HPC / Linux / Kubernetes Systems Engineer - NIWA

COVID-19 Essential Service

NeSI remains open for normal business during the level 4 shutdown. Our team is working remotely and remain available during this time.

NeSI is a supplier of essential services to research teams working on the COVID-19 response across NZ. If you're involved in this work, please get in touch and we will do our best to assist in any way possible.

For more information see: Accessing NeSI platforms and support during COVID-19 Alert Level 4


NIWA is a dynamic research organisation whose purpose is to enhance the economic value and sustainable management of New Zealand's marine and freshwater resources. NeSI is a collaboration of five institutions including NIWA, working in partnership with the Crown providing High Performance Computing (HPC), analytics and consultancy services to the NZ research sector, Government agencies and industries. NeSI's primary aim is to grow the computing and analytics capability of researchers to ensure New Zealand's future prosperity.

NIWA have an exciting opportunity for an experienced Systems Engineer to make a significant contribution to the New Zealand research landscape by working within the New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI).

A key component of NIWA's research infrastructure is the High Performance Computing Facility (HPCF), which is used to support research activities in climate, chemistry climate, weather, river flood, sea state, ocean, sea-level, and inundation modelling and forecasting, as well as an operational environmental forecasting system (EcoConnect). Within NeSI the system also supports the High-Performance Computing (HPC) requirements of researchers within the national research community. The core HPC platforms have recently been refreshed with the deployment of a capacity cluster (HPE/Cray CS400 and CS500) and capability supercomputer (HPE/Cray XC50) in a tightly integrated design sharing core high-performance filesystems, nearline storage, and related operational infrastructure.

Role and key activities

You will support and further develop an HPC infrastructure and platform which delivered a wide range of services. You will help to ensure the delivery of a flexible and robust computational environment for scientific research whilst maintaining a stable platform for delivery of NIWA operations and NeSI's business systems. Our team is trusted to build the systems that run our newest cutting edge platforms that power the New Zealand research community.

As part of a small, ambidextrous team, your role will at times necessitate working on all key components of NIWA/NeSI's HPC platforms, and as such there are significant professional development opportunities available for the right candidate.

Required Experience/Skills

  • A recognised relevant tertiary qualification, e.g., in computing and/or other sciences.
  • At least five years' experience in the operation, and implementation of services based on Linux and/or Unix, preferably with some having been mission-critical services.
  • Familiarity with Python.
  • Understanding of container technologies and related management of Container-as-a-Service.
  • Experience with Kubernetes
  • Experience applying CI/CD tools and techniques to the management of infrastructure (Ansible, Jenkins, etc) and DevOps methodologies.
  • Excellence in troubleshooting, root cause analysis and a cool head in the face of a technical problems and challenges.

Desired Skills And Experience

  • Previous experience with HPC platforms, HPC interconnects/fabrics, IBM Spectrum Storage / GPFS, IBM Spectrum Protect, Slurm, Bright Cluster Manager and database administration would be advantageous, as would experience with data management and system integration services.
  • Experience in management and deployment of OpenStack based infrastructure and services.
  • Working knowledge of the build, management, and runtime of HPC software and related operating system libraries and services.
  • Understanding of IT security concepts and willingness to implement flexible solutions that support them.
  • Relevant version control system, scripting, and some knowledge of programming languages.

NIWA offers competitive remuneration and benefits, an attractive waterfront location and the opportunity to work in a collaborative, national, and professional team.

A position description, online applications and further information about NIWA can be found at: 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 to Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Full/Part Time: 
Full Time
Wellington, NZ