Systems Architect - Copernicus Production


Position information

  • Vacancy No.: VN16-34
  • Department: Forecast
  • Grade: A2
  • Section: Copernicus Production Section
  • Job Ref. No.: STF-PS/16-34
  • Reports to: Head of Section
  • Publication Date: 14 November 2016
  • Closing Date: 12 December 2016



ECMWF is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States. ECMWF carries out scientific and technical research directed to the improvement of its forecasts, collects and processes large amounts of observations, and manages a long-term archive of meteorological data. Satellite and in situ observations provide the information for up-to-date global analyses and climate reanalyses of the atmosphere, ocean and land surface. For details, see ECMWF has been entrusted to operate the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) on behalf of the European Commission. The Copernicus programme, a joint initiative of the European Union and the European Space Agency, aims to ensure operational monitoring of the atmosphere, oceans, and continental surfaces, and to provide reliable, validated information services for a range of environmental and security applications. Based on the exploitation of space-based and in situ observations and models, Copernicus will provide information services for land, marine, atmospheric and climate monitoring, as well as emergency management and security. The full operational phase of Copernicus started in 2014 and is funded by the EU, under its Multiannual Financial Framework 2014–2020. To improve access to Copernicus data, support innovation and increase awareness and uptake, while boosting the EU economy, ECMWF and other Copernicus entrusted organisations have decided to pool their efforts for conceiving, building and maintaining a data and information access platform. The architecture of the platform, providing a cloud-based set of services to the users, will be based on infrastructure already in place or under development. It will capitalise on and extend the existing capabilities of the organisations, with a focus on providing operational services with the specified performance in terms of reliability, availability and timeliness.


Summary of the role

This position is in the Copernicus Production Section in the Forecast Department at ECMWF. The Systems Architect will report to the Head of the Copernicus Production Section, with matrix reporting to the Heads of CAMS and C3S.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the definition, architectural design, procurement, development and implementation of the new platform and cloud-based infrastructure. The role requires complex interactions with partner Entrusted Entities, stakeholders and platform service users. Most of the development activities will be subcontracted to external entities. He or she will work with the team in charge of the Climate Change Service platform development, in close cooperation with CAMS and C3S teams.


Main duties and key responsibilities  

  • To ensure technical and programmatic interactions between different partners working on the platform  
  • To lead the definition, architectural design and implementation of the platform  To lead the procurement activities for the detailed design, development and implementation of platform and system components.
  • To manage and follow up the work of the subcontracted external entities.  
  • To implement the underlying cloud services  
  • To interact with users, CAMS and C3S teams and stakeholders in order to fulfil their requirements and expectations  
  • To maintain awareness and communication, facilitate knowledge sharing and create development synergies within ECMWF


Personal attributes

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills to work with internal and external partners
  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work in a team  
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive approach


Qualifications and experience required


  • A university degree or equivalent in software development, IT, or a relevant subject.


  • Extensive experience in large-scale distributed systems that have complex API interactions.
  • Extensive experience in infrastructure tooling, such as development, deployment, monitoring tools and/or services.
  • Experience with managing subcontracted IT developments would be an advantage

Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • Strong knowledge of systems architecture covering the following technical areas: virtualization, cloud, server technology and operating systems, networking connectivity, security.
  • Experience handling geospatial data, including cataloguing, discovery, data storage and retrieval would be a distinct advantage.
  • 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.


Other information

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 £55,488 net of tax. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-PS as defined in the Staff Regulations.

Full details of salary scales and allowances are available on the ECMWF website at, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

  • Starting date: As soon as possible.
  • Length of contract: Two years.
  • Location: The role will be based in the Reading area, in Berkshire, United Kingdom.


How to apply

Please apply by completing the online application form available at

ECMWF has an Equal Opportunities Policy and applications from all suitably qualified candidates are welcome.

Staff are usually recruited from among nationals of the following Member States and Co-operating States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Staff from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases.

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.
  • Organization: ECMWF - European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
  • Location: Reading
  • Grade: A-2, Grade
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Statistics
    • Physics and Mathematics
    • Meteorology, Geology and Geography
    • Scientist
  • Closing Date: 2016-12-12

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