Advert. No. 2018_0057
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 (ELT), which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky" and whose operations will be fully integrated into the Paranal Observatory.


Due to the need for additional resources associated with the ELT Programme, within the Directorate of Programmes at its Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising the position of

ELT Document Controller


Vacancy closed on 20/01/2019

Deadline 20/01/2019

The ELT Document Controller is in charge of managing the document archive of the ELT Programme, to ensure that it is current and accessible by the users and that the ELT documentation complies with suitable standards of accuracy, quality and integrity as defined within the Programme.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

The ELT Document Controller is responsible for keeping the ELT document archive updated according to the Programme evolution as well as for processing, archiving and making the documents available to the authorised users, in a timely, accurate and efficient manner. The ELT Document Controller ensures that the ELT documents are formatted, identified, signed, released and archived according to the relevant document lifecycle's rules and the ELT Programme processes in force. The ELT Document Controller is part of the ELT Systems Engineering Team and as such follows and enforces the documentation and configuration management processes defined by this Team.

The key responsibilities are:

  • Administer the ELT document archive through the ESO Product Data Management tool (PDM) by generating and maintaining folder structures and updating metadata and populating the folders according to the Programme evolution;
  • Perform the quality control of documents, in particular checking the correctness of reference documents/versions, that the proper standard templates and lifecycles are used and that the configuration control rules relevant for documentation management are observed;
  • Work in strict co-operation with the Work Package Managers and the Systems Engineering Team to ensure that the ESO documentation for procurements as well as the documentation provided by contractors is correctly stored in the ESO PDM system;
  • Prepare Contract Data Lists (CDL) for procurements with the support of Systems Engineering and the Work Package Managers;
  • Support the Work Package Managers in the processing and archiving of the documentation submitted by contractors or consortia cooperating with their documentation specialists ensuring it complies with the ELT documentation management requirements;
  • Grant access to the authorized users to the archived documents implementing the defined confidentiality policies;
  • Ensure that ELT document archive is effectively used by continuously supporting and mentoring the users;
  • Ensure that the documents go through a traceable and approved release process before being archived;
  • Proactively propose improvements of existing documentation processes and suggest new ones to increase quality or efficiency of the documentation management system;
  • Coordinate with the ESO Information Repository Manager and System Administrator the need for additional features of the PDM tool and report anomalies and bugs;
  • Coordinate with ESO Information Repository Manager and System Administrator user licenses, access groups and access profiles;
  • Occasionally provide support for administrative tasks: duty travel organisation, purchase orders, shipping requests, etc;
  • The tasks are not limited to the above and a flexible approach and willingness to adapt is required.

Reports to:

The ELT Programme Engineer

Key Competences

Essential Competencies:

  • Proficiency in Electronic Documentation Management;
  • Knowledge of Configuration Management principles;
  • Understanding of Engineering / Procurement / Construction / Commissioning documents;
  • Detail-oriented, well-structured, dependable and trustworthy;
  • Excellent communication skills.

Desirable Competencies:

  • Ability to work both independently and as a team member and in a timely manner;
  • Self-directed and highly motivated;
  • Able to work in a fast-paced and deadline driven environment.


Bachelor's degree in Technical Writing or similar, or a degree containing the scope of technical writing


Essential Experience:

  • At least 5 years of experience in the management of technical documentation (Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Commissioning, Operations);
  • Excellent knowledge of MS Office Suite, in particular Excel;
  • Knowledge of Adobe Acrobat pdf and electronic signature requirements;
  • Familiarity with Product Data Management (PDM) tools;
  • Familiarity with configuration control processes.

Desirable Experience:

  • Familiarity with BlueCielo Krnodoc environment;
  • Having worked in multicultural scientific organisations;
  • Having done administrative work.

Language Skills:

The position requires fluent English. Additional knowledge of other European languages, especially Spanish would be an advantage.

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 daycare.

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, in particular for the ELT Programme and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. For further information, please view ESO's conditions of employment.

Duty Station:

Garching near Munich, Germany with possible duty trips to all ESO sites in Chile.

Career Path: IV


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and 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. Within your CV, please provide the names and contact details of three persons familiar with your work and willing to provide a recommendation letter upon request. Referees will not be contacted without your prior consent.

Deadline for applications: 20 January 2019

Starting date: As soon as possible

No nationality is in principle excluded, however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, 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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