Hydrological Software Engineer

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Amherst, MA, US

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth’s flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

NASA, together with the space agencies of France, the UK, and Canada, is launching the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite to provide transformational data to the ocean science and hydrology communities. The University of Massachusetts Amherst will be the ‘final stop’ for all information needed to produce novel estimates of river discharge at the global scale from SWOT data. We will build a platform to amalgamate all previous code, knowledge, and insight into an efficient, open source, and comprehensive software platform to be made available to NASA and the public. Our open source and containerized software will run on a range of operating systems, clusters, or in the cloud, and thus any user can pursue their own discharge goals on their own terms while we deliver on mission discharge requirements at the global scale at the same time.

Essential Functions

  • Develop, implement, and maintain a cloud-based, open-source software system capable of producing the parameters needed by NASA for the official SWOT discharge product for every river on earth.
  • Work with hydrologists at UMass and in the broader SWOT research community to optimize existing discharge algorithms and related software.

Other Functions

Perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor’s degree and two years of software engineering experience.  A Master’s degree in computer science or engineering may be substituted in lieu of experience if graduate coursework included software engineering.
  • Basic computer networking and big data computation knowledge.
  • Any open-source coding proficiency.
  • Ability to work collaboratively.
  • Interest in hydrology.

Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • PhD in hydrology.
  • Expertise with Python or Javascript and a willingness to use the other where appropriate.
  • Comfort using managed cloud compute services (e.g. AWS or Google Cloud).
  • Experience with containerizing and deploying backend services (using Docker and Kubernetes).
  • Experience maintaining and interacting with relational and time-series databases (e.g., PostgreSQL/TimescaleDB).

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment.

Additional Details

  • This is a 1 year term limited position. Continuation of the position is contingent upon funding.
  • This position has concrete deliverables, an expectation of full-time work on the problem at hand, and calls for a commitment to open-source science.
  • The immediate team includes two professors (Colin Gleason, Jay Taneja) as immediate supervisors of the software engineer and 3-4 graduate students as collaborators working in Hydrology and Computer Engineering at UMass Amherst.
  • This position is ideally in-person with flexible work arrangements possible. Candidates with expert hydrology skills could potentially be fully remote.
  • Start date: immediate.

Work Schedule

Monday – Friday 8:30 am-5:00 pm.

Salary Information

Level 27

PSU Salary Ranges

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please include with your application a cover letter, resume and contact information of three (3) professional references. To ensure consideration, applicants must apply by the priority deadline of August 14, 2020. Applications may be accepted after the priority date until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development