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Senior High Performance Computing (HPC) System Administrator

Apply now Job no: 501742
Position Type: Staff
Location: Boston Main Campus
Categories: Information Technology Services

About Northeastern:

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global research university and a world leader in experiential learning. The same commitment to connecting with the world drives our use-inspired research enterprise. The university offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools. Our campuses in Charlotte, N.C., San Francisco, Seattle, and Toronto are regional platforms for undergraduate and graduate learning and collaborative research. Northeastern pursues advanced research in security and materials at the Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts, and in coastal sustainability at the Marine Science Center in Nahant, Massachusetts.


About the Opportunity:

The Research Computing (RC) team at Northeastern University (NU) seeks a motivated, self-starting individual to be a member of our dynamic team as a Senior HPC Systems Administrator. The successful candidate will help lead the administration, development, and expansion of both the Discovery cluster, as well as the full RC environment (VMs, storage, software, etc), within the RC team.

As the Senior HPC Systems Administrator, your primary objective will be to monitor, maintain, secure, develop, and promote RC systems and solutions for faculty research and teaching.  You will assist research groups in taking full advantage of Discovery, NU’s 1,000+ node HPC cluster installed at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. You will work closely with the RC team to develop a long-term strategy for the NU research enterprise, with a focus on minimizing risk and maximizing efficient utilization.  In addition, you will help ensure researchers needs are met, and develop new and novel solutions to support research and teaching, as they pertain to RC systems and solutions. 



  • Manage, monitor, and maintain RC systems
  • Oversee other RC system administration and storage staff and students
  • Work with AVP and AD of research computing on short and long term strategies for expanding RC support and solutions.
  • Interact with faculty and students on computational needs
  • Develop and build novel systems/frameworks and workflows to meet researcher’s changing needs
  • Communicate progress and participate in reviews with technical staff and senior management.
  • Participate in external collaborations (locally/regionally) and funding opportunities
  • Work with RC staff to develop and maintain technical documentation, both internal (admin facing) and external (user facing) documentation.
  • Attend conferences and workshops relevant to HPC to advance skills
  • Stay current with emerging HPC technologies and trends
  • Participate in regional collaborations to advance skills, and expand the NU RC solution catalog


  • A bachelor’s degree in a computational field with Linux systems experience, or 5 years of professional experience in Linux system administration
  • Minimum 5 years Unix/Linux system administration.
  • Minimum 5 years managing an HPC environment
  • Demonstrated experience in scripting and coding: bash, python, ruby, C/C++
  • Experience with large scale (multiple PBs) parallel filesystems (GPFS, Lustre, etc)
  • Experience configuring and managing batch schedulers, specifically Slurm
  • Experience with common HPC software stacks and management tools
  • Knowledge of standard networking, security practices, and user management in a large computing environment.


Preferred Qualifications:

  •  10+ years of experience as HPC systems administrator at a technology company or research institution.
  • Regular use of identity management software like LDAP/Active Directory
  • Knowledge of virtualization environments (Xen, Eucalyptus, VMWare), cloud computing environments (AWS, Azure, GCP, OpenNebula), and container environments (Docker, Singularity, Shifter).
  • Experience using configuration management tools such as Puppet, Chef, Ansible, or Salt.
  • Knowledge of database concepts and basic administration for MySQL, Postgres, MongoDB, Microsoft SQL, Oracle.
  • Knowledge of a variety of filesystems and storage deployments: NFS, SMB, Lustre, GPFS, Ceph, S3, etc.
  • Experience prioritizing multiple projects and work streams in a fast-paced environment
  • Desire for continuous self-improvement and maintenance of skills through training.


Salary Grade: 


Additional Information:

A criminal background check is required for this position.

Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff.  Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion. 

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other  characteristic protected by applicable law.

To learn more about Northeastern University’s commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see

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