System Administrator (EP-LBC-2019-8-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


Operating at the limit of currently available technology, every bit counts. If you enjoy pushing modern computing hardware to the maximum and tackling exciting challenges in a cluster of more than 3,000 servers then consider joining us! CERN, Take part!

You will join:

  • The Physics (EP) Department that 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.
  • The LHCb Computing Group (LBC) which is supporting the Large Hadron Collider beauty experiment (LHCb), an experiment set up to explore what happened after the Big Bang that allowed matter to survive and build the Universe we inhabit today.
  • The Online team within the LBC group, which is the main responsible team for all aspects of data movement and handling, controls and monitoring and IT infrastructure of the LHCb experiment. We are also the main player in the global LHCb detector operations.

The LHCb experiment at CERN will host most of its readout electronics and all its IT infrastructure in a brand-new data-centre which will be at the core of LHCb’s data acquisition and control systems. This facility will operate 24/7 to serve the needs of one of the largest and most active scientific collaborations in the world.


As a system administrator, you will join a small dynamic team of system administrators and engineers. You will take an important part in the installation and commissioning of LHCb’s computing hardware in a new 3.5 MW data-centre. Main activities will include:

  • Applying and developing procedures for maintenance of equipment.
  • Contributing to hardware procurement, order suitable equipment, participate in the drafting of specifications and in tendering processes.
  • Implementing and configuring computing hardware, software.
  • Monitoring system performance and carry out diagnostics.
  • Troubleshooting operating-system and hardware issues in collaboration with vendors and with service managers.
  • Supporting, maintaining and enhancing computing hardware and software.
  • Providing support (typically 2nd and 3rd-line, sometimes 1st-line expert support).
  • Documenting installations and call-outs, and draft operational procedures.


Technical certificate or general secondary education in the field of information technologies, or a related field.


  • Practical experience in computer hardware.
  • Proficiency in the Linux operating system at the system administrator level.
  • Experience with professional data-centre installation practices would be an advantage.

Technical competencies:

  • Installation, operation and maintenance (preventive and corrective of computing and systems including data centres and virtual machines. 
  • Knowledge and deployment of computing hardware.
  • Administration of computing systems.
  • Knowledge of system configuration tools: (shell scripting).
  • Knowledge of operating systems: (Linux, knowledge of the RedHat/Fedora family would be an advantage).

Behavioural competencies:

  • Achieving results: having a structured and organised approach towards work; being able to set priorities and plan tasks with results in mind.
  • Working in teams: contributing to promoting a positive atmosphere in the team through an optimistic and constructive attitude; addressing issues.
  • Managing self: working well autonomously; taking on activities and tasks without prompting.
  • Demonstrating flexibility: adapting quickly and resourcefully to shifting priorities and requirements.

Language skills:

  • Spoken English.
  • Working knowledge of French or willingness to acquire it.

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 17.03.2019.

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.
  • Stand-by duty, when required by the needs of the Organization.

Job grade: 3-4

Job reference: EP-LBC-2019-8-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Computing Technician

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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