ukclique > sci.* > sci.weather

Alastair (06.03.2019, 23:20)
I have just discovered that the ECMWF computing centre is moving to Bologna, Italy in 2020.

Is this because of Brexit, or did Brexit just give Italy the edge?
Metman2012 (07.03.2019, 00:10)
On 06/03/2019 21:20, Alastair wrote:
> I have just discovered that the ECMWF computing centre is moving to Bologna, Italy in 2020.
>
> Is this because of Brexit, or did Brexit just give Italy the edge?

I remember (I think) that when it was designed and built it had a
massive computer hall for the (then very large) supercomputer. But when
it was ready, supercomputers had shrunk and it was just a Cray in the
middle of this hall. But then they had to fit in disk drives and network
stuff, so the space wasn't wasted.

I suspect the building is no longer fit for purpose, but they don't have
any room to expand or build on. It was the old Met Office College site
and now there's loads of houses where we used to do met experiments.
IIRC the Met Office sold the land to ECMWF for £1, or was it a
peppercorn rent?
It's not an EU organisation, so I doubt if Brexit had much influence one
way or another.
Vidcapper (07.03.2019, 08:58)
On 06/03/2019 21:20, Alastair wrote:
> I have just discovered that the ECMWF computing centre is moving to Bologna, Italy in 2020.
>
> Is this because of Brexit, or did Brexit just give Italy the edge?


WTF does Brexit have to do with *this*? They're dealing with electronic
data which can be processed equally well virtually anywhere!
jcmwx515 (07.03.2019, 19:35)
> WTF does Brexit have to do with *this*? They're dealing with electronic
> data which can be processed equally well virtually anywhere!
> --
> Paul Hyett, Cheltenham


ECMWF employ PEOPLE from various nationalities. It therefore seems to be an entirely fair question to pose, whether there is actually any connection or not - and it is one that has been posed before.

Julian Mayes, Molesey Surrey
Freddie (07.03.2019, 20:29)
On Wednesday, 6 March 2019 21:21:01 UTC, Alastair wrote:
> I have just discovered that the ECMWF computing centre is moving to Bologna, Italy in 2020.
>
> Is this because of Brexit, or did Brexit just give Italy the edge? As others have hinted, this is nothing to do with Brexit and everything to do with the datacenter in Reading being too small for the current generation of supercomputers to be housed in. It is just a small number of technical staff transferring to the new location - administrative staff and research/IT scientists will remain at the old facility.


This is quite old news: here is their press release from mid-2017:
wemhem (08.03.2019, 01:42)
On Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 6:29:02 PM UTC, Freddie wrote:
[..]
>
> for hourly reports (very few tweets getting through currently)
> Stats for the month so far:


It does n't make much sense to have computing so far away from research staff and admin. It won't be long till they all move there to Bologna.
I had a Italian contemporary who was doing research at Imperial College at the same time as me. He was from Bologna and when his funding ended at IC he got a job at ECMWF. I bet he is behind this move.

The UKMO could have just kept their staff at Bracknell, which had become too small,and just move the computing to Exeter. But no, they wanted everyoneon the same site. It made better sense.

Len
Wembury, SW Devon
Freddie (08.03.2019, 10:39)
If it didn't make sense then surely they wouldn't have ratified it. You don't need anything "in the same place" these days.
Metman2012 (08.03.2019, 10:48)
On 07/03/2019 23:42, wemhem wrote:
> On Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 6:29:02 PM UTC, Freddie wrote:
> It does n't make much sense to have computing so far away from research staff and admin. It won't be long till they all move there to Bologna.
> I had a Italian contemporary who was doing research at Imperial College at the same time as me. He was from Bologna and when his funding ended at IC he got a job at ECMWF. I bet he is behind this move.
> The UKMO could have just kept their staff at Bracknell, which had become too small,and just move the computing to Exeter. But no, they wanted everyone on the same site. It made better sense.
> Len
> Wembury, SW Devon

Len, they had to move as the building in Bracknell was suffering from
'concrete cancer'. It was also not fit for purpose. We were given four
options to move, and Exeter had the highest votes. There were no
suitable buildings in Bracknell, so it made sense to have a completely
new building somewhere.
I suspect that you're right about it all moving to Italy before too much
longer though.
Graham Easterling (08.03.2019, 11:20)
> Len, they had to move as the building in Bracknell was suffering from
> 'concrete cancer'. It was also not fit for purpose. We were given four
> options to move, and Exeter had the highest votes.


Sorry, I can't resist asking, what were the other options?

I joined BT (then the PO) after completing my degree, a couple of years before they moved to Swindon for similar reasons.

Not because I wanted to work for the PO, or indeed move to Swindon, but because the moving terms would superb for financially challenged ex students.

To get the whole financial package you had to be in accommodation you furnished yourself. After a few checks this involved having a cooker & a couple of other things which slips my mind now. Anyway we were living in a furnished icy cold attic after returning from summer on the beach in Cornwall, so we bought the items, left them in the hall, and I could tick the right boxes.

We got the generous allowance, put a deposit on a house with the proceeds, spent the next few years trying to get out of BT & Swindon.

Big firms can be c**P to work for, but they have advantages, which is why people put up with then I assume (gold plated pensions etc.) I was once forced to go a a residential 'Total Management Course'. Luckily the hotel had apool, where I spent most of the time. Haven't a clue what the course was about, even the bits I attended made no sense.

