Science Data Centre Development Program Manager
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Are you interested in working at an international scientific institute that combines world-leading research in radio astronomy, operation of state-of-the art observational facilities, and technical development for the next generation of instruments, all in a single stimulating work environment? Would you like to lead a team developing and deploying the large-scale data analysis infrastructure necessary to support science with cutting-edge  facilities like LOFAR and APERTIF, as well as prepare for the larger-scale challenges new instruments like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will bring? Do you enjoy the idea of working within a dynamic and international team environment mixing astronomers, software developers, and hardware engineers? If this description sounds interesting, we have an immediate opening for a


Science Data Centre Development Program Manager


Job description:

You will lead the development teams, based at ASTRON, working to establish a Science Data Centre for radio astronomy research. This Science Data Centre (SDC) is ASTRON’s facility to provide access to data products and tooling to support scientific analysis in the era of data intensive radio astronomy. The data products are generated by LOFAR and the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. This facility will also serve as a testbed for developing tools and technologies that will scale to meet the needs of SKA data analysis.

As leader of the development teams, you will oversee the delivery of new capabilities to the SDC.  Duties will include planning and oversight of the development teams working on all activities under the Science Data Centre delivery program to deliver the capabilities for access to ASTRON-hosted data collections, computing and analysis capabilities to the astronomy community, and research and development into new techniques and technologies to support these activities at SKA scales. In addition to overseeing the development teams, you will work closely with staff astronomers at ASTRON and other partner institutions to define required functionality for the pilot systems and oversee deployment and testing of these functionalities.

ASTRON is also a major partner in the H2020 projects ESCAPE and EOSC to develop a concept and design for a distributed, federated SKA Regional Centre within Europe to support the wider astronomical community in achieving the scientific goals of the SKA. As SDC Program Manager, you will play a leading role in the ESCAPE and EOSC projects and coordinate SDC-related activities at ASTRON with related activities at our partner organizations across Europe and internationally. You will be expected to present these activities at conferences and workshops around the world and regular travel will be required. You will report directly to the ASTRON Management team, contribute to the definition of the future strategy for the SDC program at ASTRON.

The position will be a full-time position (38 hours per week) and based at ASTRON Headquarters in Dwingeloo, NL. ASTRON is committed to increasing its staff diversity, and we are especially interested in applications from women and other traditionally under-represented groups.

Job requirements:

  • Experience with software development and leading large, distributed software development teams
  • An advanced degree in computer science (or related technical discipline), astronomy, or astrophysics
  • Proven ability to manage, mentor and direct teams to successfully deliver new and improving systems
  • Extensive project management experience preferably related to large-scale astronomical projects
  • Experience with data management of large, distributed astronomical data collections
  • Experience with HPC and HTC computing platforms and technologies
  • Familiarity with modern data science techniques and machine learning methods
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills to both technical and scientific audiences


  • Tenured position subject to positive evaluation after an initial probationary period
  • Excellent benefits including pension and paid parental leave
  • Generous travel support for conferences or work visits
  • Flexible conditions of employment, tailored to your personal situation
  • Generous relocation expenses and support with finding accommodation

The organisation:

ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, is located just outside Dwingeloo in Drenthe. Its mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen via the development of novel and innovative technologies, the operation of world-class radio astronomy facilities, and the pursuit of fundamental astronomical research. ASTRON hosts a vibrant research environment with strong technical expertise and influence in the new generation of emerging radio facilities. ASTRON currently develops and operates LOFAR, a new generation low-frequency multi- field aperture array telescope. ASTRON also operates the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) equipped with the APERTIF (APERture Tile in Focus) phased array feed system which has significantly expanded its field of view, thereby enabling a new, deep HI survey of the northern hemisphere. As the NL national radio astronomy institute, ASTRON hosts the NL SKA Office which coordinates the Netherlands’ contribution to the SKA. ASTRON currently also hosts JIVE, the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC.

The unified software development effort at ASTRON plays a major role in supporting our mission to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen. With a staff of over 35 personnel, the combined software team at ASTRON is essential to the operation of our current facilities, the extraction of science from those facilities, and the development of new capabilities for the future.


For more information about ASTRON you can visit our website For more information about this vacancy please contact Diana Verweij, Head of the HR department, phone: +31 521 595 100 or e-mail:


To apply, please submit a cover letter and curriculum vitae via the ‘Apply now’ button below. The first closing date is 13 February 2020. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

Word of a staff member
Jurjen Sluman

Voordat ik bij ASTRON kwam te werken, werkte ik bij een hoogwaardig technisch bedrijf. Hierna wilde ik weer werken in een soortgelijke en uitdagende werkomgeving. Zo kwam ik bij ASTRON terecht, hier heb ik te maken met een uitdagende en hoogstaande technische omgeving. Dit op zowel het gebied van hard- als software. Het onderzoek aan […]

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