Electronics Engineer and FPGA Firmware Designer (EP-ESE-BE-2022-142-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 http://home.cern.

Job Description


Are you an experienced electronics engineer and FPGA firmware designer, willing to contribute to the success of CERN’s high-energy physics experiments? We are seeking to expand our team of engineers working on the design and development of hardware and firmware in the Electronic Systems for Experiments Group (https://ep-ese.web.cern.ch/). Join us and take part in the exciting experience of building electronics for one of the most complex physics experiments in the world.


You will join the team responsible for the electronics modules of the Central Trigger system of the ATLAS experiment. You will take part in the design, testing and integration of new electronics modules for the upgrade of the system, which is taking place from now until 2027.

As electronics engineer and FPGA firmware designer, you will:

  • Develop, implement, and simulate FPGA firmware.
  • Participate in the specification, conceptual studies, and design and testing of prototypes and production modules.
  • Develop test software for the validation of the hardware and firmware of the electronics modules.
  • Document firmware and test procedures, present your work, and participate in design reviews.
  • Participate in integration tests, and support commissioning of the electronics modules into the experiment.
  • Contribute to the R&D programme in the department.


Master's degree or PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of digital electronics or a related field.


  • Proven experience with complex VHDL firmware development for FPGAs, including implementation of high-speed serial links (>10Gb/s) and verification tools, including HDL simulation as well as timing and placement constraints.
  • Demonstrated experience with testing and characterization of complex electronics modules, based on large FPGAs and high-speed serial links, including the use of relevant laboratory instrumentation, such as high-speed oscilloscopes.
  • Demonstrated experience with software scripting and programming languages (Python, TCL, C++) and collaborative firmware development practices (Git).
  • Experience with programmable System-on-Chip (SoC) devices, in particular with Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+, would be an important asset.
  • Knowledge of the Linux operating system and shell script programming would be a plus.
  • Experience with the schematic design of complex electronics modules and the issues arising in the PCB layout of such boards would be an asset, as well as proven knowledge of signal integrity issues and tools.

Technical competencies:

  • Design and simulation of FPGA-based electronics: in particular, FPGA firmware development, implementation, and testing.
  • Testing and measurement of digital electronic circuits: including programming/software development for testing (Python, C++).
  • Design and simulation of digital electronic circuits.
  • Design and development of systems based on standardized modules: in particular, module standards of VMEbus and ATCA would be an asset.
  • Knowledge and application of signal integrity techniques: in particular for high-speed serial links of 10 Gb/s or more.

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; cooperating constructively with others in the pursuit of team goals; balancing personal goals with team goals; building and maintaining constructive and effective work relationships.
  • Achieving results: delivering high quality work on time and fulfilling expectations; delivering prompt and efficient service taking into account customer needs; driving work / projects along and seeing them through to their conclusion.
  • Solving problems: producing workable and timely solutions that meet requirements; addressing complex problems by breaking them down into manageable components Identifying, defining and assessing problems, taking action to address them.
  • Demonstrating flexibility: demonstrating a willingness to accept changing circumstances; supporting initiatives for change; adapting quickly and resourcefully to shifting priorities and requirements; demonstrating openness to new ideas and situations.
  • Communicating effectively: expressing opinions, ideas and suggestions with conviction and in a logical/structured manner; keeping to the point; delivering presentations in a structured and clear way; adjusting style and content to the audience; responding calmly and confidently to questions; ensuring that information, procedures and decisions are appropriately documented.

Language skills:

  • English: ability to understand and speak the language in professional contexts, draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports and make oral presentations.
  • French: basic knowledge would be an asset or willingness 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 01.12.2022

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.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: EP-ESE-BE-2022-142-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Electronics Engineer

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