DevOps Engineer / HPC Specialist

  • Abingdon Rd, Culham, UK
  • Full-time
  • Department: Advanced Computing
  • Salary: £49,396 to £52,293 (inclusive of MPP) + excellent benefits including outstanding pension
  • Confirmed Grade: Level 5
  • Site Location: UKAEA Culham, Oxfordshire

Company Description

By 2050, the planet could be using twice as much electricity compared to today. Are you interested in contributing and helping to shape the future of the world’s energy? If so, read on.

Fusion, the process that powers the Sun and Stars, is one of the most promising options for generating the cleaner, carbon-free energy that our world badly needs. UKAEA are at the forefront of realising energy from fusion, working with industry and research partners to deliver the ground-breaking developments that will underpin tomorrow's fusion power stations with the aim of bringing fusion electricity to the grid.

As we work towards our mission and goals, UKAEA has devised values that capture the spirit of how we work. These values include being: Innovative, Committed, Trusted and Collaborative.

Job Description

Who are we looking for?

We have an ever-growing need of computational resources at UKAEA and in many cases, important science is restricted by a lack of suitable hardware. As a result of significant investment from the UK government, we are therefore looking to develop a team of dev/ops specialists to build and support our internal cloud infrastructure, particularly around HPC within a federated hybrid cloud environment.

As a lead engineer, you will posses the ability to work effectively within a diverse team and may well include working with partners across Europe and with industry. You will be expected to develop a team to support extending and maintaining this cloud-based infrastructure, and you will be responsible for the development of an OpenStack based cloud environment accessible to all. You will have a passion for nurturing science and technological excellence, as well as an ability to seek creative ways in finding solutions to problems. You will be delivery and outcomes driven and be comfortable admitting to making mistakes whilst continuously learning from them. Working with our software engineers and cloud experts, you could be the next lead engineer at UKAEA to make efficient use of external clouds, running modelling and simulation workflows and we are keen to hear from you!  

What will you be responsible for?

  • Co-designing (with a range of internal stakeholders) scalable, agile solutions for cloud exploitation in the ITER and exascale era.
  • Developing plans for creating an OpenStack instance based upon existing hardware and delivering training to users.
  • Upgrading and ongoing maintenance of the emerging cloud instance, implementing suitable configuration control and auditing procedures and work with existing IT support in liaising with vendors for hardware maintenance.
  • Supporting the procurement of new hardware by identification of both user and system needs.
  • Supporting users in migrating applications to suitable containerisation technologies and advise on future plans, supporting capacity planning projections.
  • Helping promote a healthy working environment and team focused worth ethic, centred upon continuous improvement and a core ethos of inclusivity and diversity. 

In addition to on-premises computing facilities and national/UKRI supercomputing resource, cloud systems offer an important solution for building agility and scalability into science and engineering workflows.

This role offers an exciting opportunity to push the boundaries of cloud systems exploitation across the fusion community, including technology that will allow the supercomputers of the exascale to be presented with a cloud interface. The Cloud provision will be primarily IaaS/PaaS.


Essential skills, experience and competence required

  • Demonstrable experience/skills in having deployed Cloud technologies in an operational environment, ideally around OpenStack and the LINUX environment solutions.
  • Ability to work effectively within a diverse team, but willingness to take significant personal responsibility.
  • At least a Master’s degree in a computational, mathematical or physical science discipline or equivalent experience.
  • Experience/skills in batch systems such as PBS, Condor or Slurm.
  • Experience/skills in the deployment and use of configuration management systems such as puppet, chef, CFEngine.
  • Ability to maintain determined, flexible and positive to the challenges presented.
  • Experience/skills in one or more containerisation technologies such as docker or singularity.
  • Ability to foster a sense of urgency in delivering against commitments in a safe working manner.
  • Demonstrable experience of a ‘can do’ approach that delivers ‘fit for purpose’ quality

Desirable skills, experience and competence

  • Team Leadership experience.
  • A good working knowledge of high-level scripting languages such as Python.
  • Working knowledge of one or more compiled languages (C, C++, FORTRAN).
  • Background in a scientific field would be an advantage.
  • Membership of a relevant professional body (e.g. BCS, IEEE, ACE).

Additional Information

What we offer

  • A competitive salary  
  • A culture committed to being fully inclusive, supported by a Being Inclusive Strategy and Inclusion Ambassadors 
  • An Employee Assistance Programme and trained Mental Health First Aiders, with a full calendar of health and wellbeing initiatives 
  • Flexible working options including family friendly policies  
  • Emergency leave (paid) 
  • 30.5 days annual leave (including privilege days and 3 days between Christmas and New Year) increased with length of service 
  • Wide range of career development opportunities (e.g professional registration, internal promotions, coaching and mentoring programme)  
  • Outstanding defined benefit pension scheme  
  • Annual corporate bonus scheme  
  • Relocation allowance (if eligible) 

We welcome applications from under-represented groups, particularly from individuals from black and other ethnic minority backgrounds, including nationality and citizenship, people with disabilities, (visible and hidden) and women. Our dedicated ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ (EDI) partner, with the support from our Inclusion Ambassadors, is actively promoting EDI and taking steps to increase the diversity of our people through reinforcing best practice in recruitment and selection, and revaluating approaches where it is clear we can remove barriers to success. We are easily accessible by car and are a 10-minute walk from Culham Railway Station in Oxfordshire.

Please be advised that this vacancy is due to close on 22/10/2021 We may close earlier than this date if large or sufficient numbers of applications are received.

Please note all employees working at the UK Atomic Energy Authority will be required to complete an online Disclosure Certificate application as part of their clearance – The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks will show the details of all current criminal convictions (convictions considered unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) or will confirm that there are no such convictions.

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