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Job Standard for HPC Systems Engineer 4

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  2. The Job Overview, Level Scope, Minimum Qualifications and Essential Job Functions are specific to this job’s competencies and cannot be edited.
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    1. update/change the purpose to add in department specific information, 
    2. add key responsibilities to the 35% of the time, specific to your department needs, 
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The statements on this job standard are intended to describe the general nature of the role and level of work being performed. They are not intended to represent an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of the employee.

HPC Systems Engineer 4 Overview

  • Work Type: Professional
  • Job Code: 75923
  • Pay Grade: P13
  • FLSA Status: Exempt
  • Career Level: Principal
  • Family: Information Technology
  • Function: IT Systems


This position will provide support for the campus research community in the area of high-performance computing.  The position is responsible for server administration, evaluation, planning, configuration, installing, deployment, tuning and troubleshooting multiple large scale clustered highly available HPC environments located in Boise and within the Collaborative Computing Center (C3) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in Idaho Falls, ID.  Occasional travel to INL in Idaho Falls for equipment maintenance and refreshes is required. On-call rotations may be required.

Level Scope

Recognized master in professional discipline with significant impact and influence on campus policy and program development. Establishes critical strategic and operational goals; develops and implements new products, processes, standards or operational plans to achieve strategies. Regularly leads projects of critical importance to the campus; these projects carry substantial consequences of success or failure. Requires significant influence and communication with executive leadership. Problems faced are frequently complex and multidimensional, requiring broad based consideration of variables that impact multiple areas of the organization.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent plus 8 years experience

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Advanced technical skills in the construction and operations of High-Performance Computing (HPC). Experience with a range of systems architecture in government, industry, and academic settings.
  • Advanced knowledge of cluster management, security oversight, software packaging, and administrative processes. Ability to deeply understand application functionality and technical documentation required; contributes to documentation when necessary, and trains others in the use of advanced technologies.
  •  Intellectual curiosity that leads to awareness of cyberinfrastructure current best practices – willingness to adopt new technologies and train others in their use.
  • Strong verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills. Able to communicate complex processes and concepts in ways that leadership, governance, and students can understand them.
  • Strong ability to effectively work on and prioritize concurrent projects.
  •  High ability to perform Unix/Linux system administration and proficiency in high-level programming languages such as MPI, C and C++.
  • Strong ability to write advanced customized scripts/procedures for routine administrative tasks.

Essential Functions

Key Responsibilities

60% of Time the HPC Systems Engineer 4 must:

  • Manage and administer production systems used by researchers and Research Centers
  • Provide technical leadership/project management for system configuration, implementation, management, and user support for both new and existing systems.
  •  Researches and recommends new functionality for HPC management and administration tools by exploring system-wide impacts, working with functional users to define current and future processes.
  • Works with scientific support specialists and assigns tasks and provides oversight as appropriate to HPC engineering team to support scientific researchers who use a broad spectrum of applications from diverse fields.
  • Analyzes results of server monitoring and implements changes to improve performance, processing, and utilization.
  • Proposes, maintains, and enforces policies, practices and security procedures.
  • Provides break/fix support, setup/installation support, escalation support, and solutions support.
  • Collaborate closely with a variety of stakeholders, both internal and external, on all aspects of projects.
  •  Oversees HPC hardware and software lifecycle management; Advises leadership on current industry best practices and specifying new hardware that will support the research community as they navigate a rapidly changing landscape for the future.

35% of Time the HPC Systems Engineer 4

Determined by department needs

5% of Time the HPC Systems Engineer 4

Perform other duties as assigned

Work Environment and Physical Demands

Some positions may involve frequent bending, moving, lifting, and carrying material weighing up to 50 pounds; some positions may involve moving, lifting, and carrying material weighing up to 70 pounds; standing up to eight hours each day; working in all weather conditions; exposure to high noise levels and requiring wearing hearing protection.

Travel Requirement

May be required to travel with overnight stay

Career Path

Additional training/education or equivalent experience, as well as business need, are required for movement into higher level jobs.


Incumbents must perform the essential duties and responsibilities with or without reasonable accommodation. The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work.  Final employment offers are contingent upon a Final Candidate’s successful completion of a Background Verification, and a determination by the University that the information derived from the Background Verification does not disqualify the individual.  In addition, a Financial History Check and Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Check may be required.