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HPC Systems Administrator (NQCC)

Employer
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Location
Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire, UK
Salary
Band D S1 £42,840 OR Band E S1 £53,818 gross per annum
Closing date
30 Jun 2024
Reference
2300015C

Job Details

Job Title: HPC Systems Administrator (NQCC)

Salary:   Band D S1 £42,840 OR Band E S1 £53,818 gross per annum (Depending upon experience) 

Location: Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire, UK 

Contract Type: Permanent

Hours: Full time or Part time (minimum 0.8FTE) (We understand the importance of work-life balance, and offer flexible working, but do require at least 4 days a week on-site)

 

Due to the requirement of obtaining an enhanced security clearance for this role, we are only able to accept applications from persons who have been resident in the UK for the last 5 years. We cannot sponsor visa applications for this role.

Come and do the kind of computing that got you into technology in the first place. Work with cutting-edge tech and world-leading scientists and engineers. And harness the power of some of the country's most advances supercomputers to tackle work that improves daily life 

in the UK and far beyond.

Put simply, come and discover the impact you can make when you're equipped, encouraged and inspired to perform to your very best.

About the role:

We have an exciting opportunity for an HPC System Administrator to join the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC). As part of the Operations Team reporting to the Deputy Director (Operations), the HPC Systems Administrator is essential to the delivery of our ambitious technology roadmap for supporting quantum computing for the UK.

The ideal candidate will join a small team of system administrators overseeing a range of IT systems, including traditional HPC, cloud-based platforms, quantum computing, AI support systems, and more. They will collaborate with the NQCC Control Systems and Quantum Hardware teams to provide diverse operating systems, simulation software, storage, backup support, and quantum-classical integration technologies. The ideal candidate should possess hands-on experience in HPC, GPU, and emerging technologies, strong technical leadership skills, and the ability to maintain relationships with stakeholders. Managing technical documentation, addressing risks, supporting diverse computational infrastructure, and reporting to the HPC/IT Systems Manager and Senior Leadership, are also key aspects of the role.

What will I be doing? 

In this role, your responsibilities encompass comprehensive management of NQCC's compute services, involving deployment, configuration, and maintenance. Oversight of system performance, resource allocation, and problem resolution for hardware and software falls under your purview. You also play a pivotal role in networking services within the HPC ecosystem, ensuring seamless connectivity among compute nodes, GPU clusters, and storage systems. Robust security measures implementation to safeguard systems, Cloud services, and data from cyber threats is a critical aspect. Staying updated on security practices, you propose enhancements for fortified system security. Storage solutions management, user support, and performance tuning are also within your domain. Automation through configuration management tools, devising backup and disaster recovery strategies, and collaboration with IT teams and researchers for tailored solutions are key. Maintaining comprehensive documentation for infrastructure, configurations, and procedures is essential. 

Supporting computational projects, adhering to standards, security, and governance while advocating for positive change completes the role. Accurate reporting, collaboration with evaluation, and driving continuous improvement are integral to your responsibilities.

This is an outline description of the key responsibilities and accountabilities involved in the job. This is not an exhaustive list, and the successful applicant might be expected to undertake any other duties across NQCC, appropriate to the Band / level of responsibility for which post-holder has necessary experience and/or training. 

Our Benefits:

UKRI recognises and values employees as individuals and aim to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme (subject to business requirements), generous average-salary Defined Benefit pension scheme, and 30 days annual leave allowance plus 10.5 bank holiday/privilege days and several other benefits. 

What experience do I need? 

Prior knowledge of quantum computing is not required to apply for this role, but it would be an advantage. We offer significant development and training opportunities. Applicants for this role should meet the following criteria: 

Essential:

•  Systems Administration hands-on experience / proficiency in Linux (e.g., RHEL, SLES, Ubuntu).

•  IT and HPC server hardware knowledge, some networking infrastructure awareness.

•  Strong grasp of HPC, networking, cybersecurity, encryption, and cloud services.

•  Diagnosing system and software issues.

•  Effective communication and presentation skills.

•  Skilled at relationship-building, collaborative team player and stakeholder influencing.

