Research Software Engineer – Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Research Software Engineer – Technology post.

PML is seeking to recruit a talented Research Software Engineer  augment its internationally renowned marine system modelling group. The numerical codes that we develop to understand, predict and identify solutions for marine systems are complex, addressing combinations of hydrodynamics, chemistry, physiology and ecosystems, using techniques such as data assimilation and latterly machine learning. Our models address scales ranging from global to local and tackle many key issues such as climate, sustainability, resources, pollution and energy provision.

As the group expands it is essential to maximise our use of cutting edge computational technology to maintain and increase our international impact. The post will focus on the development and optimisation of our suite of modelling codes and analysis tools. One of our primary challenges is to ensure that our increasingly complex high resolution models remain tractable on available platforms and that our systems are future proof, given the projected development of “exascale” computation over the next 5-10 years and the demise of “Moore’s Law”.

Post responsibilities will include at least some of:

  • Optimising the performance and workflow of various model codes and analytical tools
  • Developing computational techniques such as machine learning and other multivariate statistical approaches
  • Designing emulators to enable fast computation of subsystems
  • Enabling porting of our codes to alternative (e.g. cloud) platforms
  • Developing high quality visualisations of 3D time evolving data sets
  • Enabling the dissemination of our data via portals
  • Maintain, document and support software applications so as to facilitate their utilisation, longevity and quality
  • Managing our HPC resource allocation
  • Liaising with PML’s IT group (who manage our server hardware and network connectivity) to optimise new hardware specification, use of disk space and backup/archiving protocols

Much of our work utilises Fortran codes in a Linux environment with Python Scripting. The model systems we use are diverse although the main ones are NEMO, FVCOM and ERSEM. Direct experience of these latter codes is not necessary, nor is knowledge of marine systems, but experience with complex systems models would be beneficial.

We use national and in-house state of the art computational facilities; a summary of our work can be found at The group works on a range of projects directly connected to the investigation, evaluation and remediation of impacts of change (climate and anthropogenic ) on the ocean and coastal environment in a policy and socially relevant framework. and address many of the UN sustainable development goals including those concerning food security, energy, sustainability and ecosystem health.

Applicants will require a PhD, MSc, or a minimum of three years postgraduate experience or equivalent, in a relevant computationally based discipline. Proven ability in programming and computer skills (e.g. Fortran, Python, Linux, or similar) is required, as will good mathematical and statistical skills, including ‘big data’ expertise.

The successful candidate will be able to communicate effectively and clearly within a highly interdisciplinary environment, liaising with scientific colleagues in order to understand their requirements for specialised scientific software solutions and share knowledge and expertise with colleagues to enhance overall group effectiveness . The candidate will be able to work with minimal supervision and will have excellent time-management skills.

Closing 20th August 2020

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