Job opening #1: searching for a scientific programmer!

Is this you? CC0-licensed image, source:
Is this you? CC0-licensed image, source:

It is an unspoken truth that (for many of us) it is easier to “just” re-measure a sample than to find an old measurement back again. That has to change.

With this in mind, we are proud to present the first job opening for the Very Small Initiative (VSI), setting the stage for the future*. We need a scientific programmer to help explore several prototype projects spanning a wide range of activities. As we’re publicly funded, we’re going for open-source and open hardware solutions, to be published in open-access publications. We need a post-doc or equivalent in physics, mathematics, electronics/mechatronics or computer science/IT.

Is this you? CC0-licensed image, source:
Is this you?
CC0-licensed image, source:

One of our biggest issues right now is that we need to be able to find and comprehensively analyse datasets from multiple techniques. The ability to centrally catalogue incoming datasets, gathering and attaching metadata, and associating a sample with those datasets is a key component for this. We’ve been exploring this idea a little (for example here), but we need someone more competent to help set up a pair of agnostic, flexible measurement cataloguing and sample-tracking databases. The outer ends are included: we need help in the translation of technique-specific measurement data into an archival format (HDF5) where feasible, and we need a (simple) web interface and API for entering and exporting datasets matching a query.

Time permitting, the following roles also apply:
– we’re working on automating and controlling (self-built) instruments. That implies hardware development, some robotics and image processing, integration with the databases, and as much creativity as possible.
– The holy grail of unbiased results can be obtained by /simultaneous/ analysis of data from multiple techniques. Such simultaneous model fitting with interrelated parameters is, as you can imagine, not a straightforward task. However, the rewards for achieving this are of great scientific interest, and would be an immediate poster-case for the utility of the databases.

So it’s a reasonably broad spectrum of tasks, requiring broad knowledge as well as scientific insight into the techniques, their characteristics and uses.

So if you are looking for a job with excellent work/life balance, in a sparkling, multicultural city, and you’ve seen through the shiny appeal of start-ups, this might be for you. Some resilience against administrative impossibilities is recommended.

The job opening on the website is only available in German, but we’re looking for an fluent English-speaking candidate. German is not required (will come automatically), though basic knowledge will help as a starting point. More information in English about working at BAM can be found here.


*That’s a very cryptic statement, I know. more information on the VSI will follow on a later date.

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  1. A reference data correction sequence, a job opening, and a problem for US synchrotrons – Looking At Nothing

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