Applied Physicist


Company Description

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter - fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more on

Job Description


Are you a curious applied physicist with experience in machine learning techniques for modelling and optimal control? Do you want to work in an international team building solutions to automate various aspects of accelerator control? Join CERN’s Controls Software & Services group, to work on AI for the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Take part!

You will join the Beams Department, which provides CERN with the unique competencies required for the conception, design, survey, alignment, control and operation of accelerators, accelerator test facilities, secondary beam lines and experimental areas. It also invests heavily in R&D for cutting edge technology for robotics, high power computing and since recently data science.

You will be working within the Controls Software & Services group (CSS), Data Science for Beam Operation (DSB) section, responsible for designing and implementing numerical optimisation and ML algorithms to solve various to-date intractable problems, providing accurate, fast-executing, online models for various processes and implementing operational ML tools for CERN’s accelerator complex.


  • Collaborate with the Operations and Experimental Areas Groups to provide and commission tools and algorithms to improve the accelerators and beam lines operations performance and efficiency.
  • Collaborate with various CSS sections to provide ML frameworks and standards for the control room.
  • Develop expertise in implementing digital twins and learned models for various accelerator processes.
  • Define new research directions for sample-efficient and robust reinforcement learning for accelerator control.
  • Supervise junior colleagues such as students and post-graduates.
  • Contribute and share know-how in collaborations on Data Science topics such as AI with other CERN teams and external institutes.  



Master's degree or PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of applied physics or accelerator science. or a related field.


  • Demonstrated experience in accelerator design, simulation or operation.
  • Proven experience for applying machine learning to research problems.
  • Proven experience with software development and analysis.
  • Initial experience with accelerator correction algorithms and measurement techniques.
  • Initial experience with numerical optimisation and optimal control techniques.

Technical competencies:

  • Knowledge and application of accelerator physics theory.
  • Analysis and optimization of accelerator performance.
  • Knowledge and application of beam production techniques: in particular control techniques (rings and transfer lines).
  • Development of application software: in Python: from complex numerical simulations and technical code development to small applications.
  • Knowledge/identification of relevant emerging ML/AI technologies.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Achieving results: Having a structured and organised approach towards work; being able to set priorities and plan tasks with results in mind.
  • Managing self: Taking initiative beyond regular tasks and making things happen.
  • Solving problems: Being open to original ideas and creative options by which to address issues; continually driving change by seeking new ways to improve outcomes.
  • Demonstrating flexibility: Being willing to work on different projects simultaneously. Adapting quickly and resourcefully to shifting priorities and requirements.
  • Learning and sharing knowledge: Thinking "out of the box" and proposing fresh ideas, insights and methodologies. Sharing knowledge and expertise freely and willingly with others; coaching others to ensure knowledge transfer.

Language skills:

Spoken and written English or French: ability to understand and speak the other language in professional contexts. Ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports and to make oral presentations in at least one of the two languages.


Additional Information

Eligibility and closing date:

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization. Employing a diverse workforce is central to our success. We welcome applications from all Member States and Associate Member States.

This vacancy will be filled as soon as possible, and applications should normally reach us no later than 12:00 midday 3rd October 2022. 

Employment Conditions

Contract type: Limited duration contract (5 years). Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may apply for an indefinite position.

These functions require:

  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.
  • Stand-by duty, when required by the needs of the Organization.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: BE-CSS-DSB-2022-94-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Applied Physicist