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Surface Marine Observations Specialist

Posted: 6 Jan 2020 Closes: 26 Jan 2020
Exeter, GB Salary starting at £36684
Permanent & Full-time met-office/20200106122859

Observations are fundamental to almost all the services that the Met Office provides: as direct data and products; in underpinning weather and climate prediction models; for verifications of forecasts; as the basis for many weather/climate related consultancy services; and for providing evidence of climate change. There is an increasing demand for more observational data and new and innovative ways of meeting customer requirements for data. The quality of our services depends on the regular supply of well-made Observations and it is therefore vital that we manage measurement networks effectively.

The Surface Networks Team within the Observations Group is responsible for the operational delivery of surface-based observational data, including land-based automatic and manual observing stations, marine ship-based observations, drifting buoys and crowd-sourced or third party observations. Fixed platform marine observing is a particularly important source of surface marine and oceanographic data, especially in relation to maintaining Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS), with contributions from observing systems on moored buoys and other third party offshore platforms. These networks are based on a range of different technologies and approaches and require close collaboration with others both within the Met Office and externally (including the World Meteorological Organisation / Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, EUMETNET and other partners) to ensure that observations continue to meet customer requirements.

Additional Supplementary Information:

The successful candidate will focus primarily on moored Marine networks, but will also be required to work closely with staff involved in the operation of other high quality Land and Marine-based observing networks, investigating new potential Surface data sources and driving efficiencies across all Surface-based platforms. There will be no line management responsibilities associated with this role.
The role would benefit from being based primarily at the Met Office HQ in Exeter but, with key stakeholders based at other Met Office facilities in Southampton and Edinburgh, alternative locations can be considered, subject to discussion of how the new role will work with the successful candidate.
The post holder will be expected to travel regularly nationally and occasionally internationally.

To apply, please click on the ‘apply’ button below. 

Key Dates: Closing date 26/01/2020 with interviews expected W/C 10/02/2020. Please note that you will be notified if you are successful or unsuccessful. 

Should you be offered an interview, please be aware there may be a selection exercise which could include a presentation, written test or a scenario-based activity. If you require any reasonable adjustments during these exercises, please include this information in your application. 

Please note, when joining the Met Office all new employees will start on the salary band minimum. 

This recruitment post is not offering UK Visa and Sponsorship and therefore requires all applicants to be eligible to work within the UK / EU without restriction. If you are a non–EU candidate, you will be required to provide and attach all relevant eligibility documentation to your application at the time of applying. 


Please note that successful candidate/s will be required to satisfactorily undergo security clearance checks. This will generally require the candidate to have lived in the UK for at least three out of the last five years, but applicants not meeting this criteria may be considered. 

We are a “Disability Confident” employer, Mindful Employer, with an Athena Swan Bronze award for our work on gender equality and an LGBTi network.

Job Purpose:

This role will work with both internal and external stakeholders to ensure the continued development and delivery of Marine-based observation platforms and wider Surface observing networks to meet agreed user requirements.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Apply knowledge of operational service delivery to ensure that plans for the development and delivery of marine observations are in place, supporting the development of wider observing strategies within the Observations Group.
  • Lead the operational delivery of the operational Marine Moored Platform Networks and ensure they are delivered to agreed levels of quality and cost,
  • Drive improvements in ways of working to increase effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of operational service delivery across Surface Observing Networks.
  • Develop and maintain working relationships with customers, partners and suppliers and the wider international marine meteorology observing community to ensure the development and delivery of sustainable marine platform-based observations.
  • Provide mentoring, advice and training to Met Office staff in order to ensure the effective delivery of operational marine platform-based observations.
  • Undertake continuing professional development in line with current and future needs of the Met Office.

Essential Qualifications, Skills & Abilities:

  1. A broad knowledge of observing systems, particularly those in the Surface Networks. An understanding of the scientific principles behind the measurements and the characteristics of the observational data, demonstrated through experience in the field, or a degree in a relevant Science or Engineering discipline.
  2. Experience of combining theory with knowledge of system design in order to resolve issues with performance, or to make recommendations for (and implement) changes to a system or process.
  3. A clear understanding of the need for continuous improvement (in terms of quality, availability and cost) in service delivery to customers in the operational environment, including the ability to understand and interpret customer requests in order to provide advice and meet requirements.
  4. A proven ability to work independently, prioritise work from a range of customers and deal with issues in a structured manner
  5. Evidence of successfully working with others outside of line management control to drive an optimum outcome, influencing and persuading others to deliver in challenging circumstances and providing training or mentoring where necessary.
  6. An ability to communicate technical information clearly and concisely to a range of customers and suppliers who have varying levels of technical understanding and a range of priorities and drivers, potentially from differing cultures whose first language may not be English.
  7. Willingness and ability to undertake regular travel for the purposes of liaison, mostly within the UK but with the potential for overseas travel.

Desirable Qualifications, Skills & Abilities:

  1. Experience of working with, or awareness of, Marine Moored Platform Observing Networks and other Marine Networks
  2. Experience of lifecycle management and migrating systems from the development to operational environment
  3. Experience or understanding of ITIL principles and operational service delivery to external customers

Met Office

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