Accelerator Operator

02 Mar 2017
End of advertisement period
06 Apr 2017
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time


Accelerator Operator in the Beam Department (BE), Operations Group (OP), Super Proton Synchrotron Section (SPS).

The Operations Group is responsible for the operation of the entire CERN accelerator complex, which currently consists of four Linacs, six synchrotrons and seven experimental areas. In addition to the varied proton, antiproton and heavy ion experimental programs, the complex also supplies protons and heavy ions to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the Operations Group is responsible for LHC operation. The group is also responsible for the operation of CERN's technical infrastructure.

You will join:

  • The Beams department (BE), responsible for the beam production, beam and accelerator physics, beam diagnostics, radiofrequency, controls and performance optimization for the entire CERN accelerator complex including the LHC.

  • The Operations Group (OP), responsible for the operation of all CERN's present and future accelerators, their associated Experimental Areas and for monitoring the overall technical infrastructure at CERN.

  • The Super Proton Synchrotron Section (SPS), a dynamic 14-strong team that runs the SPS, which is the second largest machine (7km circumference) in the CERN accelerator complex. Besides injecting beam into the LHC, the SPS delivers beam to experiments in the North Area, to a material test facility (HiRadMat) and the proton driven plasma wakefield acceleration experiment AWAKE. The SPS is also heavily used as test bed for the LHC. Further details on the SPS Section activities can be found at:


As member of the SPS operations team, you will:

  • Be part of the 24/7 shift team that runs CERN's accelerator complex.
  • Oversee the operation of the SPS accelerator and the associated Experimental Facilities on a shift basis, ensuring the application of safety rules.
  • Take initiative in the optimisation of the SPS accelerator performance individually or in close collaboration with the team of accelerator physicists by preparing and performing machine tests, measurement and accelerator studies.
  • Troubleshoot beam physics and technical accelerator related problems, using a range of powerful diagnostic tools, perform data analysis and ensure a solution will be implemented with the expert support from the different equipment groups.
  • Outside periods of shifts, and after a training period, you will participate in software or hardware related development and maintenance for one or more of the accelerators in the complex, either under the supervision of an engineer within the OP group or within the framework of a specialized equipment group in the Department.
  • Outside periods of accelerator operation, assist the technical infrastructure team with the monitoring of CERN's technical infrastructure, if required.


Higher technical diploma in the field of Physics, Computing, Electronics, Electricity or Electromechanics, or equivalent.

Experience and competencies

The experience required for this post is:

  • Initial work experience in a technical or scientific environment.
  • Experience in the field of physics, computing, electronics, electricity or electro-mechanics.
  • Experience in the field of or accelerator operation and/or accelerator related hardware would be an asset (e.g. measurement devices, power converter techniques, vacuum equipment, PLCs, work in controlled radiation areas, etc.)

The technical competencies required for this post are:

  • Accelerator operation.
  • Accelerator performance analysis & optimization.
  • Commissioning & maintenance of electro-mechanical equipment.
  • Programming/Software development: knowledge of java would be an asset.

The behavioural competencies required for this post are:

  • Solving problems: finding the information needed to solve problems; making objective judgments based on all the facts available.
  • Managing self: working well autonomously; taking on activities and tasks without prompting.
  • Communicating effectively: ensuring that information, procedures and decisions are appropriately documented.
  • Working in teams: working well in groups and readily fitting into a team; participating fully and taking an active role in team activities.
  • Demonstrating flexibility: adapting quickly and resourcefully to shifting priorities and requirements.


The language competencies required are:

  • Spoken and written English or French: ability to understand and speak the other language in routine situations.

Eligibility and closing date

Employing a diverse and international workforce is a CERN core value and central to our success. We welcome applications from all Member States irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion or personal situation.

This vacancy will be filled as soon as possible, and applications should normally reach us no later than 06.04.2017.

By applying here, you allow CERN to consider your application for any position it considers relevant with respect to your profile. Please ensure you update your profile regularly with any relevant information and that you inform the recruitment service if you wish your file to be removed from the database.

Note on Employment Conditions

We offer a limited-duration contract for a period of 5 years. Limited-duration contracts shall terminate by default on their date of expiry.
Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may apply for an indefinite position.

These functions require:

  • Shift work, including nights, Sundays and public holidays.
  • Work in radiation areas.
  • Interventions in underground installations.
  • A valid driving licence.

Read more about employment conditions