Cirad vacancy search engine

Research engineer – software development expert

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Future organization (department / unit)

CIRAD, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development, works with its partners in southern countries to generate and pass on new knowledge to support agricultural development and innovation.

It has one main objective: to build sustainable farming systems for tropical and Mediterranean regions capable of feeding ten billion human beings by 2050 while preserving the environment.  



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Position description


Science - Applied mathematics



Job title

Research engineer – software development expert

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Job description

Get involved in CIRAD's international research and cooperation missions. Join the interdisciplinary UMR AMAP, a pioneer in 3D plant simulation, and plant identification with deep learning.

AMAP is recruiting a research engineer in software development for the analysis, modelling and simulation of plants. Scientific software of the unit integrates numerous processes to simulate plants in interaction with their environment at different scales. Such software may target digital simulation models, visualization tools or field applications, integrated in platforms such as AMAPstudio (JavaSE/OpenGL software bricks and suite designed by AMAP) and OpenAlea (Python environment created by the AGAP joint research unit). They aim at understanding and optimising innovative crop systems towards more durable, efficient and resilient systems.

Your challenges are in line with those of the AMAP's Digital Plants research Axis ( ) and the Scientific Computing Pole ( ). You will play a key role in the future MCS4Plants (Mathematics and Computer Sciences for Plants) network shared between the AMAP and AGAP units at the service of projects with CIRAD's partners in developing countries.

You will support the prototyping and implementation of FSPM (Functional Structural Plant Models) to design agro-ecological systems with dynamic space-time approaches. This also includes aspects of data acquisition and processing to configure and evaluate models, e.g. analysis and reconstruction of plants from LiDAR data.

You will have to use approaches suited to the challenges of algorithm design and their implementation for end users (e.g. mobile applications in the field). You will use state-of-the-art technologies in scientific computing, big data processing and sharing (Web interfaces, Cloud, HPC, GPU, etc.).

Main activities
• Provide support for prototyping (tests, profiling, etc.), development and production of models, in direct collaboration with researchers
• Interface models and platforms (AMAPstudio, OpenAlea)
• Animate users' and developers' communities around the tools

Other activities
• Write tutorial and communication supports, and be involved in technical and scientific publications
• Coordinate and supervise technicians and student developers in internships or school projects

Within the MCS4Plants network, you will increasingly become involved in defining the technological choices to support its scientific digital strategy. You will be the driving force behind projects in relation with life and computer scientists, in partnership with developing countries.

Desired profiled

Your disciplinary skills are in scientific computing and software engineering under different environments (Windows, Linux, Web, Android studio, etc.) for the deployment of applications.

You are a Computer Engineer with expertise and solid technical experience in the design (software architecture), development and deployment of digital solutions for the scientific field. You are comfortable in a multi-disciplinary environment that offers formal, technical, and thematic skills in life sciences. You have open skills, including:

• A strong interest in CIRAD's activities in partnership with developing countries

• An excellent team player and positive attitude working with others: you support close collaborations with researchers for the support of algorithm and application development with engineers managing the platforms and with colleagues in Maths/CS

• Autonomy and ability to take initiatives in agreement with the group

• Strong interest, understanding, and analytical skills of the issues addressed: without knowing in depth the domain, you know how to grasp new concepts (agronomy, eco-physiology, plant sciences, etc.) and identify their key inputs/outputs (knowledge of these topics is desirable but not required)

• Curiosity: you conduct technology intelligence, learn about and implement new methods

• Ensure software quality and good practices (versioning, tests, documentation and tutorials, …)

• Strong programming language skills. Mastering procedural (C or Python or JS), OO (Java or C++), dynamic, and Web languages is mandatory. Experience in Julia or R or MatLab would be an advantage. Given the variety of languages used, you must be willing to learn and achieve proficiency in those required

• Expertise in at least one of the following fields: computer graphics (3D, geometry), high-performance computing (GPGPU, distributed HPC, cloud computing), software deployment (Docker containers, Kubernetes), web-based scientific applications (Virtual Research Environment, webGL, JS, etc.)

• Proficiency in code dissemination, regarding the technical aspects, and base knowledge on legal aspects. Experience in software project management and coordination is necessary (references required: e.g. Github / Gitlab or letters of recommendation)

• Good writing skills: you will write (EN/FR) documentation, tutorials, communications media and technical content

• Proficient in English, mastering French if not mother language is required at short term

Position constraints

Work on a computer screen for more than four hours per day

Socio-professional category


Salaire base France, hors indemnités d'expatriation le cas échéant

37-55 K€


Job location



Montpellier, France

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