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System/IT engineer position for the development of the SKA Regional Centre Prototype at the IAA-CSIC

Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC)
Fecha inicio solicitud: 
Vie, 16/07/2021
Fecha límite solicitud: 
Mié, 15/09/2021


The team leading the development of a SKA Regional Centre (SRC) Prototype at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC, Granada, Spain)  is seeking a motivated System/IT engineer with experience in computer system administration and cloud services to fill in an IT position:  the successful candidate will be the sysadmin of the SRC Prototype cluster.

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the largest scientific infrastructure on Earth: a radio telescope with the potential to make revolutionary contributions to Astrophysics, Astrobiology, and Fundamental Physics. Considered the Big Data machine of the 21st century, the SKA Observatory will deliver 600PB of data per year to worldwide distributed data centres: the SKA Regional Centers. They will interoperate in an international network to provide the computing, storage and software platform where the SKA data will be scientifically analysed.  

The IAA-CSIC coordinates the Spanish participation in the SKA and leads the development of a Prototype SKA Regional Centre fully engaged with Open Science principles. The IAA-CSIC is a leading research institution in Astronomy and Astrophysics awarded with the Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence Accreditation, in recognition of its cutting-edge research, high competitiveness, ambitious strategic plans, high-quality production, and a great ability to attract talent. The IAA-CSIC is situated in Granada, a historic, vibrant city at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and only a short drive from the Mediterranean coast.

The successful candidate will be involved in this international project working as part of a multidisciplinary team of astronomers and engineers with a wide expertise in Distributed Computing Infrastructures, Cloud Computing, Data Science and Radio Astronomy. S/he will be the sysadmin of the Prototype SRC cluster and will contribute to deploy services for making astronomical data and analysis tools shareable across the community according to the FAIR principles.

Applications: Interested candidates should send their CV, a cover letter (max. 2 pages) stating the motivation for this specific job and suitable background to and, as well as the contact details of three referees that can provide references upon request.

Deadline: The position will remain open to applicants until it is filled.

Start of the contract: Negotiable (as soon as possible)

Equal Opportunities: CSIC is a public research organisation in which the right to equality and gender non-discrimination is preserved, while promoting the conditions to real and effective equality of the individuals. Everyone is encouraged to apply.

Duties and Responsibilities
The successful applicant will join the team developing a Prototype SRC at the IAA-CSIC (Granada, Spain) led by Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro. The  responsibilities of the position will include:

  • Maintaining the current computing and storage infrastructure of the SRC prototype at the IAA-CSIC
  • Contributing to carry out the next expansion of the computing infrastructure of the SRC prototype: identify technical requirements, support the upcoming hardware procurement, and support the deployment of the platform expansion
  • Deploying tools and services on the SRC prototype platform
  • Providing technical user support

Candidates must hold a PhD/MSc/BSc degree in computer science or related fields (e.g. physics, mathematics). We are looking for proactive candidates with good communication skills in English and expertise in several of these aspects:

  • System administration and application deployment (using e.g Ansible)
  • Linux environment, bash scripting
  • Cloud platforms, SaaS, IaaS: virtualisation, Openstack, Ceph, containers and orchestrators (e. g. Kubernetes)
  • Distributed Computing Infrastructures
  • Source Control Systems (e.g. GIT)

In addition to the above, knowledge of the following topics would be a distinct advantage:

  • Deployment and customisation of JupyterHub
  • Software development in Python
  • Science Gateways (e.g. hubzero)
  • Development and deployment of web services and web applications
  • Astrophysics domain software

Duration of the contract: until the 30th June 2022, with additional extensions possible. The contract should start as soon as possible. The position comes with a competitive salary, Spanish national health care, as well as funding for hardware equipment and attendance to conferences and meetings with collaborators.