ECMWF – Head of Development

ECMWF, Bonn, Germany
Closing date: 10 May 2021

The Head of the Development Section is responsible for the management of software development activities at ECMWF. This role is pivotal in ensuring that ECMWF users worldwide can work efficiently with forecast and observational data.

Reporting to the Director of Forecasts, the successful candidate will also be part of ECMWF’s Senior Management Team, and they will be responsible for co-ordinating and/or delivering strategic cross-cutting, inter-dependent projects and programmes in an operational environment, which involves close collaboration and frequent interaction with a variety of internal and external users and partner organisations. They will also contribute to the development of the long-term vision for ECMWF software development activities supporting the ECMWF Strategy 2021-2030 and, in particular, addressing the needs for improved efficiency and scalability.

The successful candidate will play an important role in linking and integrating development activities across departments distributed across multiple ECMWF locations to develop new software applications, services and other relevant activities addressing the organisation’s long-term Strategy.

The role will closely collaborate with other ECMWF sections in the Forecast, Computing, Research and Copernicus Departments. They will also represent ECMWF in international meetings in their areas of expertise.

Success in this role requires an individual who will encourage and nurture continuous innovation and improvement by leading and providing expertise to ensure development activities meet future strategic requirements.

There are three teams within the Section, each with a team leader.

Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Leading the Development Section by providing leadership, direction, coaching and support
  • Planning, organising and managing the resources of the Section, and complementing these when appropriate by attracting funds from externally funded projects (e.g. EU funded activities)
  • Providing vision and managing the evolution and continuous improvement of ECMWF’s software applications
  • Leading the Section’s interaction with the Principal Software Strategist and contributing to IT Technical Design Authority
  • Leading software development projects and activities in close liaison with other teams in the Forecast, Research, Computing and Copernicus Departments
  • Ensuring the provision of very high quality and reliable software to Member States and other users of ECMWF forecasts and products
  • Ensuring compliance of new developments to IPR guidelines and applications of licences
  • Staying in touch with technologies used and codes developed by the Section
  • Monitoring and reporting on the progress of the work within the Section and taking appropriate action
  • Taking initiatives to ensure the success of matrix management work across multiple locations
  • Developing and maintaining strong relationships with key internal stakeholders from across all departments at ECMWF
  • Providing insights, input to reports and recommendations to the ECMWF Leadership Team and governing bodies
  • Supporting the senior leadership of the Forecast Department in the delivery of the Centre’s strategy in relation to the development of forecast production services, and contributing to future strategic plans
  • Planning and controlling spend in the capacity of budget holder, including the management of the Section’s human resources within budgetary constraints and outsourced developments
  • Representing ECMWF in committees and at other international conferences, meetings and collaborations (e.g. OpenWIS, OGC)

Other information
The successful candidate will be recruited at the A4 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual salary will be EUR 107,790.12 net of tax. ECMWF also offers a generous benefits package. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-C as defined in the Staff Regulations.
Full details of salary scales and allowances are available on the ECMWF website at, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: As soon as possible.
Length of contract: Four years, with the possibility of a further contract.


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