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System Engineer for Data Stores


  • Organization: ECMWF - European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
  • Location: Reading
  • Grade: A2 - Grade band
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Statistics
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2022-07-10

Job reference: VN22-35

Location: Reading, UK

Deadline for applications: 26/06/2022

Publication date: 27/05/2022

Salary and Grade: Grade A2: GBP 63,782.28 NET annual basic salary + other benefits

Contract type: STF-PL

Department: Forecast

Contract Duration: 4 years with the possibility of extensions

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'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 recently 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

Copernicus is the earth observation component of the European Union (EU) space programme. Based on the exploitation of space-based and in-situ (earth-based) observations and scientific models, Copernicus provides information services for land, marine, atmosphere and climate monitoring, as well as emergency management and security. These services, and their free, open and quality assured data and tools, support a range of environmental and security applications across sectors and policy domains. For details, see

The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) service provides consistent and quality-controlled information related to air pollution and health, solar energy, greenhouse gases and climate forcing, everywhere in the world. For details, see

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) service provides authoritative information about the past, present and future climate, as well as tools to enable climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies by policy makers and businesses. For details, see

The Climate (CDS - and Atmosphere (ADS - ) Data Stores are instances of a shared infrastructure providing the backbone of C3S and CAMS Services. The infrastructure is designed as a distributed system and an open framework that provides web-based and API-based retrieve facilities to a wide catalogue of datasets, applications and other digital information. It addresses a diverse community of users, including policymakers, business and scientists, helping them investigate and tackle climate change and atmosphere monitoring challenges. The Data Store infrastructure provides a development platform (Toolbox) which allows the creation of web-based applications operating on the datasets and products available in the catalogues. The Data Store infrastructure is hosted in an on-premises Cloud physically located within the ECMWF Data Centre in Bologna and implemented using a collection of virtual machines, networks and large data volumes. CDS and ADS sum close to 140,000 registered users and serve near to 100 Terabytes of data downloads every day with operational numbers increasing at a steady rate.  
As part of the EU’s Copernicus Earth observation programme, ECMWF, EUMETSAT and Mercator Ocean have joined forces to implement a Data and Information Access Service (DIAS) platform called WEkEO (, which will enable third parties to develop their own value-added products and services. As well as providing access to data from the Copernicus Sentinel satellite programme, WEkEO will work hand-in-hand with existing Copernicus services; C3S, CAMS and the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS), for the provision of data from these services. The Data Stores and WEkEO provide complementary services to users and are bonded by strong synergies and technical interfaces. 

The Data Store infrastructure is currently in the process of evolving into a more modern, usable, robust and interoperable one that will allow to strengthen synergies with WEkEO, maximizing shared capabilities and resources to engage with an even broader user community. 

The Copernicus Data Store (CopDS) Team’s main task is to manage, supervise and support the development, implementation and daily operation of the Data Store infrastructure. CopDS Team works in close collaboration with other ECMWF teams, CAMS and C3S partners, external contractors and third-party organizations.

ECMWF is recruiting a Systems Engineer to support the technical implementation and operational management of the Copernicus Data Store infrastructure and its interfaces with external platforms such as WEkEO or Destination Earth (DestinE). This is an exciting position engaged at the heart of the Copernicus activities of ECMWF. 

The successful candidate will report to the CopDS Team Leader.  Systems Engineers engage in all technical activities related to the implementation and daily operation of the data store infrastructure and actively contribute to the continuous improvement of the monitoring and analytical capabilities of the services. They collect technical requirements, participate on the analysis and design of technical solutions and supervise deliveries from external contractors. They oversee technical issues and requirements related with the Data Store infrastructure and supporting systems, together with other experts of the CopDS Team and in close collaboration with other internal stakeholders and external 3rd parties (providers, suppliers, and support companies). They also play an active role in the technical integration and interoperability of the infrastructure with other technological platforms and software components within ECMWF and outside.  Finally, they also represent the Data Stores in different forums and events. 

  • Participate in the requirements gathering, specification, procurement, implementation, and operation of the Copernicus Data Store infrastructure under the responsibility of ECMWF.
  • Contribute to the design, deployment, implementation, testing and release of technical solutions.
  • Supervise the daily operation of the Copernicus Data Store infrastructure improving monitoring capabilities, tuning configuration and providing technical support in coordination with internal stakeholders and external 3rd parties (providers, suppliers, and support companies).
  • Create and maintain up-to-date technical documentation and architectural diagrams.
  • Contribute to technical reports and procured activities.
  • Provide day-to-day support for the services provided by the team, including, on a rotating basis, 24-hour on-call support.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills 
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills 
  • Attention to detail
  • Self-motivated, proactive and able to work autonomously 
  • Ability to maintain effective communication and documentation with the rest of the team and a distributed user community
  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work in a team 
  • Ability to work efficiently and complete a diverse range of tasks in a timely manner
  • University degree (EQ6 level or above) or equivalent industry experience
  • Proficiency in IT business analysis, requirements management and concept developing.
  • Proven track record in software development, programming and scripting.
  • Experience implementing and supporting large systems and client/server applications to handle large data volumes, with strong understanding of performance-related issues (memory, disk I/O, networking, etc.).
  • Experience in development and software lifecycle management in a structured CI/CD pipeline environment.
  • Experience in operational and application performance monitoring.
  • Proven experience in programming (any language) and scripting (Python, Ruby)
  • Experience implementing monitoring, logging and analytical  applications.
  • Proficiency in Linux system administration.
  • Proven experience with DevOps practices: CI/CD, Software Engineering, Automation pipelines (GitHub, Jenkins)
  • Experience with Agile methodologies for software development.
  • Experience with Ansible, or similar modular configuration management is an advantage.
  • Knowledge of Cloud Native (Kubernetes, Docker) is highly desirable.
  • Knowledge of Cloud IaaS (OpenStack, VMWare) is desirable. 
  • Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English.

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 GBP 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:  4 years with the possibility of extensions

Location: Reading, UK

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

Interviews by videoconference (MS Teams) are expected to take place in the first half of July 2022. 

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. 

In these exceptional times, we also welcome applications from Ukrainian nationals for this vacancy.  

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.