The European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) seeks an optical physicist/engineer for the Virgo injection system (INJ) and pre-stabilized laser (PSL). EGO is a French-Italian consortium founded by INFN and CNRS to foster European collaboration in gravitational wave research. EGO is located in Cascina, near Pisa – Italy, and hosts and operates the gravitational wave detector Virgo, a 3 km-long laser interferometer (ITF). Virgo and the two LIGO ITFs in the US are the most large and sensitive gravitational-wave detecting instruments in the world. The Virgo project involves the collaboration of about 25 laboratories with more than 300 scientists, engineers and technicians in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary and Spain.

The selected candidate will work as an Optical Physicist/Engineer within the EGO optics group. She/he will collaborate with other team members to the commissioning, maintenance, troubleshooting and improvement of Optics related to INJ and PSL subsystems. The selected candidate will be also involved in the commissioning and optical characterization of the Advanced Virgo laser interferometer, and to the design and tests related to the upgrade of Advanced Virgo (AdV+). Other duties include:

  • Critically analyzing the design, the definition of requirements, the error budgets, the definition and verification of performances of the interferometer and optical benches, especially in view of next upgrades of the interferometer
  • Proactively seeking problems and proposing solutions to solve issues found
  • Possibly planning and implementing the required solutions for efficient long-term operations, as well as new upgrades for improving performances
  • Monitoring technology development activities in the fields of optics, interferometry and laser systems

The post may require the selected candidate work outside of normal working hours, sometimes including nights, weekends and public holidays, and may require shift work and participation in a regular on-call service, ability to adapt quickly and resourcefully to shifting priorities and constraints. It may happen to cope with technically difficult situations, and to work within strict deadlines.

Essential required qualifications and experience

  • A PhD related to experimental Optics or Optics/Opto-Electronics is required, with hands-on experience in Optics.
  • Experience in the field of advanced scientific instrumentation at a University institute or similar institution, with operational experience
  • Knowledge in laser physics and scientific/industrial laser equipment
  • Proficiency in the operation of Optics-related control electronics and diagnostic instrumentation
  • Capacity to communicate efficiently with colleagues from different countries, good sense of team spirit and proactive attitude.
  • Good knowledge of English
  • Knowledge of Python or Matlab programming languages and basic knowledge of UNIX/LINUX operating systems.

Desired qualifications and experience
One or more of the following will be an asset:

  • PhD must have been earned within the past 5 years.
  • Experimental knowledge of control systems
  • Competence with optical software design (Zemax or equivalent).
  • Working knowledge of Italian and/or French.

General requirements

  • No criminal convictions
  • Driving license

Place of work
EGO – European Gravitational Observatory – via E. Amaldi 56021 Loc. S.Stefano a Macerata – Cascina (Pisa) ITALY.

Type of contract
One-year (renewable for one year) with the perspective of a permanent contract, as Tecnologo (Technologist), according to the “Contratto Collettivo di Lavoro del Personale EGO” (EGO personnel collective bargaining agreement). Gross salary will range between 38500 euros and 49700 euros. Additional benefits include Severance Pay (roughly 1 month salary per year of contract, granted to the employee at the end of the contract) and yearly performance bonus.

Selection procedure
The selection will be made considering candidate qualifications and experience. The first phase of the selection will be based on the examination of the CVs and Application Forms. The best candidates will be admitted to the final phase, which will consist of an interview.

How to apply?
Candidates can send their CV and the EGO Application Form (to be found here), to quoting the reference number of this vacancy notice.

Closing date for applications
January 27, 2020

 Start of contract

The earliest possible after March 1st, 2020