Software Engineer

  • University of Washington | Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
  • Dec 23, 2021
Full time Public Health Software Engineer Engineer Engineering Information Technology

Job Description

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent research center at the University of Washington. Its mission is to deliver to the world timely, relevant, and scientifically valid evidence to improve health policy and practice. IHME carries out its mission through a range of projects within different research areas including the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors; Future Health Scenarios; Cost Effectiveness and Efficiency; Resource Tracking; and Impact Evaluations. Our vision is to provide policymakers, donors, and researchers with the highest-quality quantitative evidence base so all people live long lives in full health.

IHME is committed to providing the evidence base necessary to help solve the world’s most important health problems. This requires creativity and innovation, which are cultivated by an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment that respects and appreciates differences, embraces collaboration, and invites the voices of all IHME team members.  

IHME has an exciting opportunity for a full-time Software Engineer to join the Simulation Science team.

The Simulation Science team models the impact and cost effectiveness of healthcare interventions for a variety of stakeholders.  The scope of our work is wide.  We produce models to compare interventions on maternal and child health, to evaluate new drugs for the treatment of non-communicable diseases, and to gauge the impact of public policy interventions on disease dynamics.  This modeling work is done using a flexible, open-source simulation framework run on the IHME’s 20,000-core high performance computing cluster. 

Our key work is to support research on public health intervention models using a state-of-the-art, open source simulation framework written in Python.  As a Software engineer on the Simulation Science team, you will:

  • Design, implement, and optimize framework features.
  • Implement sophisticated simulation models.
  • Build large scale data processing pipelines.
  • Help create bulletproof distributed systems to run our simulations in high performance computing clusters.
  • Build web dashboards to monitor production systems and analyze simulation results.

This position is contingent upon project funding availability.


Software Development

  • Create and implement software solutions to turn experimental research methods into a production-ready code base.
  • Redesign and refactor existing code to improve efficiency, operability, and performance while maintaining high-quality results.
  • Optimize code efficiency and parallelize across a massive computing cluster to enable researchers to quickly produce results.
  • Enforce and assure the quality of IHME software products through continuous integration, automated unit testing, code versioning, and code coverage tools.


  • May mentor other staff.
  • Explore new technologies and make recommendations as to their adoption. 
  • Provide input to timelines to deliver both iterative milestones and completed products.

Research Command 

  • Become familiar with the main operational underpinnings and goals of the Simulation Science project and how those directly relate to key production tools, analytic machinery, data, and diagnostics.  
  • Become familiar with the different components of the analytic process and their purpose.


  • Communicate clearly and effectively while contributing as a productive member of the technology team and the Institute as a whole.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in computer science or related field plus three years’ related experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


  • Demonstrated expertise in developing code in Python, Java, R, and/or other coding language. Python most preferred including pandas, NumPy, and xarray.
  • Experience deploying software to Linux servers.
  • Strong sense of focus and attention to detail.
  • Ability to plan and organize technical projects.
  • Works well with others to solve problems, define priorities, and achieve common goals.
  • Demonstrated organizational skills, self-motivation, flexibility, strong communication skills, and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced, energetic, highly creative, entrepreneurial environment.
  • A commitment to working to alongside others at IHME to illuminate the health impacts of systemic racism and to work within IHME to make our organization more diverse and inclusive.  See IHME’s DEI statement here:  


  • Experience with application containerization using tools such as Docker, Kubernetes, and Rancher.
  • Good applied statistics skills, such as distributions, statistical testing and regression.
  • Statistics and/or public health interest
  • Experience with relational databases e.g., MySQL, PostgreSQL
  • Automation experience


  • Weekend and evening work sometimes required.
  • This position is open to anyone authorized to work in the U.S. The UW is not able to sponsor visas for staff positions.
  • Office is located in Seattle, Washington. This position is eligible to work fully remote in the US. 

Application Process:

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.