Advert. no. 2024_0023
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, the Organisation 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 its Integrated Operations (IOP) Programme at the La Silla Paranal Observatory, ESO is opening the position of an International Staff Member as a

Digital Transformation Architect


Vacancy closed on 18/04/2024

Deadline 18/04/2024

In the context of the development of future site operations the Paranal Observatory is preparing operations of the VLT and the ELT. The Integrated Operations Programme builds and implements a process model which delivers high performance science data through sustainable operations processes. The digital transformation of these processes plays a major role in our success and thus makes the correspondent architect a key player in the engineering team of the programme.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

In this position you will own the end-to-end digital transformation architecture, from ideation, conceptualization to an executable implementation project. You will have the opportunity to;

  • Work in a diverse core team of IOP architects, engineers, scientists and other operations experts to understand all digital components of future operations
  • Lead a dedicated team building the digital transformation architecture and to defining the corresponding implementing projects.
  • Explore how data science and ML/AI techniques can improve observatory operations.
  • Collaborate and network with research institutes and industry on data science and digital technology.
  • Team-up with the Organisation's IT department preparing the required technology standards and the skill set to maintain these.
  • Work in an international environment, on the ESO campus in Santiago with the option of mobile working within our correspondent framework, and to frequently spending time in the environment of world's most advanced Observatory for astronomy at visible and infrared wavelengths on Paranal in the Chilean desert.

Reports to:

Head of System Engineering

Key Competences and Experience:

Essential competences and experience:

  • Strong conceptual and analytical skills allowing the understanding and the oversite of the needs to transform complex and large facility operations. -Excellent social and communication skills unlocking the potential in diverse and multidisciplinary teams and allowing to build strong networks.
  • Good understanding of the relevant components of a digital strategy, e.g. cloud-, security-, network-, automation-, and site reliability architecture.
  • Understanding and experience in several of the following fields:
    • IIoT technology and systems
    • Cloud and edge computing infrastructure and concepts
    • Advanced data processing, analysis and visualization
    • Data Model validation and deployment in databases

  • Systematic approach in leading projects from a conceptual phase to implementation using common project management standards.

Desirable competences and experience, which are not mandatory, but considered as an asset:

  • Experience with engineering/scientific data, ideally in operating system data analysis, data mining, and AI tooling.
  • Good knowledge of common programming or scripting languages (e.g. python).
  • Experience with Microsoft Azure Cloud services and application suite.
  • A research record in the system analysis and/or ML/AI field.


A master's degree or equivalent in relevant disciplines, e.g. data science, computer science, engineering, physics, or astronomy is required.

Language skills:

Excellent command of the English language both oral and written.

Remuneration and Contract information:

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 where applicable.

Our Salary and career structure

ESO's salary structure is based upon a range of career paths which reflect the nature and level of our roles. Each career path is made up of two or three grades which are used to further reflect experience and performance. The role of Digital Transformation Architect is in Career Path V. Please follow this link for more details

ESO aims to support its 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 on offer is for a fixed term duration of three years, and is subject to medical clearance and successful completion of the probation period. There is no possibility of contract extension. For any further information, please visit ESO's conditions of employment. Please note that our contract policy and in particular the regulations concerning fixed-term and indefinite contracts are under review which may lead to changes in the contractual conditions applicable to this position.

Duty Station:

The duty station for this role will be the ESO premises in Vitacura, Santiago de Chile. The post requires regular visits to the Paranal Observatory, located 120 km south of the city of Antofagasta, Chile. Occasionally, and depending on project needs, working periods on other ESO premises will be organized. The work schedule in the Vitacura office is 40 work hours a week in a regular 5/2 mode. Work missions to the Observatory site can extend up to 8 days, followed by 6 days of rest.


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 18 April 2024

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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