Type of contract

Traineeship contract for a period of 4-6 months within the Noise & Controls group in the Interferometer Technology Department, funded by the EGO Consortium.


The European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) hosts and manages the Virgo gravitational wave detector. The commissioning phase of Virgo just started after major upgrades which will increase the design observation range of the new detector (the so-called Advanced Virgo plus detector – AdV+) to 100 Mpc. During the commissioning phase, technical noises that – in addition to the fundamental noises – degrade the detector sensitivity, are studied and mitigated. One important subject of investigation is the noise produced by electro-mechanical devices that are part of the laboratory infrastructure, such as air conditioning systems and vacuum equipments. These devices are very close to the interferometer and both their vibration (i.e. seismic and acoustic) and electromagnetic noise emissions can affect the sensitivity performance of an extremely sensitive device like AdV+. Generally speaking, vibration noise can reach surfaces exposed to laser stray beams thus recoupling phase noise into the interferometer. Magnetic fields couple to permanent magnets used as actuators for controlling the mirror test masses and their suspension chain, or permanent magnets which are embedded in devices (e.g. Faraday isolators) carried by the input and output optical benches.


The study of these sources proceeds through some steps. First, noise of the source is characterized by measuring its propagation through arrays of environmental sensors. Then, the coupling of the noise to the interferometer is measured by “injecting” controlled vibration or magnetic fields in the detector environment. The final step consists in designing, implementing and validating mitigation solutions of the source or of the coupling path, also with the assistance of FEM simulation models.

Current hot topics of investigation are:

(1) acoustic and seismic noise produced by the Virgo laboratory facilities (air fans, pumps, compressors);

(2) ambient magnetic fields coupling to the Virgo input and output optical benches.

We are looking for a motivated student to collaborate with the EGO Environmental group and the EGO Optics group on the various steps of these noise studies.

The chosen candidate will operate in a scientifically stimulating context, and interact with scientists of the Virgo collaboration.

He/she will use several scientific laboratory instrumentation, learn about several experimental and analysis techniques, develop his/her own software analysis codes (matlab or python) and also use/modify specific diagnostic and noise analysis tools developed within the Virgo Collaboration.


The candidate should be a Master-level student in Physics or Engineering, capacity to collaborate efficiently with colleagues from different countries and a good sense of team spirit, good knowledge of English, European citizenship, no criminal convictions.

Skills which constitutes a preferential qualification are:

  • knowledge or competence in one or more of these programming languages: python, matlab, Unix shell scripting
  • knowledge or competence in the use of finite element simulation software

Place of work

EGO – European Gravitational Observatory – Via Edoardo Amaldi cap 56021 Loc. Santo Stefano a Macerata – Cascina (Pisa) Italy. Given the lack of public transport to reach EGO, a driving license and a personal vehicle are strongly recommended.

Further information

For the whole duration of the traineeship, EGO will pay a gross monthly wage of 500,00 euro and offer the lunch service at its canteen during working days to the student.

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to fill in the Internship Application Form and send it, together with the CV, to

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Closing date for applications

Until position is filled


Irene Fiori, PhD


Phone: +39 050 752355