Quantum Computing Platform Manager

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Science and Technology Facilities Council

Job Title: Quantum Computing Platform Manager
Salary:     Band E £53,818  gross per annum OR 
Band F £62,178 gross per annum (depending upon experience) 
Location: Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire, UK  
Contract Type: Permanent
Hours: Full-time or Part-time (minimum 0.8FTE) (We understand the importance of work-life balance, and offer flexible working, but do require at least 4 days a week on-site)

Due to the requirement of obtaining an enhanced security clearance for this role, we are only able to accept applications from persons who have been resident in the UK for the last 5 years. We cannot sponsor visa applications for this role.

About the role:

We have an exciting opportunity for a Quantum Computing Platform Manager to join the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC).  You will be working alongside scientists, engineers, developers, and experts in quantum technologies, working to enhance the UK’s quantum computing capabilities.

As part of the Operations Team reporting to the Deputy Director (Operations), the QC Platform Manager is essential to the delivery of our ambitious technology roadmap for supporting quantum computing for the UK.

What will I be doing? 

As the QC Platform Manager at NQCC, you will spearhead the operation of our production-level quantum computing platforms, ensuring optimal stakeholder experience.   Your role demands deep expertise in hybrid computing systems, and quantum computing technology, combined with robust technical acumen and leadership prowess.  Your collaboration with cross-functional teams will be pivotal in enhancing platform efficiency and reliability, managing stakeholder interactions, and driving continuous improvement.  Joining a dedicated team of Systems administrators, your responsibilities will support the integration of classical IT hardware, including HPC, GPU UNIX/Linux platforms, with Cloud-based HPC, QCaaS, AI support systems, thin-client Linux desktops, and business-oriented Windows laptops with virtual backend services.

Furthermore, you’ll play an instrumental role in provisioning and managing platforms comprising of versatile OS software, cloud solutions, software libraries, storage infrastructures, and reliable backup systems.  Your collaboration with the NQCC Control Systems and NQCC Quantum-hardware teams will be crucial in advancing quantum-classical cloud computations, simulations, and interactive technologies.  

As a Band F, in addition, you would lead a team of quantum computing specialists, ensuring their professional development, performance, and motivation.  

This is an outline description of the key responsibilities and accountabilities involved in the job. This is not an exhaustive list, and the successful applicant might be expected to undertake any other duties across NQCC, appropriate to the Band/level of responsibility for which the post-holder has the necessary experience and/or training. 
 
Our Benefits:

UKRI recognises and values employees as individuals and aims to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme (subject to business requirements), generous average-salary Defined Benefit pension scheme, and 30 days annual leave allowance plus 10.5 bank holiday/privilege days and several other benefits. 
 
What experience do I need? 

Prior knowledge of quantum computing is not required to apply for this role, but it would be an advantage.  We offer significant development and training opportunities. Applicants for this role should meet the following criteria: 

Essential

•    Computing Platform Management: Leading the deployment, integration, and management of computing platform(s), collaborating with R&D teams for technology, application, and systems upgrades.
•    Service Delivery & Operations: Guarantee seamless service for internal and external stakeholders, oversee incident resolution, and maintain platform performance and reliability.
•    Cloud Services and Tools Expertise: Knowledge of cloud-computing services and programming tools.  Expertise in server resources, VMs, containers, and HPC.
•    Stakeholder Engagement: Engage with stakeholders to understand needs, offer guidance, and identify platform enhancement opportunities.
•    Vendor Collaboration: Partnering with technology service providers to ensure system optimisation and troubleshoot issues.
•    Security & Compliance: Ensure platform security / uphold industry security standards and regulations.
•    Documentation: Create/maintain detailed documentation, user guides, and best practices.
•    Team Leadership & Collaboration: Leadership of a team of specialists, aligning inter-departmental priorities, fostering team collaboration for delivery. (Band F essential)

Desirable

To be considered for a Band F you will need to have experience in several of the following:

•    Quantum and Cloud Certifications: Expertise validated through regular use of AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP certifications, or IBM Quantum Experience.   Demonstrates proficiency in either cloud computing, quantum systems, and/or managing quantum resources.
•    Networking and Security: Awareness of cybersecurity in computing systems; CCNA certification indicating foundational networking knowledge, paired with CompTIA Security+ for understanding cybersecurity in computing systems.
•    Quantum Expertise: A robust understanding of quantum computing, quantum algorithms, control systems, gates, error correction, optimization, and QC programming languages (e.g., Qiskit, Cirq, Quipper, OpenQASM).
•    Leadership in Quantum Platforms: Experience deployment, integration, and management of quantum computing platforms in a leadership or managerial capacity.
•    High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Programming: Practical knowledge of Unix/Linux OS, proficiency in HPC programming languages (e.g., C/C++, Fortran, MPI, OpenMP, CUDA), and scripting languages (e.g., Python, CSH, Bash).
•    Education and Organizational Understanding: Holds at least a Bachelor’s degree in relevant fields like computer science or quantum physics, with familiarity in project disciplines (like risk and quality management) and an understanding of UKRI/public sector structures.

