Join my team - HPC vacancy at Loughborough

Are you an HPC maven looking for a new challenge, or a hardcore Linux hacker looking to upskill? Come and join my team at Loughborough, working on supercomputing for research and industry!

This is an open ended post on our Senior IT Services Specialist (Grade 7) salary scale - £37,382 to £44,607. The closing date for applications is 24th June. For more information please see below.

Do get in touch if you'd like to chat about the post.  To apply, please see our online vacancies site.


You will support a substantial (£1M+) internal University investment in HPC, with an opportunity to contribute to the high-profile EPSRC-funded HPC Midlands project, bringing HPC capacity and expertise to our commercial research partners.

In addition to an in-depth technical knowledge of Linux and ideally HPC in an academic or industrial context, you will possess the inter-personal skills and drive to develop a professional network of HPC research staff and students, and disseminate good practice, to ensure the University gets the maximum return on its investment.


Job Grade: Management and Specialist Grade 7 (open ended)

Job Purpose

Take an expert lead role in IT Services’ activities in support of Research Computing with a focus on High Performance Computing, and act as first point of contact to research staff and research students working in that area. Provide expert level technical knowledge and skills in the development and support of IT services for the University, with particular reference to Research Computing.

Job Duties

  • Work as an effective member of Loughborough’s Research Computing team, with a particular emphasis on day-to-day system management and end user support for High Performance Computing.
  • Participate in other Research Computing service development and support activities.
  • Establish and maintain constructive relationships between IT Services and Research Computing users by:
    • liaising with them
    • building up an understanding of their needs
    • communicating that understanding within IT Services
    • facilitating the provision of solutions
  • Take a lead role in the provision of training courses for Research Computing.
  • Develop and maintain documentation on Research Computing facilities.
  • Link and liaise with national and regional High Performance Computing and Research Computing groups as appropriate.
  • Assist in formulating strategy, particularly in the area of Research Computing.
  • Management and co-ordination of consultants and contractors working in support of the responsibilities of the team, as necessary.
  • Responsibility for technical aspects of relevant services (working closely with the Team Manager), including:
    • Provision of a stable service; technical development; monitoring of quality and
      performance and production of regular reports; change and incident logging; risk management; defining standards and monitoring compliance; maintenance contracts; routine maintenance; liaising with suppliers; changes e.g. new versions of operating systems, service packs, patches; documentation; incident handling.
  • To provide expert level knowledge and skills with a particular focus on Research Computing, and assist more generally in development and support of IT services for use by all members of the University.
  • To manage large high impact University-wide IT projects in relevant areas, and to work closely with other staff in the same functional area.
  • Other reasonable duties, which are, from time to time, specified by the Team Manager.
Organisational Responsibility

  • Reports to the Research Computing Team Manager.
  • Functional responsibility for use of central Research Computing facilities by academics and research students.


Job Title: Senior IT Services Specialist (HPC)
Job Grade: Management & Specialist Grade 7 (open ended)

Criteria Essential Desirable Stage(s) to be assessed
Experience Substantial experience of working in service development and delivery in areas relevant to the work of the team.

Working with suppliers and/or contractors.

Cross-team working in a large enterprise IT environment.

Managing and developing IT systems in an educational environment.

Developing and delivering training materials / lectures.

Developing applications for a parallel computing environment, e.g. MPI, OpenMP, NAG libraries.

Debugging HPC programs or clusters.

Commercial off-the-shelf HPC applications such as ANSYS CFX, Abaqus and Star-CCM+.
All to be assessed at stages 1, 2 and 3
Qualifications and training First degree (or equivalent).
Experience of relevant HE research in a highly-rated department.

Relevant formal IT accreditation.
All to be assessed at stages 1 and 3.
Skills, abilities and personal qualities In depth technical knowledge of the Linux operating system.

Deep and recent practical skills in administering and managing significant numbers of Linux servers in an enterprise environment.

Show the potential to become adept in administering an HPC service, e.g. cluster management, scheduler configuration, software deployment.

Ability to communicate effectively with both IT and non-IT staff.

Ability to get on well with people, including when under pressure.

Ability to present information professionally and in a format suitable to its intended audience.

A high level of awareness of security issues in IT and methods of managing them.

Specification and procurement of hardware and/or software and/or services.

The management of risk as it relates to the team’s services.

Ability to manage complex services and projects effectively and efficiently with minimal supervision, a finite pool of resource, and against deadlines.

Analytical skills and ability to understand and translate complex processes, systems and technology.

Show the potential to become adept in fault finding in HPC systems.

Ability and eagerness to meet new objectives and learn new skills.
In-depth knowledge of at least one scientific programming language e.g. C, C++, Fortran.

Practical skills in running a HPC service, e.g. node imaging, monitoring strategies, scheduling and resource management with tools such as Torque, SLURM, GOLD, Maui and MOAB.

All to be assessed at stages 1, 2 and 3
Other Compliance with relevant University policies. 1, 3

Conditions of Service

The appointment will be on a full time, open ended contract on Management and Specialist Grade 7, £37,382 to £44,607 per annum, at a starting salary commensurate with experience and qualifications.

The appointment will be subject to the University's normal Terms and Conditions of Employment for Academic and Related staff, details of which can be found at:

Informal Enquiries

Informal enquiries should be made to Martin Hamilton, Head of Internet Services, by email at:, or by telephone on +44 (0)1509 226009.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 24th June 2013, with interviews to be held on July 3rd 2013.  Candidates invited to interview will be required to make a presentation to the panel, with a brief to be specified in the invitation to interview letter.

To apply for this post, please use the Loughborough University online recruitment site.

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