Linux Systems Administrator – Research Computing Team

University of Washington - Genome Sciences
Job Location
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Job Description

The Linux Systems Administrator will support the research computing environment for all departmental researchers as well as supporting world-wide collaborations.  The majority of work will be focused on supporting a large-scale, complex, and heterogeneous scientific computing environment.  The computing environment supported includes multiple high performance clusters with an aggregate of 8000+ CPU cores, 8 petabytes of online data, multiple database and custom application servers, heterogeneous desktops and servers (Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows), high-performance networking equipment including 10GigE and QDR IB providing connectivity to 1800+ local devices  and world-wide access to research data and tools.  This work must be done in the context of a department falling under federal HIPAA requirements of the SoM and requires addressing the rapidly evolving technical requirements associated with cutting edge genetic research.  This requires expert level troubleshooting of complex technical problems in hardware and software, providing maintenance, and implementing new systems.  The position requires effective communication with all members of the Department and an ability propose technical solutions in a concise and compelling manner.

Responsibilities include the following:

  • Independently engineer solutions to existing complex computing operations issues.  By applying a high level of proficiency in the theoretical operations of computers and networks and a specialized knowledge of the practical application of the underlying theories this person will work independently to solve problems, develop systems and document procedures.  The solutions will need to directly address the functional requirements as determined by direct work with faculty and the other members of the GS-ITS team.
  • Work independently and as part of a team to design, prototype, and implement new systems and procedures including frequent systems programming using programming languages such as Perl, Python, or BASH.
  • Create in-depth technical documentation for complex systems.  The documentation will need to be constructed and maintained in a manner that will allow other system administrators to quickly understand the critical components of complex systems design and maintenance.  Documentation will need to adhere to documentation standards.
  • Work directly with faculty to determine functional requirements for labs.  The person will then use systems analysis techniques and procedures to design, specify, and implement systems to meet those needs.


This position requires a flexible schedule and ability to respond to urgent off-hours issues.

  • Bachelors degree in Computer Science, Informatics, or related field
  • Minimum of 3 years experience providing network and computing support in a large scale (hundreds or thousands of servers and petascale storage) professional setting or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience with Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows based systems.
  • Demonstrated professional competence in systems administration or systems engineering.
  • Demonstrated ability to see complex IT projects through to successful completion.
About Our Organization

The University of Washington (UW) is proud to be one of the nation’s premier educational and research institutions. Our people are the most important asset in our pursuit of achieving excellence in education, research, and community service. Our staff not only enjoys outstanding benefits and professional growth opportunities, but also an environment noted for diversity, community involvement, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits, and natural beauty.

The Department of Genome Sciences (GS) is part of the University of Washington School of Medicine (UW SoM) and is comprised of 27 labs addressing leading edge questions in biology and medicine by developing and applying genetic, genomic and computational approaches taking advantage of genomic information now available for a host of species.  GS is making major contributions in the application of genome science to understand the fundamentals of biology and to improve human health and well-being.

Genome Sciences is a collaborative department supported by very different academic disciplines.  We work with a multitude of Program Investigators (PIs) in departments both on the UW campus as well as worldwide. The department has gone through significant expansion since its beginning in 2001 with annual grant awards of $41.5M in FY12.  The department has 47 training, teaching, and research faculty.

The Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington has an outstanding opportunity for a Linux Systems Administrator – Research Computing Team. The purpose of the Linux Systems Administrator position is to provide computer systems engineering, administration, and support services as a member of Genome Sciences IT Services (GS-ITS).  This person would be part of the Research Computing Team, a group of three other system administrators and one manager.

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