Sebastien Denvil

Forecast Department, Production Section, Data Archives and Dissemination Services

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Sébastien is a Forecast Analyst at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and has more than twenty years of experience in Climate and Weather Simulations, High Performance Computing, E-science Infrastructure and software for research and operation.

Before joining ECMWF he has been involved at the heart of research infrastructure design for numerical climate simulations which supplied the 4th (2007), 5th (2013) and 6th (2021) reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He was the coordinator of the international team deploying and operating the international climate data infrastructure supporting the 6th phase of the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project (CMIP6).

Professional interests: 
  • E-infrastruture, HPC and cloud for climate/weather research and operation
  • Climate and weather simulations
  • Improving visibility, discoverability, reuse and reproducibility of climate and weather data.
  • Liaise with data practitioners​
Career background: 

2019 - present: Forecast Analyst, Forecast Department, ECMWF, UK.

• Migrating the Data Handling System (400+ PB) to the Bologna Data Center:
• Planning, evolution, transition and automated deployment of the services in Bologna.
• Planning and testing of a continuity plan of operations during the migration for operational forecasts, member states time critical activities, Copernicus activities (ERA5, CAMS C3S seasonal), and research activities.
• Operating ECMWF’s product generation and archive services, ensuring appropriate levels of quality of service and contributing to their planning and evolution.
• ECMWF’s Data Governance process, improving accessibility and international exchange of ECMWF data and products

2010 - 2019: Team leader, Research Engineer. IPSL Climate Modelling Center. Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Paris, FR

• Head of the IPSL Climate Modelling Center data distribution platform
• Lead the deployment and operation of ESGF, the international climate data infrastructure supporting the 6th phase of the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project (CMIP6).
• Principal Investigator in international dynamics (ESGF, IS-ENES), research infrastructure design for climate simulations supplying the 4th (2007), 5th (2013) and 6th (2021) reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

2006 - 2010: Research Engineer. IPSL Climate Modelling Center. Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Paris, FR

• Leading developer of the IPSL's climate simulation running environment (HPC in France and Japan).
• Responsible for CMIP climate simulations realisations for IPSL
• Responsible for IPSL's reference data (CMIP program)
• Principal Investigator of international projects.

2002 - 2006: Engineer. IPSL Climate Modelling Center. Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Paris, FR

• Developer of the IPSL's climate simulation running environment, HPC resources in France and Japan (Earth Simulator).
• CMIP3 climate simulations realisations and data processing.
• Responsible for IPSL's reference data (CMIP3 program)

External recognitions: 


  • 2017-2020 RDA ambassador for the Climate and Weather community
  • 2019 Member of the Meteo France Research Unit (CNRM) international evaluation panel
  • 2014-2019 Member of the Sorbonnes University Service Commission of the Earth, Environment and Biodiversity Department
  • 2014-2019 Member of the French Climate Services Steering Committee of Allenvi
  • 2016-2019 Member of the CLIMERI-France Steering Committee
  • 2013-2019 Member of the International WGCM Infrastructure Panel
  • 2015-2019 Member of the International ESGF Executive Committee
  • 2015-2019 Lead the international CMIP Data Node Operation Team2015-2019 Member of the European ENES Data Task Force
  • 2018 Member of the BDEC2 working group on Applications, Platform architecture/design, Community outreach/engagement
  • 2014-2018 Convener of the ESSI EGU session: Grid, Cloud and HPC
  • 2011-2018 Program committee member: scientific meetings of high-performance computing, cloud and storage users
  • 2009-2017 Elected member of the IDRIS (HPC center) user committee. Representing CT1 (environmental science)
  • 2015-2017 Expert member for the Belmont Forum, defining the Collaborative Research Action about: "Science-driven e-Infrastructure Innovation in Environmental Change"
  • 2013-2015 Expert member for the Belmont Forum: "Harmonization of Global Data Infrastructure for Sharing Environmental Data"


  • 2014-2018 ANR Convergence, Convergence of HPC and Big Data for climate simulations in France.

Initiated the idea, wrote the proposal and led work packages. It relates to scalable and performance-portable code infrastructure implementation; resilient, cost-effective and data-centric workflow implementation across HPC centres; efficient and flexible handling of operation in federated environments.

  • 2016-2019 Coordinating and participating to six C3S Copernicus projects

Delivering CMIP & CORDEX simulations together with server-side processing to the Copernicus Climate Change Service. Delivering sectoral information system in the context of the Energy sector. Led one of them and been work package leaders for the others.

  • 2010-2019 European Research Infrastructure project IS-ENES (phase 1, 2 and 3)

European infrastructure for climate modeling. Led the French contribution to the core services data platform during phase 1. Led the Joint Research Activity work package during phase 2, developing the core services of the infrastructure. Led the Networking Activity of the phase 3, defining synergies with the European Ecosystem.

  • 2011-2013 Lead the CNRS national project EPINES in response to the CNRS MASTODONS challenge "Scientific Big Data".

IO servers and in memory runtime post-processing for climate models.

  • 2011-2013 Leader of the French contribution to the G8 ExArch project.

Server-side data post-processing to prepare for the Exascale Architecture.

  • 2009-2011 Leader of the national project PRODIGUER.

Maximise usability of climate simulations for scientist and downstream users through an integrated and distributed platform of services/software/data for the observation, modeling and understanding of the Earth system. Genesis of the CLIMERI-France services platform.


2017 - R&D 100 - R&D Magazine: The R&D 100 Awards have served as the most prestigious innovation awards program for the past 55 years, honoring great R&D pioneers and their revolutionary ideas in science and technology.

2017 - IS-ENES2 Stars of Europe award - Ministry of Higher Education and Research: Created by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in 2013, the Stars of Europe trophies recognise teams of researchers for their European commitment and their work in project coordination. The 12 winners were selected for the scientific quality and international dimension of their project.

2016 - Achievement award - Earth System Grid Federation: Sébastien won an award for his years of strong support of ESGF. He has been critical in developing tight and proficient collaboration between climate efforts in Europe and other countries. Recently, he has started leading the CMIP Data Node Operations Team (CDNOT), which will guarantee a high level of service for delivering CMIP6 data to the scientific community. Additionally, Sébastien is either leading or highly involved with the development of several ESGF services within the European Community.

2015 - Mesochallenges award - Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif: This day will celebrate and present outstanding projects from a scientific point of view but also remarkable in terms of the calculation means implemented by partners and members.

2015 - UPMC Talent - Université Pierre et Marie Curie: Whether they are engineers, technicians, administrative staff, students, sportsmen and women or high-level artists, teachers or researchers, 114 of them will have received an award or honorary distinction in 2014. These men and women are UPMC's greatest asset and embody the image of a world-class research university at the heart of and in the service of society.

2013 - Outstanding Partnership Award - Federal Laboratory Consortium’s: The FLC Awards Program annually recognises federal laboratories and their industry partners for outstanding technology transfer achievements. The Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) recognised ESGF for outstanding partnership.

Contact Details:
sebastien . denvilecmwf . int