Engineer (Computing) in the area of Experiment Integration and Operations support inside the Information Technologies Departement (IT), Experiment Support (ES) group.

Date of publication: 18.05.2010

Programme Staff Staff Category Computer Scientists Number of posts 3 Job Reference IT-ES-2010-153-LD

Professional Code / Code Professionnel 208

Career Path / Filière de Carrière E


The Information Technology (IT) Department provides computing services for all aspects of the laboratory’s activities. These require a wide range of technologies and skills including the provision of computing facilities, local and wide area networking, platforms for computing environments, software development, databases, desktop environments and a wide range of system integration and management tasks. The Department collaborates with institutes around the world as part of the LHC Computing Grid to provide the environments for physics data processing as well as engaging in research and development projects with industry as part of the CERN openlab and partnering in a number of European Commission projects.

The world’s largest scientific machine – the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN – has started a first extended data taking run. The physics programme of the LHC relies on a large distributed computing system (the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid: WLCG) which is used to reconstruct and analyse the unprecedented quantity of experimental data – some 15PB / year under normal operating conditions. WLCG also provides the computational and storage resources that are used to provide the necessary simulated data as well as the processing needed for the optimisation of the detectors and of the physics analysis algorithms.


The functions include: (stress) testing of new middleware features and functionality in pre-production environments according to the supported Virtual Organization (VO) requirements; providing general and specialised grid expertise for the rapid resolution of problems; development of experiment-specific add-ins/plug-ins to operational tools; support for the integration of experiment-specific critical services into the overall grid infrastructure; investigation and deployment of solutions to enable an effective user-to-user and user-to-expert support model.

As a member of the Experiment Integration support team the selected candidates will perform the following functions:

Create and maintain targeted documentation; Provide support concerning use of the grid infrastructure; Provide user support for domain-specific services and applications; Provide intensive debugging support for operational problems; Contribute to the treatment of user support tickets; Investigate novel mechanisms for providing user support; Support for the evaluation and testing of pre-production services; Contribute to the effort providing Distributed Analysis support; Contribute to the support of the Persistency Framework.

Qualification required

University degree or equivalent in computer science, physics, or a closely related field.

Experience and knowledge

Good knowledge and practical experience in the following fields are required:

Thorough knowledge of grid computing and the computing models of the LHC experiments;

Experience with the operations of distributed computing infrastructures and of the Linux operation system environment;

Practical knowledge of scripting languages, such as Perl and Python;

Good knowledge of English or French; basic knowledge of the other language or an undertaking to acquire it rapidly.

The following knowledge and skills are considered additional assets: Development and maintenance of applications running in a Linux environment;

Monitoring systems such as the experiment dashboards, SAM, SLS, Nagios, Lemon;

Experience in providing technical user support;

Development of modern user interfaces, especially Web based; Relational database management systems, in particular Oracle;

Good communication skills, a customer-oriented approach and the ability to liaise effectively with users are also essential for this service function;

A methodical approach to problem solving, open mindedness, team spirit and flexibility are highly valued;

The ability to supervise people and lead small software projects would be an advantage.

Eligibility and closing date

In line with our policy of Equal Opportunities, we encourage both men and women with relevant qualifications to apply.

Nationals from all Member States may apply.

Applications should normally reach us by 15 June. Applications will normally remain valid for 12 months.

Note on Employment Conditions

We offer a limited-duration contract which shall terminate on 30/04/2013. Limited-duration contracts shall terminate by default on their date of expiry. Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may be granted an indefinite contract.

These functions may require work outside normal CERN working hours, including nights, weekends and public holidays, and may entail shift work and the participation in a regular stand-by service.

-- KilianSchwarz - 19 May 2010
Topic revision: r1 - 2010-05-19, KilianSchwarz
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