Technical Lead (m/f/d) for Scientific Collaboration Platform SciServer for eROSITA and HETDEX

Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics, Garching

Type of Job


Astronomy & Astrophysics Complex Systems

Job offer from February 08, 2024

Technical Lead (m/f/d) for Scientific Collaboration Platform SciServer for eROSITA and HETDEX Job ID: 05/2024

The Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Garching is a world-leading institute in space- and ground-based experimental astrophysics, with leading roles in several large astronomical projects.

Applications are invited for a position in support of the computing Sciserver@MPE platform for astronomical surveys conducted by the MPE. We are searching for a highly qualified IT professional with experience in software development, system administration and handling of large astronomic datasets.

The candidate is expected to work with us on maintaining and extending the existing science data SciServer platform to exploit eROSITA and HETDEX surveys. eROSITA is the primary instrument on board the Russian "Spectrum-Röntgen-Gamma" (SRG) satellite launched in 2019. It collects X-ray data of up to a hundred thousand galaxy clusters and stars and millions of active galactic nuclei. HETDEX is a unique spectroscopic survey that will map the evolution of Dark Energy using Lyman-alpha emitting galaxies in the high redshift universe. HETDEX started its observations in January 2018. In the longer term the support role might be expanded to the 4MOST and Euclid missions.

The ideal candidate will be a scientific programmer with a strong interest in working with large astronomical datasets and is expected to maintain and update the science platform, including ingesting new data, user support, and developing new data routines and services supporting science collaborations. Furthermore, the candidate will be helming efforts to integrate the science platform closer to the services and facilities of the Max-Planck Computing and Data Facility (MPCDF, the data center in Campus).

Your qualifications and skills

  • University degree in computer science, astronomy, physics, or a related field.
  • Experience with Science Platform functionality, Jupyter notebooks/lab, proficient with Python & R. .
  • Experience with administration of Linux systems and clusters. Ideally, some experience with Windows servers as well.
  • Experience with Virtual Machines, Docker & Kubernetes.
  • Knowledge of with SQL databases, database design and database server administration.
  • Knowledge of software design and programming principles development documentation and testing. Ideally, some experience creating and deploying web services.
  • Understanding of the modern tools and technologies for computational analysis in Astronomy.
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and spoken.

Up to 20% of the time may be spent on research on a topic related to the unique data products of the supported surveys. Beyond those, the candidate will have access to the other facilities available to the institute (e.g. ESO telescopes).

The position is currently open for two years guaranteed with the possibility of extension depending on the availability of funding.

We offer

  • A versatile, challenging and autonomous job in a dynamic and culturally stimulating international research environment in the development of satellite instrumentation.
  • Interdisciplinary work in a team of experienced engineers and physicists.
  • Needs-oriented training opportunities.
  • Fair payment according to your qualifications and professional experience in accordance with the collective agreement for the public service (TVöD).
  • Company pension scheme (VBL).
  • Private accident insurance financed by the employer.
  • Reduced rates for certain insurance policies.
  • Family service at the Garching research campus.
  • Underground station U6 directly in front of the institute.
  • Free parking on the institute grounds.
  • Canteen in the immediate vicinity.

Applicants should submit their documents (in PDF format) online by March 31st, 2024.

Applications must include:

  • cover letter
  • statement software experience and interest
  • curriculum vitae
  • list of references to provide letters of recommendation (we will request those upon shortlisting)
  • list of publications

You can also send informal enquiries about the position to and .

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

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