University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

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Project Scientist I

at University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Posted: 12/13/2018
Job Reference #: 218439
Keywords: research, scientist

Job Description

Tracking Code
Job Description

Job Title: Project Scientist I

Location: Boulder, CO

Type: Full-time, Exempt


Relocation assistance is available for this position.

Work Authorization:

UCAR/NCAR will sponsor a work visa to fill this position.

Who We Are:

Located in Boulder, Colorado, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is one of the world’s premier scientific institutions, with an internationally recognized staff and research program dedicated to advancing knowledge, providing community-based resources, and building human capacity in the atmospheric and related sciences. NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

What You Will Do:

This Project Scientist I position leads the recently formed Special Technical Projects (STP) Group in the Technology Development Division (TDD). The position reports to the Director of Technology Development. This position coordinates and conducts applied computational science-based research and development (R&D) focusing on emergent, unexplored technologies or computer science topics, identifying those that offer the most potential for dramatic advancements to the atmospheric and related sciences and working to rapidly prototype them. The operational model of the STP Group Head/leader is envisioned as forming small, collaborative teams of student assistant, NCAR staff, and vendor and university partners to conduct these investigations, and to develop working models, tools, or prototype computing equipment. STP will, where possible, leverage its technical expertise in furtherance of CISL and NCAR’s goals in the area of diversity, education outreach and training. In the course of its activities, the STP will interact with other TDD groups, such as the Application Scalability and Performance (ASAP) and CISL Outreach, Diversity and Education (CODE), and outside TDD, elements in CISL such as the HPC Futures Laboratory.

The high risk/high reward R&D activities will be the stock and trade of STP: therefore, high levels of creativity and a willingness to experiment and occasionally fail will be required. The group head and the STP team will focus on novel and innovative techniques to enhance the performance, and the rate of performance improvement, and portability of key NCAR weather and climate applications and visualizations on novel architectures such as multi-core processors and many-core accelerator systems. To this end, the position will establish collaborations with a distributed team of scientists, software engineers, and graduate students both at a national and international level. The project scientist interacts and supervises a Software Engineer II, several graduate students across multiple research topics to ensure that various methodologies and tools remain inter-operable and inter-supporting. May communicate results through publications and presentations, and through team meetings and progress reports.


  • Collaborates with computational scientists in the Technology Development Division (TDD), Visualization Lab, CISL’s user services and systems’ staff, NCAR’s community modeling development teams, and graduate-level researchers at universities to accelerate the rate of performance enhancement of specific weather and climate codes and visualizations on multi-/many-core processors. Also interacts with vendors to leverage their expertise, report out on project status, and give feedback to stakeholders and partners that will help improve the performance of their systems and software on NCAR’s community codes.
  • Explore low cost and effective high performance computing technologies for teaching computational science. Support outreach programs to increase awareness and adoption of high performance computing topics in the classroom.
  • Documents the results of the research in journal publications, and publicizes those results in seminars and conference or workshop presentations.
  • Participates in appropriate CISL academic activities including lectures, workshops and meetings. Collaborating with national or international scientists in the same research field.
  • Pursues other activities that advance the professional growth of the researcher. These activities may include writing or reviewing proposals and scientific papers.

What You Need:

Education and Years of Experience:

  • PhD in computational sciences or an equivalent combination of education and research experience.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ability to understand and modify code written in Fortran 90, C and Python.
  • Experience using high performance computing environments, including heterogeneous (e.g. CPU/GPU) architectures.
  • Expert knowledge of multi-/many-core computer architectures, compilers, and supporting libraries.
  • Awareness of recent developments in the area of computer architecture and high performance computing.
  • Advanced knowledge of performance programming paradigms for high performance systems, such as MPI, OpenMP, and OpenACC. Knowledge of CUDA or OpenCL required, as well as GPU-to-GPU versions of MPI for multi-GPU applications.
  • Ability to develop optimized, performance portable and scalable applications on HPC platforms.
  • Ability to work with development platforms for visualization and augmented and virtual reality such as Unity, Visual Studio, Nsight, OSVR, etc.
  • Ability to work both independently or collaboratively as a group leader to solve routine and/or occasionally complex technical problems. Ability to organize, prioritize and coordinate multiple tasks. Ability to conduct computational science research with minimal supervision.
  • Applies scientific and leadership skills to develop and coordinate significant portions of projects or programs. May serve as a lead technical resource on a project.
  • Experience and passion for teaching, mentoring and working with students.
  • Excellent communication skills in presenting and explaining scientific research with an emphasis in technical communication.
  • Ability to work and communicate with a distributed, international and multi-disciplinary team.
  • Contributes to writing funding proposals as PI and Co-I and peer reviewed journal articles. Provides cogent summaries via progress reports and presentations to funding organizations and stakeholders.
  • Represents the organization as the prime technical contact on contracts and projects. Interacts with senior external personnel on significant technical matters often requiring coordination between organizations.
  • Maintains professional contact with members of industry and sponsors.
  • May interact at national level with sponsors/presentations

Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Familiarity with advanced numerical methods and experience with Earth system models and related science fields highly desirable.
  • Experience in large-scale scientific parallel computing and software development. Experience working with parallel atmospheric and related science applications.

Applicant Notes:

  • Applicants must be able and willing to travel domestically and internationally

What’s In It for You:

  • Compensation
  • PTO
  • Paid Holidays
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Benefits (Medical, Dental, Vision)
  • Retirement Plan
  • And more!

EEO/AAP Statement:

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer that strives to develop and maintain a diverse workforce. UCAR is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy.

Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). We are committed to inclusivity and promoting an equitable environment that values and respects the uniqueness of all members of our organization.

Job Location
Boulder, Colorado, United States
Position Type