Advert. No. 2017_0029
Working at ESO

Are you interested in working in areas of frontline technology and in a stimulating international environment? Do you feel your profile matches our requirements? Learn more about our current vacancies and apply online. Read more..

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in northern Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor (home to ALMA and APEX). The ESO Headquarters are in Garching, near Munich, Germany.

For our Headquarters in Garching we are looking for a



Control Engineer


Vacancy closed on 06/08/2017

Deadline 06/08/2017

to join our Control Engineering group (CCEN) in the Control Software and Engineering Department (CSE).

What we offer:

  • International environment: You will collaborate daily with engineers and scientists from around the globe.
  • Extremely challenging project: You will be member of the team to build the world's largest optical telescope - the ELT and therefore will have to deal with challenges that arise in a project at the forefront of technology.
  • Real team work: Within the ELT team, you will be responsible for specification, design, analysis and implementation of a defined subset of PLC based ELT control systems including the follow up of industrial contracts and the supervision of the control subunits up to on-site-installation.

What we expect from you:


  • Team spirit: Above all, you are a real team player, who understands that only strong collaboration across disciplines will allow us to achieve our goals. This includes the capability of clear and open communication.
  • Curiosity and eagerness to learn: You are keen to learn new things and understand our complex projects as well as the technology beyond the software area and you are constantly searching for ways to improve.


  • Experience in control systems: you have a minimum of 3 years of experience in the development, analysis, design, implementation and commissioning of control systems, ideally in an industrial environment.
  • PLC knowledge: you are familiar with PLC and HMI/SCADA systems and -programming (Siemens S7 TIA / WinCC, Beckhoff TwinCAT 3, ProfiNet, EtherCAT, OPC UA), ideally also with PLC based safety applications and the related hazard analysis, verification and acceptance procedures.
  • Experience in assembly, integration and verification (AIV): on long term, we expect from you to join the team that is finally assembling, integrating and verifying the ELT at Armazones/Chile. In this final phase of the ELT programme, you will travel frequently to Chile and/or stay there for longer periods to support AIV from control engineering side.
  • Hands-on experience in system identification, control loop design and simulation. Good command of PID control tuning techniques. Knowledge on MATLAB would be an asset.
  • Experience in contract follow-up and management.


A university degree in control engineering, or equivalent.

Language Skills:

A very good command of the English language - oral, reading and writing - is essential.

Reports to:

Head of the Control Engineering Group

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary (tax free), comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family and the possibility to place your child/children in day care.

The contract is for a fixed term duration of three years, and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. There is a possibility of extension(s) subject to individual performance and organisational requirements, and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. For further information, please view ESO's conditions of employment.

Starting Date:

January 2018

Duty Station:

ESO Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany. This position involves duty travel to the ESO sites in Chile and/or partner institutes in Europe, North America and Japan.


Please apply online via our ESO Recruitment Portal. Your application must be in English and include a motivation letter and CV.

Closing date for applications is 6 August 2017.

We welcome all applications, however, preference will be given to nationals of ESO Member States irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, race or religion.

More Information:

At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky" and whose operations will be fully integrated into the Paranal Observatory.

If you are interested in this position and ready to work in a stimulating international environment, please visit the ESO homepage for further details.

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