Mechanical System Engineer (f/m/d)

Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics, Garching

Type of Job

Scientific and Technical Assistance

Astronomy & Astrophysics Complex Systems

Job Code: 14/2019

Job offer from August 06, 2019

The Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Garching (near Munich), Germany, is one of the world’s leading institute 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. These include space missions like XMM-Newton, Herschel, eROSITA, EUCLID and instruments for the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), the Very Large Telescope (VLT) as well for the ESO’s European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT).

For the development of the WFI (Wide Field Imager) for ESA’s next generation X-ray space observatory ATHENA we are looking for a Mechanical System Engineer (f/m/d) Space Instrumentation for Astrophysics (project Athena WFI), Reference Number 14/2019.

In this position, you will work with an interdisciplinary team of engineers and scientists and take responsibility for the mechanical design and development of WFI space instrument.

Your Tasks:

  • Guiding the engineering and development team of WFI at MPE as mechanical system engineer forming a link between disciplines such as mechanics, structural and thermal design
    • Developing instrument concepts and performing trade-offs with the project team
    • Coordinating and controlling of all mechanical engineering activities related to requirements, technical budgets, interfaces and the sub-system developments
    • Leading the overall detailed mechanical design process
    • Supporting system integration, verification and test
    • Preparing the relevant design, manufacturing and verification documents

Your Qualifications:

  • University degree in system engineering, aerospace engineering or comparable qualification with a solid knowhow of mechanical system design and engineering
  • Experience in space or aerospace projects preferably as designer or system engineer for complex mechanical structures and assemblies
  • Knowledge of ESA design and quality regulations (ECSS Standards) is of advantage
  • Well-developed communication skills, ability to work with and motivate a mechanical development team in a multicultural and multilingual environment
  • Excellent conceptual and analytical skills, being able to solve pro-actively problems in a structured and solution-oriented approach
  • Fluent in written and spoken English and German language 

The full time position is initially limited for a maximum of two years but can be transformed into a permanent one when appropriate. Salaries are paid at German civil service rates (TVöD) depending on experience. 


Applicants should submit their documents (in PDF format) online ( by October, 31 2019 including a cover letter and a CV.

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

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.


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