Computing Engineer large experiment detector control systems (EP-ADO-SO-2021-96-LD)

  • CERN
  • Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
  • 09/08/2021
Full time Data Science Data Analytics Big Data Data Management Statistics

Job Description

Company Description

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter - fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more on

Job Description


Become member of a team that builds and operates the system to drive one of the large experiments of the CERN Large Hadron Collider! As a computing engineer, you will join the central detector control system team of the ATLAS experiment within the CERN Experimental Physics Department (EP).

The EP Department carries out basic research in the field of experimental and theoretical particle physics. It aims at providing a stimulating scientific atmosphere and remains an important reference centre for the European physics community. It contributes to the education and training of young scientists.

Within the ATLAS Detector Operation Group (ADO), the Detector Control System (DCS) enables equipment supervision of all ATLAS sub-detectors using a system of detector front-end interface hardware and a back-end of ~150 server machines running the industrial SCADA product WinCC OA. This highly distributed system reads, processes and archives of the order of 106 operational parameters. Higher level control system layers allow automatic control procedures, efficient error recognition and handling, and manage the communication with external systems such as the LHC and the CERN technical infrastructure. You will join the team responsible for developing common tools and supporting sub-detector developments in particular for the LHC high luminosity upgrade. Further, your team is taking care of the system operation in the control and counting rooms of the experiment.


As Computing Engineer in the in the ATLAS central detector control system support team, you will take a leading role in respect to the design, development, commissioning and operation of control systems. You will more specifically:

  • Design and develop common control software and hardware for the ATLAS upgrades, both within the back-end and front-end layers.
  • Contribute to the successful integration of new subsystems of ATLAS upgrade phases into the ATLAS DCS from their design to commissioning stages.
  • Provide support and guidance to sub-detector teams in improving and maintaining their control systems.
  • Communicate and liaise effectively with CERN services, partners in the experiment collaboration, and external partners.
  • Take part in the ATLAS operation duties.


Master's degree or equivalent relevant experience in the field of experimental physics, computing or engineering or a related field.



  • Proven experience in the field of control systems for large physics experiments or large and complex industrial contexts.
  • Demonstrated experience in the design and development of software for the control and monitoring of large distributed systems using modern computing equipment and software technologies, and in particular with WinCC OA.
  • Experience in analog and digital electronics.
  • Extensive experience FPGA firmware development and associated software.

Would be an advantage:

  • Experience with embedded software on modern system-on-chip devices.
  • Demonstrated experience in controls middleware technologies, in particular OPC Unified Architecture.

Technical competencies:

  • Configuration and implementation of industrial data-acquisition, monitoring and control systems.
  • Installation, operation and maintenance of industrial data-acquisition, monitoring and control systems.
  • Knowledge of communication technologies and protocols.
  • Development of application software: c/C++, python, scripting languages and basics of web programming.
  • Configuration of Digital and analogue acquisition boards.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Managing self: actively seeking feedback on own performance and taking steps to improve it; taking initiative beyond regular tasks and making things happen.
  • Solving problems: finding the information needed to solve problems; making objective judgments based on all the facts available; testing solutions for long-term suitability, cross-checking with all concerned before implementation.
  • Working in teams: building and maintaining constructive and effective work relationships; gaining trust and collaboration from others; understanding when teamwork is required to achieve the best results; including others accordingly and sharing information.
  • Demonstrating flexibility: actively participating in the implementation of new processes and technologies; demonstrating openness to new ideas and situations
  • Working in the interest of the Organization: promoting synergy and cooperation between the various parts of the Organization.

Language skills:

Spoken and written English or French: ability to understand and speak the other language in professional contexts. Ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports and to make oral presentations in at least one of the two languages.

Additional Information

Eligibility and closing date:

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization. Employing a diverse workforce is central to our success. We welcome applications from all Member States and Associate Member States.

This vacancy will be filled as soon as possible, and applications should normally reach us no later than 03.09.2021 at 12:00 pm CET (midday).

Employment Conditions

Contract type: Limited duration contract (5 years). Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may apply for an indefinite position.

These functions require:

  • Work in Radiation Areas.
  • Interventions in underground installations.
  • A valid driving licence is required.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.
  • Stand-by duty, when required by the needs of the Organization.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: EP-ADO-SO-2021-96-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Computing Engineer