Software Engineer (EP-AID-DA-2023-117-LD)

  • 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 skilled software engineer with experience in data acquisition systems and/or control systems? Do you have experience in C++ and Go software development? Do you wish to contribute to the brand-new computing systems of the ALICE experiment? This could be the opportunity for you! Take part! 

ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) is a dedicated heavy ion experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The ALICE Collaboration is studying the physics of strongly interacting matter at extreme energy densities and temperatures. In Run 3+4 (2022-2029) ALICE will operate at a peak Pb-Pb collision rate of 50 kHz, with the data of all collision events read out, calibrated, reconstructed and compressed synchronously with the data taking. To achieve the physics goals, it is essential that the computing and control systems of the experiment operate reliably and deliver an operational performance compatible with the data taking efficiency goals of the experiment. 

The selected candidate will join the Experimental Physics (EP) Department which carries out basic research in the field of experimental particle physics in a stimulating scientific atmosphere, standing as an important reference for the European physics community. Within the EP Department you will be part of the ALICE O2/FLP team of the ALICE Detectors & Systems group (EP-AID). The ALICE O2/FLP team is in charge of the First Level Processor (FLP) computing farm, the detector readout chain, the data Quality Control software, the Experiment Control System and a portfolio of operational tools such as monitoring, logging, configuration and bookkeeping.


As a Software Engineer on the ALICE O2/FLP team, you functions will include:

1. Lead the design and development of the Experiment Control System (Go), which orchestrates data-taking operations across 2 computing farms, 5 central systems, and 15 detectors:

  • Deliver innovative features to enhance data-taking efficiency and automate experiment operations.
  • Engage with various ALICE stakeholders, prioritize tasks, and provide progress updates during meetings.

2. Contribute to the design and development of the Data Quality Control System (C++):

  • You will actively participate in creating a robust system to assess the quality of physics data, both online and offline.
  • Introduce new features to establish a highly accurate and automated data quality control feedback loop.
  • Offer technical support to ALICE detector teams to ensure smooth system functioning.

3. Take part in overall ALICE Experiment Operations:

  • Serve as the O2/FLP on-call expert, providing technical assistance to ALICE shift crews.
  • Ensure the seamless operation of the ECS and QC systems.


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


  • Experience within a team in the development of large software applications, with global understating of the requirements for data taking and control.
  • Experience with modern software development environments, including version control, issue tracking and continuous integration.
  • Experience on the Linux operating system.
  • Experience in gathering requirements and providing user support would be an advantage.

Technical competencies:

  • Architecture and design of ICT systems: : knowledge of data acquisition and control principles.
  • Knowledge of programming techniques and languages: modern C++ (knowledge of C++17 and newer versions is an advantage), Go.
  • Re-use, refactoring, integration and porting of existing software.
  • Knowledge and application of software life-cycle tools and procedures: git, JIRA, Continuous Integration.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Achieving results: having a structured and organised approach towards work; being able to set priorities and plan tasks with results in mind; delivering high quality work on time and fulfilling expectations.
  • Demonstrating flexibility: adapting quickly and resourcefully to shifting priorities and requirements; actively participating in the implementation of new processes and technologies.
  • Working in teams: cooperating constructively with others in the pursuit of team goals; balancing personal goals with team goals.
  • Communicating effectively: ensuring that information, procedures and decisions are appropriately documented; checking to ensure that the message has been well understood.
  • Solving problems: addressing complex problems by breaking them down into manageable components; producing workable and timely solutions that meet requirements.

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 01.10.2023

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 during nights, Sundays and official holidays.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: EP-AID-DA-2023-117-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Computing Engineer

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