System Administrator: Operations

Updated: 9 months ago
Location: Manchester, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 02 Jul 2018

IT Services at The University of Manchester is a vibrant and fast moving department; where we focus on delivering excellent customer service and quality services for our staff, students and researchers. 

Find out more about us and working for The University of Manchester:

The role within the Research IT team

This role will be based within Research IT, part of IT Services at The University of Manchester.  We are looking for an experienced system administrator of computational (aka HPC and/or HTC) platforms.

Research IT is a dynamic and growing group with a remit to develop and support platforms (i.e., services and infrastructure) which are essential to an ever-increasing number of researchers: from modelling atmospheric dynamics to nuclear power stations; from finding biomarkers to better target drugs to patients, to simulations of the stock markets; and recently 3D visualisation of archaeological digs! 

The successful applicant will work, as part of a team, with other Research IT system administrators, alongside research application specialists and research software engineers, to support University academics, researchers and PGRs.  Work will be highly varied and may include development and support of The University Research Computing Ecosystem ( ) which comprises HPC and HTC platforms — on-site, regional as part of N8-HPC and cloud-based, dedicated data storage and VM infrastructure;  development and support of IT infrastructure local to individual research groups;  technical consultancy (e.g., helping academics with grant applications);  and also helping researchers “out and about” on campus as part of research-related field support. 

User support and a high level of customer service are key elements of these roles — we support a very diverse user-base:  we are not just HPC specialists!

Training and support will be provided as required. 

The post is for a fixed term, starting as soon as possible, until 31 July 2022.

The role                    

The successful applicant with have a range of key responsibilities, accountabilities and duties, some of these are outlined below. The post holder will be required to:

  • Support users and applications within The University Research Computing Ecosystem, including:  computational platforms, research virtual machines and research data storage;  on-site, regional and cloud-based platforms.
  • To contribute to the operational and strategic planning of support and development of The Ecosystem.
  • To provide face-to-face user support in the field, including support of research workstations and point infrastructure supporting laboratory-based instruments.
  • To assist with education of users through documentation and training.
  • To manage requests and incidents reported through the ticketing system, and solve technical problems associated with these.
  • Deputise for the Head of Research Infrastructure and Platforms.

Specific role requirements

In addition to the Person Specification criteria detailed in this document, the successful applicant must have the following essential requirements:

  • Experience of working within an academic research environment.
  • Previous relevant work experience and a degree/professional qualification or substantial experience in a similar role.

In-depth knowledge and significant experience of:

  • the Linux operating system and its installation, administration and support;
  • installation and maintenance of the Linux operating system on “bare metal”;
  • administering and supporting shared computational platforms/clusters including queuing systems such as Condor or SGE;
  • virtual machines and cloud infrastructure, and its deployment and use in practical situations;
  • storage “shares” configuration and maintenance, including storage protocols, access control and security thereof;
  • computer network protocols and security, including the principles of network VLANS and subnets, network firewalling and routing.


  • excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Be able to:
  • take the initiative, be proactive, take appropriate action and anticipate problems and opportunities;
  • work as an effective part of a team;
  • establish productive relationships with people from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of skills, including other IT Services staff, academics, researchers and PGRs;
  • ensure that full account is taken of users’ real and stated needs in delivery of IT services.

In addition to the above essential requirements, other desired skills and experience the post holder should have include:

  • Experience of installation and maintenance of OS-X and/or MS Windows Server.
  • Understanding of the principles of anonymization of sensitive data.
  • Experience of working with SQL and other databases (e.g., MySQL, PostgreSQL).

As an equal opportunities employer, we welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons. As we are committed to the principles of the Race Equality Charter Mark and Athena SWAN, we would particularly welcome applications from women and the black and minority ethnic (BME) community, who are both currently under-represented at this grade. All appointments will be made on merit.

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:


General enquiries:


Tel: 0161 275 4499

Technical support:


Tel: 0161 850 2004

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date

Further Particulars

View or Apply

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