System Administrator for the ATLAS Trigger and Data-Acquisition, TTE Programme

Geneva, Switzerland
31 Jan 2019
End of advertisement period
29 May 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Geneva, Switzerland


Company Description

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter - fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more on

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization.

Job Description

Are you a technician looking for a challenging professional experience to further your career?  If so, joining CERN’s TTE programme may very well give you that challenge. This position as a computing technician is part of our prestigious TTE programme. 

The ATLAS Trigger and Data-Acquisition System Administration team manages the ATLAS online computing infrastructure. This is a mission-critical quasi-realtime heterogeneous computing system composed by roughly four thousand interconnected computers, distributed across an underground cavern and a surface data centre. The system accounts approximately four thousands users.

The System Administration team is responsible for all aspects associated with such a large computing infrastructure, including in particular hardware upkeep and refurbishment, operating system deployment and tuning, operational monitoring and computer security. In addition they guarantee the correct functioning of the core computing infrastructure, consisting of name and time servers, DHCP relays, web servers, MySQL and LDAP clusters, gateways, storage and virtualisation systems.

The selected candidate will be fully integrated in the System Administration team, working and collaborating with the existing experts. She will share all team duties, from the day to day system operation to user support and troubleshooting. In due time the candidate will also take responsibility for specific projects, like the improvement of the monitoring and management tools, the review of the web application deployment mechanisms or the update of the software distribution and replication scheme.


  • Contribute to day-to-day operation and monitoring of the computer infrastructure
  • Provide user support and troubleshooting, acting as standby on-duty
  • Develop solutions for the improvement of the system administration tools


In order to qualify for this place on the programme you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • You are a national of a CERN Member State or Associate Member State (;
  • You have a Technical Diploma in Instructional Design, Communication Design,  Adult Learning, or a related field (, and no more than 4 years' relevant experience after finishing your diploma;
  • If you are currently studying, you are still eligible to apply, although you are expected to have obtained your qualification by the start of your appointment at CERN;
  • If you hold a BSc or MSc, you are not eligible. However, you may be eligible for the Fellowship Programme.
  • You should have at least a working knowledge of English or French.
  •  Good teamworking abilities.
  • Knowledge of mechanical measurements and 3D drawing software would be an asset but not mandatory 

Additional Information

CERN would very much like to benefit from your expertise, commitment and passion.  In return, CERN will provide you with:

  • An employment contract of one year, renewable for a second year; 
  • On-the-job and formal training at CERN as well as in-house language courses for English and/or French;
  • A take home pay of approximately 3,540 CHF per month (net of tax);
  • Coverage by CERN’s comprehensive health scheme (for yourself, your spouse and children), and membership of the CERN Pension Fund;
  • Depending on your individual circumstances: an installation grant, family, child and infant allowances as well as travel expenses to and from Geneva;
  • 2,5 days of paid leave per month.

Skills require for this job:

  • Knowledge of Linux Operating System, in particular RHEL/CentsOS variants
  • Knowledge of scripting languages (e.g. Bash, Python)
  • Knowledge of development tools on Linux (e.g. Git)
  • Experience with computer hardware troubleshooting and maintenance

Training Values 

  • You will acquire hands-on experience with the operation and maintenance of large computing infrastructure and its components
  • You will work in an international environment and learn how to provide support and troubleshoot computing-related problems
  • You will become familiar with modern tools for the management, monitoring, configuration, ... of computer clusters
  • You will get experience in public speaking and presentations

This is how you can apply:

You will need the following documents to complete your application:

  • A scanned copy of your latest relevant qualification;
  • At least one reference letter (from a professor or previous employer) giving an overview of your academic and/or professional achievements. This should be as broad as possible.
    • You can upload these letters at the time of application if you have them to hand. You will also be provided with a link as soon as you have submitted your application to forward to your referees to upload their letters confidentially. Please note this must be done before the closing date.

All applications should normally reach us no later than 29.05.2019.

Please make sure you have all the documents requested to hand as you start your application. Once submitted you will not be able to upload any documents or edit your application.

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