Advert. no. 2017_0061
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), and the ESO Headquarters are located in Garching, near Munich, Germany. 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.


For the Director's Office of the LPO Observatory, ESO is opening a an International Staff member position as:

Knowledge Management Program Specialist


Vacancy closed on 31/01/2018

Deadline 31/01/2018

Our organization, La Silla Paranal Observatory within ESO (European Southern Observatory) is supported by a large knowledge body which includes project and operational documentation regarding ESO instruments, telescopes and facilities. This knowledge is spread among multiple sources and used across the organization to solve operational issues, define and document new projects, train new staff and other uses. Today we require a better way to organize, populate, and retrieve information using the current sources and fostering the share of knowledge among different organizational units. We have decided to develop a knowledge management program whose goals are: create awareness within the organization; define and implement a knowledge management strategy; and deploy the required tools for the program.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • To take the lead in defining and implementing the organization's Knowledge Management Strategy within the La Silla Paranal Observatory (an internal working group already developed a roadmap)
  • To advise the Observatory Director and Department heads on knowledge management and information usage.
  • To ensure that the information needs of the organization are met in a timely, effective and efficient manner.
  • To oversee the development of a Knowledge Management program including the implementation across the different areas of the observatory.
  • To drive the implementation of the Knowledge Management Strategy. This will involve working closely with the Department Heads and technology implementation areas to agree planning priorities and work plans.
  • Managing the relationship with software providers (internal and third party) for the website, intranet, databases and workflow and BPM tools. Providing the team leadership in knowledge management matters that will impact all observatory employees.
  • To drive and lead the changes in work culture required to successfully use Knowledge Management in our daily work, this includes people training, measurement of the results on the use of Knowledge Management tools, and reporting on the results and effectiveness of the program.
  • To ensure that all systems supporting Knowledge Management work in an integrated fashion and are appropriately supported and developed to guarantee a high and continuing level of efficiency benefit to the organization.
  • To lead the technical implementation of knowledge management tools in collaboration with IT and Software providers:
  • Defining and implementing information classification within the internal systems. And mapping internal information into these classifications.
  • Managing interfaces with internal systems: Remedy, CMMS, document management tools, Wiki Content Management, and others.
  • Include knowledge management tools and goals in the new related initiatives to ensure their proper participation in the Knowledge Management Program.
  • Implementing an information retrieval tool to improve the usage of internal knowledge.
  • To monitor and share the data illustrating the organisation's progress in achieving the knowledge management objectives.
  • To maintain effective surveillance of the multiple information sources to ensure that relevant material is extracted and propagated to the appropriate information users.

Reports to:

Position reporting directly to the LPO Director.


  • Several years of experience with both a strategic and hands-on role in a Knowledge Management Program or a large Information System deployment.
  • Document management
  • Managerial experience in Planning, Problem solving, project management and team management.
  • Knowledge of workflow processes in operations, incident management and problem management in complex engineering environments.
  • Knowledge and experience in information retrieval tools applied to knowledge management solutions.
  • Program management experience in Software related projects, ideally implementing information classification and retrieval.
  • Team leadership and management.


  • Software development processes.
  • Software programming of database-related applications
  • Database design and implementation.
  • Administration of web environments such as content management (wikis, content management systems).

Key Competences:

  • Proven communication skills within multicultural teams.
  • Excellent personal strengths (creativity, eagerness to learn, self-motivation). Leadership. Organizational networking


  • Bachelor or master's degree in information systems or information technology, software systems, education or any related field in an accredited university
  • Post graduate qualification on a related subject, such as a master degree or professional qualification such as librarian or information professional with 4 years of experience in knowledge management roles.
  • Project/Program coordination or management experience

Language Skills:

Fluent in English, proficiency in Spanish highly desirable.

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. The contract is for a fixed term duration of three years, based in Chile, mostly working at the Paranal Observatory in a shift system. For any further information, please visit

Duty Station:

Paranal Observatory, located 120 km south of the city of Antofagasta, Chile. The working schedule will be a mixed shift system between the Paranal Observatory (accommodation provided on site) and Vitacura, with some visits to the La Silla Observatory too.


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit for further details. Applicants are invited to apply online at Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV.

Closing date for applications is 31 January 2018.

No nationality is in principle excluded however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, race or religion.

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