SIPS Programmer


UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center


United States


Tuesday, September 4, 2018



Degree and area of specialization: B.S. in Computer Science or related field.

Minimum number of years and type of relevant work experience: 

  • Required: * Experience developing and maintaining software systems in Python * Familiarity with the Linux programming environment, including knowledge of operating system concepts and command-line / scripting proficiency * SQL database programming experience with a DBMS, preferably PostgreSQL * A solid foundation in software engineering practices including use of version control (git), software testing, and creation and maintenance of developer documentation and user manuals * Scientific programming and data visualization experience using tools like the Python / NumPy / Matplotlib ecosystem or alternatives like R or MATLAB
  • Preferred: * A background in cluster computing using batch systems like HTCondor and distributed file systems like Ceph * Experience with message-oriented systems built with RabbitMQ or similar technologies * Front- and back- end web application development skills including client-side programming in Javascript

Position Summary: The Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) is a research and development center with an international reputation for developing and supporting instrumentation for both terrestrial and space flight applications. SSEC's mission includes the support of faculty and academic staff led research, development, fabrication and implementation of space flight experiments, as well as the development of new meteorological research tools for national and international use.

The successful candidate will work with a team using a high-performance data ingest, archive, and processing system as part of the NASA Science Investigator-Led Processing System (SIPS) for the Atmosphere discipline of the Suomi NPP Science Team. The Atmosphere SIPS at SSEC is responsible for ingesting, storing, processing, and delivering data products from the VIIRS sensor onboard the Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 environmental satellites in earth orbit. The computer systems supporting this effort currently include more than 1500 CPU cores for data processing configured as a highthroughput computing system; more than 2 Petabytes of storage in a cluster file system; high performance networking; and a job management system controlled by a relational database.  The Atmosphere SIPS currently ingests more than 2 Terabytes of data per day from NASA and other sources, and runs a variety of algorithms on the data to create geophysical products.

To find out more about SSEC please visit:

Principal duties: This position will involve working on a small team of developers building and maintaining the SIPS software infrastructure. 
Projects will include:

  • 35%  Services supporting operational ingest, cluster-based processing, and delivery of large satellite data sets
  • 35%  Tool development for automation and streamlining of processes required to support project scientists
  • 15%  Web applications facilitating data access by external collaborators and for internal systems monitoring
  • 15%  Supporting SIPS Science Team members to facilitate delivery, testing, and integration of science algorithms

This position requires someone self-motivated, pragmatic, and able to achieve team objectives in an often self-directed academic environment. The candidate must have excellent oral and written communication skills and be able to work creatively and independently with a variety of platforms, people, and duties.

Additional Information: A period of evaluation will be required. A criminal background check will be required.

Employee class: Academic Staff

Department(s): VCRGE/SPACE SCI

Full time salary rate: Minimum $50,000  ANNUAL (12 months) Depending on Qualifications

Term: This is a renewable appointment.

Appointment percent: 100 %

Anticipated begin date: October 1, 2018 

To ensure consideration, application must be received by: September 4, 2018


Number of positions: 2

Department Contact: Denise Weidner; 608-265-3267; Phone TTY 608-263-2473;; 1225 W. Dayton St, Madison, WI 53706

If you need to request an accommodation because of a disability you can find information about how to make a request at the following website:

NOTE: Unless confidentiality is requested in writing, information regarding the names of applicants must be released upon request. Finalists cannot be guaranteed confidentiality.

UW-Madison is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

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