Computer Hardware Technical Engineer (IT-CF-FPP-2018-132-LD)

  • Geneva, GENEVA, ch
  • 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 interested in computer hardware? Does taking technical responsibility for commissioning and support of thousands of servers and storage systems/devices for Linux and Windows challenge you? Join the team responsible for the 15,000 servers and 280 petabytes of disk storage currently deployed in the CERN IT Computing Facility. Take part!

You will contribute to the installation, testing and support of a large number of servers and disk storage enclosures for the Worldwide Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Computing Grid Tier-0 centre at CERN as well as for the many services run by other groups in CERN IT. Troubleshooting of hardware related issues with suppliers and manufacturers will be part of your activities.

The IT Computing Facilities (CF) group which is responsible for management and operation of the Computer Centre and associated Computing Facilities. This includes the procurement of servers and storage with related validation activities, as well as planning the needs of procurement and retirements. The group also provides and supports tools for the automated operation of large scale computing facilities as well as an up-to-date hardware inventory for equipment installed. More information on the Computing Facilities group is at:

The Facility Planning and Procurement (FPP) section deals with the procurement of equipment for the Computer Centre and associated Computing Facilities, including the related validation activities, as well as planning the needs of procurement and retirements. It also maintains an up-to-date hardware inventory for equipment installed in the centralized computing facility.

More information on the Department is at:


As a Computer Hardware Technical Engineer in the Facility Planning and Procurement (FPP) section, you will be given responsibility for installation, testing and hardware support of servers and storage system equipment in the CERN data centres. The function may also include providing hardware support to experiments and other departments using similar equipment.

In particular, you will:

  • Run the technical acceptance testing process on IT servers and storage as well as proceed with the subsequent allocation to services.
  • Monitor the correct functioning of equipment, following up on hardware incidents and investigate hardware technology problems, enhancing part of the management and monitoring system.
  • Contribute to the section's software developments for the automation of the technical acceptance process and its integration with Openstack Ironic.
  • Provide support on hardware related incidents and follow up with contractor and manufacturers as appropriate.
  • Perform a regular market watch and meet with major ICT companies to follow market developments and new trends in the area of IT servers and storage technologies and evaluate their relevance to CERN.


Bachelor's degree or equivalent relevant experience in the fields of engineering, computer science or closely related field.


The experience required for this post is:

  • Demonstrated experience with Linux and shell scripting.
  • Demonstrated experience with Python programming language.
  • Demonstrated experience with Windows.
  • Demonstrated experience with server hardware (BIOS/UEFI, x86 processor architecture and virtualization, memory, GPU computing), interconnect (Ethernet, Infiniband) and types of storage drives (S-ATA, SAS, NVMe).
  • Demonstrated experience with IPMI, SMART and SNMP.

Technical competencies:

  • Incident management: perform analysis of hardware related incidents and repair logs to detect, diagnose, classify and prioritize recurring problems.
  • User relationship management: maintain regular contacts with end-users in LHC experiments and other collaborations.
  • User relationship management: assist users and services responsible with optimal choice and use of hardware.
  • Installation, operation and maintenance (preventive and corrective) of computing systems: share responsibility for installation projects by running technical acceptance process and liaising with other teams in IT.
  • Emerging technology monitoring: track computer hardware and software technologies, in particular from Intel, and try to match with potential usage at CERN.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Managing self: working well autonomously; taking on activities and tasks without prompting; remaining objective, focused and productive in a stressful environment; focusing on solutions rather than problems.
  • Communicating effectively: providing others with timely information; leveraging support networks across the Organization.
  • Working in teams: working well in groups and readily fitting into a team; participating fully and taking an active role in team activities.
  • Solving problems: identifying, defining and assessing problems, taking action to address them; adopting a pragmatic approach; understanding the value of adopting generic rather than gold -plated technical solutions.
  • Demonstrating flexibility: being willing to work on different projects simultaneously; readily accepting new tasks or work/projects.

Language skills:

  • Spoken and written English: ability to draft-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports, and/or to make oral presentations. 
  • Basic knowledge of French or an undertaking to acquire it rapidly.

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 17.01.2019.

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:

  • 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: 4-5

Job reference: IT-CF-FPP-2018-132-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Computing Technical Engineer

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