Advert. No. 2021_0036
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, for its Control Software and Engineering Department (CSE), within the Directorate of Engineering (DoE) at its Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising position of

Control/Mechanical Engineer – Vibration Specialist


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Deadline 26/09/2021

ESO is looking for a suitably qualified Control / Mechanical Engineer to work in CSE's Control Engineering group in the Directorate of Engineering. The department comprises about 50 software and control engineers, who work closely with other departments at ESO as well as many national and international institutes and industrial consortia to define and develop state-of-the-art research facilities for ESO's observatories in Chile, especially for the ELT.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

You will be working closely with various ESO project teams and in particular on the ELT programme. The main responsibilities will include:

  • Providing support to ESO projects for the design, analysis, test and optimization of control systems
  • Providing support to the ELT programme during all phases of its life cycle; design, construction, integration, commissioning, optimization
  • Conducting measurements of vibration sources, and spectral analysis of complex mechanical and optomechanical systems and structures
  • Participate in verification of dynamical performance and vibration requirements activities for various subsystems of ELT
  • Develop methods and tools for semi-automated monitoring and identification of anomalies (e.g., by modal tests and analysis) for different machineries as well as series production of sensitive subunits (e.g., primary segment units)
  • Develop, implement, test and document appropriate vibration isolation/damping methods (active and passive) for vibration sensitive high accuracy equipment in a broad range from small optomechanical assemblies to huge telescope structures
  • Follow up of industrial contracts in terms of schedule, content and quality, verification- and acceptance tests at vendor premises and ESO sites

Reports to:

Head of the control engineering group CCEN within CSE department.

Key Competence and Experience:

Essential Competence and Experience:

  • At least two years working experience in vibration analysis, including measurements on real systems
  • Solid theoretical knowledge of complex mechanical systems, including analysis, characterization and simulation of their dynamical behavior
  • Solid knowledge of signal processing and control of flexible structures
  • Excellent knowledge of standard numerical simulation tools for complex control systems such as Matlab / Simulink and specialized vibration measurement equipment (accelerometers, force sensors, exciters etc.) and spectral / modal analysis tools, as well as the methodologies to use them in various environments
  • Effective and committed team player with ability to look for pragmatic solutions
  • Excellent cross-disciplinary communication skills both oral and written
  • Sound engineering background in at least three of the following fields:
  • structural mechanics
  • active/passive vibration suppression
  • systems engineering
  • control of MIMO and time delay systems

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

  • Experience with CAD tools AutoCAD, Inventor
  • Experience with implementation of real-time control algorithms on PLC or LabView platforms
  • Experience with Python
  • Ability to and experience of working efficiently within an international and multi-cultural environment both independently and with diverse stakeholders including ability to build and manage collaborative working relationships with multi-disciplinary stakeholders
  • Pro-active approach to contribute ideas for improvement and future developments


University degree in control or mechanical engineering or equivalent.

Language Skills:

Excellent command of the English language is essential.

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. For any further information, please visit ESO's conditions of employment (

Duty Station:

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

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 at Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV.

Deadline for applications is 26 September 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 and the United Kingdom irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion.

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