Assistant System Engineer/System Engineer/Senior System Engineer

Cyberinfrastructure Operations

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides supercomputing and advanced digital resources for the nation's scientific enterprise. At NCSA, University of Illinois faculty, staff, students, and collaborators from around the globe use advanced digital resources to address and research grand challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA has been advancing one third of Fortune 50® companies for more than 30 years by bringing industry, researchers and students together to solve grand challenges at rapid speed and scale.

NCSA is currently seeking one or more Assistant System Engineer/System Engineer/Senior System Engineer(s) to work as part of a team, providing key hardware and software support functions for advanced computational and data systems, known as research cyberinfrastructure operations. This position may be assigned to work on research systems including the Blue Waters petascale cluster, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Project, the Illinois Campus Cluster Program, and the NCSA Industry Program systems.

The System Engineer installs, configures, tests, analyzes, maintains and updates high performance computing and communication hardware and software systems within the NCSA cyberinfrastructure, coordinating with program offices, partners and vendors as applicable. This position will enhance the quality and optimal use of the research computing environment with the seamless integration of various systems and services.

Key responsibilities

Assistant System Engineer
  • Research Infrastructure and System Engineering
    • Participate in a team of systems engineers on an assigned high-performance computing (HPC) system to achieve an effective computational research platform.
    • Provide key hardware and software support functions for advanced computational and data systems, known as research cyberinfrastructure operations.
    • Enhance the quality and optimal use of NCSA's research computing environment with the seamless integration of various systems and services.
    • Install, maintain and update high performance computing and communication hardware and software systems within the NCSA cyberinfrastructure, coordinating with researchers, program offices, partners and vendors as applicable.
    • Diagnose and analyze system capabilities and issues.
    • Make recommendations to keep optimal system performance and availability in line with production standards.
    • Acknowledge and reply to service requests as part of a proactive issue resolution process, to improve the user experience.
    • Convey user feedback and concerns to other Scientific Computing Services (SCS) and project staff.
    • Serve as an administrator for assigned HPC systems:
      • Monitor status and use of resources (systems, networks, disk memory, as applicable).
      • Create and maintain documentation on system capabilities to be used by system engineers, project offices, management, and users.
      • Coordinate with the Primary Administrators, team members, peers, and management on system work.
      • Maintain system and administrative logs for current and future research opportunities.
      • Provide on-call and off-hours support as assigned.
  • Research Engineering
    • Work with researchers to diagnose and resolve their systems capabilities and issues.
    • Provide user support with advanced computational research.
    • Obtain and apply knowledge and experience in system engineering research and best practices for the Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) Directorate.
    • Contribute to publications, technical reports, and public conferences.
System Engineer

These include the key responsibilities for the Assistant System Engineer with the addition of the following:

  • Research Infrastructure and System Engineering
    • Make independent decisions to keep optimal system performance and availability in line with production standards.
    • Serve as an administrator for assigned HPC systems:
      • Establish, update and maintain system and administrative logs for current and future research opportunities.
  • Research Engineering
    • Work with researchers to update, or add system capabilities to meet current or future research needs.
    • Keep up-to-date on current trends in system engineering research and utilize this knowledge in recommending and implementing system solutions.
    • Track research activity of relevant vendors and NCSA partners.
    • Analyze logs for information about recurrent issues, performance or usage.
    • Develop technical training material and documentation as a result of research experiences in ACI.
Senior System Engineer

These include the key responsibilities for the System Engineer in addition to the following:

  • Research Infrastructure and System Engineering
    • Lead teams of systems engineers on an assigned HPC system to achieve an effective computational research platform.
    • Diagnose, analyze and design solutions for complex system implementations, capabilities and issues.
    • Proactively ensure that the project offices have up-to-date information about their HPC systems.
    • Make technical recommendations on hardware configuration, user policies and security procedures.
    • Provide technical assistance to users and convey user feedback and concerns to project staff.
    • Serve as the primary administrator for assigned HPC systems.
    • Coordinate and provide on-call and off-hours support as assigned.
  • Research Engineering
    • Coordinate the deployment of new solutions for HPC use cases.
    • Direct testing of systems and software before and after system changes or upgrades for performance and functionality.
    • Make technical decisions on system software configuration and administration procedures per group policy.
    • Coordinate with users and project offices on the research efforts of those groups.
    • Coordinate logs collection and analysis for information about recurrent issues, performance or usage.
    • Document work accomplished and provide analysis/feedback on HPC systems.
    • Develop and present technical training material via tutorials and seminars documentation as a result of research experiences in NCSA's ACI.
    • Train other staff and consultants in support of new capabilities and services.

Required education and experience

Assistant System Engineer
  • BA/BS degree in engineering, computer science, or related field. Alternative degree fields will be considered if accompanied by equivalent experience (depending on nature and depth of experience as it relates to current NCSA projects and technologies).
  • Training or experience in all of the following areas:
    • Support of IT technologies and servers.
    • Developing and utilizing scripting languages to accomplish tasks.
    • Activities associated with the deployment, operation and management of Linux clusters or data-intensive systems or other enterprise IT services.
System Engineer

These include the requirements of the Assistant System Engineer with the addition of the following:

  • One year of experience in all of the following areas:
    • Support of IT technologies and servers.
    • Developing and utilizing scripting languages such as Bash, Perl, Python or others to accomplish tasks.
    • Activities associated with the deployment, operation and management of HPC clusters or data-intensive systems or other enterprise IT services as may be applicable.
Senior System Engineer

These include the requirements for the System Engineer with the addition of the following:

  • Three years of experience in all of the following areas:
    • The support of IT technologies and servers.
    • Developing and utilizing scripting to accomplish complex tasks.
    • Activities associated with the deployment, operation and management of HPC clusters or data-intensive systems or other enterprise IT services.

Preferred experience

Assistant System Engineer

Knowledge or training in the following areas:

  • Linux/Unix operating systems and services.
  • Server hardware and services.
  • Programming languages.
System Engineer
  • Knowledge of Linux/Unix operating systems and services.
  • Use of scripting languages.
  • Knowledge of HPC in the terms of the following items:
    • Hardware.
    • Specific services and applications.
    • And/or programming languages and applications.
Senior System Engineer
  • Programming experience with one or more languages.

This is a regular academic professional position at NCSA and is an annually renewable, 12/12, 100%-time appointment with regular University benefits. Salary is commensurate with experience and start date will be as soon as possible after offer acceptance. Applicants must possess required education and experience by start date of position. Interviews and hires may occur before the closing date; however, all applications received by the closing date will receive full consideration. For further information regarding our application procedures, you may visit www.ncsa.illinois.edu or send an email to Bryan Fijalkovich, HR Coordinator at fijalkov@illinois.edu.

To apply, please create your candidate profile at jobs.illinois.edu and upload your cover letter and CV/resume by the close date, March 13, 2020. Contact information for three references must be included on the application. For full consideration, candidates must complete the Hiretouch application process by the above date. The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.

For further information regarding our application procedures, you may visit www.ncsa.illinois.edu or email NCSA-HR@illinois.edu.