Database Engineer (SY-EPC-CCS-2021-49-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 talented database engineer, passionate about the design, development, and optimisation of complex relational databases? Do you feel confident and experienced in developing web applications with a Python back-end? Are you comfortable in a collaborative development environment using Windows, Linux, Git, and continuous integration techniques? Then apply for this unique challenge as the next step in your career. CERN, take part!

You will join the Accelerator Systems Department (SY), which is responsible for the beam-related technical systems of the CERN accelerators. The SY teams design, build and operate equipment systems in all CERN accelerators, and are engaged in ambitious forward-looking R&D programmes.

You will be working within the Electrical Power Converter Group (SY-EPC), responsible for the power converters for the whole CERN accelerator complex, and the Converter Controls Software Section (SY-EPC-CCS), which develops and supports the power converters control software and databases for the SY-EPC Group.

The Section is responsible for a large distributed control system for more than five thousand power converters and a dozen static VAR compensators. These range in power from a few Watts to 150MW and are used to drive current through the magnets in the accelerators, transfer lines and experiments. The magnets guide and focus the particle beams, so precise control of the currents is critical.


Your activities will include:

  • Maintain, extend, optimise, and document the existing databases owned by the SY-EPC Group;
  • Analyse existing, complex database workflows and create simplified, well-structured solutions;
  • Identify requirements for new database-related features in close collaboration with EPC-OMS;
  • Design, implement, optimise, and document new databases to meet the identified requirements;
  • Collaborate with other developers and work on the full stack of new and existing power converter expert applications including the python back-end and the web front-end (HTML, CSS, JavaScript).


Master's degree or equivalent relevant experience in the field of computer science and/or software engineering or a related field.


Demonstrated experience in the following areas:

  • Designing and implementing relational database schemas as well as supporting and maintaining high-reliability relational databases using SQL and PL/SQL (Oracle);
  • Development of software using the Python programming language and popular Python persistence APIs / frameworks;
  • Working with modern software development tools, in particular, source code management, continuous integration, issue tracking and documentation.

Desired skills and experience:

  • Initial experience in developing user interfaces using HTML, CSS and JavaScript;
  • Experience with ASP.NET, VB.NET, Visual Studio, and C# would be an advantage.

Technical competencies:

  • Design of databases/repositories: mainly Oracle.
  • Re-use, refactoring, integration and porting of existing software: moving from ASP.NET to Python and porting data from an existing Oracle database to a new Oracle database.
  • Conceptualising, designing and developing user experiences and interfaces: web front-ends.
  • Knowledge of programming techniques and languages: sQL, PL/SQL, python, JavaScript, HTML and CSS.
  • Knowledge and application of software life-cycle tools and procedures.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Communicating effectively: ensuring that information, procedures and decisions are appropriately documented; listening actively to others and letting others speak; checking to ensure that the message has been well understood.
  • Managing self: projecting self-confidence when presenting ideas, proposals and opinions; taking initiative beyond regular tasks and making things happen; demonstrating a receptive approach to feedback; being open to criticism and reconsidering position accordingly.
  • Learning and sharing knowledge: being receptive to others' ideas and building on them; proposing ways to improve or streamline existing procedures, processes and methodologies; questioning traditional assumptions and ways of doing things.
  • Solving problems: assimilating large quantities of information, identifying key issues and formulating conclusions clearly and concisely; producing workable and timely solutions that meet requirements.
  • Achieving results: dividing extensive work / projects into manageable sub-tasks with clearly defined milestones; following through on new ideas and innovations; planning and implementing application.

Language skills:

  • Spoken and written English: ability to understand and speak in professional contexts. Ability to draw-up technical specifications and scientific reports and to make oral presentations.
  • The ability to understand and speak French or the 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 13.06.2021 by 12 CET.

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.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: SY-EPC-CCS-2021-49-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Computing Engineer

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