System Administrator
  • Vakgebied
  • Onderdeel
    Radio observatory
  • Uren
  • Sluitingsdatum

Are you a flexible, accurate administrator and a team player? Your second home is your Linux server park? You are familiar with high performance system administration in combination with large data volumes and want to work in a dynamic international scientific environment? Then you might be our new


System Administrator (f/m)


Job description:
As a system administrator, you will work within the Radio Observatory (RO) in the Software Development and Operational Support (SDOS) group on the hardware infrastructure of the LOFAR and WSRT (Westerbork) telescopes. LOFAR is a unique radio telescope that consists of antenna stations spread over Europe connected by a high speed network to a central processing facility. At this location a GPU-based cluster reduces the data real-time and an HPC compute cluster of 50 multi-core nodes processes the data on a multi-petabyte Lustre filesystem. The system generates six petabytes of science data-products each year that are made available to the astronomical community via a distributed archive.

You will work within a group of three system administrators and twelve software developers on maintaining the servers and clusters that form the core of LOFAR and WSRT. Besides helping your colleagues with the day-to-day requests, an important aspect is troubleshooting and solving issues in this highly demanding scientific environment. That means sometimes gathering knowledge worldwide as we often run into unique challenges.
You strive to provide excellent service to our scientific clients by maintaining stable and efficient server operation and delivering them the data they need for their research. You will collaborate with scientists at ASTRON and at European universities and with specialists at some of the top HPC institutes in Europe to build towards the next generation of scientific data services. These services are centered around our fast growing distributed data stores of LOFAR and WSRT, currently totaling more than 24 PB. Together with the administrators in all ASTRON departments, and the compute center (CIT) from the University of Groningen, you will enhance the overall performance and reliability of the system and prepare it for future developments.

Job requirements:
• A master’s degree in Computer Science or a related technical discipline (WO/HBO)
• Proven experience with Linux server administration
• Experience in the following fields is a big pre:
Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE), HPC and cluster management, Docker, Ansible, Lustre file system, kernel tuning, working in DevOps environments, high availability and failover solutions, monitoring and control solutions
• Affinity for complex technological environments & research supporting organizations
• Good problem solving capabilities
• Have a customer oriented attitude; serve the scientific community
• Team player, but also good at taking the initiative, based on your specialism.

• We offer a fulltime contract for two years.
• Besides a pleasant and challenging work environment, we have a good package of benefits like a pension plan, group discounts on individual insurances and travel expenses.
• We offer flexible conditions of employment, tailored to your personal situation.
• We offer generous relocation expenses and support with finding accommodation.

The organization:
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.

The Radio Observatory at ASTRON operates the LOFAR telescope as well as the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) including the soon to be completed APERTIF upgrade.

Besides the Radio Observatory, ASTRON hosts a dynamic Astronomy Group and a world-leading Research and Development Group. Together these three departments specialize in the development, the operations and the scientific exploitation of radio astronomical instruments. ASTRON is a major partner in the worldwide collaboration working towards the realization of the future Square Kilometre Array telescope.

More information about ASTRON can be found on our websites and More information about this vacancy please contact Erika Timmerman, HR Officer, phone: +31 521 595 212 or e-mail:

You can apply for this job via the ‘Apply now’ button below (reference number 2017-01-001). The closing date is 3 July 2017. Candidates will be considered until this position has been filled. The first round of interviews will be held on Tuesday 11 July 2017.

Medewerker aan het woord
Emanuela Orrù
Support scientist

Tijdens mijn studie kwam ik erachter dat ik graag in de radio astronomie wilde werken. In het tweede jaar had ik de knoop doorgehakt en besloot ik mij te richten op radio astronomie. Mijn professor wees mij erop dat ASTRON nieuwe radiotelescopen ging bouwen in het midden van Europa. Hierdoor kwam ASTRON in mijn vizier. […]

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