Detector Cooling Operations Engineer (EP-ADO-PO-2019-57-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 qualified and proactive Mechanical Engineer, willing to become an expert in the mechanical design and operation of equipment for one of the world's most complex and exciting scientific experiments? Then this opportunity is for you. Join the largest particle physics research laboratory in the world! CERN, take part!

The Experimental Physics (EP) Department carries out research in the field of experimental particle physics, supporting several experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. ATLAS is a general-purpose particle physics experiment run by an international collaboration and, together with CMS, is designed to exploit the full discovery potential and the huge range of physics opportunities that the LHC provides. Various sub-detectors require active cooling systems in range of several to hundreds of kilowatts of cooling power. Different refrigerants such as water, perfluorocarbons, R744 and others are employed. The detector cooling systems operate 24/7, keeping the electronics and sensors in the desired thermal conditions to avoid any damages.

As a Detector Cooling Operation Engineer, you will be responsible for providing support to the experimental teams in the daily operation and maintenance of all detector-cooling systems. For specific projects, you will join the teams in charge of design and construction of new systems, ensuring the needs of the detectors are well considered and making the link between the construction teams and the experiment.

The ATLAS cooling systems consist of:

  • Demineralized under pressure water systems for both the detectors and its proximity electronics.
  • Perfluorocarbon-based single phase and evaporative systems for tracking detectors and detector electronics.
  • Evaporative CO2 systems for tracking and timing detectors.
  • Glycol based cooling circuits for test facilities.
  • Distribution systems to the detectors for all of the above mentioned.


Under the supervision of the ATLAS Cooling Coordinator, you will:

  • Play a leading role in the operation of the cooling system of the IBL detector (evaporative CO2 cooling).
  • Take responsibility for the daily operation and assist the maintenance and operation teams for water-based or perfluorocarbon-based detector cooling systems.
  • Participate in the technical specification writing, the design and procurement phase of cooling related projects of the ATLAS experiment.
  • Take a leading role in the construction, integration and commissioning of new cooling projects for the upgrades of the ATLAS experiment (calculations, component selection, construction and performance evaluation).
  • Provide support to the detector teams on cooling related activities for the detector assembly areas.


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


  • Proven experience in design, commissioning and operation of non-industrial detector cooling systems.
  • Proven experience in design of fluidic systems with 3D CAD software.
  • Understanding of the functionality and the thermodynamics of cooling systems.
  • Initial experience in planning and coordinating the fabrication and assembly of mechanical systems.

Technical competencies:

  • Design, construction, operation and maintenance of detector cooling systems: based on water, CO2 and perfluorocarbons.
  • Knowledge and application of leak detection techniques and equipment.
  • Knowledge and application of thermal and/or fluid measurement techniques.
  • Production of 2D drawings and 3D models: proficiency in CATIA V5 or equivalent 3D modelling software.
  • Installation and commissioning of detector cooling systems.
  • Knowledge and application of joining techniques.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Working in teams: working well in groups and readily fitting into a team; participating fully and taking an active role in team activities.
  • Achieving results: driving work / projects along and seeing them through to their conclusion.
  • Communicating effectively: ensuring that information, procedures and decisions are appropriately documented.
  • Solving problems: finding the information needed to solve problems; making objective judgments based on all the facts available.
  • Learning and sharing knowledge: taking steps to expand knowledge in other areas of expertise beyond own field.

Language skills:

  • English and French: ability to understand and speak both languages in professional contexts.
  •  Ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports and to make oral presentations at least in English.

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 22.05.2019.

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:

  • Participation in a regular stand-by duty, including nights, Sundays and official holidays.
  • 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.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: EP-ADO-PO-2019-57-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Mechanical Engineer

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