Senior Engineer/Scientist for Astronomical Instrumentation (m/f/d)

The 4MOST facility is a fibre based multi-object spectroscopic facility for the VISTA Telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) at Paranal in Chile and is being developed by a large international consortium led by the AIP (see:

The AIP is seeking a qualified

Senior Engineer/Scientist for Astronomical Instrumentation (m/f/d)

for the 4MOST project.

Ihr Aufgabengebiet:

The position will provide leadership and requires proven expertise in large instrumentation projects. The successful candidate will be engaged in research and development and will be in charge of instrumental sub-systems for 4MOST. This includes the technical oversight of the assembly, integration and test of opto-mechanical systems, the lead in engineering modelling and analysis. The incumbent will join an existing project team consisting of scientific, engineering and managerial staff.

Main tasks:

  • Lead of technical work packages for 4MOST opto-mechanical subsystems (Wide-Field Corrector optics, Acquisition & Guiding units, Wavefront Sensors, Metrology system)
  • Supervision and coordination of allocated technical staff (optical, mechanical, electronics and software engineers) and their work
  • Assembly, integration, test, analysis and verification of the above subsystems
  • Planning of resources, scheduling and reporting to project office
  • Documentation and presentation of work status and results to project and ESO

Ihr Profil:

Required qualification:

  • Higher degree in engineering; physics; astronomy; or similar technical/scientific field.
  • Proven track record and experience with oversight of development, assembly, test and verification of complex opto-mechanical instrumentation.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with ability to influence and aid technical and scientific staff working as project teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team involving close collaboration with optical, electronic, and software design and support staff.
  • Good knowledge of spoken and written English for communication and documentation

Desired skills:

  • Experience with the principles and application of the System Engineering process in project development.
  • Experience in planning and estimating for design and development work.
  • Able to identify risks and perform appropriate engineering analysis to mitigate engineering risks.
  • Basic knowledge of German is a strong asset.

The position is initially offered on a fixed-term contract of three years. Subject to employee performance and funding, continued employment is possible. Employment will be based in Potsdam, Germany, but willingness to do some travel is expected.

The salary is based on the German public service scale (TV-L) and is depending on academic status and previous experience. This includes employer contributions to medical and dental insurance, maternity leave, and retirement benefits. The AIP is an equal opportunity employer and as such considers individuals for employment according to their skills, abilities and experiences. Preference will be given to persons with handicap with equal competence. Women are especially encouraged to apply.

Please send your letter of application (in English), Curriculum Vitae, job references and copies of certificates by email (one pdf-file) to: bewerbung_2020-18(at)

Please indicate in the subject line “4MOST WP-lead”.


Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP)
Contact: Dr Andreas Kelz
An der Sternwarte 16
D-14482 Potsdam


Contact: Dr Andreas Kelz
An der Sternwarte 16
D-14482 Potsdam

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Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP)



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Contact: Dr Andreas Kelz
An der Sternwarte 16
D-14482 Potsdam


0331 / 7499-640



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