Software Engineer (17-24-070)

Job Description

We are looking for a Software Engineer to support our client ESO, in Garching bei München, Germany. You will join the Control Software and Engineering Department (CSE) in the Directorate of Engineering (DoE) which is responsible for the definition, design and implementation of complex control systems for advanced optical and infrared astronomical instrumentation and telescope systems required for ESO’s Observatories in Chile.

CSE is in particular responsible for the development and maintenance of detector control software for all ESO controllers including NGC (Next Generation Controller). ESO is in the process of developing a new version of the NGC controller, an in-house detector controller for optical and infrared scientific detectors, as well as for wavefront sensors. The control software for the new NGC controller will be implemented largely based on the current version but adapted to the new technologies and detectors selected for the ELT project. The software must be ready according to the plan defined for first generation ELT instruments.

The tasks required consist of:

  • Develop and maintain the core software for the NGC controller (2.0) including but not limited to:
    • NGC software adaptation to ELT technologies such the implementation of user interfaces in Qt or the integration with CII.
    • Support the redesign of the detector control software for optical detectors.
    • Implementation of new hardware functions.
  • Develop and maintain instrument specific functionalities for detector control for all ELT instruments and wavefront sensors technologies.
  • Support the maintenance and development of the NGC core software and its extensions, e.g. porting to newer releases of the ELT software platform.
  • Support instrument assembly, integration and test (AIT) activities in relation to optical and infrared detectors, e.g. configuration control and incremental SW deliveries for systems in production.
  • Develop and maintain detector control software for VLT/VLTI instruments.
  • Support NGC-related instrument commissioning activities on site.
  • Develop and maintain general instrument control software components for ESO projects.


Required Skills and Experience

  • University degree in Computer Science, Physics, Electrical Engineering or equivalent.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in implementing real time software for embedded systems as well as higher level, object oriented distributed applications and messaging systems.
  • Able to take over the responsibility for parts of NGC detector control software and develop/maintain it according to the requirements.
  • Minimum 5 years of professional experience in software development, covering the full software life cycle analysis, design, implementation, testing and maintenance including documentation, preferred with C/C++ and python.
  • Good experience in implementation of real-time data acquisition.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in working in software development teams.
  • Minimum 3 years of hands on experience in (unit) testing.
  • Minimum 3 years of hands on experience in software engineering practices like version control including the related tooling.
  • Excellent command of English language, preferably applied in international work environment.
  • Trips to observatories in Chile might be necessary.


Desirable Skills and Experience

  • Practical experience in implementation of detector control software.
  • Good command of C++11 and generic programming techniques.
  • Familiarity with LINUX PCI device drivers.
  • Basic knowledge of optical and infrared scientific detectors.
  • Experience developing user interfaces in Qt.


Work Location

Garching bei München, Germany


Start of Work: January 2018

Application Deadline: 23 August 2017

Important Notes

Before applying to this position, please read the page How to Apply.
Applicants must be EU citizens or have a valid work and residence permit in Germany.
Security, identity and reference checks on the candidates are part of the recruitment process.

Job Application

Please send your applications electronically to before the application deadline 23 August 2017.