Skip to content

CIRES/ NOAA NCEI Scientific Software Engineer

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date published:


Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder encourages applications for a Professional Research Assistant supporting NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO. As a Scientific Software Engineer supporting the NCEI Solar-Terrestrial Physics (STP) program, the successful candidate will upgrade, install, run, maintain, and augment GOES-R space weather scientific product algorithm software within STP’s systems, including the Satellite Product Analysis and Distribution Enterprise System demonstration (SPADES-demo). The successful candidate will work on diverse projects with a team of Software Engineers, data managers, and scientists dedicated to the processing and dissemination of NOAA’s space weather data.

Who We Are

At CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, 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.

About us:

NCEI-STP is responsible for oversight of the NOAA space weather sensors on several satellite constellations, including the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES). Capabilities of instruments like those on the new GOES-R series of weather satellites (four satellites planned, two have launched) provide significant advancements over past satellite series in critical areas such as spectral range and energy resolution. A team of software developers and scientists within STP is responsible for ensuring that current and future space weather sensors provide effective operational products for use by the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). To give one example, in the GOES-R era, STP has responsibilities including calibration and validation of instrumentation, development of the scientific processing algorithms used by forecasters, and development of SPADES-demo. These products and SPADES-demo are delivered to NWS, and NWS uses them to create their operational system. SPADES-demo continues to serve a meaningful role at NCEI as our integration and test environment for continual improvements to GOES-R scientific processing algorithms. Finally, STP demonstrates these efforts to retrospectively build and disseminate the authoritative (scientifically best) record of GOES-R data. 

National Centers for Environmental Information Website:

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Installation and maintenance of GOES-R scientific product algorithm software within the SPADES environment.
  • Implementation of data processing algorithms that convert GOES-R spacecraft and space weather instrument data to scientific data products, based on existing documentation and written and verbal guidance from the instrument scientists.
  • Optimization of algorithms to achieve required performance in their intended Operational environment, based on test results and interactions with partners.
  • Assistance in the design and development of the NCEI GOES-R space weather product website and data services.
  • Development of software tools for instrument scientists.
  • Assistance with data product visualizations.
  • Contributions to innovative solutions for big data problems.
  • Participation in regular GOES-R meetings and presentation of results at conferences/meetings, as needed.
  • Other duties from time to time as determined by management.

What You Should Know

  • 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. If you are the selected finalist you will be required to pass a federal laboratory background clearance for site access.
  • This position involves handling of export-controlled documents and data, and thus only applications from US citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) can be considered.

What We Can Offer

We offer a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package. 


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 Challenged. Be Proactive. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • This position requires U.S citizenship or permanent residency.
  • Bachelor's degree required - preferably in Physical Science, Engineering, Computer Science, or similar technical discipline.
  • Four or more years of professional experience in scientific programming and the analysis of environmental data.

What You Will Need

  • Ability to implement data processing algorithms based on documentation authored by other parties.
  • Ability to improve and maintain software authored by other parties.
  • Skill in Unix/Linux operating environments.
  • Understanding of the architecture, implementation, and/or operation of systems that handle large data sets.
  • Ability and desire to learn new technologies and tools.
  • Ability to write clean, self-documented code that can be maintained by other team members when necessary.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team on complex tasks.
  • Willingness and ability to seek answers from others, and to help others with their questions.
  • A general understanding of space weather, space-based measurements, and NOAA’s weather satellite programs.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Experience writing unit, integration, and functional tests.
  • Proficiency in C/C++.
  • Proficiency in additional languages utilized for scientific processing, such as IDL and Matlab.
  • Experience and/or knowledge concerning architecture, implementation, and/or utilization of real-time product generation systems
  • Experience and/or knowledge of real-time analytics.
  • Experience with data visualization tools.
  • Experience implementing and testing scientific or mathematical algorithms.
  • Advanced proficiency in Python and its scientific packages (e.g., NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib, etc.) and a willingness to learn other high-level languages used for scientific programming.
  • Experience developing software using object-oriented design principles and software standard methodologies.
  • Experience using version control systems, especially Git.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume or CV
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. List of contact information for 3 references who will be willing to write a confidential Letter of Recommendation for you. You don’t need to include letters of recommendation with your initial application. The search committee will request letters of recommendation at a later time If you are identified as a finalist for this role.
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 as an optional attachment.

The position will be open until filled. Applications will be screened 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: William Rowland

Posting Contact Email:

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.