Beam Physicist

CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research

Geneva, Switzerland


Beam Physicist in the Engineering Department (EN), Experimental Areas Group (EA), Liaison with Experiments Section (LE).

You will join:

  • The Engineering (EN) Department that provides engineering competencies, infrastructure systems, and technical coordination for the world's largest particle accelerator complex and its experimental facilities;
  • The Experimental Areas (EA) Group that is responsible for planning and coordinating all activities in many of the CERN Experimental Areas. The group provides support to the experiments that use the different CERN accelerators in the preparation, integration, installation, and operation, as well as the design, installation, and maintenance of the secondary beam areas.


Following the initial training within the EN-EA Group, as Beam Physicist you will be responsible for the exploitation of secondary and tertiary beams in the CERN accelerator complex. You will set up, adapt, and develop particle beams, participate in the design of experimental facilities, directly interact with the experiments and collaborate and guide the operations team to optimally exploit the beam lines according to the needs of experiments.

In particular, you will be expected to:

  • Take responsibility for the exploitation of the secondary beams in the PS East and SPS North Areas and in the CERN accelerator complex, ensuring that the beams operate at high efficiency to fulfil the yearly physics programme;
  • Perform particle beam design studies (optics, simulations, and background conditions), ensure their readiness and optimize the beams for the needs of the experiments;
  • Resolve interface issues and liaise with the experiments for the optimal exploitation of the beam lines in line with the respective physics goals;
  • Discuss with users to understand their requirements in terms of secondary and tertiary beam characteristics, ensure the requirements are in line with existing beam lines, study and propose upgrades whenever necessary;
  • Provide guidance and work in close collaboration with the PS and SPS operations teams to ensure the optimal exploitation of the beam lines and ensure the best support to the experimental teams;
  • Contribute to the modernisation process of all beam related design software tools;
  • Write and contribute to software used for the high-level control or analysis of the beam lines;
  • Document the beam lines and report to the relevant committees;
  • Collaborate with the radiation protection and safety teams to ensure the safe operation of the beam lines, particularly for the experimental teams;
  • Supervise students and technicians as required by on-going projects and activities.

Qualification required

PhD in the field of physics or equivalent.

Experience and competencies

The experience required for this post is:

  • Working with simulation tools widely used in particle and accelerator physics and capability for data analysis;
  • Knowledge of experimental high-energy particle physics, in particular for particle detectors;
  • Knowledge of the principles of accelerator physics;
  • Safety issues in particle accelerators, underground installations and experimental areas, and practices used to mitigate the risks;
  • Knowledge of radiation protection issues, in particular related to particle beams and accelerators, and methods used to mitigate the risks.

The technical competencies required for this post are:

  • Beam-machine interaction simulation: focus on particle matter interaction and respective physics processes;
  • Primary and secondary beam line design;
  • Detector design, construction, testing and operation;
  • Knowledge of beam optics (rings and transfer lines);
  • Physics simulation: monte-carlo techniques, transport codes and respective physics models;
  • Detector performance simulation and analysis;
  • Programming/Software development: physics and beam related programming including data analysis;
  • Library and documentation management;
  • Project management;
  • Functional computing competence is essential and knowledge of modern engineering management techniques is considered as an asset.

The behavioural competencies required for this post are:

  • Communicating effectively: expressing opinions, ideas and suggestions with conviction and in a logical/structured manner; keeping to the point;
  • Demonstrating accountability: working conscientiously and reliably; delivering on promises;
  • Achieving results: delivering high quality work on time and fulfilling expectations;
  • Solving problems: identifying, defining and assessing problems, taking action to address them.

The language competencies required are:

Spoken and written English: French is an asset and the willingness to learn French is required. The ability to understand and speak both languages in professional context is an important asset, as well as the ability to draft texts for publications and/or official communications, and make oral presentations in both languages.

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