System Administrator for the ATLAS on-line infrastructure (TTE Programme)

Geneva, Switzerland
Closing date
31 May 2021

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Scientific, Systems
Computing & IT, Sciences
Job Type

Job Details

Job Description

Are you an enthusiastic technician looking for a challenging professional experience to further your career?  If so, joining CERN’s TTE programme may very well give you that challenge.

ATLAS is one of the four major experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. It is a general-purpose particle physics experiment run by an international collaboration and, together with CMS, is designed to exploit the full discovery potential and the huge range of physics opportunities that the LHC provides.

The ATLAS Trigger and Data Acquisition System Administration team in the Experimental Physics department (EP) is a high throughput and high availability network deployed between two distant sites on the ATLAS facilities at CERN. It connects around 150 detector read-out servers located in the experiment's underground service cavern, with a computer farm of more than 2000 computer nodes located in the surface facilities. The system must operate seamlessly during data taking periods, in order to efficiently perform the required data reduction operations as a prior step to the permanent storage of the selected physics data. The computer farm is used for simulation tasks when ATLAS is not taking data.

During the so called Long Shutdown 2 period the ATLAS DAQ Network has been completely refurbished, including many of the software tools used for the network management and monitoring. You will be fully integrated in the System Administration team, working and collaborating with the existing experts, responsible for ensuring the correct behavior of the system and will contribute to the improvement of the software tools (e.g. implementing a login management system) as well as participate in the regular planned or unplanned on-site interventions.

Within the scope of the project, two major activities are foreseen for you:

  • in Spring 2021, 32 servers racks with their network switches will be replaced. You will participate in the decommissioning, installation and configuration of the network switches and contribute to the server cabling activities;
  • from February 2022 the system will enter in production mode, with the LHC resuming operations and the ATLAS experiment starting to record physics events. In order to guarantee the correct operation of the network, you will participate in the regular monitoring and maintenance activities, with on-site interventions for urgent matters and participating on the scheduled intervention during maintenance windows.


As a System Administrator you will:

  • Participate to network equipment installation and server cabling;
  • Contribute to day-to-day operation and monitoring of a network infrastructure;
  • Develop the system management and network monitoring tools.


In order to qualify for a place on the programme you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • You are a national of a CERN Member State or Associate Member State (;
  • You have a Technical Diploma or equivalent, and no more than 4 years' relevant experience after finishing your diploma;
  • If you are currently studying, you are still eligible to apply, although you are expected to have obtained your qualification by the start of your appointment at CERN;
  • If you hold a BSc or MSc, you are not eligible. However you may be eligible for the Fellowship Programme.
  • You should have at least a working knowledge of English or French.

Specific skills required for this job:


  • Basic understanding of TCP/IP network;
  • Basic understanding of Linux command line;
  • Basic understanding of scripting languages such as Bash or Python;

Additional Information

CERN would very much like to benefit from your expertise, commitment and passion.  In return, CERN will provide you with:

  • An employment contract of one year, renewable for a second year; 
  • On-the-job and formal training (in the design and implementation of electrical systems) at CERN as well as in-house language courses for English and/or French;
  • A monthly stipend of 4585 Swiss Francs per month (net of tax);
  • Coverage by CERN’s comprehensive health scheme (for yourself, your spouse and children), and membership of the CERN Pension Fund;
  • Depending on your individual circumstances: an installation grant, family, child and infant allowances as well as travel expenses to and from Geneva;
  • 2,5 days of paid leave per month.

Training value

As a member of a team with experienced technicians and engineers from many European countries, you will find a dynamic environment where you will :

  • Acquire network administrator skills;
  • Learn about best practices on Data Centre infrastructure installation;
  • Gain experience on a production infrastructure operation.

All applications should normally reach us no later than 31.05.2021


Imagine taking part in the largest scientific experiment in the world. CERN needs more than physicists and engineers – if you’re a student, a graduate, just starting your career or an experienced professional, Whatever your field of expertise, CERN could be your next opportunity: take part!

CERN is a truly unique organisation. A genuine collaboration between countries, universities and scientists, driven not by profit margins, but by a commitment to create and share knowledge.

People here are part of immense scientific discoveries, answering some of life’s most complex questions and pushing the boundaries of understanding. Experts from every field come here to share in this ambition and the nature of this collaborative, international community creates a genuine atmosphere of trust. People are free to work creatively and to trust in, and rely on, their colleagues across the organisation.

History’s being made here – and the excitement is tangible, inspiring, overwhelming at times. It is the only place in the world that you can do this work in this way.

CERN. Take part.

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