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WCAS Computer Systems Administrator

Department: Chemistry Effective Date:
Grade: USG 9 Reports to: Project Manager

General Accountability

The Systems Administrator reports to the Operations Manager of the Waterloo Centre for Atmospheric Sciences (WCAS) and is accountable for ensuring the smooth operation of the group software and hardware.

Nature and Scope

The WCAS is a Senate-approved research Centre at the University of Waterloo, whose primary focus is the study and analysis of atmospheric pollution, its sources, and extent.  The Centre employs approximately 25 research and support staff and functions in collaboration with various Public and Private Sector partners.

The modelling group at the WCAS consists of approximately 13 research personnel using a variety of multiprocessor computers including SUN Microsystems, a Linux cluster and several networked PCs running both Linux and Windows.  The Systems Administrator will be responsible for the installation and maintenance of system-level and applications software in all UNIX, Linux, and Windows-based machines in the WCAS and will also be responsible for ensuring that the modelling group’s computers and peripherals operate with a minimum of downtime.  The duties include the installation and maintenance of new operating systems and compilers as well as atmospheric models and related software.  It also includes hardware configuration; oversight of user accounts; network communications and security and assistance with parallelization and optimization of codes on the multiprocessor and cluster systems.  The appointee also may be asked to execute model runs under the supervision of WCAS research staff.

Also reporting to the Research Director are the Operations Manager and the Laboratory Technician, and coordination with these and with other University of Waterloo Systems Support staff will be encouraged.

The successful applicant must be able to work independently or in a team environment, and have excellent interpersonal, organizational and oral communication skills.

Statistical Data

The incumbent will be responsible for approximately 24 PCs, two multiprocessor SUN Microsystems machines and one Linux cluster.  Software used by the centre includes the Models-3 SMOKE/CMAQ regional atmospheric modelling system, the MM5 and WRF meteorology modeling systems, dispersion models such as AERMOD and CALINE, mobile models, many WCAS models, statistical, visualization and geographic information systems software and Microsoft Office products.  The Centre consists of 21 research staff and 2 support staff and was established through the funding of an Industrial Research Chair valued at approximately $5M over 5 years.

Specific Accountabilities

This is a research position and, as such, needs will vary as research projects vary.  The incumbent will ensure that computational resources operate smoothly by maintaining current systems, ensuring integrity of the network and collaborating with the end users to determine the Centre’s computational needs.  The Systems Administrator will ensure that the network operates with maximum efficiency and minimum down-time through careful monitoring of our systems.

Working Conditions