Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC244015
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £37415 - £45572
Date Posted 22 January 2018
Grade RC-E
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 25 February 2018
Interview Date

Salary: £37,415 - £45,572 - inclusive of annual allowance
Grade: RC-E
Contract Type: Fixed Term (until 31 December 2020)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 25th February 2018

About the Project:

The UK Collaboratorium on Research in Infrastructure & Cities (UKCRIC – has been established to enable the UK to develop a world class national infrastructure research capability to inform the UK’s infrastructure development agenda. Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), one of the seven research councils in the UK with world-renown track records in building, delivering, and operating large science facilities, is a delivery partner for the Data Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI), one of the three strands of UKCRIC with an investment of £8M.

DAFNI is led by the University of Oxford and is governed by eleven leading research universities and STFC. Throughout the programme, we will work extensively with the DAFNI community, a broad network of collaborators and stakeholders from DAFNI and UKCRIC partnering institutions, leading consultancy firms, and government agencies nationally and internationally.

The aim of DAFNI is to provide new data intensive hardware and software platform to accelerate significant new advances in infrastructure system modelling research. DAFNI is the first of its kind in the UK and globally dedicated to complex infrastructure systems research using advanced computational techniques for the research community. The core of DAFNI will be located at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, an STFC operated national laboratory based in Oxfordshire, with satellite capabilities at the Universities. DAFNI is a 4-year IT construction project with the aim to deliver a production-ready and mature software and hardware platform for the DAFNI community.

The purpose of this role is to contribute to all aspects relating to data ingestion, access, storage and processing on the DAFNI platform. You will collaborate on the design, engineering and piloting initiatives to accommodate the migration of a large portfolio of existing DAFNI datasets and enable the ingestion of new ones on the platform.

About the role:

This is a Data Engineer role and will be involved in all phases of DAFNI construction, from requirement gathering, design, implementation, to validation. This project uses agile software development, testing, and deployment methodologies to encourage agile response to change and request. It also uses data-driven analytics approach to evaluate and validate the entire engineering process, from requirement, design, through to software development, testing and deployment, to user and community engagement.

The role will reside within the Visual Analytics and Imaging Systems (VAIS) group, Scientific Computing Department of STFC. It will involve extensive collaboration within the department across several teams involved in DAFNI, and with partnering institutions and organisations.

The Scientific Computing Department

The Scientific Computing Department has approximately 160 strong members of staff, developing and running large scale data management and computational infrastructure and high performance computing facilities for UK’s science communities. We have a strong culture encouraging staff to take up training and development opportunities, including attending and/or speaking at leading conferences for developers, research software engineers, and community conferences. These events offer our staff valuable opportunities to learn about the latest trends and to master the best practice in the field.

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

At the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), one of Europe’s largest multidisciplinary science research organisations, the expertise of our computing staff is key to making our research world leading. This is a place where we give you the flexibility, the opportunity and the world-class networks and environment to flourish, and play your part in breakthroughs and achievements that will not only give you life long pride, but also make a lasting difference to the world we are living in.

List of duties/responsibilities: 

  • to own the development of at least one key section of the platform, e.g. data or system model integration, data ingest, and data/model inventory, real-time stream/batch processing, platform API, data analytics, visualisation (essential for Band E)
  • to develop technical documentation, dissemination of materials, e.g. papers, presentations
  • to lead, develop, and manage a small technical team
  • design, build, test and maintain data management systems, making sure they meet business requirements and user needs
  • deliver services that are automated, reliable and secure
  • recommend ways to improve data efficiency and reliability
  • implement ETL processes
  • performance monitoring of data platform.

Contacts and communication:

  • work effectively with STFC DAFNI technical team
  • contribute to project events, conferences required by the project leadership team
  • coordinate and lead technical meetings
  • effective collaboration with staff internally and externally.

Personal skills and attributes:

  • ability to communicate clearly and effectively
  • fast and keen learner, able to understand complex problems 
  • a ‘can do’ attitude and team work spirit
  • ability to handle complex situations with confidence and little supervision
  • effective team and people management skills.

Any other relevant information:

  • available to travel in the UK and overseas for meetings and events as required.



  • undergraduate degree in science and engineering subjects or relevant experience in computing.

Knowledge and Experience


  • experience of involving in a variety of software engineering processes
  • experience of a variety of modern programming languages, e.g. Python, Java, C++, C#, Scala
  • experience of contributing to a collaborative software development project (essential for Band E)
  • data modelling, experience of using relational database, NoSQL or graph databases such as MongoDB, Cassandra, HBase, Neo4j
  • distributed or real-time processing, e.g. Hadoop, Spark, Dask
  • experience of working in an agile development environment.


  • it is anticipated that that you’ll have expertise in advanced data management techniques, including, for example: 
    • ETL techniques and frameworks, such as Flume
    • messaging systems, such as Kafka or RabbitMQ
    • understanding of Lambda Architectures.

Interview Criteria  (in addition to shortlisting criteria)


  • good technical communication skills (verbal or presentation)
  • a ‘can do’ attitude and team work spirit
  • friendly, helpful, and approachable manner
  • persistence in tracking down and solving problems
  • fast and keen learner, able to understand complex problems
  • experience of working in multidisciplinary or cross-functional teams.


  • experience of working in a research/science environment
  • a keen interest to writing and communication
  • software project management experience.

In addition to the competitive salary, an excellent index linked pension scheme and generous leave allowance are offered. Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive background and pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process.

From April 2018, UK Research and Innovation will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England. The vision for the new organisation is to be the best research and innovation organisation in the world. From 1 April 2018 your employer will be UK Research and Innovation. More information can be found online

We will be interviewing on an on-going basis for this role and therefore reserve the right to close this vacancy once a suitable candidate has been found.

Online applications only, please submit a covering letter and CV, ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the file name description of each document uploaded. No Agencies.

The closing date for applications is 25th February 2018.

We want to make our application process as easy for you as we possibly can. If you experience any problems in applying for this job, or have any feedback for us about the application process, please contact our Recruitment Hotline on 01793 867000 (8.30am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday). Please quote the appropriate IRC reference number when calling.

As this job does not fulfil the Home Office Code of Practice criterion for obtaining sponsored migrant worker status we will be unable to apply for sponsorship for anyone not eligible to work in the UK.   At interview, all shortlisted candidates are required to bring with them identification documents and original documents that prove they hold or can obtain the right to work in the UK. You can check your eligibility here: