SRUC is unique in Scotland and one of the largest organisations of its kind in Europe.  Our ambitious and exciting vision is to work at local, national and international levels, leading innovation and sustainable development in agriculture and rural sectors.

This is an opportunity to learn skills and gain experience of programming in a big data environment. If you like data read on.

We work with tens of millions of animal records, pedigrees with over 80 million animals, data files with hundreds of millions of events and spectral data containing over 33 billion rows. The programming strategy required varies according to the task and so the job is to use the appropriate tool and computing tactic to solve the problem in a timely fashion. The successful candidate will work within an integrated group of around 15 comprising programmers and geneticists, 9 of which work within EGENES. Our work is very high pressure, time dependant with tight deadlines but varied and interesting ranging from routine evaluations through to researching new phenotypes predicted from milk mid infra-red spectral (MIR) and developed with Deep Learning. For instance, recently, we succeeded in the use of milk mid-infra red spectral data for Bovine tuberculosis prediction at the industry level and currently going through field trials, and we are looking to implement similar strategies for other complex traits such as feed intake.

We investigate hardware acceleration of compute intensive processes on GPUs and FPGAs and are constantly investigating new and better ways of doing things. We have an institutional relationship with NVIDIA to use machine learning and accelerated computing through GPUs. We use an NVIDIA DGX station with 4 GPUs with 20,000 cores that processes 33 billion spectral data points. Every day is different in EGENES and the team is highly focused on delivering on time every time providing a very supportive and team based work environment.

We are seeking an enthusiastic junior technical programmer who can take a major supporting role in EGENES working closely with the geneticists (Professor Raph Mrode, Dr Samir Id Lahoucine, Professor Mike Coffey) and the programming team to deliver, efficiently and consistently, genetic evaluations of the highest quality. The right approach and attitude is considered the key skill and this post is ideally suited to a recent graduate keen to develop skills in large data handling. It is expected that the candidate will undertake programming and systems engineering to develop or support genetic evaluation methodologies including creating and maintaining databases, imputation strategies with very large datasets, programming strategies to maximise time to delivery, updating/improving existing code and/or strategies, developing emergency data storage and retrieval plans. It will be expected that the candidate should be (or capable of learning quickly) versatile in several programming and scripting languages. We work with dairy and beef cattle, sheep, dairy goats, pigs.

The role requires good communication skills as there will be regular client contact for development and testing purposes to ensure the evaluations meets their specification.

Required Skills:


  • A qualification in computing science OR sufficient experience Excellent numerical and statistical powers Programming experience and the ability to learn new languages Good communication ability Good analytical/problem solving skills

  • Excellent team player skills Attention to detail

Desirable Skills:

  • SQL Server experience FORTRAN Powershell and batch Scripting Knowledge of Containers technology (Docker) Linux cluster and SLURM cluster management and job scheduling Large data handling experience Knowledge of computer security programs Genetic evaluation experience

Further details on the requirements of this role can be found in the Job Particulars document which you must read before applying for this role. This is downloadable when you click the APPLY link.

Closing date: 30 May 2022

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