Computer Systems Administrator

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Computer Systems Administrator
Job Reference DIA0900B/NH
Post Type Full-time / Permanent
Division Technical
Salary information Competitive
Application deadline 28/02/2014

Job Description

The Diamond Synchrotron Light source is the largest scientific facility to be built in the UK for over thirty years. The facility consists of three accelerators which provide high brightness photon beams through beamlines to experiment stations.  Diamond is now operational with an initial complement of experiment stations and a further ten in design and construction. 

The Diamond light Source uses a range of computer systems for distributed control, data acquisition, data analysis and data storage. These are predominantly x86 based PCs, running the Linux operating system, with some Windows systems for special purpose applications.  Hence Linux based servers and workstations are core to supporting the operation of the accelerators and photon beamlines. In addition, to support data acquisition and analysis, there are large central computation clusters and storage servers.  These systems are managed by a dedicated computing systems administration team.

This position will be to implement and develop the computing infrastructure and services.

Duties and responsibilities to include:

  • Design and develop the computer systems;
  • Systems administration in compliance with Diamond processes;
  • Commission and diagnose faults in computer systems;
  • Develop automation tools for system administration tasks;
  • Provide operational support and analysis of installed computer systems and networks;
  • Collaborate with staff and colleagues, including engineers and scientists, at all stages of the development life cycle to, for example, develop requirements, track project progress, and verify operation of computer  systems;
  • Contribute to the processes, associated software development and data management to support the design and operation of computer systems throughout Diamond;
  • Liaise with, and supervise, contractors and suppliers of turnkey computer systems and networks;
  • Provide technical expertise in computer systems and skills in system management of computer systems;
  • Maintain a current knowledge of the computer systems on other, comparable, science facilities;
  • Communicate details of computer systems developments within Diamond and to other projects;
  • Assistance in the preparation of tenders and service level agreements for external suppliers of required services;
  • Report on progress in all areas on a periodic basis;

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Honours degree in physics, Elec. Eng., Comp. science or Equivalent other degree and relevant experience or BTEC HNC/HND and relevant experience;
  • Relevant experience in the Computer system administration in a Unix environment;
  • An enthusiasm for solving technical problems, evaluating alternative courses of action and innovating where necessary;
  • Self-motivation and a willingness to take responsibility;
  • An ability to communicate effectively, both orally and written;
  • An ability to work as part of a team;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of staff supervision; 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of project planning and management;
  • Demonstrate ability to work effectively alone and without direct supervision;
  • Experience of modern computer systems management techniques, design and implementation;
  • Knowledge of networking protocols such as DHCP, SNMP, DNS and NAT;
  • Experience of computer system and network security;
  • Experience of UNIX-like operating systems and their administration;
  • Experience of using Unix shell scripting to automate common tasks;
  • Available to travel in the UK and abroad, including occasional periods away from home;
  • Be prepared to undertake further training;
  • Ability to work in restricted or confined spaces

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Completion of a recognised Unix Systems Administration certification (Linux Professional Institute certification, Certified Solaris Administrator or similar);
  • Experience of Windows operating systems and their administration;
  • Experience of scientific computing;
  • Experience of Python and/or Perl scripting;
  • Experience in the design and implementation of modern computer networks and the attached systems and services;
  • Experience of high performance computing, networking and storage technologies;
  • Experience of remote administration of complex networking architectures;
  • Project management experience;
  • The role holder may be required to work overtime at unsociable hours as required;

Further Information

NB: Please note that this position is advertised at two levels (also Graduate Computer Systems Administrator), with only one appointment to be made.

Applying for employment

For further details on applying for employment at Diamond, please visit our 'Application Form' page.

Appointments will be made depending on the skills and experience of the candidate. Electronic Diamond application forms in MS-Word are preferred. These should be emailed to

Other information