The European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) is seeking a motivated and skilled physicist or engineer to join its Noise & Controls team. 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: in 2017 their joint detection of a binary neutron star merger ushered the dawn of Multi-Messenger Astronomy. The Virgo detector involves the collaboration of about 110 Institutions with almost 600 scientists, engineers and technicians in France, Italy, the Netherlands and other 10 European countries.

The selected candidate will work as an Applied Physicist for the ITF Operation/Commissioning/Upgrade, in the Noise&Controls team of the EGO ITF Technology Department. The Noise & Controls team is in charge of the design, commissioning and operation of the sensing and control of the Advanced Virgo+ ITF. It is a complex opto-mechanical system with 5 longitudinal degrees of freedom, along the main ITF beam, and the angular degrees of freedom, the pitch and yaw control of the main optical components. The candidate will collaborate with other team members and Virgo members working on the ITF commissioning.
In particular, she/he will work mainly on:

  • control system design for optical systems;
  • simulation, commissioning, maintenance, trouble-shooting and improvement of the longitudinal and angular control system of the ITF;
  • daily monitoring and operation of ITF longitudinal and alignment control;
  • setting-up and use of instrumentation and analysis tools for control characterization;
  • supporting the other subsystems during shifts.

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

Essential required qualifications and experience

  • Physicist or engineer with 3 or more years of related work experience;
  • knowledge of control theory and practice;
  • basic knowledge of UNIX/LINUX operating systems and knowledge of Matlab or Python programming language;
  • capacity to communicate efficiently with colleagues from different European countries and a good sense of team spirit;
  • good knowledge of English;
  • genuine scientific curiosity to pursue the understanding of the unknown and unexpected.

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

  • PhD degree in topics related to the position;
  • experience in the gravitational wave detectors field;
  • operational knowledge of optical resonators and related control systems;
  • EU work permit

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).

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
31st of October, 2020

Start of contract
The earliest possible after December, 1st 2020