Openings: Positions

  • Research Scientists and Postdoctoral Scholars

    Climate change projections continue to be marred by large uncertainties. But breakthroughs in their accuracy are within reach, thanks to recent advances in the computational and data sciences and in the availability of Earth observations from space and from the ground. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and partner institutions are developing a new Earth system modeling platform to harness these advances. It will fuse an Earth system model (ESM) with global observations and targeted local high-resolution simulations of clouds, turbulence, and other elements of the Earth system.

    As a postdoctoral scholar or research scientist, you will collaborate with a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and applied mathematicians, spanning Caltech, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Naval Postgraduate School. You will contribute to the development of a data-informed ESM by

    • devising scalable data assimilation and machine learning (DA/ML) algorithms, to allow them to learn systematically from diverse data sources, such as satellite observations or high-resolution simulations of turbulent flows;
    • developing physically informed parameterizations of subgrid-scale processes in the atmosphere that are suitable for DA/ML approaches, including models for boundary layer turbulence, clouds, and convection; or
    • building and prototyping numerical and computational methods for an atmosphere dynamical core that is scalable and adaptable to emerging hardware architectures.

    We are seeking to fill several postdoctoral and research scientist positions within this initiative, spanning a range of expertise from computational and applied mathematics to the atmospheric and oceanic sciences.

    As minimum qualification, you are expected to have

    • Completed a doctoral degree in applied mathematics, atmospheric or oceanic sciences, computer science, engineering, physics, statistics or a related field at the time of the appointment;
    • A strong physical, mathematical, and/or computational background;
    • Programming experience in at least one general purpose language;
    • Demonstrated effective written and verbal communication skills.

    We prefer for you to have

    • Experience with high-performance parallel computing;
    • Experience working in multi-disciplinary teams and interacting cross-functionally with a wide variety of people.

    For the research scientist positions, at least 2 years of postdoctoral research experience and leadership experience of research projects as demonstrated by publications are also required.

    For more information about the modeling initiative and positions, please visit climate-dynamics.org or contact Professors Tapio Schneider or Andrew Stuart at esm@caltech.edu.

    Applications with a curriculum vitae, a one-page statement of research interests, and three letters of recommendation should be submitted online

    • for postdocs here, and
    • for research scientists here.

    Review of applications will begin August 9 and will  continue until the positions are filled.

    If there are any questions during the search process, please contact us at shechet@gps.caltech.edu.

  • Software Engineers in Data-Informed Earth System Modeling at Caltech

    Climate change projections continue to be marred by large uncertainties. But breakthroughs in their accuracy are within reach, thanks to recent advances in the computational and data sciences and in the availability of Earth observations from space and from the ground. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and partner institutions are developing a new Earth system modeling platform to harness these advances. It will fuse an Earth system model (ESM) with global observations and targeted local high-resolution simulations of clouds, turbulence, and other elements of the Earth system.

    As a Software Engineer, you will collaborate with a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and applied mathematicians, spanning Caltech, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Naval Postgraduate School. You will 

    • Work on a fast-paced, high-profile project with a significant opportunity for impacting Earth system modeling worldwide; 
    • Design, develop, test, deploy, maintain, and improve the ESM platform software; and
    • Be a hands-on coder applying the best industry standards for code health, scalability, and robustness.

    As a Lead Software Engineer, you will additionally

    • Devise innovative ideas and technical designs for an ESM platform that is scalable and adaptable to a variety of hardware architectures, including distributed computing architectures;
    • Provide technical leadership and solve end-to-end the most difficult design and implementation problems; and
    • Mentor more junior Software Engineers.

    We are seeking to fill several software engineering positions within this initiative. 

    As minimum qualification, you are expected to have 

    • Completed a BS degree in computer science or a different science and engineering field;
    • Experience developing large software projects in a distributed fashion, e.g., contributing to an open source project with distributed contributors;
    • Experience working with high-performance computing systems including manycore processors and accelerators; and
    • Experience with at least two general purpose programming languages (e.g., C/C++, C#, Objective C, Python, Fortran).

    We prefer for you to have

    • A graduate degree in computer science or a science or engineering field; 
    • Experience in either computational fluid dynamics or machine learning or both; and
    • Experience working in multi-disciplinary teams and interacting cross-functionally with a wide variety of people.

    For more information about the modeling initiative and positions, please visit climate-dynamics.org or contact Professors Tapio Schneider or Andrew Stuart at esm@caltech.edu.

    Applications with

    • a resume,
    • a one-page statement of interests, and
    • three references

    should be submitted here for the software engineer positions, and here for the lead software engineer positions. Review of applications will begin August 9 and will  continue until the positions are filled.

  • PhD Projects in Climate Dynamics

    We always seek knowledgable and motivated graduate students for PhD projects in the climate sciences. Possible projects may address questions, for example, in large-scale dynamics such as, How do global precipitation patterns change under global warming? What shapes the trajectories and intensities of midlatitude storms? Or they may address questions in smaller-scale dynamics such as, How does cloud cover change under global warming? How can we improve the parameterization of clouds in climate models? One focus currently is the design of Earth system models that learn from observations and high-resolution simulations using methods from data assimilation and machine learning. There are opportunities for PhD students with strong computational backgrounds in this area, jointly advised by Andrew Stuart in Computing and Mathematical Sciences.

    PhD students need to have an undergraduate degree or equivalent in physics, mathematics, engineering, the atmospheric sciences, or a related field. A solid background in mathematics and physics is generally more important than prior experience in the atmospheric or climate sciences.

    If you are interested in a PhD project, please contact Tapio Schneider (e-mail: tapio@caltech.edu) or apply directly to Caltech‘s PhD program in Environmental Science and Engineering. The deadline for applications is January 1.