Assistant Research Scientist – Big Data Infrastructure

General Description:

We are seeking a postdoctoral research scientist with a strong background in scientific software development to be a member of the Johns Hopkins University, Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES) research and development project teams. The ideal candidate must have the vision and creativity to find innovative solutions to the Big Data challenges that these projects entail, as well as the rigor and experience to develop high-quality application software to address these challenges.

The selected candidate will be responsible for the design, development, testing and deployment of the suite of scientific software applications developed in the JHU Physics and Astronomy department. They will act as the technical lead on the projects they work on, in particular the NSF funded SciServer project, which aims to build a long term flexible, reusable and scalable framework to access to the enormous data sets in fields ranging from observational astronomy (the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to the Large Synoptic Survey telescope) and genomics to the simulation data generated by the largest scale simulations in astronomy, mechanical engineering and fluid dynamics (e.g., turbulence), materials science and brain science.

They will be a technical contributor to the design of the SciServer architecture over the next 2 years duration of the project, working with existing team members and collaborators. Duties will include programming primarily in Java and C#.NET, developing core system components, web applications, database applications, and data management infrastructure; defining and maintaining an appropriate development and testing environment for the project; documenting software components for both developers and users, developing test plans for the system, executing the plans and live system deployment; and deploying applications to our live environment.


The ideal candidate will have a PhD in a scientific or related field (e.g., Astronomy, Physics, Math), with 1-3 years related experience in scientific software development, preferably software engineering. Relevant experience may substitute for a degree. Additional related education and/or demonstrated knowledge, ability and skills to perform the work described may substitute for experience. Required skills for this position include proficiency in at least one major object-oriented programming language like Java, C++ or C#; Web application development on Windows and Linux; Web services development on Windows and Linux; working knowledge of SQL and relational database management systems (RDBMS); database application programming. Desired Skills/Experience include experience with web services development in ASP.NET and Java; experience in developing scientific applications with Python; experience with large databases; experience with scientific data; knowledge of N-Tiered Enterprise Architectures; knowledge of SOA; knowledge of formal software development environments, and knowledge of full software lifecycle processes (waterfall, iterative, agile); and knowledge of formal change control and baseline release management.

To apply, please submit a letter of interest, current curriculum vitae, and names of three references to: Ani Thakar and Niashia Jones.

The position will remain open until filled, but applications received by June 30, 2017 will be given priority.

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LAN Administrator II

General Description:

The LAN Administrator II will provide technical and systems support to the Institute for Data-Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES). The incumbent will spend the majority of their time assisting users and maintaining systems. This includes the installation and maintenance of new and existing software, operating systems, servers, and hardware products as well as the integration of new products and /or software release upgrades into the current environment. Additionally, this position will lend support for over 5PB of archival storage, IDIES’ GPU-based HPC system, and other future grant-based novel architectures.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

Systems Support (80%)

  • Provide advanced desktop systems support for the group
  • Utilize the ticketing system to document work
  • Deploy hardware, software and operating systems using procedures created by team engineers
  • Dispatch and coordinate RMAs
  • Perform daily systems administration tasks
  • Perform backups and restores as necessary
  • Supports complex and novel HPC systems
  • Appropriately escalate issues to senior team members
  • Effective verbal and written communication
  • Meets deadlines
  • Capable of prioritizing and organizing tasks
  • Inventories hardware as required
  • Plans and performs systems updates
  • Performs server log data analysis
  • Writes simple shell scripts to assist with daily administrative tasks
  • Required to occasionally work off-hours in support of systems maintenance activities
  • On-call responsibilities
  • Interface with customers by meeting with them to provide support
  • Troubleshoot and resolve moderately complex hardware and software problems by following documentation and by using appropriate diagnostic tools to provide solutions
  • Create, schedule, monitor, and validate quality of desktop backups by following standards and documented procedures to ensure that recovery is possible in the event of equipment or software failure. Restore files as needed.
  • Deliver, move, and install devices and related software including client devices, Web servers, file and application servers, peripherals, operating systems, standard, highly specialized non-standard and vendor software by following documented standards and procedures.
  • Evaluate and document needs for devices connected to the network environment by meeting with the customer to gather information on business problems and recommend solutions

