Share this Job

Research Assistant/Associate in High Performance Computing

Requisition ID:  15463

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  23-Dec-2021


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Salary: Research Assistant: £28,756 - £30,497 per annum

            Research Associate: £31,406 - £40,927 per annum

Closing Date: 23 January 2022



The Role


Applications are invited for a Research Assistant/Associate in the EPSRC ExCALIBUR project: “Turbulence at the Exascale: Application to Wind Energy, Green Aviation, Air Quality and Net-zero Combustion”. The project is a collaboration led by Imperial College London together with the universities of Warwick, Cambridge, Newcastle, Southampton and the STFC-Laboratories.  Project partners include Intel, Nvidia, Siemens, Renuda UK, Fosters and Partners, and UCL. The ambition of the project is to prepare the large-scale production numerical simulation software applications of the UK Turbulence Consortium (UKTC) and the UK Consortium on Turbulent Reacting Flows (UKCTRF) for utilising upcoming exascale computing systems. The aim is on advancing the capabilities of these codes both in terms of performance portability for massively parallel heterogeneous systems and applying them to achieve a number of key grand challenge problems in wind energy generation, green aviation, air quality leading to reach UK’s net-zero combustion goals.


This opportunity places you at the heart of the cutting-edge software development in the UK and pioneering simulations of turbulent reacting flows. You will be embedded in an inclusive, multi-national team based at Newcastle University who are involved in simulation and modelling of various aspects of turbulent reacting and multiphase flows. You are expected to possess a good Masters degree and have a strong background in developing parallel applications for High Performance Computing systems. You are expected to contribute to the design, analysis, implementation, optimization and deployment of parallel algorithms and software for multi-core and many-core architectures on large-scale cluster systems. 


The Newcastle research contributions to the project will be led by Prof. Nilanjan Chakraborty. The challenges to be addressed in this project at Newcastle University will primarily involve re-engineering of SENGA+ code (https://www.ukctrf.com/index.php/senga/) (which is one of the major workhorses of the UK Consortium on Turbulent Reacting Flows (UKCTRF)) to use OPS. The successful candidate is expected to become a main developer of the OPS DSL (https://op-dsl.github.io/), leading the software engineering efforts to produce robust numerical simulation libraries/applications to utilize upcoming Exascale HPC systems. The project will be supported by access to the ARCHER2 supercomputer system in the UK, a number of UK Tier-2 HPC systems including GPU clusters and collaboration with the US Exascale Project with potential access to early Exascale systems.


This is a full time, fixed term contract for 30 months or until 30 November 2024.


For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Prof. Nilanjan Chakraborty: nilanjan.chakraborty@newcastle.ac.uk


Key Accountabilities


  • Contribute to delivering the Newcastle work package of the Turbulence at the Exascale project. The specific deliverables for this post will be:
    • Advancing the Capabilities of the OPS DSL system, including the development of a robust and extensible front-end for the DSL APIs and upgrade OPS’s automatic code generation framework implementing advance transformations required to obtain optimized target parallelisations. A key part of the work will consist of development/extension of novel code-generation and translator tool-chains (working with production compiler frameworks such as LLVM)
    • Support the Re-engineering efforts of the UKCTRF’s SENGA+ numerical simulation suite to utilize the OPS DSL
    • Support the maintenance of the re-engineered applications in line with developments in the wider EPSRC ExCALIBUR project
  • Benchmark and measure performance and scalability of research codes developed as part of this project on multi-core and many-core systems including large-scale clusters such as ARCHER2 and UK Tier 2 GPU clusters
  • Publication of research papers arising from this work, particularly targeting top-tier conferences and journals
  • Management of open source (and proprietary) software development processes and repositories in collaboration with external academic and industrial collaborators
  • Incorporation of best-practices in software engineering for open source (and proprietary) software developed as part of this project
  • Update and maintain open source (and proprietary) software documentation, help develop training material for the high-level domain specific libraries and support of end-users (supporting bug fixes and providing guidance)
  • Setup continuous integration (CI) systems for robust software development
  • Engaging with the day-to-day activities of HPSC group including group seminars, team meetings and workshops
  • Liaising with, and presenting to, external industrial partners on the results of this research
  • Attend, and contribute to, project meetings at project partner sites in the UK
  • Depending on experience, system administration/management of HPC hardware in the HPSC group
  • Together with other team members, and collaborators, establish and maintain open source software websites, allowing publicity and access to results
  • The duties and responsibilities outlined are not intended to be an exhaustive list but provide guidance on the main aspects of the job. You will be required to be flexible in your duties


The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 


  • Excellent programming skills in one of C/C++ or FORTRAN, demonstrated in developing large-scale applications
  • Demonstrable ability to develop and deliver high quality software 
  • Experience in working in the area of High-Performance Computing 
  • Knowledge of multi-core and many core architectures 
  • Experience in parallel programming in at least two of the following – MPI, OpenMP, CUDA, OpenCL/SYCL 
  • Knowledge of compilers and their design/development, for example gained as part of a good honours degree or master’s degree
  • Experience in good software engineering practices
  • Ability to initiate, develop and deliver high quality research, and to publish in peer reviewed conferences and journals
  • Good effective communication (oral and written) skills, presentation and training skills
  • Ability to write research reports and papers in styles accessible to academic audiences
  • Experience in using/developing decision-support tools and/or assessment of innovation and technology using performance indicators
  • Experience in using Github (Desirable)
  • Experience in Python programming (Desirable)
  • Experience in one of high-level abstraction frameworks/ Domain Specific Languages (Desirable)




  • A Masters degree/PhD awarded (Associate level) or nearing completion (Assistant level) in a computationally based field Aerospace/Chemical/Mechanical engineering, Computer Science, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics), as well as proven experience of software development
  • First or upper second-class honours degree in Aerospace/Chemical/Mechanical engineering or Computer Science or applied physics or applied mathematics


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all.  You can learn more about what is available here on our Benefits Website page.


Requisition ID: 15463