Scientific software engineer in a project on modelling water and food security

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 27 May 2024

Your job

Are you interested in better understanding the impact of climate change on water availability and food security? Do you like working with complex numerical models? And are you familiar with scientific coding, version control and research support?

The Earth Systems and Global Change Group is looking for a scientific software engineer(2 years)  to work with us in a project on the High Mountains of Asia and their link to the food producing regions that receive water from those mountains. This position is part of the ERC project 3POLE2SEA. The overall goal of the 3POLE2SEA project is to increase the understanding of the links between the water stored in the High Mountains of Asia and the water- and food security of the 1.9 billion people living in the areas downstream of those mountains, now and in the future, and use this understanding to support adaptation design. In close collaboration with a team of 4 researchers, you will develop tools and methods to quantify those links.

The software engineer we are looking for is expected to contribute to the development and coding of an integrated cryosphere-crop-hydrology model that will be used in this project. The development should focus on improving the quality, documentation and version control of the model.  You will support the other researchers in the project with setting up and running their simulations and data management.

If you have a strong background in scientific programming, academic research, and an interest in climate change, hydrology and food security, you have the right skill set to join our team. You will have the opportunity to work in a high quality and inspiring team, together with other software engineers, research staff, PhDs, postdoctoral researchers, and students.

Your responsibilities:

  • develop a base model code for the group by merging different code versions and set up workflows for version control in Github;
  • support and train other researchers in the project to convert conceptual model developments in the practical implementations of their own branch;
  • develop robust software solutions to challenging, and rapidly evolving research problems related to water and climate systems;
  • establish a set of applicable best practices (e.g., version control, modern shared development environment , and a documentation level appropriate for each project to enable long-term maintainability and sustainability of the software and provenance of results;
  • port, debug, tune and potentially parallelize existing research code to meet criteria set by the research needs;
  • develop an understanding of hydrology and crops sufficient to converse with world-class researchers. Be communicative and be able to bring together software engineering and science demands;
  • maintain and expand knowledge of current and future software development tools and techniques, programming languages, and computing hardware, relevant to the science. 

Your qualities

You are / You have;

  • a MSc degree in computer science, engineering, natural sciences, hydrology or related computation field is required and preferably a minimum of 4 years related work experience (e.g., industry experience, open-source software development, etc.);
  • strong programming skills, particularly in languages used in our hydrology applications (e.g., C, R, Python);
  • demonstrated success in: 
    • Readable coding style; 
    • Creating comprehensive and well-written documentation;
    • Using version control systems (Git);
    • Software testing principles;
    • FAIR software/data management;
  • experience with Linux and HPC clusters;
  • experience with parallel programming architectures (MPI and OpenMP), both distributed and threaded/shared memory;
  • experience with large data-structures and NetCDF data format;
  • ability to learn new concepts and technologies beyond the area of core knowledge. 

You also possess

  • background in or understanding of hydrology concepts; 
  • experience working in an academic research environment. 

We offer you

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment . A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more,  per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between € 3.226 and € 5.090 for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the

Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU)

(scale 10).Initially, we offer you a one-year contract, which will then be extended to 1 more year if there is mutual enthusiasm. This position is for 0.8 fte. Of course, we would be happy to discuss this with you if you have any questions.

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University ” in the Netherlands for the 19th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.

Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about for example helping your partner to find a job, housing, or schooling.

Finally, certain categories of international staff may be eligible for a tax exemption on a part of their salary during the first five years in the Netherlands.

Do you want more information?

For more information about this position, please contact please contact dr. Hester Biemans (PI 3POLE2SEA project), telephone +31 317 486195 or by e-mail [email protected] , or Dr. Ronald Hutjes by e-mail [email protected]

For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, Corporate Recruiter, [email protected]

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including 27 May 2024. We hope to schedule the first job interviews soon after the closing date.

As part of our selection process, an assessment may be incorporated within the procedure

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment .

We are

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 7,600 employees (6,700 fte) and 13,100 students and over 150,000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch the video below to get an idea of our green campus!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.

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