Group Leader Experiment IT Development and Operations Science IT Infrastructure and Services / SLS2.0

Paul Scherrer Institut


October 10, 2021


The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is the largest research institute for natural and engineering sciences within Switzerland. We perform cutting-edge research in the fields of matter and materials, energy and environment and human health. By performing fundamental and applied research, we work on sustainable solutions for major challenges facing society, science and economy. PSI is committed to the training of future generations. Therefore, about one quarter of our staff are post-docs, post-graduates or apprentices. Altogether, PSI employs 2100 people.

The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is expanding its focus areas and has established a new research division: Scientific Computing, Theory and Data. In recognition of the importance and globally unique ensemble of large facilities at PSI, a keystone to the new division is supporting the operations and experiments with their increasing challenges and opportunities for a unique digital environment. Within the division, the Science IT Infrastructure and Services department AWI delivers scientific software, high performance computing and data lifecycle solutions to support research at the large scale research facilities and the wider PSI science program. Our inhouse innovations and outreach activities with a world leading national and international network of academic and industry collaborations is ensuring a growing platform to support the escalating opportunities from the digitalization of science.

Join our multidisciplinary Science IT environment and play a leading role in our collaborations to provision and support world class software services underpinning experiments at PSI large scale research facilities.

Group Leader Experiment IT Development and Operations

Science IT Infrastructure and Services / SLS2.0

Your tasks

You will join the Experiment IT Development and Operations Group in the new AWI department to play a leading role in an ongoing collaboration with the Photon Science Division PSD and the Large Research Facilities Division. The collaboration aims to ensure a world class software environment for the operations and rapidly evolving developments needed for PSD experiments at Swiss Light Source SLS and Switzerland's X-ray free-electron laser SwissFEL. While SwissFEL continues to expand with both new instruments and new experiments, you will also collaborate with the group supporting the recently approved SLS2.0 upgrade and look to further synergies and opportunities to push forward the forefront of both scientific discoveries as well as data, computing research and development at PSI.

Your role will involve collaborating and leading teams of beamline staff and specialists from cross-disciplinary groups providing functional, reliable, and efficient Science IT solutions to meet the external users' demanding needs, both during and after an experiment.

Your main tasks will include:

  • Development of concepts for Experiment IT software needed to setup and operate the SLS and SwissFEL beamlines, especially in the area of experiment control and data analysis
  • Close cooperation and coordination in the operation and further development of the SLS Beamline IT infrastructure to the extent that a synergy effect with SLS and SwissFEL functions can be expected
  • Evaluation and/or development of solutions for additional SLS and SwissFEL software IT needs
  • Contact person in all Science Software IT matters between the SwissFEL and SLS beamlines and help coordinate the service providers within other divisions
  • Representation of SwissFEL and SLS interests in external IT relevant projects, e.g. EU projects
  • Technical and personnel management of the group incl. developing staff and budget responsibility
  • Your profile

    You are motivated by interdisciplinary work at the interface between the experiment, data science, scientific software development and High Performance Computing HPC. You understand and ideally have experience of the demands and opportunities of good experiment control software. You have experience of managing and getting the best out of software teams in an exciting and dynamic environment such as science while still managing to actively contribute to developments and support activities. You have excellent technical software understanding and are strongly interested in learning and building on others' code, and will take pride in making reliable and robust services. You have significant experience of programming in languages extensively used in science (C++/Python) and experience in building and deploying software for operational research in support of science.

    The following expertise would be advantageous:

  • Prior experience in the control, analysis and reduction of large-scale experiments and their data, and/or image processing with/without machine learning and artificial intelligence
  • Experience on integrating and deploying workflows and software on HPC clusters
  • You hold a PhD degree (or equivalent practical experience) in computer science or in natural science with an emphasis in computer science, HPC, or data science. You are a good listener and a strong team player with excellent communication skills and sense of responsibility, fluent in English (spoken and written), speak German or willing to learn it.

    We offer

    Our institution is based on an interdisciplinary, innovative and dynamic collaboration. You will profit from a systematic training on the job, in addition to personal development possibilities and our pronounced vocational training culture. If you wish to optimally combine work and family life or other personal interests, we are able to support you with our modern employment conditions and the on-site infrastructure.

    For further information, please contact Dr Alun Asthon, E-Mail:

    Please submit your application online by 10 October 2021 for the position as a Group Leader Experiment IT Development and Operations (index no. 7901-01).

    Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, René Gröbli, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland

    Apply online now

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