Science Data Centre Program Manager

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Archive Date: 
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Management
Institution Classification/Type: 
ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy
Job Announcement Text: 

Are you interested in working at an international scientific institute that combines world-leading research in radio astronomy, operation of state-of-the art observational facilities, and technical development for the next generation of instruments, all in a single stimulating work enviroment? Would you like to be part of the team working to design and deploy the large-scale analysis infrastructure necessary to support science with cutting-edge  facilities like LOFAR and APERTIF as well as prepare for the even larger-scale challenges new instruments like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will bring? Do you enjoy the idea of working in a dynamic and international team environment mixing astronomers, software developers, and hardware engineers? If this description sounds interesting, we have an immediate opening for a


Science Data Centre Program Manager


Job description:

You will lead a team based at ASTRON working to establish a Science Data Centre for radio astronomy research. This Science Data Centre (SDC) represents a new ASTRON initiative to develop the tools and infrastructure necessary to support scientific analysis in the era of data intensive radio astronomy. As leader of the SDC development team, you will oversee establishing a pilot system to support analysis of data from ASTRON’s current operational facilities LOFAR and APERTIF. This pilot system will also serve as a testbed for developing tools and technologies that will scale to meet the needs of SKA data analysis. Duties will include planning and oversight of a team of developers working on all activities under the Science Data Centre program including access to ASTRON-hosted data collections, providing computing and analysis capabilities to the astronomy community, and research and development into new techniques and technologies to support these activities at SKA scales. In addition to overseeing the development team, you will work closely with staff astronomers at ASTRON and other partner institutions to define required functionality for the pilot systems and oversee deployment and testing of these functionalities.

ASTRON is also leading the AENEAS H2020 project to develop a concept and design for a distributed, federated SKA Regional Centre within Europe to support the wider astronomical community in achieving the scientific goals of the SKA. As SDC Program Manager, you will play a leading role in the AENEAS project and coordinate SDC-related activities at ASTRON with related activities at our partner organizations across Europe and internationally. You will be expected to present these activities at conferences and workshops around the world and regular travel will be required. You will report directly to the Head of the Astronomy Group and, working with the ASTRON management team, contribute to the definition of the future strategy for the SDC program at ASTRON. The position will be a full-time position (38 hours per week) based at ASTRON Headquarters in Dwingeloo, NL. ASTRON is committed to increasing its staff diversity, and we are especially interested in applications from women and other traditionally under-represented groups.

Job requirements:

·  An advanced degree in computer science (or related technical discipline), astronomy, or astrophysics

·  Extensive project management experience preferably related to large-scale astronomical projects

·  Experience with software development and leading large, distributed software development teams

·  Experience with data management of large, distributed astronomical data collections

·  Experience with HPC and HTC computing platforms and technologies

·  Familiarity with modern data science techniques and machine learning methods

·  Excellent planning and organizational skills with a track record of success

·  Excellent presentation and communication skills to both technical and scientific audiences

·  Demonstrated leadership ability with good inter-personal skills and a team player


·  Tenured position subject to positive evaluation after an initial probationary period

·  Excellent benefits including pension and paid parental leave

·  Generous travel support for conferences or work visits 

·  We offer flexible conditions of employment, tailored to your personal situation

·  We offer generous relocation expenses and support with finding accommodation

The organization:

ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, is located just outside Dwingeloo in Drenthe. Its mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen via the development of novel and innovative technologies, the operation of world-class radio astronomy facilities, and the pursuit of fundamental astronomical research. ASTRON hosts a vibrant research environment with strong technical expertise and influence in the new generation of emerging radio facilities. ASTRON currently develops and operates LOFAR, a new generation low-frequency multi- field aperture array telescope. ASTRON also operates the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) and is developing APERTIF (APERture Tile in Focus), a phased array feed upgrade currently being commissioned at the WSRT that will significantly expand its field of view and enable a new, deep HI survey of the northern hemisphere. As the NL national radio astronomy institute, ASTRON also plays a leading role in several of the consortia contributing to the scientific and technical design of the SKA. ASTRON also currently hosts JIVE, the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC.

The unified software development effort at ASTRON plays a major role in supporting our mission to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen. With a staff of over 35 personnel, the combined software team at ASTRON is essential to the operation of our current facilities, the extraction of science from those facilities, and the development of new capabilities for the future. The software development effort at ASTRON is organized around three distinct expertise groups. Within the Research & Development group, the software effort is focused on algorithmic innovation, high performance, high throughput computing, and integrated hardware and software solutions. In the Radio Observatory, the software team is responsible for the operational capabilities of our facilities including telescope monitoring and control, data processing pipelines and analysis tools, archival data management, and maximizing the range and quality of science-ready data products we deliver to our user community. Finally, in the Astronomy Group, the software development group is geared toward user science extraction and is charged with improving the availability and access to ASTRON data collections, developing new analysis tools and capabilities for the astronomy community, and research into advanced data science techniques to support user science in the era of data intensive astronomy. Working together, these three teams cover the range of development activities at ASTRON and are crucial to the success of our mission.

For more information about ASTRON you can visit our website For more information about this vacancy please contact Diana Verweij, Head of the HR department, phone: +31 521 595 100 or e-mail:

To apply, please submit a cover letter and curriculum vitae on our website Please also arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to Applications will be considered until the position is filled; however, the first closing date for applications will be August 1, 2017.

Included Benefits: 

· Excellent benefits including pension and paid parental leave
· Generous travel support for conferences or work visits
· We offer flexible conditions of employment, tailored to your personal situation
· We offer generous relocation expenses and support with finding accommodation

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Current Status of Position: 
No Status Given (Opted Out)
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Diana Verweij
Head of HR and Communications
ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy
Street Line 1: 
Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4
Street Line 2: 
Zip/Postal Code: 
7991 PD
The Netherlands
0031 521595100
0031 521595101
Inquiries About Job