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Software Engineer - testing infrastructure and integration

ESO - European Southern Observatory

Garching b. München, Bayern 85748
Job Type:
Job Status:
Full Time
  • Computer Engineering
  • Control Systems
  • Research
  • Software Engineering
ESO - European Southern Observatory
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Job Details

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries.

ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in northern Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor (home to ALMA and APEX). The ESO Headquarters are in Garching, near Munich, Germany.

For our Headquarters in Garching we are looking for a

Software Engineer - testing infrastructure and integration

 to join our Infrastructure Software and Integration group (CISI) in the Control Software and Engineering department (CSE)

 What we offer:

  • International environment: You will collaborate daily with software and other engineers and scientists from around the globe.
  • Extremely challenging project: You will be member of the team to build the world’s largest optical telescope – the ELT and therefore will have to deal with challenges that arise in a project at the forefront of technology.
  • Real team work: Within the ELT team, you will be responsible to set-up the Miniscule ELT (MELT) - a test infrastructure to simulate the ELT, and integrate and test control software that is developed by ESO in house or by contractors. 

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary (tax free), comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family and the possibility to place your child/children in day care.


The contract is for a fixed term duration of three years, and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. There is a possibility of extension(s) subject to individual performance and organisational requirements, and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. For further information, please view ESO’s conditions of employment.

 Starting Date:

1 April 2018 or earlier

Duty Station:

ESO Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany. This position involves duty travel to the ESO sites in Chile.


Please apply online via our ESO Recruitment Portal. Your application must be in English and include a motivation letter and CV.Also required are the names and contact details of three referees. These referees may be contacted at the end of the recruitment process, but not without your prior consent.

 Closing date for applications is 14 January 2018. 

We welcome all applications, however, preference will be given to nationals of ESO Member States irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, race or religion.

More Information:

At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky" and whose operations will be fully integrated into the Paranal Observatory.

If you are interested in this position and ready to work in a stimulating international environment, please visit the ESO homepage for further details.


What we expect from you:


  • Team spirit: Above all, you are a real team player, who understands that only strong collaboration across disciplines will allow us to achieve our goals. This includes the capability of clear and open communication.
  • Curiosity and eagerness to learn: You are keen to learn new things and understand our complex projects as well as the technology beyond the software area and you are constantly searching for ways to improve


  • Experience in setting-up, preparing and maintaining test infrastructure for distributed complex control systems: minimum 3 years of professional experience in configuring and deploying servers or embedded interconnected computers running UNIX like (real-time) operating systems; designing and implementing software that communicates with either real or mocked hardware devices via different protocols like Ethernet, OPC UA in a deterministic way; implementing and performing hardware simulation.
  • Know-how in testing and integrating for complex control software: you have professional experience in test and integration of complex distributed software applications running on UNIX platforms, preferably Linux and testing embedded software on real time operating systems
  • Coding and troubleshooting skills: you are not only able to implement simulations and tests involving real HW in languages like C/C++, and automated test procedures in scripting languages like UNIX shell or Python, but you are also able to understand and analyze the code and system design under test.
  • Experience in assembly, integration and verification (AIV): on long term we expect from you that you will join the team that is finally assembling, integrating and verifying the ELT at Armazones/Chile. In this phase, you will travel frequently to Chile and/or stay there for longer periods to support AIV from control software side.

Is there anything else which qualifies you for this job? Just let us know!


A university degree in computer science or equivalent.

Language Skills:

A very good command of the English language - oral, reading and writing - is essential.

Reports to:

Head of the Infrastructure Software and Integration group