DAQ Specialist/Engineer

Are you an experienced C++ programmer with a passion for computing hardware and emerging technologies? The ATLAS Data-Acquisition team operates and maintains a state-of-the-art heterogeneous computing infrastructure with in-house developed high-performance software. Join the unique challenge of managing, evolving and upgrading all aspects of the distributed data-conveyance components. Make use of your skills to meet the demanding performance and efficiency requirements of one of the largest particle-physics experiments in the world. Take Part!

Job Reference: EP-ADT-DQ-2016-14-LD
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DAQ Specialist/Engineer in the Experimental Physics Department (EP), ATLAS Trigger and Data Acquisition Group (ADT), Data Acquisition Section (DQ).


You will join the:


  • Experimental Physics Department (EP) which carries out basic research in the field of experimental physics. It aims at providing a stimulating scientific atmosphere and remains an important reference centre for the european physics community. It contributes to the education and training of young scientists.
  • ATLAS Trigger and Data Acquisition Group (ADT) which has major responsibilities in the ATLAS trigger and data acquisition system. Its activities span every aspect, from development and operation of custom trigger hardware to high-level physics selection algorithms via data conveyance and control infrastructures.
  • CERN Data Acquisition (DQ) Section of the ATLAS experiment, which is in charge of developing, installing, maintaining, operating and upgrading the DAQ system for the overall detector. This position is specifically in the ReadOut and DataFlow* areas of the DAQ system.


*The ReadOut and DataFlow infrastructures are heterogeneous hardware and software systems comprising thousands of end-nodes interconnected by a high-performance network. They are responsible for reliable and effective conveyance and storage of physics data from the detector electronics to the off-line computing facilities.



As a DAQ Specialist/Engineer for the Trigger and Data Acquisition system of the ATLAS experiment, you will work on the operation and maintenance of the existing data-conveyance infrastructure, as well as on all stages of future upgrades, from R&D through to implementation and commissioning. You will more specifically:


  • Take part in the operation and maintenance of the ReadOut and DataFlow hardware and software infrastructures. This involves the active follow-up of operational problems and requirements, including performance and reliability reach.
  • Contribute to the hardware upkeep, replacement and upgrade of DAQ components. This involves hardware evaluation and testing, and fostering contacts with major IT manufacturers. You will participate in the installation and (de-) commissioning of large computing infrastructures.
  • Take on responsibilities in ATLAS data-acquisition software, in particular concerning the specification, design and implementation of the next-generation data-conveyance infrastructure. This requires selecting and introducing designs and software technologies capable of meeting current and future performance requirements.
  • In due time, investigate, evaluate and propose new architectural and technological solutions for data acquisition in the context of the experiment's Phase-I (2019) and Phase-II (2024) upgrades.
  • Participate in a team of DAQ experts that assures the smooth functioning of the DAQ system 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and supports its integration with other ATLAS sub-systems.


Qualification required

Master's degree in the field of Physics, Computer Science or Engineering, or equivalent.


Experience and competencies


The experience required for this post is:


  • Proven experience with multi-threading, parallel and networking programming techniques in C++, on distributed systems.
  • Good knowledge in the use of tools and methods that support all phases of the software lifecycle, in particular design, coding, testing, on the Linux Operating System.
  • Experience with performance tuning and optimization, especially oriented towards data throughput on networked systems.
  • Practical knowledge of computing hardware and architectures and networking equipment.
  • Experience in the operation of large and distributed DAQ systems and their data-conveyance sub-systems.
  • Experience in the context of a large-scale computing organisation or High-Energy Physics experiment would provide a distinct advantage.


The technical competencies required for this post are:


  • Operation and maintenance of data acquisition systems.
  • Programming/Software development: solid knowledge of C++; solid knowledge of the linux operating system environment; knowledge of python scripting.
  • Systems installation/decommissioning: ability to plan and carry out installations within large computing systems.
  • Systems integration: including integration of software and hardware components.
  • Emerging technology monitoring.


The behavioural competencies required for this post are:


  • Achieving results: delivering high quality work on time and fulfilling expectations; having a structured and organised approach towards work; being able to set priorities and plan tasks with results in mind.
  • Demonstrating accountability: presenting information accurately and objectively; taking responsibility for own actions and decisions.
  • Working in teams: building and maintaining constructive and effective work relationships; working well in groups and readily fitting into a team; participating fully and taking an active role in team activities.
  • Solving problems: addressing complex problems by breaking them down into manageable components.
  • Demonstrating flexibility: being willing to work on different projects simultaneously.


The language competencies required are:


  • English or French: spoken and written, with the ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports, and/or to make oral presentations. The ability to understand and speak the other language in professional contexts would be an advantage.


Eligibility conditions

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 28.02.2016.


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.


Read more about employment conditions


Professional Category:
University Engineers
Job Category:
Controls and Data Acquisition, Information Technologies
Career Level
Career Path
Number of Posts
Duration: 5 year(s)

Application is closed for this job.