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ELT-DMS Site Electrical – Integration Engineer

Antofagasta Province, Chile, Contract


The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries.

ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in northern Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor (home to ALMA), and the ESO Headquarters are located in Garching, near Munich, Germany.

At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory, and will host and operate the southern array of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, the world's largest and most sensitive high energy gamma-ray observatory. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, and on Cerro Armazones, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky" and whose operations will be fully integrated into the Paranal Observatory.

Due to the need for additional resources associated with ELT-DMS Phase within the ELT programme, within the Directorate of Programmes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory, near Antofagasta, Chile; ESO is advertising a local staff position of ELT-DMS Site Electrical – Integration Engineer.

The selected candidate will be assigned to the Dome and Main Structure (DMS) team in charge of the supervision of the contract for the design, fabrication, transport, erection, commissioning and testing of the protective enclosure ("Dome") and of the telescope structure ("Main Structure") of the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) at the Armazones site in Chile.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

The DMS Electrical - Integration Engineer will contribute to the supervision on-site of the activities of the DMS Main Contractor company awarded by ESO for the construction, erection, commissioning and testing of the ELT Dome and Main Structure. The DMS Main Contractor has erected a construction camp on site in 2017 with workshops, dormitories and logistical facilities. Construction of the DMS has started in 2018. Excavations and civil works have been largely completed and the steel structure erection of the Dome and MS elements is in progress. The DMS design and production in Europe is well advanced with various subassemblies already transported at Armazones, now available in the construction camp. Electrical installation on site is due to start mid-2024, with the rotating enclosure (Dome), its annex equipment (Chiller and Dry Cooler) and later of the telescope structure (Main Structure).

As DMS Electrical - Integration Engineer, the selected candidate will have the following general responsibilities in monitoring the work of the DMS Main Contractor:

  • the electrical distribution for the Main Structure, for the Dome and its annex equipment (Chiller and Dry Cooler),
  • the servo control system of the Main Structure, the servo control systems for the Dome including Dome slit Doors and the control system of its annex equipment (Chiller and Dry Cooler).
  • To coordinate the ESO team of electrical/control technicians on the field, instructing them of their daily duties, verifying their daily reports and review the possible discrepancies, proposing resolutions or/and discussing them with the contractor.
  • To Report to and discuss with the ESO DMS Site Management the course of actions and issues raised during site works.
  • To report all contractors' activities, inspection results and site events to ESO DMS Site Management by regular reporting (written and oral).
  • To check and record the works performed on-site under the DMS Main Contractor responsibility in terms of quality and planning. This includes the monitoring of the quality of the work execution, inspections and the collection of quality records, supported by other ESO key specialists and/or external Quality Assurance consultant(s).
  • To contribute to the organization of formal Test Readiness Reviews associated with the acceptance testing of the DMS, then to monitor the Readiness Reviews.
  • To lead and coordinate all or parts of the DMS electrical/control related verification and acceptance activities with the DMS Main Contractor based on an agreed verification plan.
  • To participate to regular Site Coordination Meetings with the DMS Main Contractor and follow the agreed actions recorded in formal minutes.
  • To contribute to the verification of the correct ESO working procedures and regulations in force being applied by the DMS Main Contractor representative on site of the, with particular attention to safety regulations.
  • To review improvements on the completion of DMS Main Contractor works for specific progress milestones, if needed.
  • To contribute to the review of Control Inspection Points (CIPs) data packages performed by the DMS Main Contractor.
  • To assist the ESO Site Management in coordinating the works of other ESO Contractors, of external industrials, scientists or specialist contributors on-site. This support will be handled in compliance with Site Safety Regulations on site.

To lead the monitoring of the QA control of all electrical and control system related activities performed under the DMS Main Contractor responsibility on-site tasked with the construction, erection, commissioning and testing of the ELT Dome and Main Structure. These activities cover principally the installation and commissioning of: Additional tasks as staff member of the ELT DMS Site team will be:

  • To participate, on Management demand, in the follow-up and the review of design and manufacturing of the Dome and the Main Structure developed by the DMS Contractor, by taking part (videoconference or in person) in technical meetings, by participating to formal design and milestone reviews as per the Statement of Work in force. This may include shipment and inspection points.
  • To participate, on Management demand, to regular Progress Meetings.

Reports to:

The ESO DMS Site Manager and his Deputy.

