Advert. No. 2019_0045
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, and will host and operate the southern array of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, the world's largest and most sensitive high energy gamma-ray 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.


To fulfil the roles and responsibilities of the ESO ALMA Support Center (EASC), in collaboration with the Directorate of Operations at its Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising the position of

EASC ALMA Maintenance Engineer


Vacancy closed on 30/09/2019

Deadline 30/09/2019

Acting as a liaison between the ALMA Observatory on-site and the off-site teams within the ESO Directorates of Operations and Engineering, you are responsible for coordinating and supporting off-site maintenance, obsolescence mitigation, and upgrade projects related to the ESO deliverables to the ALMA Observatory.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

The main tasks include:

  • Review maintenance and obsolescence and propose accordingly mitigation plans, initially for the ALMA Transporters and European Antennas.
  • Review and propose, in consultation with domain experts and observatory staff, hardware upgrades to improve long term maintainability and performance, initially for the ALMA Transporters and European Antennas.
  • Coordinate with the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) and external contractors the commissioning, integration and verification and acceptance on-site of upgrades/retrofits, initially for the ALMA Transporters and European Antennas.
  • Support and review the 10 years overhaul activities of the ALMA antennas in coordination with the EASC ALMA Technical Team (ATT) and the JAO.
  • Coordinate the needs and activities between the on-site team at the JAO, and the off-site teams at the EASC ATT and the ESO Directorate of Engineering (DOE).
  • Develop technical documentation and Statement of Works for hardware development and service procurement.
  • Interface with the vendors for the execution of the specific deliverables/services.
  • Coordinate and support the preparation of technical reports and support reviews of specific ESO deliverables to ALMA as required.

Reports to:

Head of the ESO ALMA Support Centre (EASC) in the ESO Directorate of Operations.

Key Competences and Experience

Essential Competences and Experience:

  • Strong communication skills, essential to effectively work within the world-wide ALMA partnership;
  • Experience with obsolescence management and mitigation plans;
  • Proven ability to coordinate activities/requests and effectively communicate within multi-cultural teams;
  • Experience in writing technical specifications, reports and Statements of Works;
  • Experience in formal multi-cultural and distributed industrial partnerships;
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to anticipate/identify problems and provide workable solutions independently.

Desirable Competences and Experience:

  • Experience with commissioning/operations/maintenance/obsolescence in industrial environment;
  • Experience with large multi-cultural scientific collaborations.


University degree in Engineering (or equivalent).

Language skills:

The position requires a strong command of the English language. Spanish language skills would be an advantage.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary (tax free), comprehensive health insurance, 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 any further information, please visit

Duty Station:

The position is based at the ESO Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany. The position requires at least 20% of the time spent at the ALMA Operations Facility and Array Operations Site (5000m above sea level), on an annual basis. Temporary transfer and/or long missions to the ALMA sites in Chile may be needed.

Career Path: V


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 via our Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV. Within your CV, please provide the names an d 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 is 30 September 2019.

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

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, the United Kingdom and Chile irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, race or religion.

Contact us