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Job Req ID:  17138

HPC Sr Systems Engineer


General Summary/Purpose: 

The Maryland Advanced Research Computing Center (MARCC) is seeking a highly qualified and motivated HPC Sr Systems Engineer to join the systems team. This system, with over 23,000 cores and several petabytes of storage, serves the HPC and data intensive science needs of researchers in the UMCP and Johns Hopkins schools. The Sr Systems Engineer contributes to the strategic planning, design, testing, organization and implementation of cutting-edge technology projects for the facility. The systems team is responsible for the day to day administration of HPC clusters, High Performance storage systems, backups, networking, security and any other services related to the operation of a large HPC center.


Specific Duties & Responsibilities:

% Time


Essential Duties & Responsibilities


  • Systems Engineering, Administration, Security, and Oversight
  • Design, organize, plan, test and implement cutting-edge hardware designs for an HPC environment
  • Extensively document systems processes so that users can easily find useful information and other IT staff can perform routine tasks and provide backup.
  • Maintain extensive monitoring systems to facilitate quick, proactive responses to routine failures, and to provide comprehensive performance data logging.
  • Provide general system administration backup and escalation for other staff.
  • Consult with and provide expertise to building engineers and other staff on new facilities to be under control of MARCC.
  • Assist with facilities-related issues that directly affect MARCC
  • Manage inventory of resources in coordination with respective vendors
  • Automate user account creation, management, and purging.
  • Implement network configuration and security measures to assure effective utilization of resources.
  • Understand HPC technical needs.  Work closely with the facility’s director and oversight groups to successfully implement policies and procedures. 
  • Manage data access restrictions on a per user and group basis
  • Implement and maintain monitoring measures for data and system access
  • Other Systems Tasks as assigned by supervisor
  • Use of configuration management tools (e.g. Bright, xCAT, puppet, IPMI, ROCKS) to help maintain large-scale Linux clusters, supercomputers, storage systems, and smaller systems.
  • Plan for and deployment of patches and updates to the operating system and application software. 
  • Maintain an effective schedule for systems backups and archive operations for mission critical systems.
  • Audit and maintain user access, authorization and authentication.
  • Generate periodic reports on resource utilization.
  • Maintain resource inventory using best practice applications.



BTechnological Research:

  • Architect future clusters, and plan the retirement of aging systems.
  • Offer technical advice on new projects that directly involve HPC computing at Hopkins.
  • Research and implement new technologies that could be beneficial to HPC.
  • Test and vet new technology in support of HPC efforts
  • Work with vendors to procure prototypes and demo units


C. Training/Education

  • Continuously evaluate new tools and technologies for use in existing and future clusters.
  • Attend department and University-sponsored training to increase knowledge, improve skills, and learn new skills.  May substitute University training for supervisor approved commercial job related course offerings.


Minimum Qualifications (Mandatory):

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Six years related experience. 
  • Additional education can be substituted for experience and Additional experience can be substituted for education.

Equivalence Formula: 30 undergraduate degree credits or 18 graduate degree credits = 1 year of experience. For jobs where equivalence is permitted, up to two years of non-related college course-work may be applied towards the total minimum education/experience required for the respective job.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree preferred. Formal training in computational science or engineering is desirable.
  • Minimum 7 years managing Linux servers, with direct experience managing HPC clusters.
  • Experience as a high-level Linux system administrator.
  • Experience with open source software compilation.
  • In-depth knowledge of TCP/IP networking and related protocols, InfiniBand, etc. 
  • Excellent scripting skills, python, perl, shell.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Excellent customer service skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Must demonstrate strong critical thinking and analytical reasoning.
  • Programming skills in C, C++, or scientific language, desired but not required.
  • Experience with MySQL or Mariadb database programming, desired but not required.
  • Expert level knowledge of configuration management and monitoring tools (puppet, nagios, etc). 
  • Familiarity or experience with data subject to restrictions, desired but not required.


Special Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Proven experience deploying large-complex scale projects.
  • Proven experience across multiple technologies with background in applications, databases, middleware, etc.
  • In-depth understanding of HPC Cluster hardware and management software.
  • In-depth understanding of massive high performance parallel storage and methodologies.
  • Understanding and implementation of IT project management best practices.
  • Expert knowledge of Unix/Linux systems administration, including all aspects of management, monitoring, performance analysis, and integration in potentially complex heterogeneous environments.
  • Expert Level Knowledge of networking, high speed interconnects, and network security principles in an HPC environment.
  • Expert knowledge of security measures necessary to protect the facility and its data (firewalls, ACLs, network monitoring).
  • Understand and support hierarchical file system infrastructure, software and services, including high performance parallel storage, and backup systems
  • Ability to handle high priority escalations whenever necessary.
  • Ability to multitask, while managing time and priorities.
  • Must be adaptable and able to meet conflicting deadlines.
  • Exceptional organizational skills.
  • Ability to automate systems administration tasks wherever possible.
  • Excellent oral and written interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to meet the physical requirements of the position.
  • Keep up to date on emerging technologies.
  • Excellent vendor relations skills.


Classified Title: Sr. Systems Engineer 
Working Title: HPC Sr Systems Engineer 
Role/Level/Range: ATP/04/PF 
Starting Salary Range: Commensurate with experience
Employee group: Full Time 
Schedule: M-F, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm 
Exempt Status: Exempt  
Location: 01-MD:Homewood Campus 
Department name: 10001373-Physics and Astronomy 
Personnel area: School of Arts & Sciences


The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check.


If you are interested in applying for employment with The Johns Hopkins University and require special assistance or accommodation during any part of the pre-employment process, please contact the HR Business Services Office at jhurecruitment@jhu.edu. For TTY users, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.


The following additional provisions may apply depending on which campus you will work.  Your recruiter will advise accordingly.


During the Influenza ("the flu") season, as a condition of employment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employees who provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care or clinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination or possess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meet this requirement may result in termination of employment.


The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas, laboratories, working with research subjects, or involving community contact requires documentation of immune status against Rubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may include documentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicella vaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratory testing. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases are ordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except for those employees who provide results of blood tests or immunization documentation from their own health care providers. Any vaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no cost in our Occupational Health office.


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