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CIRES/ NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, Software Engineer

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences invites applications for an Associate Scientist position at the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). The successful applicant will work with the Space Weather Follow On - L1 (SWFO-L1) and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-U (GOES-U) Compact Coronagraph team.

The primary responsibility will be the development of the satellite science instrument ground data processing system for the benefit of forecasters and customers. This Associate Scientist will also develop experimental space weather forecasting applications using this data and data from related satellite missions including the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) and Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere (PUNCH). Together, these missions are critical to ensuring the highest quality space weather forecasts and it is expected that the applications developed using these missions will be used to improve and enhance SWPC’s geomagnetic and radiation storm forecasts. The individual selected will help prepare these missions, ground systems, and forecast products for post-launch, real-time operations.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) is an internationally recognized leader in innovative environmental science and research and is located at the University of Colorado Boulder. At CIRES, more than 800 environmental scientists work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people's relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and the University of Colorado Boulder, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at the Earth's poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, and solid Earth sciences. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

As part of NOAA's National Weather Service, the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) - - operates 24/7 to provide real-time monitoring and forecasting of solar and geophysical events, which impact satellites, power grids, communications, navigation, and other technological systems. SWPC customers include the general public, industry, and government agencies.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Develop, test, deploy and maintain the operational telemetry ground system for the SWFO-L1 satellite and GOES-U/CCOR instrument:
    • Take responsibility for the development of one or more of the science instrument processing pipelines.
    • Represent SWPC in meetings with NOAA/NASA/vendor representatives.
    • Collaborate with team members and stakeholders in the iterative design, development, testing and documentation of subsystems and applications.
    • Take responsibility for the development of one or more of the ingest subsystems for both spacecraft.
    • Coordinate testing of the telemetry interface with NOAA partners.
    • Oversee internal regression and performance testing of the system throughout the development lifecycle.
    • Support Program-wide software testing activities leading up to the launch of both spacecraft in 2024 and 2025.
    • Maintain and upgrade the operational system post-launch.
  • Develop operational forecasting applications:
    • Create testbed versions of high-priority applications, with appropriate documentation and within an appropriate software framework, to facilitate a successful transition to real-time space weather forecasting operations.
  • Provide troubleshooting and maintenance support for the legacy DSCOVR telemetry processing system.

What You Should Know

  • Access to the NOAA Federal Center and computer facilities is necessary to perform the work of this position. Access is not available for individuals working in the United States through a visa and therefore we are unable to consider applications from individuals on a visa or requiring visa sponsorship for this position.
  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder but will be physically situated in the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305.
  • Selected finalists will be required to pass a federal background check for site access.
  • All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement. New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.

What We Can Offer

  • CIRES can offer a generous compensation package.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this position is $85,000 - $145,000. Salary is commensurate with education and experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • Relocation funds are available for this position following CIRES and the University of Colorado's relocation processes and procedures.
  • We have a great work culture that emphasizes work-life balance.
  • This is an on-site position with the possibility of a hybrid work modality.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be ambitious. Be impactful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Bachelor's degree required (Computer Science preferred; Engineering or other related fields may be considered) with at least 10 years of relevant experience in the field; OR 14 years of software development experience (Note that we are allowing experience to substitute for the degree on a year-per-year basis)
  • Experience with full lifecycle software development of multi-threaded applications using Java.
  • Experience with the development of multi-tiered systems and service-oriented architectures.
  • Experience with software development on Linux.
  • Experience with software testing methodologies and tools.

What You Will Need

  • Ability to work in a mission-focused, operational environment.
  • Ability to think critically and make independent decisions.
  • Ability to work well in a team and to build strong interpersonal relationships which facilitate cross-team knowledge sharing.
  • Knowledge of inter-process communication using message queues.
  • Ability to use modern software deployment architecture and tools (e.g. Docker, Harbor, Kubernetes, etc.).
  • Ability to use modern software management paradigms and tools (e.g. Agile/Scrum/Kanban, git, etc.).

What We Would Like You To Have

Please note that while the position details both required and preferred skills and experience, we invite applicants to apply even if they do not have the preferred skills and experience outlined in this “What We Would Like You To Have” section. If you have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience and passion for the work, you are encouraged to apply. We encourage on the job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position.

  • Willingness to learn and adapt to new technologies.
  • Ability to program in Python.
  • Ability to convert IDL programs to Python.
  • Knowledge of relational and/or object databases.
  • Strong communication skills, demonstrated through technical documents and oral presentations.
  • Ability to contribute to a diverse and inclusive workforce at the University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA/SWPC.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. A copy of your CV.
  2. A cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.

Though not required at the time of application, be prepared to submit a list of 5 professional references (2 of whom must be/must have been supervisors or professors). If you are selected as a finalist, we will ask you to contact your references so that they can complete a SkillSurvey questionnaire on your behalf. SkillSurvey is an online automated reference check solution. This information will be kept confidential and viewable only by the search committee.

If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor. If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version (if applicable) as an optional attachment.

This position will remain posted until filled. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Jeffrey Johnson

Posting Contact Email: