Scientific Software Engineer for Destination Earth
Bonn, Germany

Job reference: VN22-16

Location: Bonn, Germany

Deadline for applications: 31/12/2022

Publication date: 04/03/2022

Salary and Grade: Grade A2: EUR 78,035.40, net annual basic salary + other benefits

Contract type: STF-PS

Department: Research

Contract Duration: Approx two years, until 31st May 2024


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.

For ECMWF’s Strategy, which sets the Centre’s direction of travel until 2030, please visit the following link: .  

For additional details, see

About DestinE

ECMWF will be a major partner in the implementation of the European Commission’s Destination Earth (DestinE) initiative starting later in 2021, together with ESA and EUMETSAT . The objective of the  DestinE initiative is to deploy several highly accurate thematic digital replicas of the Earth, called digital twins, to monitor and predict natural and human activities as well as their interactions, to develop and test scenarios that would enable more sustainable developments and support corresponding European policies for the Green Deal. 

DestinE will be run in several phases, of which the first, the implementation phase, covers the period end-2021 to mid-2024. Future phases are foreseen (subject to funding) that will operationalise the digital twins, scale-up system production and add applications and new twin options. 

DestinE covers several demanding digital technology aspects required to develop, implement and operate the two high-priority digital twins on weather induced and geophysical extremes and on climate change adaptation. These twins will rely on complex Earth-system simulation models, data assimilation methods for fusing simulations and observations through inverse modelling and the integration of observations and models from sectors such as water and food management, renewable energies and socio-economic risk and disaster management. 

These science components require advanced digital technology solutions to maximize the efficient computing and data handling on extreme-scale infrastructures, and to adapt and operate these infrastructures across different EuroHPC installations with heterogeneous architectures (CPU/GPU) and within a federated data exchange framework. This federated framework includes a Core user oriented Platform and a Data Lake developed, deployed and operated by ESA and EUMETSAT respectively.

For more information on DestinE, see 

Summary of the role

This is an exciting opportunity for an individual to join the DestinE teams developing and implementing a global km-scale Earth system model, with initalisation based on high-resolution Earth-system observational data assimilation, to deliver the Weather-Induced and Geophysical Extremes Digital Twin. The science developments will be implemented through advanced software and hardware technology solutions deployed on EuroHPC installations. 

The successful candidate will work on developing and maintaining the workflow, management suites, scripts and data files of the Digital Twin, both directly and through integrating the work of others; from within the DestinE project, and across ECMWF more widely. They will take the lead in source-code management and release management of the DestinE system, and be responsible for technical testing, unit testing, continuoue integration and deployment, and ensuring software quality is maintained.

The positions will sit in the IFS Section of the Research Department, and will work closely with staff both in this section and the DestinE project, to ensure that DestinE developments are fully integrated into the existing IFS modelling system, guaranteeing that DestinE is able to take full advantage of the regular developments being made to the IFS. 

The successful candidates will support the relationships with ECMWF’s DestinE partners ESA and EUMETSAT, interact with external contractors as required, and help with communications and outreach activities with dedicated partners of the consortia contributing to the DestinE implementation, stakeholders and the user communities, and contribute to regular progress reports to the European Commission. 

Whilst these positions will be based in Bonn, Germany, there will be strong collaboration with staff based at the ECMWF HQ in Reading, United Kingdom, so it is anticipated that visits to the HQ in Reading will be required. 

Main duties and key responsibilities

The main duties and responsibilities cover: 

  • Ensuring the preparation and technical readiness for performing initialised coupled km-scale simulations and data assimilation on emerging HPC architectures 
  • Contributing to the design, implementation and testing of complex workflows and computer codes in advanced digital technology environments on some of the largest computing and data handling infrastructures in Europe 
  • Developing and maintaining workflow suite and script infrastructure underpinning the Digital Twin system 
  • Integration of new code developments, testing and release of new versions 
  • Contributing to regular progress reports to the European Commission 
  • Contributing to the work of technical officers and supporting procured activities within DestinE by ECMWF.

Personal attributes

  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive continuous improvement approach 
  • Initiative and ability to work collaboratively with other ECMWF staff and DestinE partners, but also able to work independently 
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills 
  • Dedication, passion and enthusiasm to succeed both individually and across teams of developers 
  • Highly organised with the capacity to work on a diverse range of tasks to tight deadlines and in a matrix management environment 

Education, experience, knowledge and skills (including language)


  • A university degree (EQF Level 6) in physical, computational or mathematical science, meteorology, oceanography, or related subject, or equivalent experience.  
  • A PhD is desirable but not essential.  


  • Developing and maintaining weather forecasting systems, or similar complex computational systems. 
  • Working with scientists and technical specialists (preferably in an operational environment). 
  • Working in high-performance computing. 
  • Developing complex and high-quality software. 
  • Experience with developing and maintaining large scientific codes. 

Knowledge & Skills:

  • 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. 
  • Ability to coordinate work and interact with a large Consortium 
  • Knowledge of Fortran, C++, MPI and OpenMP are highly desirable. 
  • Knowledge of some aspects of NWP (e.g. model development, data assimilation, ensemble forecasting) are highly 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. 

Other information

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 EUR 78,035.40 net of tax. ECMWF also offers a generous benefits package, including a flexible teleworking policy. The position is assigned to the employment category STF-PS 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: The contract duration is expected to be approximately two years and will end on 31st May 2024. There may be the possibility of further contract extensions in the future depending on requirements and funding availability.

Location: These position will be located at ECMWF's duty station in Bonn, Germany.

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

Interviews for this position will take place on a rolling basis and will be conducted by videoconference.

Who can apply

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.


The closing date for this job has now passed.