Department Head of Scientific Computing Systems

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Menlo Park, California, United States (On-Site)


Would you like to deliver innovative scientific computing capabilities that enable groundbreaking research? We need a skilled manager that can drive a talented team and achieve common goals, tightly aligned to the science facilities’ requirements. You must bring a passion for research and use your past experience in running production data analysis pipelines and workflows. You’ll form strong collaborations across our science community and ensure your team’s efforts result in a great end-user experience through resilient, capable platforms and solutions. You’ll gain recognition and respect as a trusted partner for SLAC science.

SLAC is one of the world’s premier research laboratories, with internationally leading capabilities in photon science, accelerator physics, high energy physics (HEP), and energy sciences. The Controls & Data Systems (CDS) Division in the Technology Innovation Directorate (TID) is involved in many national and international projects, which, among others, include the Rubin Observatory, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) user facility, CryoEM user facilities, the LHC ATLAS detector at CERN, and accelerator controls for LCLS-II.

Your team is responsible for designing, deploying, maintaining, and monitoring the large-scale scientific computing infrastructure that supports SLAC’s data analysis and Machine Learning capabilities. We store hundreds of petabytes on our scalable storage clusters with network speeds that will reach multiple terabits per second. Thousands of scientists worldwide rely on these systems to perform their research activities.

Given the nature of this position, SLAC is open to on-site and hybrid work options.

Your specific responsibilities will be to:

  • Manage our technical scientific computing leads. They include applications, storage, and HPC experts. They are skilled at integrating and scaling their technologies. Their environment is highly collaborative and they have strong relationships with the user community
  • Track the health of critical science pipelines and workflows that depend on our infrastructure. Track the dependencies, bottlenecks, and hurdles that must be addressed to achieve operational excellence
  • Interface with the Science leadership through our Steering Committee. Gather feedback on the user experience of our solutions and demonstrate empathy and responsiveness to operational issues
  • Set department goals and priorities that align with the science requirements
  • Create timely and constructive talent development plans for your staff – Identify gaps in skillsets and make training recommendations
  • Assess staffing levels and contribute to a recruitment plan. The department must be equipped to support critical 24/7 data pipelines
  • Drive end-user support, documentation, incident management, and emergency escalations process
  • Foster an open culture of diversity, respect, and innovation

To be successful in this position you will bring:

  • Bachelor’s degree in physics computer sciences, or related field and 8 years of relevant experience, or a combination of education and relevant experience
  • Experience managing technical teams, establishing shared goals and priorities
  • Experience coordinating production analysis pipeline(s) or workflow(s)
  • Ability to effectively engage science leaders, science users, and business managers
  • Experience with shared HPC environments at research or supercomputing institutes
  • Ability to develop and maintain user support models and documentation
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Familiarity with distributed compute and storage systems, high-performance computing systems, and networking
  • Ability and willingness to learn and promote best practices
  • Understanding of core IT services and scientific applications

In addition, preferred requirements include:

  • Master’s degree or Ph.D. in physics or a related field.
  • Experience as a user of HPC systems.

SLAC Manager Competencies:

  • Results through Others: Achieves expected results by effectively delegating and managing the work of others.
  • Aligns Priorities: Ensures planning and prioritization of resources and work efforts; ensures alignment of direct and matrix reports to support organizational goals and business plans.
  • Applies Lab Acumen: Maintains understanding of lab efforts and direction as well as current research and trends, considers technology and customer impacts, and contributes relevant, informed ideas to lab growth.
  • Navigates Complexity: Manages a multitude of information and complex circumstances to discern what is most important; demonstrates effective problem-solving, decision-making, and takes appropriate action, even in difficult situations or with conflicting data.
  • Builds Trust: Earns trust and credibility from team members, peers and stakeholders; demonstrates SLAC values of respect and integrity.
  • Relationships: Builds relationships to foster trust, collaboration, and a positive climate to achieve team, department/directorate and lab goals.
  • Communication: Ensures effective information flow to various audiences; delivers clear and appropriate written and verbal communications; makes clear and impactful presentations to a variety of internal and external audiences.
  • Self-Awareness: Seeks feedback from others and takes ownership of, and actions to address what is learned; recognizes impact on others and adjusts as needed; pursues continuous learning opportunities; implements a meaningful development plan.
  • Team Effectiveness: Effectively motivates team members and fosters a diverse and collaborative team environment; leverages team members’ strengths for overall team effectiveness; incorporates insights to improve team operations.
  • Purpose & Vision: Articulates a clear vision of expected outcomes; inspires others to execute work plans and feel a sense of purpose and ownership for the mission.

Physical Requirements and Working Conditions:

  • You are expected to reside locally and work onsite 1-3 days a week
  • Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job. May work extended hours during peak business cycles.

Work Standards:

  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for environment, safety and security; communicates related concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.  Meets the applicable roles and responsibilities as described in the ESH Manual, Chapter 1—General Policy and Responsibilities:
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,

As an organization that receives federal funding, SLAC and Stanford University have a COVID-19 vaccination requirement that will apply to all university employees, including those working remotely in the United States and applicable subcontractors. To learn more about COVID policies and guidelines for Stanford University Staff, please visit

Job Information

  • Job ID: 68972642
  • Workplace Type: On-Site
  • Location:
    Menlo Park, California, United States
  • Company Name For Job: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
  • Position Title: Department Head of Scientific Computing Systems
  • Job Function: Other
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Salary: $177,000.00 – $205,000.00 (Yearly Salary)
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