System administrator for the German Science Data Center of the Euclid Space Mission

Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics, Garching

Type of Job

EDV & Informatics

Astronomy & Astrophysics Complex Systems

Job Code: 29/2018

Job offer from December 20, 2018

The Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) is partner in the Euclid mission which has been selected for the Cosmic Visions Program of the European Space Agency. The primary goal of the mission is to investigate the nature of dark energy and dark matter by measuring the accelerated expansion of the universe using different independent methods. The Euclid satellite is expected to be launched in 2021 and has a mission lifetime of seven years.

The responsibilities of the MPE within the Euclid mission are focused on instrument development and on the Euclid Science Ground Segment. In particular the German Science Data Center (SDC-DE) is hosted by MPE and the Max Planck Computing and Data Facility in Garching. As one of ten Euclid data centers, the SDC-DE will play an important role in data processing and storage. In addition, the SDC-DE contributes significantly to the development of software for the processing of ground based and Euclid data.

At MPE we offer a position working on the dedicated SDC-DE infrastructure, the integration of the Euclid pipelines into this infrastructure and on the development and maintenance of a project wide monitoring framework. This work will be done in collaboration with a broader team of over a dozen people at MPE and the Ludwig-Maximilian-University (LMU) in Munich and the entire Euclid Ground Segment distributed over Europe and the USA. The tasks are ranging from system administration, such as operating system upgrades/administration and account management, to performance optimization of existing software. All codes are being developed and implemented on a Linux platform.

All applicants should have a University degree in Astronomy, Physics or Computer Science. Proven experience with the administration of a computing cluster und proficiency with the Linux operating system are mandatory. Furthermore, knowledge of C++/Python, XML and data reduction in Astronomy would be welcome as well as familiarity with databases and modern software engineering methods. Experience with virtualization (KVM), grid (SGE)  technologies, and Nagios/Icinga monitoring frameworks are definite assets. We presume good communication skills in the English language, the ability and willingness to work in an experienced and highly motivated multi-national team and the availability to participate to meetings and workshops in various locations in Europe.

The contract can start as early as December 2018 with a six month probationary period. It will initially extend until the end of 2019 and is highly likely to be renewable through the end of the Euclid mission. We offer an attractive working environment with flexible working hours at the MPE in Garching. The institute hosts several groups with a broad range of interests.

The MPE is neighbor of the Garching Campus of the Technical University of Munich, the Leibnitz-Rechenzentrum as well as the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics and the European Southern Observatory. Salary and social benefits are based on the German TVOeD scale, depending on experience. Applications from disabled persons are encouraged and will be favored when equally qualified. For further information about the Institute and the Euclid project we refer to and

Applicants should submit their documents (in PDF format) online ( by February 28, 2019 including a cover letter, a curriculum vitae. Please also supply a list of three references.

Informal enquiries about the position may be addressed to Dr. Maximilian Fabricius (

Later applications may also be considered in case the post is not filled.

The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer and women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

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