HPC Support Engineer

Job reference:
BAS 21/50
Contract type:
Full Time
Fixed Term Appointment (3 years)
£31,305 - £39,132 per annum.
We offer generous benefits
ICT team
Cambridge with possibility of remote working and periods in polar regions.
Closing date:
11 April, 2021 11:59 pm

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please note there may be delays to our recruitment timeline.


We are recruiting for a HPC Support Engineer to assist researchers at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and specifically the BAS AI Lab.

Who are we?

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through its extensive logistic capability and know how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs. British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation www.ukri.org

We employ experts from many different professions to carry out our Science as well as to keep the lights on, feed the research and support teams and keep everyone safe! If you are looking for an opportunity to work with amazing people in amazing places then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.


A HPC Engineer position is being created to assist researchers at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and specifically the BAS AI Lab.

The BAS AI Lab develops and deploys ML, computer vision and AI methods to tackle environmental challenges. This includes building AI based & physics informed Digital Twins of the natural environment.

The successful applicant will use their skills to develop, commission, operate and support the BAS High Performance Computing Cluster as well as support BAS users on the UK’s JASMIN data analysis facility, the UK’s ARCHER2 National Supercomputing Service and other Supercomputer/HPC resources BAS scientists have access to.

The successful applicant will work closely with the other members of the BAS IT department, researchers and software developers across BAS. In additional there will be collaborations with the AI Lab partner institutions, including The Alan Turing Institute, Universities, Centres for Doctoral Training in Earth Observation and AI for Environmental Risk.


BTEC/National Diploma or equivalent in computing or equivalent working experience.


As part of the HPC team:

  • Support day-to-day running of the BAS HPC by monitoring computing resources, performance, managing configurations and performing firmware and software updates.
  • Develop and extend the functionality, usability, and monitoring of the HPC.
  • Write documentation for the HPC hardware, software, and procedures.
  • Investigate, debug, and address researcher enquiries and requests efficiently via the BAS service desk system.

The above list is not exhaustive, and the job holder is required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be requested within the scope of the post. All employees are required to act professionally, co-operatively and flexibly in line with the requirements of the post and UKRI

Please quote reference: BAS 21/50
Publication date: 12 February 2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 11 April 2021
Interviews are scheduled to be held: 5 May or 12 May 2021

BAS is an Equal Opportunity employer. As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities and disabled people are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome. We operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for the job and will provide necessary adaptations for the interview. We are open to a range of flexible working options, including job sharing, to support childcare and other caring responsibilities.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Communication skills - a) oral skills b) written skills

  • (a) Good Communicator, may be living and working with people in close quarters. - Essential
  • (b) Capable of producing clear reports and documentation. Ability to understand users requirements or goals and provide a solution. Effectively explain complex issues when communicating with end users. - Essential

Decision Making

  • Must be good. - Essential
  • Much of the work involves working autonomously. Capable of being flexible to changing priorities. - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Works on own and as part of a team as necessary. - Essential

Managerial ability

  • Junior - Essential
  • Able to train 1st line support. - Desirable [4]
  • Able to train HPC users. - Desirable [3]
  • Provide hands on support for AI/ML “hackathons” - Desirable [3]

Numerical ability

  • Able to handle numbers for IT applications - Essential
  • Ability to assist researchers with writing and debugging AI/ML Python code. - Desirable [1]

Other Factors

  • Team player. - Essential
  • Helpful - Essential
  • Flexible - Essential
  • Approachable - Essential
  • Able to understand and explain complex problems with people who are not knowledgeable of IT systems. - Essential
  • Able to run HPC training sessions. - Essential


  • BTEC/National Diploma or equivalent in computing or equivalent working experience. - Essential
  • Degree level in Computing - Desirable [4]
  • Project Management. - Desirable [5]
  • RHCE. - Desirable [3]

Skills / Experience

  • Linux system administration experience. - Essential
  • HPC experience - Essential
  • Experience with the use of GPUs in AI/ML. - Essential
  • HPC software compiling experience. - Desirable [2]
  • InfiniBand networking experience. - Desirable [5]
  • Fortran experience. - Desirable [4]
  • C/C++ experience. - Desirable [5]
  • Cloud Computing experience. - Desirable [1]
  • MATLAB Parallel Toolbox experience. - Desirable [3]
  • Experience writing and debugging python code which makes use of TensorFlow and/or PyTorch. - Desirable [1]
  • Experience implementing and managing Jupyter Notebooks and Jupyter Hub for multiple users. - Desirable [1]

You can apply for this job online or you can print off the application forms, fill them out by hand and mail them.

Apply Online:

Apply by post:

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Recruitment team is working remotely and cannot access the building. If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, please contact us: [email protected]

If you need more information

[email protected]
+44 (0)1223 221400
+44 (0)1223 362616

The information you provide during the application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements where necessary or, in the case of the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire, to help BAS meet its equal opportunities policy.

The British Antarctic Survey will not share the information you provide with any third parties, and the information will be held securely by the British Antarctic Survey whether the information is in electronic or physical format. Please note that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire will be detached from your application prior to the short-listing of candidates for interview.

Unsuccessful applications will be securely destroyed 6 months after the end of the recruitment process (or 1 year after the end of the recruitment process in the case of Marine Staff and AEP. The applications of successful applicants will be retained as part of their personnel file.

Further information can be found in the information notice of NERC, our parent body.