Examples of Measures for Performance Management

  • Provisions and supports complex desktop and server systems
  • Thoroughly monitors and updates ticket system; corresponds with users in a timely fashion; provides ample details concerning the request
  • Troubleshoots and maintains IDIES’ data-intensive systems
  • Identifies and assigns owner and queue to tickets in a timely fashion. Processes personally owned tickets in a timely fashion. Regularly monitors team ticket correspondences, escalating urgent matters appropriately.
  • Schedules and deploys systems as scheduled; vigilantly ensures patches are performed on systems as necessary and with proper group communication; performs break/fix tasks in a timely fashion (as discovered or upon request), Initiate, remove, replace and return failed hardware in a timely fashion; updates ticketing system regarding the status in parallel.
  • Checks mailing lists for held messages as notified by the mailing list system within an hour of receipt.
  • Successfully initiates backups on workstations and servers and runs restores for users; configures backups to run automatically; restores are done upon request in a timely fashion.
  • Provide maintenance and troubleshooting for our large storage (5PB) system; provide maintenance and troubleshooting for our GPU-based computational cluster
  • Schedules downtime on critical systems outside of standard working hours to minimize customer impact
  • Responds to systems emergencies in a timely fashion

Engineer Support (10%)

  • Attempts to troubleshoot server/service issues prior to escalation
  • Collects information regarding an issue and records it into the ticketing database; attempts to resolve it prior to escalation

Training and Edification (10%)

  • On-The-Job training for more advanced systems and processes
  • Provides training for users as needed
  • Continuing education for the incumbent
  • Seeks out and coordinates with engineers to acquire new skills relevant to the position (side-by-side training)
  • Effectively communicates policies, standards and methodologies to IDIES staff as needed.
  • Writes documentation in the knowledge base and ticketing system; updates articles as required
  • Seeks out relevant training at least twice a year


Bachelor’s degree in computer science is preferred; an associate’s degree is required. Three years of related experience is required. Additional related experience may substitute for required education and additional education may substitute for required experience to the extent permitted by the JHU equivalency formula.

JHU Equivalency Formula: 30 undergraduate degree credits (semester hours) or 18 graduate degree credits may substitute for one year of experience. Additional related experience may substitute for required education on the same basis. For jobs where equivalency is permitted, up to two years of non-related college course work may be applied towards the total minimum education/experience required for the respective job.

Knowledge and Skill:

  • Administrator-level familiarity with Linux (RedHat variants preferred) and Windows Desktop and Server operating systems
  • Provide advanced systems (desktop and server) support
  • Ability to troubleshoot complex desktop and server hardware
  • Experience working in a datacenter or NOC
  • Familiarity with tape backup systems, specifically Tivoli, desired
  • Familiarity with setting up storage arrays (primarily direct-attached)
  • Uses and configures systems management tools
  • Basic security best practices knowledge
  • Support-level familiarity with MS SQL Server
  • Understanding of high-speed Ethernet technology (25/40/50/100Gbps) and protocols
  • Understanding of other high-speed HPC interconnects (InfiniBand, Omni-Path)
  • Excellent technical writing skills
  • Excellent written/verbal communication skills
  • Superb customer service demeanor
  • Organized and capable of following through with tasks until resolution
  • Up to date with the latest in technology (solid state storage, OpenPower/ARM/NVIDIA GPU/Intel MIC, disruptive tech, etc)
  • A genuine interest in “tinkering”

NOTE: The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check.

If you are interested in applying for employment with The Johns Hopkins University and require special assistance or accommodation during any part of the pre-employment process, please contact the HR Business Services Office at 443-997-5100. For TTY users, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.

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