Advert. No. 2021_0035
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.


For the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre, within the Directorate for Science, at its Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising the position of

ESO Supernova Technical Coordinator


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Deadline 02/10/2021

The ESO Supernova is an education facility, based at the ESO Headquarters site in Garching, which attracts approximately 60000 visitors per year. Housed within the facility is a 14-metre diameter planetarium and a 2200 square-metre interactive exhibition. The facility is open 5 days per week, from Wednesday to Sunday, with occasional special events happening outside of these core hours. The primary focus of the ESO Supernova Technical Coordinator is on the daily care and upkeep of exhibition and planetarium components ensuring they are maintained to a high level and conducting or arranging repairs when required. This is an exciting opportunity for a technically minded, problem solving individual to contribute to the smooth operation of a busy visitor attraction.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

The main tasks include:

  • Exhibition maintenance. Where possible, effect immediate repairs, and assess the need for changes in design or materials. When required, acquire parts, equipment or external expertise to assist in effecting repairs;
  • Oversee the maintenance, alignment, and upkeep of all planetarium projection and computer systems; diagnosing and correcting common problems that arise during the operation of these systems. Lead the selection, planning, and implementation of technology upgrades;
  • Planetarium content management: ensuring shows in the weekly programming are installed and tested in a timely fashion (interface programming primarily in Digistar). Uploading content to website;
  • Inventory management (incl. warranty management); and
  • Occasional technical support for events (AV, exhibition and planetarium).

Reports to:

Head of ESO Supernova

Key Competences and Experience:

Essential Competences and Experience

  • At least 2 years' practical experience maintaining audio-visual installations: optics, electronics, mechanics, DMX automation systems (hardware, software and protocols), computer hardware and software;
  • Ability to handle technical problems independently incl. being able to improvise on the spot;
  • Effective and committed team player;
  • Good working knowledge of health and safety;
  • Good time management skills;
  • Demonstrated familiarity with software programming;
  • Willingness to learn about the planetarium technology;
  • Ability to follow and create procedures and workflows;
  • Good organisational skills while managing several projects at once;
  • Comfortable working in low-light conditions;
  • Availability for occasional evening or weekend work.

Desirable Competences and Experience

  • Experience with Evans & Sutherland's Digistar software, or similar;
  • Experience working in a museum / science centre / planetarium.


Educated to degree level with a BSc in Engineering, Physics, Computer Sciences or comparable.

Language skills:

The position requires a working knowledge of English (oral and written). Basic understanding of German 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.

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance ( between their professional and private life. ESO is also committed to offering family-friendly support (, creating a work environment and policies which allow staff to balance their professional and private responsibilities through flexible working arrangements and financial support for families.

The contract is for a fixed term duration of three years, and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. There may be 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 ESO's conditions of employment ( 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 this position.

Duty Station:

Garching near Munich

Career Path: 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.

Closing date for applications is 2 October 2021.

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

ESO has established diversity as an important value of the Organisation, is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment and is actively seeking to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce.

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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