Earth Observation Data Scientist - Sandwich Student


Internship 1 year Harwell, UK

Uploaded 2 Sep 2018

Job Description

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science, technology and Engineering.

STFC is one of nine organisations that have been brought together to create UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); a new organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. To find out more about STFC please see one of our videos:

Each year we offer opportunities to undergraduate sandwich students to gain practical experience, working alongside technical experts at the forefront of scientific research. We offer an invaluable experience with exposure to world class science and technology and the opportunity to develop working relationships that continue well after your placement has finished.

The STFC Remote Sensing Group (RSG) has world-class standing in satellite sounding of atmospheric composition. The Group has developed state-of-the-art schemes to produce multi-year global data sets on atmospheric constituents important to climate and air quality (ozone, methane, aerosol and cloud) in NERC’s National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), ESA’s “Climate Change Initiative” and the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. Current research centres on resolving ozone, methane and carbon monoxide near to the Earth’s surface, along with surface biophysical variables and deriving particulate matter and surface radiation fluxes for applications including air quality and solar energy.

The Group collaborates closely with partners in the UK and international science community. A near-real time processing chain has been established on the JASMIN super-data-cluster to support operational applications. The Group also provides scientific direction and expert support to develop future satellite missions and precursor airborne instruments.

Your role as an Earth Observation Data Scientist within the STFC-RSG will be to:

  • contribute to development and maintenance of new computer code for production and visualisation of STFC-RSG satellite datasets
  • support the scientific exploitation and operational applications of satellite data, through interaction on data handling with colleagues in scientific institutes and commercial companies
  • contribute to development of software tools to monitor near-real time data production.

Person Specification

Shortlisting and Interview Criteria


  • at university, enrolled on an undergraduate degree course and required or have requested to take a year out of studies to gain experience within industry (S)
  • right to live and work in the UK (S)
  • studying for a degree in a physical science, computer science or maths (S)
  • accomplished computer programming skills, preferably in Python, IDL, C++ or Fortran (S&I)
  • knowledge of webpage and web tool development (S&I)
  • aptitude for working and communicating effectively within a small team (I).


  • motivation to work in Earth Observation from space and climate science (S&I)
  • experience of webpage and web tool development (HTML, JavaScript) (S&I)
  • experience of Linux/Unix operating systems(S&I)
  • experience working with a large computer cluster and/or handling large datasets (S&I)
  • experience in developing, maintaining or using complex computer codes (S&I)
  • ability to manage own time effectively and multi-task (I).

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