Advert. No. 2021_0032
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.


ESO is advertising the position of

Technical Draftsperson


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Deadline 25/09/2021

to work in the Mechanical Engineering Department, within the Directorate of Engineering at its Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany.

This is an excellent opportunity for professionals in the early stages of their career. As a member of the Directorate of Engineering the successful candidate will work in the ESO matrix structure serving various projects and fulfilling tasks received from designers, technical leads, supervisors and project managers. She or he will be assigned to the Telescope and Large Structures Group in the Mechanical Engineering Department and support projects, for example ELT, VLT and ALMA construction, with preparing technical documentation and assisting computer-aided design processes.

The Technical Draftsperson will be involved in project teams working on designing instruments, machinery, infrastructure, structures and sub-units for ELT, VLT and ALMA. S/He will create technical drawings and will provide support to mechanical design and professional data management. Travelling to contractor sites in Europe and to ESO's observatories in Chile may be required for acquiring as-built information as well as supporting installation and commissioning activities.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Preparing manufacturing and construction drawings using computer-aided drafting and design software
  • Support project teams for creating concept designs, detailed designs, technical drawings and parts lists
  • Documentation and professional management of CAD data
  • Provide assistance to design engineers
  • Support assembly, integration and test (AIT) phases

Reports to:

Head of the Telescope and Large Structures Group of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Key Competence and Experience:

Essential Competence and Experience

  • Qualification and sound experience in working and commanding a state-of-the-art 3D CAD software
  • Familiar with design and drafting processes
  • Experience with professional CAD data management systems
  • Understanding of European technical drawing norms, guidelines and conventions
  • Understanding the principles of mechanical dimensioning, tolerances, fittings, fasteners and bolted connections
  • Familiar with standard MS office tools (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.)
  • Good sense for team spirit
  • Ability to discuss and resolve problems together with colleagues and technical specialists
  • Ability to work in parallel for different projects, teams and priorities
  • Willingness to acquire new skills and keep up to date with the tools used in the daily work

Desirable Competence and Experience, which are not mandatory, but considered an asset

  • Some years of professional experience as draftsperson, preferably in the field of mechanical engineering
  • Good knowledge of Autodesk INVENTOR and VAULT
  • Understanding in Building Information Management (BIM) for construction
  • Practical experience in mechanical manufacturing processes
  • Ability to work and fluently communicate within an international environment


Apprenticeship or education as technical draftsperson, product designer, system planer, or equivalent on-the-job training.

Language Skills:

A good command of the English language - oral, reading and writing - is essential, and a working knowledge of German or 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 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, in particular for the ELT Programme, and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. Please note that the contract policy and in particular the regulations concerning fixed-term and indefinite contracts are currently under review which may lead to changes in the contractual conditions applicable to the position. For any further information, please visit ESO's conditions of employment (

Duty Station:

The position is based in Garching, Germany.

Career Path: II / III


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 is 25.09.2021.

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, ethnicity or religion.

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