Postdoctoral Researcher in organic aerosol chemistry (R2)

Job Reference



Postdoctoral Researcher in organic aerosol chemistry (R2)

Closing Date

Monday, 09 September, 2019
Reference: 208_19_ES_AC_R2
Job title: Postdoctoral Researcher in organic aerosol chemistry (R2)

About BSC

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) is the leading supercomputing center in Spain. It houses MareNostrum, one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe, and is a hosting member of the PRACE European distributed supercomputing infrastructure. The mission of BSC is to research, develop and manage information technologies in order to facilitate scientific progress. BSC combines HPC service provision and R&D into both computer and computational science (life, earth and engineering sciences) under one roof, and currently has over 600 staff from 49 countries.

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Context And Mission

Within the Earth Sciences Department of Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the Atmospheric Composition (AC) group, led by Carlos Pérez García-Pando and Oriol Jorba, aims at better understanding and predicting the spatiotemporal variations of atmospheric pollutants along with their effects upon air quality, weather and climate.
The AC group develops the Multiscale Online Non-hydrostatic AtmospheRe CHemistry model (MONARCH). MONARCH contains advanced chemistry and aerosol packages, and is coupled online with the Non-hydrostatic Multiscale Model (NMMB), which allows for running either global or high-resolution (convection-allowing) regional simulations, and is coupled with an aerosol data assimilation system based on the Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter. The group contributes to a variety of forecasting activities. The dust component of MONARCH runs operationally at the first WMO Regional Specialized Meteorological Center for Atmospheric Sand and Dust Forecast (i.e., the Barcelona Dust Forecast Center, BDFC), and contributes to multi-model ensemble forecasts both at the WMO Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System Regional Center (WMO SDS-WAS RC) for Northern Africa, the Middle East and Europe, and the International Cooperative for Aerosol Prediction (ICAP). Both WMO Regional Centers are co-hosted by BSC and the Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET). The group also develops and maintains the CALIOPE air quality system (“CALIdad del aire Operacional Para España”), which provides high-resolution air quality forecasts over Europe and Spain using the in-house emission model HERMESv3. The models and forecasts are enhanced by intensive use of up-to-date observations, both for model evaluation and to feed the aerosol ensemble-based data assimilation system.
In 2019, the group started a national project with the aim to explore the effect of the reactive uptake of ammonia (NH3) by secondary organic aerosols (SOA) on the optical properties and burden of anthropogenic and biogenic SOA using both experimental and modeling approaches. New NH3-SOA chemistry from laboratory experimental results will be implemented in the MONARCH model to quantify the fraction of BrC of primary and secondary origin, and the contribution of this light-absorbing SOA and BrC on the total radiative forcing of OA.

Key Duties

  • In this context, the applicant will work closely with atmospheric composition researchers in the implementation of the novel NH3-SOA chemistry in the MONARCH model. The candidate will bring scientific expertise in atmospheric chemistry and numerical modeling. The applicant will enhance the current implementation of the gas-aerosol phase chemistry used in MONARCH. He will run the necessary experiments to validate and verify new parameterizations of the new chemistry. Experience in atmospheric chemistry and chemical mechanism model developments will be highly appreciated.
  • Other duties include designing research strategies; developing analysis tools; collecting and analyzing data; presenting research findings; writing manuscripts in peer review publications; assisting for grant applications; and other duties as assigned.


  • Education
    • Having a PhD in Chemistry, Environmental engineering, Atmospheric Chemistry or related discipline.
  • Essential Knowledge and Professional Experience
    • Excellent computing skills in high-level computer languages (especially FORTRAN and C/C++) and experience with UNIX/LINUX environments and scripting languages (bash, Python …).
    • Excellent programming skills to manage big and collaborative projects and experience with gitlab or github.
    • Programming skills in parallel programming models (MPI, OpenMP, OmpSs…).
    • Knowledge of climate data formats (GRIB, NetCDF).
    • Previous experience in atmospheric chemistry modelling developments (3-5 years of experience)
    • Previous experience in atmospheric chemistry processes of gas and aerosol phases (3-5 years of experience)
    • Previous experience in organic aerosol chemistry (3-5 years of experience)
    • Previous experience in chemical mechanism and solver developments (0-2 years of experience)
  • Additional Knowledge and Professional Experience
    • Previous experience in scientific software and tools (R, CDO, NCO, Python Numpy and Scipy, …)
    • Computer programming experience related to solving scientific computing problems involving the handling of very large projects
  • Competences
    • Capacity to interact and build strong relations with both atmospheric composition and computer scientists
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
    • Ability to take initiative, prioritize and work under set deadlines and pressure
    • Ability to work both independently and within a team


  • The position will be located at BSC within the Earth Sciences Department
  • We offer a full-time contract, a good working environment, a highly stimulating environment with state-of-the-art infrastructure, flexible working hours, extensive training plan, tickets restaurant, private health insurance, fully support to the relocation procedures
  • Duration: Temporary - 6 months renewable
  • Salary: we offer a competitive salary commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the candidate and according to the cost of living in Barcelona
  • Starting date: 16/09/2019

Applications Procedure

All applications must include:

  • A Cover Letter with a statement of interest in English, including two contacts for further references - Applications without this document will not be considered

  • A full CV in English including contact details


The vacancy will remain open until suitable candidate has been hired. Applications will be regularly reviewed and potential candidates will be contacted.

Diversity and Equal Opportunity Employment

BSC-CNS is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion. We are pleased to consider all qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or any other basis protected by applicable state or local law.

Application Form

Please, upload your CV document using the following name structure: Name_Surname_CV
Files must be less than 3 MB.
Allowed file types: txt rtf pdf doc docx.
Please, upload your CV document using the following name structure: Name_Surname_CoverLetter
Files must be less than 3 MB.
Allowed file types: txt rtf pdf doc docx zip.
Please, upload your CV document using the following name structure: Name_Surname_OtherDocument
Files must be less than 10 MB.
Allowed file types: txt rtf pdf doc docx rar tar zip.
** Consider that the information provided in relation to gender and nationality will be used solely for statistical purposes.