Software Engineer in Computer Graphics: Interaction

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is a foundation of public law jointly financed by the Federal Republic of Germany (90 %) and the state of Schleswig-Holstein (10 %) and is one of the internationally leading institutions in the field of marine sciences. Currently GEOMAR disposes over an annual budget of approx. 80 million Euro and has approx. 1000 employees.

Activities and responsibilities

The successful candidate will support the development of tools for visual data exploration of four-dimensional, multimodal data sets in the marine sciences and associated domains, also using concepts of virtual reality. Hardware platforms range from desktop and web applications to head mounted displays and spatially immersive environments such as our ARENA2 projection dome. GEOMAR is currently increasing its visualization efforts, with the goal to benefit from, and contribute to, open source projects such as or similar. This position will play a pivotal role in these efforts, as part of a team of about five computer engineers and data scientists.
The graphical solutions and visual language we develop primarily serve to catalyze academic work in the natural sciences, but are ultimately also directed towards the general public via collaborators in public relations. The tools we develop must measurably improve the cost/gain ratio of scientific work, so they need to deliver sustainable, quantitative, repeatable added value (i.e. digital lab books, metadata, logging of user interaction data for usability studies).
The focus of this position is on aspects of ingest and interaction with source data, and on documentation and interoperability of the visualization process. Close collaboration with the companion position Computer Graphics: Rendering is envisioned. The main tasks are:
  • Development of / contribution to software to visualize multidimensional, often georeferenced data sets on desktop and immersive visualization platforms
  • Development of optimized source and meta data ingest and interrogation workflows, building on efforts within the HGF Digital Earth Initiative
  • Development of interactive, user configurable and context sensitive interfaces (e.g. HTML based)
  • Development of real-time interaction tools (pointing and clicking) with the data to formulate queries either on the scene geometry itself, or the underlying source data (via interfacing with third party software)
  • Implementation of an editable log of explicit user interaction data (e.g. annotations as a mind map, linked to a Jupyter notebook)
  • Logging and playback of implicit user interaction (e.g. VRPN data, poses) for later analysis
  • Implementation of versioning (saving, loading and manipulation of system states and logged data) using suitable frameworks and databases (e.g., GIT)
  • Contribution to setup and operation of the respective visualization hardware (e.g. tracking, projection, cluster computing) related to own work
  • Literature investigation and professional correspondence on the state of the art pertaining to above applications, including visits to other labs and international conferences
    We support the ambition to contribute to, or author, publications arising from this work.

Qualification profile

Required skills:
  • Successful completion of a university degree in computer science or a comparable discipline
  • Proven proficiency in C++ programming
  • Proven proficiency working with data bases and georeferenced data
  • Fluent knowledge of the English language including professional jargon of computer graphics
Beneficial skills:
  • Experience in Virtual Reality, stereoscopy and spatially immersive computer graphics
  • Experience in designing user interaction workflows, e.g. using the VRPN toolkit and  tracking
  • Experience in OpenGL programming
  • Experience in 3D graphics programming
  • Experience developing for contemporary game engines such as Unreal and Unity
  • Experience of co-development in decentralized (open source) software development projects, including remote collaboration, version management, documentation and coding discipline
  • Experience working with large data sets, particularly (level of detail) optimization of photogrammetric data sets (point clouds, textures, billboards)
  • Will to go on short international business trips to meet with collaborators


The position is available for a funding period of two years. The salary will be determined according to the TVöD-Bund of the German tariff for public employees. This is a full-time position. The position can be split.
GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel seeks to increase the proportion of female scientists and explicitly encourages qualified female academics to apply.
GEOMAR is an equal opportunity employer and encourages scientists with disabilities to apply. Qualified disabled applicants will receive preference in the application process.

Send application to

Please send your application for this post via email in a single pdf-file mentioning the keyword "CG – Graphics: Interaction” in the subject line. Please send your application not later than Juni 02nd 2019 to the following email address:

As soon as the selection procedure has finished, all your application data will be removed according to data protection regulation.

For further information regarding the position and research unit please contact Dr. Tom Kwasnitschka (

Please do not contact us by phone about the present state of procedures. However, we will answer all your questions if you send us an e-mail to In doing so, please refer to the keyword.

GEOMAR is a member of the Helmholtz Association and the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM). For further information please visit or

GEOMAR is committed to a non-discriminatory personnel selection. Our job advertisements address all people.

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