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Scientific Software Engineer – Hydrological Forecasts


  • Organization: ECMWF - European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
  • Location: Reading
  • Grade: A2 - Grade band
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Water Resource Management
  • Closing Date: 2022-12-31

Job reference: VN22-26

Location: Reading, UK

Deadline for applications: 31/12/2022

Publication date: 13/04/2022

Salary and Grade: Grade A2: £63,782.28 net of tax + other benefits

Contract type: STF-PL

Department: Research

Contract Duration: Four years, with possibility of extension

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 35 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 Copernicus Programme, as well as a contributor to the Copernicus Emergency Management Service CEMS. The collaboration does not stop there and include other areas of work, including High Performance Computing and the development of digital tools. It is enabling ECMWF to now provide 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

In addition to running 24/7 operational production, ECMWF is responsible for upgrading the services regularly with, for example, new scientific developments, resolution increases, state-of-the-art optimised processing chains and generation of new reference datasets. Typically, there is one major cycle upgrade every one to two years, and 2 to 3 minor upgrades integrating new or improved products between each major cycle . ECMWF is also regularly involved in research-to-operational projects, developing forecast products in collaboration with external partners, and setting-up and running experimental prototype forecast suites in a quasi-operational environment so that the new developed products can be tested and assessed before becoming candidates for official operational products.

One of the forecast developments beyond traditional Numerical Weather Prediction has been high-quality forecasts able to mitigate the effects of natural disasters – such as floods, one of the deadliest. As the Computation Hydrological Forecast Centre of CEMS, ECMWF is responsible for the operational production and dissemination of forecasts from the European and Global Flood Awareness Systems (EFAS and GloFAS), the Early Warning System (EWS) for flood of the European Commission (CEMS-Flood). ECMWF is also the computational centre for the CEMS EWS for Fire and responsible for providing fire danger forecasts (CEMS-Fire) for the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) and Global Wildfire Information System (GWIS).

This role is an exciting opportunity for a motivated individual to work at the forefront of research to operations, responsible for the integration and testing of research developments of the ECMWF’s world-leading weather and hydrological forecast models in preparation for production . Part of the role’s focus will be  on the CEMS-Flood systems, working in close cooperation with the Forecast Department’s Production and Development Sections to ensure that scientific solutions are well-designed, integrated and tested for pre-production . The role will also involve developing, configuring and running complex test, calibration, reanalysis, and reforecast workflows that are required for successful production releases.

The successful candidate will take the lead in source-code management and release management of the CEMS-Flood system, and be responsible for technical testing, unit testing, continuous integration, and ensuring software quality is maintained . A particular responsibility will be to improve the design of the CEMS-Flood system using a shared software framework, working closely with the rest of the IFS Section and colleagues in the Production Services, Evaluation and Development Sections in the Forecast department. This will enable scientists, software developers and analysts to easily configure and run the system, and a smoother, better tested research to operations (and operations to research) transition of changes.


  • Perform quality assurance for related science and technical contributions at the earliest possible stage.
  • Contribute to the integration and testing of new developments to ensure they are ready for pre-production, collaborating closely with developers, researchers and production analysts across the organisation .
  • Develop, configure and run complex test, calibration, reanalysis, and reforecast workflows as required.
  • Advise on contributions to new versions of the software, responding to pull-requests and contributing pro-actively to code review.
  • Contribute to the design, development and testing of complex workflows for research and pre-operational systems to user requirements.
  • Take an active role in the collaborative and continuous improvement of the research to operations process and quality of the software underpinning the development, testing and production systems.
  • Support the team in other tasks related to the research infrastructure.
  • Other similar duties as assigned from time to time.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive continuous improvement approach
  • Initiative and ability to work collaboratively with other ECMWF teams but also able to work independently
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills 
  • Dedication, passion, and enthusiasm to succeed both individually and across teams
  • Highly organised with the capacity to work on a diverse range of tasks to tight deadlines and in a matrix management environment


  • A university degree (EQF Level 6) in a physical, computational or mathematical science, meteorology, oceanography, or related subject, or equivalent experience.


  • Developing and maintaining weather forecasting systems, or similar complex computational systems.

  • Working closely with scientists and technical specialists (preferably in an operational environment).

  • Developing and maintaining complex workflows of high-quality software. 

  • Experience with developing and maintaining large scientific codes.

Knowledge and skills (including language):

  • Proficiency in Python and shell scripting in a UNIX computing environment are essential.

  • Strong software development skills are essential, including knowledge of process, tools and techniques for software development, testing and management.

  • Some knowledge of meteorology and hydrology would be desirable.

  • 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.

Grade remuneration

The successful candidate will be recruited at the A2 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be £63,782.28 net of tax. ECMWF also offers a generous benefits package, including a flexible teleworking policy. The position is assigned to the employment category STF-PL as defined in the ECMWF Staff Regulations. Full details of salary scales and allowances available on the ECMWF website at, including the ECMWF Staff Regulations and the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: As soon as possible

Length of contract: Four years with the possibility of extension, subject to continuous funding.

Location:  The position will be located 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.

This is an ongoing vacancy that will be closed as soon as the right candidate is found. Interviews will be conducted by videoconference (via Teams).

Applicants are invited to complete the online application form by clicking on the apply button.

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.


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.