•  Efficient time management and problem-solving abilities.

Desirable:

•  Proficient in project management tools and techniques, including risk assessment.

•  HPC language proficiency (C/C++, Fortran)

•  Proficient in HPC programming languages (Python, CSH, etc.) (Band E)

•  Proficient in Parallel programming (MPI, OpenMP, CUDA, OpenACC)

•  Skilled in job schedulers and resource managers (SLURM, Altair PBS, UGE) (Band E)

•  Knowledge of storage filesystems (Lustre, GPFS, BeeGFS, CEPH etc.) (Band E)

•  Cloud/Container experience (OpenStack, Kubernetes, Docker or Podman)

•  Quantum computing expertise and/or Relevant degree level education

You would need to be available to occasionally travel/work within the UK and overseas for workshops, conferences, and meeting, when required. 

Who are we? 

The National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) is a new research centre funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), which is dedicated to accelerating the development of quantum computing by addressing the challenges of scalability.

How do I apply for this role?

Please submit your Covering Letter (up to 2 pages) and CV that clearly outlines how you fulfil the role criteria along with your motivation to join NQCC, as attachments on your application. Please ensure that your name and the job reference number are in the file name of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit your application without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered. 

Security Clearance 

Due to the nature of the role, and a requirement to support diverse projects, the successful candidate is required to successfully complete national pre-employment control checks to the BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard) to fulfil the role. BPSS checks can take between 9-12 working days.

Once in post you will need to successfully complete a Security Check (SC) clearance. 

What could you achieve with the world-leading facilities and experts of one of Europe's largest research organisations by your side?

Join us and discover what's possible!

About the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC)

As part of the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is leading a programme to establish a National Quantum Computing Centre, which includes a commitment of £93m over 5 years, dedicated to drive development in the field of Quantum Computing and to place the UK at the forefront of the field. The Centre is a joint initiative of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

A purpose-built National Quantum Computing Centre will be built and operated by UKRI at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) campus in Oxfordshire. The Centre will be open and operational by December 2022. Until then, the NQCC’s activities are taking place in other facilities on the Harwell Campus or at partnering institutions. The NQCC will sit alongside other departments within the STFC National Laboratories and will be part of the broader National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP).

The primary purpose of the NQCC is to fill a key gap in the research and innovation landscape addressing the challenge of scaling quantum computing. However, this technology is immature and extensive development work is needed to scale the fundamental science to provide usable computing systems.

The NQCC's initial 5 years will focus on developing a Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) machine to demonstrate the technology as well as software, algorithm and applications development. The longer-term aim is to scale the technology towards an error and noise-free fault-tolerant machine capability with benchmarking and verification demonstrated in collaboration with the UK and international partners. The NQCC will give assured and direct access to early prototype machines to developers and promote the formation of a strong UK-based quantum computing supply chain.

About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)  - For information about STFC please visit https://stfc.ukri.org/

You can also visit our careers site https://www.stfccareers.co.uk/ 

About UK Research Innovation (UKRI) -  information can be found at www.ukri.org.  .

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 

Company

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science and engineering. STFC is one of nine organisations that have been brought together to create UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); a new organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

At STFC, our engineers provide the technology that allows our world-leading science to make a real difference in areas that really matter: from cancer treatment to airport security, high-tech jobs to hydrogen powered cars, energy generation to accident scene emergency care, our impact is felt in many aspects of daily life. We provide and exploit space and astronomy technology, a world-leading neutron scattering facility, ultra-fast supercomputers, amazing scientific instruments and some of the most powerful lasers in the world. We work with industry and academia throughout the UK, Europe and the world.

STFC can offer you an excellent working environment. Our laboratories are based in beautiful rural locations in Cheshire, Oxfordshire and in Edinburgh, with great amenities and quality of life for you and your family. We are at the centre of burgeoning high-tech campuses buzzing with economic investment and even more promise for the future. Our people enjoy attractive benefits and plenty of opportunity for development. Whether you are beginning or furthering your career, we can offer you excellent opportunities to test out and broaden your skills and experience and to gain real technical and managerial expertise working in dynamic team and project environments.

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