Advert. no. 2023_0027
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 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 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 Integrated Operations (IOP) Programme, the La Silla Paranal Observatory opens a project position of an International Staff Member as a

Process Engineer


Vacancy closed on 11/08/2023

Deadline 11/08/2023

The selected candidate will work in a team of programme engineers and operations experts on the implementation of a process-based operations model within the ESO - Directorate of Operations, including the VLT and ELT facilities. The model is under development and will consider a lean concept as well as the digital transformation of the Observatory.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Analyse current observatory processes, workflows and apply best practices
  • Design new or improved processes that support multi-site operations at the world's foremost optical telescope facilities
  • Document processes via mapping and develop associated procedures to standardise workflows
  • Perform process improvement costs vs benefits analysis
  • Draft reports and present results to senior management and fellow process engineers
  • Support the IOP Programme Manager in the implementation of process-based operations
  • Collaborate with fellow process engineers and multi-disciplinary teams to ensure successful embedment of processes

Reports to:

IOP Programme Manager

Essential Competencies and Experience:

  • 2+ years' experience in process engineering and mapping
  • Proficiency in creating process maps, descriptions and workflow diagrams
  • Proficiency in new process design, process optimisation and implementation
  • Expertise in development of key performance indicators for processes
  • Capability to work in a diverse and international work environment

Desirable Competencies and Experience

  • Experience in a technical (manufacturing or maintenance) environment, performing process mapping
  • Competence in process mapping tools and associated standards (e.g., Camunda, MagicDraw, BPMN etc)
  • Proficiency in MS Office packages, especially manipulating data in Excel
  • Knowledge of change management methods
  • Ability to communicate with others on different levels including managers
  • Good interpersonal skills, understand staff concerns and balance them with the organisations need to evolve
  • Proactive approach to the role with good level of initiative and sense of independence


University degree or equivalent in a relevant engineering discipline.

Language skills:

The position requires a working knowledge of English.

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.

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.

Duty Station:

The duty station will be the Paranal Observatory, located 120 km south of the city of Antofagasta, Chile. Occasionally, and depending on project needs, working periods on ESO premises will be organized. The working schedule at the Observatory will be 8 days on duty and 6 days off duty (8x6).

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. 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 11 August 2023.

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

ESO Values

An important element in any successful employment relationship is harmony in values between an organisation and its people.

The ESO Values are:

ESO strives for excellence through innovation.

ESO provides outstanding services to its communities.

ESO fosters diversity & inclusion.

ESO believes in the key role of sustainability for its future.

Achieving the above are recognized as only possible on the basis of personal values and attitudes that we expect from our employees: respect, integrity, accountability, commitment, collaboration, and clear & open communication.

Applicants to any ESO role are asked to reflect on their affinity with these values and advised they may be asked about them if called for interview.


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, equitable and inclusive workforce. Please visit for further details.


No nationality is in principle excluded from employment at ESO, however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of our Member States, host states and strategic partners: 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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