The DMS Electrical - Integration Engineer will be working at Cerro Armazones Site in shifts. They will manage and supervise quality inspectors.

Key Competences and Experience:

For this position ESO is seeking an engineer with industrial and field experience in the area of large multidisciplinary projects such as heavy industrial systems, civil constructions, power plants, mines or telescopes comparable installations. They should have a significant background in site installation and commissioning of complex automated systems. They should also have an experience of quality supervision on a construction site in a remote area for which inspections and monitoring are keys to the success of the project. Additional experience in medium voltage installation and commissioning is an asset.

The ideal candidate should have in particular:

  • The taste for field work as well as office work for recording, reporting and archiving the inspections carried out.
  • An experience in site construction of complex systems involving power distribution (low and medium voltage), automatized mechanisms of heavy structures.
  • A solid experience in construction and technical management of automation and control of complex systems.
  • A good understanding of mechanical and hydraulic systems installation and commissioning of complex systems such as telescopes, plants or similar turnkey projects.
  • An experience in understanding high level technical and quality requirements, understanding operating procedures and QA processes.
  • An experience in technical monitoring of contractors on a construction site with respect to technical progress, quality and technical results.
  • A Minimum of three years of experience in field of installation and monitoring of complex and large turnkey projects.

Key Competences:

  • Possess the needed flexibility, but also strength and endurance, to work on a remote construction site with local and international staff, with harsh atmospheric conditions and at a high elevation (3000m).
  • Field work, working at height (the Dome will have 80m of height). A good physical condition is necessary.
  • Clear understanding of the human aspects and the safety aspects associated to the operation of large construction and erection site.
  • Strong ability to integrate and coordinate when necessary multidiscipline, multilanguage and multicultural teams, focusing on the success of the project.
  • Strong ability to represent ESO-DMS project in front of the Main Contractor.
  • Strong ability for team working.
  • Good reporting ability.
  • Good knowledge and understanding of European Low and Medium Voltage Electrical standards including applicable safety standards.
  • Good knowledge in automation, software and control systems development and commissioning.
  • Computer literacy (MS Office Tools).


A University Degree in Electrical or Automation Engineering or equivalent.

Language skills:

  • Excellent English verbal and written communication skills.
  • Good Spanish verbal and written communication skills.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary and medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family. For any further information, please visit https://www.eso.org/public/jobs/conditions/localstaff/

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance.

As mentioned, this position is part of the time-limited ELT- DMS phase of the ELT project, which is expected to have a duration of three years. The initial contract is for a period of two years which may be extended subject to evaluation of performance.

Please note that whilst redeployment to other roles after the ELT-DMS phase might be possible according to operational needs and qualifications, there is limited possibility of indefinite employment after the ELT-DMS phase has been completed.

The title or grade may be subject to change according to qualifications and the number of years of experience.

Duty Station:

The duty station of the post is located in Chile (Paranal/Armazones). The DMS Electrical Engineer will work on site in a shift pattern, commuting between her/his place of residence in Chile and the duty station.

Career Path:

This position has been assessed to be in Career path V which covers A1 to B3 grades.


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit http://www.eso.org for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at http://jobs.eso.org/. Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV. Please additionally provide the contact information (email and phone number) of three professional references in your application who should be able to comment on your work, and who may be consulted as part of this hiring process. You will be informed beforehand in this case.

Deadline for applications is 10 July 2024

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

ESO Values

An important element in any successful employment relationship is harmony in values between an organisation and its people.

The ESO values are:

ESO strives for excellence through innovation.

ESO provides outstanding services to its communities.

ESO fosters diversity & inclusion.

ESO believes in the key role of sustainability for its future.

Achieving the above are recognized as only possible on the basis of personal values and attitudes that we expect from our employees: respect, integrity, accountability, commitment, collaboration, and clear & open communication.

Applicants to any ESO role are asked to reflect on their affinity with these values and advised they may be asked about them if called for interview.


ESO has established diversity as an important value of the Organisation, is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment and is actively seeking to promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. Please visit https://www.eso.org/public/about-eso/sustainability/dei-at-eso/ for further details.


No nationality is excluded, however non-Chilean applicants must have a pertinent working permit, according to Chilean regulations, at the time of the application. The post is equally open to suitably qualified candidates irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion.

Job Details

Antofagasta Province, Chile