Control and Data Acquisition System Manager

Geneva, Switzerland
Industry Sector:
International Public Sector
Type of contract:

Control and Data Acquisition System Manager

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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


You will join the CERN Experimental Physics (EP) Department to work in the CMS Experiment Systems Group (CMX). The Experimental Physics (EP) Department 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. It also contributes to the education and training of young scientists.

The CMS Experiment is one of the four large experiments of the LHC at CERN.  The CMX Group is responsible for ensuring high performance of the present CMS Detector and its infrastructure and also for the design and realization of the upgrades of the Detector, needed to exploit the maximum physics potential of CMS during the future High Luminosity operation of the LHC. The CMS Detector Applications Section (DA) contributes directly to several CMS sub-detectors, sharing knowledge across projects.

The CERN group plays a key role in the operation, maintenance and evolution of the CMS Electromagnetic Calorimeter (ECAL), whose continued operation is critical for the excellent physics performance of CMS. As a specialist in control and data acquisition systems (CDAS), you will manage the operation, maintenance and evolution of the ECAL CDAS software, to ensure its continued excellent performance.


As part of an initial phase, you will:

  • Coordinate a small team from CMS collaborating institutes to maintain the ECAL CDAS through to Long Shutdown 2 (LS2) of the LHC, to ensure excellent data-taking efficiency. This includes the analysis and mitigation of rare errors during operation.
  • Help to consolidate and improve maintainability for the long term of the existing software.
  • Organize and be a central part of the ECAL CDAS expert-on-call service, including providing documentation and training of newcomers.
  • Work with other CERN teams (e.g. EP-CMD) to ensure compatibility of the ECAL CDAS with central CMS DAQ hardware and software developments.
  • Be responsible for the development of smaller-scale CDAS outside of the central CMS environment, in order to facilitate the main developments with minimal risk.

Following this initial phase, you will:

  • Develop the CDAS software to control and acquire data from ECAL upgrade prototypes in laboratory and beam tests.
  • Develop the prototype software for the CDAS of the full phase II ECAL upgrade.
  • In all those activities, you will supervise CERN fellows or doctoral students and coordinate the activities of teams of scientists from the collaborating Institutes.


Master’s degree or PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering or a related field.


  • Demonstrated experience in operating and maintaining the software of large-scale data acquisition systems for particle physics experiments.
  • Experience in working with back-end electronics and real-time data acquisition.
  • Initial experience in supervising students and coordinating activities in a distributed collaboration.

Technical competencies

  • Simulation, design and development of trigger, data acquisition chains: (particularly VME-based systems controlled by XDAQ software).
  • Knowledge of database and/or data mining architectures and technologies: particularly ORACLE and SQL scripting).
  • Knowledge and application of instrumentation and measurement techniques: (static and dynamic characteristics using lab equipment and/or computer controlled systems).
  • Knowledge of programming techniques and languages: (C++ programming, Javascript and Python/shell scripting for DAQ developments and software for experimental setups).

Behavioural competencies

  • Communicating effectively: delivering presentations in a structured and clear way; adjusting style and content to the audience; responding calmly and confidently to questions. Demonstrating a pro-active approach to resolving differences; addressing issues of conflict constructively.
  • Achieving results: having a structured and organised approach towards work; being able to set priorities and plan tasks with results in mind.
  • Learning and sharing knowledge: sharing knowledge and expertise freely and willingly with others; coaching others to ensure knowledge transfer.
  • Solving Problems: identifying, defining and assessing problems, taking action to address them.
  • Working in teams: contributing to promoting a positive atmosphere in the team through an optimistic and constructive attitude; addressing issues.

Language skills

  • Spoken and written English: ability to draw-up technical specifications and scientific reports and to make oral presentations.
  • Ability to understand and speak French in professional context or willingness to acquire it 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 30.09.2018.

Employment Conditions

Contract type: Limited duration contract (3 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.
  • A valid driving licence is required.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: EP-CMX-DA-2018-93-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Applied Physicist

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At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. They use the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles. The particles are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives the physicists clues about how the particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature.

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