System Administrator for the ATLAS on-line infrastructure (TTE Programme)

  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Full-time

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

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization.

Job Description

Are you an enthusiastic  technician looking for a challenging professional experience to further your career?  If so, joining CERN’s TTE programme may very well give you that challenge.

ATLAS is one of the four major experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. It 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.

The ATLAS Trigger and Data Acquisition System Administration team in the Experimental Physics department (EP) is a high throughput and high availability network deployed between two distant sites on the ATLAS facilities at CERN. It connects around 150 detector read-out servers located in the experiment's underground service cavern, with a computer farm of more than 2000 computer nodes located in the surface facilities. The system must operate seamlessly during data taking periods, in order to efficiently perform the required data reduction operations as a prior step to the permanent storage of the selected physics data. The computer farm is used for simulation tasks when ATLAS is not taking data.

The LHC and the whole CERN accelerator complex is being maintained and upgraded. The goal of the upgrades is to implement the High Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) project that will increase the luminosity by a factor of 10, this period is referred at CERN as the 'Long Shutdown 2; During this period the ATLAS DAQ Network has been completely refurbished, including many of the software tools used for the network management and monitoring. You will be fully integrated in the System Administration team, working and collaborating with the existing experts, responsible for ensuring the correct behavior of the system and will contribute to the improvement of the software tools (e.g. implementing a login management system) as well as participate in the regular planned or unplanned on-site interventions.

Within the scope of the project, two major activities are foreseen for you:

  • in Spring 2021, 32 servers racks with their network switches will be replaced. You will participate in the decommissioning, installation and configuration of the network switches and contribute to the server cabling activities;
  • from February 2022 the system will enter in production mode, with the LHC resuming operations and the ATLAS experiment starting to record physics events. In order to guarantee the correct operation of the network, you will participate in the regular monitoring and maintenance activities, with on-site interventions for urgent matters and participating on the scheduled intervention during maintenance windows.


As a System Administrator you will:

  • Participate to network equipment installation and server cabling;
  • Contribute to day-to-day operation and monitoring of a network infrastructure;
  • Develop the system management and network monitoring tools.


In order to qualify for a place on the programme you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • You are a national of a CERN Member State or Associate Member State (;
  • You have a Technical Diploma or equivalent, and no more than 4 years' relevant experience after finishing your diploma;
  • If you are currently studying, you are still eligible to apply, although you are expected to have obtained your qualification by the start of your appointment at CERN;
  • If you hold a BSc or MSc, you are not eligible. However you may be eligible for the Fellowship Programme.
  • You should have at least a working knowledge of English or French.

Specific skills required for this job:


  • Basic understanding of TCP/IP network;
  • Basic understanding of Linux command line;
  • Basic understanding of scripting languages such as Bash or Python;

Additional Information

CERN would very much like to benefit from your expertise, commitment and passion.  In return, CERN will provide you with:

  • An employment contract of one year, renewable for a second year; 
  • On-the-job and formal training (in the design and implementation of electrical systems) at CERN as well as in-house language courses for English and/or French;
  • A monthly stipend of 4585 Swiss Francs per month (net of tax);
  • Coverage by CERN’s comprehensive health scheme (for yourself, your spouse and children), and membership of the CERN Pension Fund;
  • Depending on your individual circumstances: an installation grant, family, child and infant allowances as well as travel expenses to and from Geneva;
  • 2,5 days of paid leave per month.

Training value

As a member of a team with experienced technicians and engineers from many European countries, you will find a dynamic environment where you will :

  • Acquire network administrator skills;
  • Learn about best practices on Data Centre infrastructure installation;
  • Gain experience on a production infrastructure operation.

Required documentation:

You will need the following documents, clearly labelled (e.g. “CV”, “Motivation letter”, “Academic transcript”, etc.) and in PDF format to complete your application:

  • A CV;
  • A scanned copy of your latest relevant qualification;
  • One reference letter (from a professor or previous employer) giving an overview of your academic and/or professional achievements. This should be as broad as possible.

You may upload the reference letter yourself, whilst submitting your application, or through your referee via the link you will receive shortly after submitting your application.

All applications should normally reach us no later than 31.05.2021

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