You would need to be available to occasionally travel/work within the UK and overseas for workshops, conferences, and meeting when required. 

Who are we? 

The National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) is a new research centre funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), which is dedicated to accelerating the development of quantum computing by addressing the challenges of scalability.
 

How do I apply for this role?

Please submit your Covering Letter (up to 2 pages) and CV that clearly outlines how you fulfil the role criteria along with your motivation to join NQCC, as attachments on your application. Please ensure that your name and the job reference number are in the file name of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit your application without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered. 
 
Security Clearance 

Due to the nature of the role, and the requirement to support diverse projects, the successful candidate is required to complete national pre-employment control checks to the BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard) to fulfil the role.   BPSS checks can take between 9-12 working days. 

Once in post you will need to complete a Security Check (SC) clearance.  

About the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC)

As part of the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is leading a programme to establish a National Quantum Computing Centre, which includes a commitment of £93m over 5 years, dedicated to drive development in the field of Quantum Computing and to place the UK at the forefront of the field. The Centre is a joint initiative of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

A purpose-built National Quantum Computing Centre will be built and operated by UKRI at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) campus in Oxfordshire. The Centre will be open and operational by December 2022. Until then, the NQCC’s activities are taking place in other facilities on the Harwell Campus or at partnering institutions. The NQCC will sit alongside other departments within the STFC National Laboratories and will be part of the broader National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP).

The primary purpose of the NQCC is to fill a key gap in the research and innovation landscape addressing the challenge of scaling quantum computing. However, this technology is immature and extensive development work is needed to scale the fundamental science to provide usable computing systems.

The NQCC’s initial 5 years will focus on developing a Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) machine to demonstrate the technology as well as software, algorithm and applications development. The longer-term aim is to scale the technology towards an error and noise-free fault-tolerant machine capability with benchmarking and verification demonstrated in collaboration with the UK and international partners. The NQCC will give assured and direct access to early prototype machines to developers and promote the formation of a strong UK-based quantum computing supply chain.

About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, we ask the biggest questions in the universe to find answers that change the world around us. We seek understanding. We’re proud of the impact we make. And we’re committed to helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy. Being part of all this means contributing to work that pushes boundaries and creates possibilities. You’ll work with, and learn from, true experts. Whatever your role, you’ll be free to question and encouraged to share ideas. And, in a positive and supportive culture, you’ll discover just what a difference you can make when you’re equipped and inspired to excel.

We’re a place where curious minds thrive. Not bound by profit, we explore ideas that others don’t, ask questions that others won’t, and discover answers that others are not equipped to find. And, alongside Mars landings and black holes, we also explore diverse, international projects in everything from science and engineering to computing and technology. Whether it’s at the cutting edge or behind the scenes, our work is intellectually challenging. It’s very often ground-breaking.  And it’s endlessly, irresistibly fascinating.

For more information about STFC please visit https://stfc.ukri.org/

You can also visit our careers site https://www.stfccareers.co.uk/ 

About UK Research Innovation (UKRI) 

UKRI is an organisation that brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Together, we build an independent organisation with a strong voice and vision ensuring the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. 

Supporting some of the world’s most exciting and challenging research projects, we develop and operate some of the most remarkable scientific facilities in the world. We are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through fundamental research and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research, skills and business-led innovation. 

More information can be found at www.ukri.org.  

Choosing to come to work at UKRI means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme, excellent holiday entitlement, access to employee shopping/travel discounts and a salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme.  For more details, visit benefits of working for UKRI.

The role holder will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role.  UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during the course of employment.

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community. For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 

How to apply 

Online applications are only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. 

Additional Information

  • Organisation: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) – National Quantum Computing Centre
  • Contract Type: Open Ended
  • External Closing Date: Jan 21, 2024
  • Minimum Salary: Pound Sterling (GBP) 53,818
  • Hours: Full-time / Part-time