditions:

We offer a full-time contract for a period of three years with a 6 months trial period.

Gross annual salary will be in the range of 34 to 35 k€, with included social security and public healthcare benefits, covering spouse and children.

Position is expected to begin on 1st January 2021, although exceptions can be made in cases of maternity/paternity or other special circumstances.


Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

ICCUB offers and promotes a diverse and inclusive environment and welcomes applicants regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation (for additional information please see the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission. Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call or email with their request.


Application procedure:

Documents that will be required for your application are:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation letter

All applications must send an email to Dr. Jordi Portell (



Applications should be submitted before November 15th to receive full consideration, but those uploaded later will also be considered until positions are filled.



The position is financed by the State Agency for Research of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation through the "Unit of Excellence María de Maeztu 2020-2023" award to the Institute of Cosmos Sciences (CEX2019-000918-M).

The Unit of Excellence Maria de Maeztu recognition has been awarded by the Spanish Government in 2020 for the second time to the ICCUB, as a center with a highly competitive strategic research programmes in the frontiers of knowledge.