Electronics Engineer (digital electronics and HPT)

11 Apr 2017
End of advertisement period
09 May 2017
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time


Electronics Engineer (digital electronics and high precision timing) in the Experimental Physics Department (EP), Electronic Systems for Experiments Group (ESE), Back-End Section (BE).

You will join the Electronic Systems for Experiments Group (ESE) of the Experimental Physics Department (EP), which designs electronic systems for the experiments at CERN and also supplies a series of electronics related services. The Back-End Section (BE) is in charge of the "off-detector" part of these systems: FPGA-based readout, timing distribution systems, trigger and control boards, high speed optical data links, modular electronics and power supplies.


As an Electronics Engineer, you will be actively involved in the design and validation of various timing distribution systems for High Energy Physics (HEP) experiments.

You will:

  • Investigate, conceive, design, test and release hardware and firmware solutions for timing distribution systems for HEP experiments. These systems will be based on FPGAs, high-speed optical links, custom or commercial PLLs, and/or tailored network standards and protocols like Passive Optical Network (PON), Synchronous Ethernet (syncE) or Precision Time Protocol (PTP).
  • Work in close collaboration with experiments to produce comprehensive specifications of the systems to be designed.
  • Design and characterise hardware, firmware and software for timing distribution systems, as well as evaluate existing solutions.
  • Ensure the support, documentation and maintenance of the deployed solutions.


Master's degree in the field of electronics or applied physics, or equivalent.

Experience and competencies

The experience required for this post is:

  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in the fields of design, development and verification of complex FPGA firmware, in particular involving high speed multi-gigabit SerDes, clock domain crossing techniques, clock and data recovery circuits, timing driven place and route, timing analysis.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the implementation and characterization of high speed (optical) serial links.
  • Experience with software scripting languages for hardware and instrument control (e.g. Matlab, Python, tcl).
  • Demonstrated experience of relevant laboratory instrumentation (e.g. high speed oscilloscopes, pattern generators, VNA...).

Experience in the following fields will be considered as an advantage:

  • Experience in hardware design for digital systems (including board development and test), for clock distribution circuits and/or high speed links.
  • Proficiency with FPGA development tools from multiple FPGA vendors.
  • Experience in design and/or operation of timing distribution systems.

The technical competencies required for this post are:

  • Design of electronics for clock/timing generation, processing, distribution and recovery.
  • Design of electronics based on field programmable logic-based devices (FPGA).
  • Programming/Software development.
  • Digital circuit testing and measurement techniques.
  • Analog circuit testing and measurement techniques.
  • Design of electrical buses, serial links and transmission lines.

The behavioural competencies required for this post are:

  • Demonstrating flexibility: actively participating in the implementation of new processes and technologies; demonstrating openness to new ideas and situations; readily absorbing new techniques and working practices; proposing new or improved ways of working.
  • Solving problems: being open to original ideas and creative options by which to address issues; continually driving change by seeking new ways to improve outcomes; testing solutions for long-term suitability, cross-checking with all concerned before implementation.
  • Communicating effectively: ensuring that information, procedures and decisions are appropriately documented; providing others with timely information; delivering presentations in a structured and clear way; adjusting style and content to the audience; responding calmly and confidently to questions.
  • Working in teams: building and maintaining constructive and effective work relationships; gaining trust and collaboration from others; cooperating constructively with others in the pursuit of team goals; balancing personal goals with team goals.
  • Managing self: working well autonomously; taking on activities and tasks without prompting; remaining objective, focussed and productive in a stressful environment; focusing on solutions rather than problems.

The language competencies required are:

  • Spoken and written English with the ability to draw up technical texts.
  • The ability to understand and speak French in professional contexts would be an advantage.

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 09.05.2017.

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:

  • Work during nights, Sundays and public holidays.
  • Work in Radiation Areas.
  • Interventions in underground installations.