Graham
Penzance
Norman Lynagh (08.03.2019, 12:09)
Graham Easterling wrote:

[..]
> sense.
> Graham
> Penzance


The best thing the Met Office ever did for me was to reject my
application for promotion to AXO. That pushed me in other directions
and probably resulted in me having a much more fullfilling and
enjoyable career than I would have had if I had stayed in the Met
Office. You can't plan these things. They just happen. I've always been
one for grabbing opportunities when they present themselves and not
worrying about potential downsides. With hindsight all of the major
career decisions I have made have turned out very well.
Metman2012 (08.03.2019, 12:14)
On 08/03/2019 09:20, Graham Easterling wrote:
> Sorry, I can't resist asking, what were the other options?
> I joined BT (then the PO) after completing my degree, a couple of years before they moved to Swindon for similar reasons.
> Not because I wanted to work for the PO, or indeed move to Swindon, but because the moving terms would superb for financially challenged ex students.
> To get the whole financial package you had to be in accommodation you furnished yourself. After a few checks this involved having a cooker & a couple of other things which slips my mind now. Anyway we were living in a furnished icy cold attic after returning from summer on the beach in Cornwall, so we bought the items, left them in the hall, and I could tick the right boxes.
> We got the generous allowance, put a deposit on a house with the proceeds, spent the next few years trying to get out of BT & Swindon.
> Big firms can be c**P to work for, but they have advantages, which is why people put up with then I assume (gold plated pensions etc.) I was once forced to go a a residential 'Total Management Course'. Luckily the hotel had a pool, where I spent most of the time. Haven't a clue what the course was about, even the bits I attended made no sense.
> Graham
> Penzance

As I remember, Norwich - I think on the UEA campus somewhere, Beaufort
Park - Easthampstead way and Shinfield Park - the then MO College and
where ECMWF are (for the time being). Exeter had most votes but none had
an overall majority.
Exeter and Norwich meant we would be paid to move. The other two, being
'local', would have meant no payments to move, but travel there would
have been horrendous. I don't know what order the three losing sites had
- anybody from the Met O at that time on here that do remember?
And I went on quite a few civil service courses; not sure to what
benefit though! MOC courses were good though.
Metman2012 (08.03.2019, 12:22)
On 08/03/2019 10:09, Norman Lynagh wrote:
> Graham Easterling wrote:
> The best thing the Met Office ever did for me was to reject my
> application for promotion to AXO. That pushed me in other directions
> and probably resulted in me having a much more fullfilling and
> enjoyable career than I would have had if I had stayed in the Met
> Office. You can't plan these things. They just happen. I've always been
> one for grabbing opportunities when they present themselves and not
> worrying about potential downsides. With hindsight all of the major
> career decisions I have made have turned out very well.

As you might gather, I stayed with the MO (AXO - that dates you!).
People are quite surprised at the different jobs I did with them though
- forecasting (about six months worth!), Research support (stratosphere
and boundary layer), Press Office, support to mainframe computer staff
(still not sure what an Operations Analyst was!), sales (the less said
about that the better) and latterly web team (it's gone downhill since I
left (correlation is not always causation!)
I've probably forgotten a couple of others...
On the whole I enjoyed it - well perhaps not the sales team.
Dave Offiler (09.03.2019, 00:32)
On 08/03/2019 10:14, Metman2012 wrote:
> On 08/03/2019 09:20, Graham Easterling wrote:
> As I remember, Norwich - I think on the UEA campus somewhere, Beaufort Park -
> Easthampstead way and Shinfield Park - the then MO College and where ECMWF are
> (for the time being). Exeter had most votes but none had an overall majority.
> Exeter and Norwich meant we would be paid to move. The other two, being
> 'local', would have meant no payments to move, but travel there would have been
> horrendous. I don't know what order the three losing sites had - anybody from
> the Met O at that time on here that do remember?
> And I went on quite a few civil service courses; not sure to what benefit
> though! MOC courses were good though.


Roughly Exeter 50%, Shinfield 25%, Beaufort Park 25%, Norwich 0%

Staff votes naturally had no more sway than confirming the Executives decision
which was principally on financial grounds and the fact that Exeter wanted us
and Norwich didn't. Plus the then-CE was from Somerset and favoured Exeter. And
local councils in Reading & Wokingham objected the traffic implications in
their areas. So Exeter was a no-brainer, and staff agreed, since >>80% relocated.
Metman2012 (09.03.2019, 00:40)
On 08/03/2019 22:32, Dave Offiler wrote:
> On 08/03/2019 10:14, Metman2012 wrote:
> Roughly Exeter 50%, Shinfield 25%, Beaufort Park 25%, Norwich 0%
> Staff votes naturally had no more sway than confirming the Executives
> decision which was principally on financial grounds and the fact that
> Exeter wanted us and Norwich didn't. Plus the then-CE was from Somerset
> and favoured Exeter. And local councils in Reading & Wokingham objected
> the traffic implications in their areas. So Exeter was a no-brainer, and
> staff agreed, since >>80% relocated.

Was Norwich really 0%. I thought it was low but not that low! I wasn't
going to mention the CE thing - rumour had it that Bracknell was chosen
because the then DG lived in Ascot (Sutton wasn't it?)
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