Scientific Data Engineer for the Scientific Data Management Section

Website ALBAsynchrotron Alba Synchrotron

The Consortium for Construction, Equipment and Exploitation of the Synchrotron Light Laboratory (CELLS) is jointly funded by the Spanish Government through its Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities) and the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan Autonomous Government) through its Departament d’Empresa i Coneixement (Ministry of Business and Knowledge).

The CELLS consortium is constructing and exploiting the ALBA synchrotron facility to generate intense X-rays photon beams for basic and applied research. The facility comprises a 268m circumference 3 GeV electron storage ring, injected from a 100 MeV Linac through a full energy 249m booster synchrotron and ten fully operated beamlines. In addition, three beamlines are currently under construction and will enter in operation during the following two years. The development of the new beamlines and the future beamlines upgrades will generate data with a notable increase in volume and complexity. In addition, all new developments shall implement the current data policy, including the adoption of FAIR principles aligned with the future European Open Science Cloud.

This evolution entails a substantial change in how the data has to be handled. From now on, a closer collaboration will be indispensable among software engineers, IT System administrators and scientists to optimally define system software specifications that can lead to successful and performant implementations. Considering this overall situation a new section inside the Computing Division has been created in 2021: the Scientific Data Management Section (SDM) that will allow more specialized group creation to better face previous challenges in the division.

ALBA welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.


The SDM addresses the needs in scientific data processing and management, guarantees the data compliance of the future implementations and ensures that they are aligned with current data policy and FAIR principles. This is accomplished in close collaboration with other groups of the Computing Division responsible for beamline control, data acquisition, databases and IT systems infrastructure administration. The section is strongly oriented to give a close support to Experiments Division (without limiting occasional support to other Divisions) in the following aspects:

– Scientific data processing/analysis software.
– Data pipelines development and optimization.
– Data formats, data analysis, data reduction after experiment acquisition.
– Post-processing visualization tools and workflow engines.
– Metadata management and ontology.

The Scientific Data engineer reports to the SDM Section head. He/she takes part in developing software related to data processing for the different ALBA user communities and works in synergy with scientists and other members of the computing division to ensure proper processing, storage and provision of data and metadata generated in the different beamlines. Certain tasks will take part in European collaborative projects such as ExPaNDS, which aim at shaping the data management landscape among the different European photon and neutron sources. The position offers a unique opportunity for professional development in a highly collaborative, international and stimulating work environment.

Come and join us!


– University degree in Computer Science. Final year students of Computer Science degree (at least 180 ECTS achieved) will be as well accepted and shall attach their academic Transcript of Records (ToR).

– Alternatively, candidates holding a Science or Engineering degree with additional proven previous experience, guaranteeing similar technical capacities as Computer Science university degree will also be considered.

– Proficient knowledge in any of the following programming languages is required: Python, C, C++, Rust or Java.

– Good interpersonal skills and capabilities to work in a group, as well as to work independently for some tasks.

– The following technical knowledge will be considered an asset (in order of preference):
•    Experience in the development and integration of scientific data analysis software or platform.
•    Familiarity with one or more synchrotron techniques (X-ray crystallography, imaging or spectroscopy).
•    Machine / deep learning, including computer vision.
•    Knowledge of High Performance Computing (HPC) and/or GPU programming.
•    Software testing & participation in multi-developer software projects.
•    Development and integration of Graphical User Interfaces.
•    Virtualization, containerization (Docker, Singularity) and workflow engines (e.g. Orange).
•    Experience with Jupyter Notebook or JupyterLab/Hub.
•    Linux system administration, BASH scripting.
•    Databases handling (MySQL/PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Redis or others).
•    Web development.

– Others competences that will also be positively considered:
•    Knowledge and experience working with IT system services (ITIL).
•    Project management (PRINCE2) or Agile methodologies.
•    Eagerness to learn and continuously develop new skills.
•    Capacity to think outside the box and to work out creative solutions.

The working language at ALBA is English. A good level of English both written and spoken is required.

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