Applied Physicist in operation of large experiments (EP-ADO-SO-2020-88-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 applied physicist? Are you someone who has expertise in the operation and maintenance of very large experiments including the associated infrastructure within the most powerful particle accelerator complex in the world? 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 is designed to exploit the full discovery potential and the huge range of physics opportunities that the LHC provides. The efficient operation of such a large experiment relies on the ability to keep under control and in good conditions all the detector systems and their infrastructures. You will play a major role as operation manager of the ATLAS detector (OPM) in defining and organizing all the works needed to keep the detector in the best possible conditions, in close collaboration with the ATLAS Technical Coordination and Run Coordination.


After having acquired an excellent understanding and knowledge of all ATLAS subsystems and infrastructures, enabling you to oversee the consequences of interventions on the full system you will:

  • Play a leading role in the operation of all ATLAS experiment installations, in particular with respect to planning of interventions and 24/7 problem response.
  • Organize and chair regular meetings where interventions on the ATLAS detector are defined and scheduled, liaising with the different system’s run coordinators and with the CERN technical services.
  • Analyse the consequences of the proposed interventions.
  • Follow-up and produce documentation on the interventions performed on the different systems.
  • Develop computer-based systems to assist you in the understanding of the complex relations between different parts of the detector.
  • Be the link person between the CERN technical sector and ATLAS for the operation, including participating in meetings with the LHC machine.
  • Play a leading role in the evolution of the operation model due to the upgrade activities.
  • Interact with the upgrade projects to define future needs for the operation of the experiments.


PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of physics or equivalent relevant experience in applied physics (or a related field).


  • Proven experience with the operation of experiments and/or test beams.
  • In depth experience with the operation of at least one detector system (e.g. Silicon trackers, calorimeters, muon spectrometers).
  • Experience with using software applications and diagnosing problems in distributed network environments.
  • Experience in the organization of complex, heterogeneous counting rooms.
  • Experience in planning activities that involve and impact several stakeholders.
  • Experience coordinating the work of engineers and technicians.

Technical competencies:

  • Analysis and optimization of experiment performance.
  • Assembly and integration of infrastructure for detectors or experimental facilities: experiments and/or test beams.
  • Operation and support of experimental facilities: and experiments.

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.
  • Communicating effectively: ensuring that information, procedures and decisions are appropriately documented.
  • Demonstrating accountability: taking responsibility for own actions and decisions.
  • Solving problems: identifying, defining and assessing problems, taking action to address them.
  • Demonstrating flexibility: adapting quickly and resourcefully to shifting priorities and requirements; demonstrating a willingness to accept changing circumstances; supporting initiatives for change.

Language skills:

  • Good knowledge of English.
  • Basic knowledge of French would be an advantage.

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 02.08.2020.

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.
  • 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-2020-88-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Applied Physicist

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