Applied physicist

Are you an applied physicist with experience in detector development, commissioning and operation? Do you wish to take part in a major upgrade of the ALICE detector to cover its future scientific programme planned for the next decade? This could be the opportunity for you! Take part! 

Job Reference: EP-AID-DT-2016-117-LD
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Closing date:


Applied physicist with specialization in detector development commissioning and operation in the Experimental Physics Department (EP), ALICE Detector & Systems Group (AID), Detector Section (DT). 


ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment), one of the four large experiments of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, is a general-purpose heavy-ion detectors designed to address the physics of strongly interacting matter using nucleus-nucleus, proton-nucleus and proton-proton collisions. While the original scientific programme will be completed with the current experimental set-up in 2018, ALICE is preparing a major upgrade of its detector to cover its future scientific programme planned for the next decade. A key element of this detector upgrade is the replacement of the Inner Tracking System (ITS), which is a silicon tracker at the heart of the ALICE detector, with a new, ultra-light, high-precision, seven-layer barrel detector based on monolithic pixel detectors. The construction of the detector will start in the year 2017 and will continue till 2019. After an extended pre-commissioning on surface, the new ITS will be installed in ALICE in the year 2020 to be used for physics data taking with the LHC beams starting in 2021. 


The successful candidate will join the ALICE detector group, which plays a major role in the development of the new ITS, including the development and integration of the pixel chip, the construction of the three inner layers (Inner Barrel), and the overall assembly, installation, commissioning and operation in the ALICE experiment.




As Applied Physicist in the EP-AID-DT Section, you will participate in a first phase in the construction and qualification of the ITS Inner Barrel. This includes:


  • Preparation of a test facility (hardware and software) for a comprehensive functional and dimensional verification of individual detector modules (staves). 
  • Construction and test of individual staves.
  • Assembly of staves to build layers and barrels.
  • Integration with services: power distribution, cooling system, safety and monitoring.
  • Integration with back-end systems: readout electronics, data acquisition, trigger and detector control.


In a second phase you will participate in the overall detector commissioning at surface and commissioning and operation in the ALICE cavern. This includes:


  • Setting-up the required hardware and software, in close collaboration with the ALICE data acquisition and trigger groups.
  • Development of test procedures and software for the control and characterization of the detector.
  • Participation in the commissioning, including the ITS internal alignment.
  • Participation in the detector operation.        


Qualification required


PhD in the field of physics and more particularly in experimental or applied particle physics, or equivalent.


Experience and competencies


The experience required for this post is:


  • This position requires demonstrated experience in detector hardware development and characterization, online data readout and data processing algorithms and techniques.


The technical competencies required for this post are:


  • Solid-state based particle detection technologies.
  • Detector design, construction, testing and operation.
  • Detector assembly and integration: techniques, procedures and coordination.
  • Detector performance simulation and analysis.


The behavioural competencies required for this post are:


  • Working in teams: contributing to promoting a positive atmosphere in the team through an optimistic and constructive attitude; addressing issues; building and maintaining constructive and effective work relationships.
  • Demonstrating accountability: presenting information accurately and objectively.
  • Managing self: taking initiative beyond regular tasks and making things happen.
  • Achieving results: having a structured and organised approach towards work; being able to set priorities and plan tasks with results in mind.
  • Communicating effectively: providing others with timely information.


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 15.09.2016.


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 in Radiation Areas.
  • Interventions in underground installations.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.


**Effective 1 September 2016, CERN will introduce a new career structure, the details of which shall be published in the Staff Rules and Regulations on that date.


Read more about employment conditions

Professional Category:
Job Category:
Career Level
Grade 6 or 7
Number of Posts
Duration: 5 year(s)

Application is closed for this job.