European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)

Mechanical Technician (Thin Film Coatings and Laser Surface Modifications)

European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)

Job Description

  At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter - fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more at

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization.

Job Description

Are you a 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.

The Vacuum Surfaces and Chemistry group in the Technology Department (TE-VSC) is in charge of the development, operation and maintenance of vacuum in the entire CERN accelerator system, where particle beams circulate. The Surface Coating and Chemistry section is in charge of the surface preparation and characterization of the surfaces, which are exposed to the beam vacuum. This includes wet chemical surface treatments, thin film coating by physical vapor deposition and surface and chemical Analysis.

As a Mechanical Technician (Thin Film Coatings and Laser Surface Modifications), you will integrate in a small team operating on two main projects: the thin film coating of components for the High Luminosity LHC upgrade and the laser surface modification of so called beam-screens.

The thin films are made of amorphous carbon and are designed to mitigate the emission of secondary electrons from the surface, which face the beam in ultra-high-vacuum. Their implementation in new and existing parts of LHC is foreseen to improve the machine performance with High Luminosity beams.

Laser treatment of copper surfaces can generate very rough surfaces, which do not reflect visible light (appear black) and reduce the emission of electrons. For this reason they are an attractive technology for future accelerators. An ongoing project at CERN foresees to achieve the integration of such a treatment in tubes of 15 m length as those, which host the particle beam.


As a Mechanical Technician, your main activities will consist of:

  • Assembling an operating ultra-high-vacuum systems and handling of accurate clean parts;
  • Manufacturing on conventional machines (milling , turning) of mechanical components for the amorphous carbon coating plants;
  • Manufacturing of mechanical components for the laser treatment bench;
  • Designing and drawing CAD mechanical parts and assemblies;
  • Providing the suitable documentation for the parts you have produced;
  • Integrating in the team to monitor and follow the production of thin films coatings.
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 as Mechanical Technician  (, 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 a good knowledge of technical English (French knowledge is considered as an asset).
Specific skills required for this job:

  • Mechanical manufacturing with conventional milling and turning machines;
  • Reading and understanding of technical drawings;
  • Production of technical documentation.
The following experience would be an advantage
  • Operation of vacuum technology instrumentation;
  • Experience with precision mechanical parts;
  • Practical experience with CAD software.
Training Value

As a member of an international team of experienced engineers and technicians, you will find yourself in a dynamic environment in which you can acquire and develop your skills.

Thanks to this experience you will deepen your knowledge on the Design of electrical works of completely different nature expanding from underground facilities, tertiary buildings or infrastructures hosting our detectors and accelerators.

Fieldwork will allow you to improve your observation, communication, and argumentation skills in English and in French.

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 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.
Required documentation:

You will need the following documents, clearly labelled (e.g. “CV”, “Motivation letter”, “Academic transcript”, etc.) and in PDF format to complete your application:
  • A CV;
  • A scanned copy of your latest relevant qualification;
  • One reference letter (from a professor or previous employer) giving an overview of your academic and/or professional achievements. This should be as broad as possible.

    • You may upload the reference letter yourself, whilst submitting your application, or through your referee via the link you will receive shortly after submitting your application.
All applications should normally reach us no later than 31.01.2022.

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