Thermal Engineer (f/m/d)

Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics, Garching

Type of Job

Scientific and Technical Assistance

Astronomy & Astrophysics Complex Systems

Job Code: 15/2019

Job offer from August 01, 2019

The Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Garching (near Munich), Germany, is one of the world’s leading institutes for the development and operation of state-of-the-art astronomical instruments. Over the past decades, MPE has been leading the international development of several major ground-based and space instruments e.g. for space missions like XMM-Newton, Herschel, eROSITA, EUCLID, the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), the Very Large Telescope (VLT) as well for ESO’s European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT).

Are you a thermal engineer looking for an interesting, international scientific environment? Do you have a solid know-how of thermal engineering? Are you interested in taking over the responsibility for thermal engineering of a space instrument?

For the development of the WFI (Wide Field Imager) X-ray camera for ESA’s next generation X-ray space observatory ATHENA we are looking for a Thermal Engineer (f/m/d) for Space Instrumentation for Astrophysics (Reference Number 15/2019).

As part of an interdisciplinary team of engineers and scientists, you will be responsible for the thermal engineering of a complex astronomical instrument based on cutting-edge technologies and innovative concepts. The instrument is developed by an international consortium led by MPE.

Your tasks

  • Thermal engineering and related development activities for ATHENA WFI
  • Thermal modelling using ESATAN-TMS and Siemens NX: GMM, TMM, orbit calculations, test environments, sensitivity analysis, reports, model predictions and correlation with test
  • Design of thermal systems based on two-phase systems, thermal straps, multi-layer insulation, heaters, sensors, radiators, phase change materials
  • Responsibility for thermal system integration, verification and test planning, thermal budgets and the associated documentation. This includes system-level AIT and verification, performance analysis, ultra-high vacuum techniques, clean room work (ISO 6), contamination control
  • Guidance, coordination and control of thermal engineering activities related to interfaces and sub-system developments of the international consortium partners.
  • Cooperation with thermal engineers of ESA and space companies. Manufacturing, integration and test need to be done in accordance to ESA rules and regulations

Your qualifications

  • University degree in mechanical engineering or aerospace engineering or comparable qualification with focus on thermal engineering
  • Experience in thermal engineering (thermal control system design, thermal analysis, thermal testing)
  • Well-developed communication skills, presentation of results, lead discussions with partners and customers, excellent conceptual and analytical skills, actively solving problems, team spirit, open culture
  • Fluent in written and spoken English and German language

Our offer

The position is for a nominal period of two years but intended to be extended. We offer a very challenging and rewarding international field of work with state-of-the-art technology. The remuneration is based on the German collective wage agreement for the public sector (TVöD) depending on qualification and experience. Social benefits are granted according to the regulations for public service.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.

Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.


Applicants should submit their documents (in PDF format) online ( ) by August 31, 2019 including a cover letter, a curriculum vitae.

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

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