Physicist in the field of particle detectors (EP-ADE-MU-2018-83-LD)

  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Contract

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


Are you a detector specialist with experience in modern Micropattern Gaseous Detectors and you have a strong interest and experience in detector assembly, commissioning and operation? Are you interested to contribute to two CERN experiments searching for physics beyond the Standard Model?
Then seize the opportunity and join the CERN Detector Group of the ATLAS experiment ( in building the New Small Wheel Muon detector upgrade, consisting of Micromegas and small strip Thin Gap Chambers (sTGC), and join as well the team operating and maintaining the CAST experiment ( CERN, take part!

You will join:

• The Experimental Physics (EP) Department which carries out basic research in the field of experimental particle physics in a stimulating scientific atmosphere, standing as an important reference for the European physics community. It also contributes to the education and training of young scientists.

• The ATLAS Detector (ADE) Group which is in charge of the development, construction, operation and maintenance of many particle detectors, spanning from semiconductor detectors and calorimeters to Micromegas gaseous detectors.

• The Muon (MU) Section, which plays an important role in the construction of the New Small Wheel, a new detector which will be installed in the coming long shutdown for the upgrade of the ATLAS experiment.

• The CAST Technical Coordination Team which is in charge of the operation, maintenance and upgrade of the CAST Experiment. CAST is searching for dark matter and dark energy particles using a decommissioned LHC magnet. The experiment uses the unique infrastructure available at CERN and is in operation about 6 months of the year.


In ATLAS, you will initially:

  • Participate and be in charge of organising the integration of the individual Micromegas chambers into wedges, that are combined with the sTGC chambers and subsequently mounted on the New Small Wheel. Activities include the drawing up of schedules, allocating adequate resources in terms of person power and ensuring an overall smooth operation. You will also be involved with testing of detectors and defining acceptance criteria and procedures.
  • After completion of the wedge integration phase, towards mid-2020, you will participate in the final surface commissioning of the assembled New Small Wheels, and in commissioning the detectors after their installation in the underground ATLAS experimental area. This work will include testing the correct detector readout and interplay of detectors with the electronics mounted on the detector rim or off-detector, the commissioning and timing-in of the trigger path, performance studies and assessment of initial detector operation needs.
  • Subsequently, you will also be in charge for one of the New Small Wheel integration facilities and its infrastructure, taking the role of the Territorial Safety Officer. In this role, you will interact with CERN’s HSE Department as well as other technical services and collaborators from outside institutes to ensure a safe working environment.

For CAST you will:

  • Play a key role in the technical coordination team as deputy technical coordinator. The task is to contribute to the preparation of the experiment for data taking as well as to ensure a smooth operation during data taking periods. The work includes the consolidation and the upgrade of the infrastructure around the experiment and to the experiment itself, which requires close collaboration with CERN support teams and with the outside CAST institutes. During the operation of CAST, it is expected that you take a leading role in the organisation of the run. During the operation of CAST, it is expected that you take a leading role in the organisation of the run and actively contribute to the data taking.


Master's degree or PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of physics or a related field.


  • Extensive experience in particle detector design, construction, testing, integration, commissioning and operation as well as solid experience with micro-pattern gaseous detectors.
  • Extensive experience with experiment infrastructure, test set-ups and implementation of safety installations, guidelines and procedures.
  • Proven leadership and strong experience in coordination work and leading a multidisciplinary team.
  • Demonstrated experience in interacting with suppliers, contractors, technical services.
  • Experience in liaising with outside institutes and collaborators would be an asset.

Technical competencies:

  • Assembly and integration of detectors, in particular micro-pattern gaseous detectors; operation of particle detector test laboratories.
  • Assembly and integration of infrastructure for detectors or experimental facilities, e.g. experience with high vacuum, gas and high voltage installations.
  • Operation and support of experimental facilities, e.g. implementation (requirements, installation, logging) of interlocks and interlocked equipment (vacuum, HV, gas).
  • Operation of experiments and experience with control and acquisition systems for experiments.
  • Analysis and optimization of detector performance: fluent in handling large sets of data and analysis of experimental data.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Achieving results: having a structured and organised approach towards work; being able to set priorities and plan tasks with results in mind
  • Demonstrating accountability: working conscientiously and reliably; delivering on promises
  • Working in teams: building and maintaining constructive and effective work relationships cooperating constructively with others in the pursuit of team goals; balancing personal goals with team goals.
  • Leading with strength and credibility: acting as role model and leading by example; using power and/or position in the interests of all.

Language skills:

  • Spoken and written English: ability to draw-up technical specifications and scientific reports and to make oral presentations.
  • Ability to understand and speak French in professional contexts.

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 02.09.2018.

Employment Conditions

Contract type: Limited duration contract (3 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.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: EP-ADE-MU-2018-83-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Applied Physicist

Please make sure you have all the documents needed to hand as you start your application, as once it is submitted, you will not be able to upload any documents or edit your application further

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