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Lead Software Engineer - Machine Learning (EP-SFT-2024-41-LD)

Canton of Geneva (CH)
Posting live until
16 May 2024

Job Details

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



You will join the software development for experiments (SFT) group ( which develops and provides support for scientific software for the High Energy Physics experimental collaborations at CERN and worldwide. Your work will be part of the context of the Next Generation Trigger project, a five-year initiative to develop novel solutions for real-time event processing at the LHC experiments, leveraging new technologies such as artificial intelligence and heterogeneous computing. In the context of this project, you will be in charge of two of the common tasks of the project.

  • Leading the development and managing the maintenance of hls4ml ( and Conifer (, two software libraries developed by CERN and its partners to deploy machine learning algorithms on FPGAs. 
  • Leading the development of a library for hardware-aware end-to-end training and optimization of neural networks, supporting compression techniques such as pruning and quantization and interfaced to hls4ml.


As the coordinator of these two activities, you will:

  • Supervise and recruit a team of computer scientists to work on software development and contribute directly to the design and implementation of the required ML libraries. 
  • Ensure the timely achievement of the NGT milestones related to both tasks (e.g., software release, documentation, presentations at conferences).
  • Work in close contact with experts from the LHC experiments and external partners within the FastML ( community. This partnership aims to identify user requirements and strategize their implementations.
  • Organize periodic user-community workshops to communicate on the status of the tasks and gather information on additional requirements and functionalities.
  • Participate in managing common activities of the NGT project alongside other task leaders.





Master's degree or PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of Experimental Particle Physics or Computing Science or a related field.


You have:

  • Demonstrated experience in high-performance software development including task prioritization, and customer interaction;
  • Demonstrated experience with FPGA programming with knowledge of High Level Synthesis libraries (Vivado, Quartus, etc..);
  • Proven mastering of performance and memory profiling technologies and debugging techniques for both CPU and GPU programming;
  • Knowledge of distributed training techniques for machine learning algorithms;
  • Expertise in neural network compression techniques such as pruning, quantization, etc;
  • Proven track record of scientific publications;
  • Experience in managing software development projects in scientific environments will be considered as a valuable experience;
  • Understanding of machine learning applications for High Energy Physics will be considered an advantage.

Technical competencies:

  • Knowledge of programming techniques and languages
  • Development of application software
  • Knowledge and application of software life-cycle tools and procedures: machine learning training software (PyTorch, Tensorflow, Horovod).
  • Testing, diagnosing and optimization of software
  • Conceptualising, designing and developing user experiences and interfaces

Behavioural competencies:

  • Achieving Results: having a structured and organised approach towards work; being able to set priorities and plan tasks with results in mind. Delivering prompt and efficient service taking into account customer needs.
  • Solving Problems: recognizing what is essential; discriminating between important and peripheral information and being able to see the whole picture. Being open to original ideas and creative options by which to address issues; continually driving change by seeking new ways to improve outcomes.
  • Learning and Sharing Knowledge: sharing knowledge and expertise freely and willingly with others; coaching others to ensure knowledge transfer.
  • Demonstrating Flexibility: adapting quickly and resourcefully to shifting priorities and requirements.
  • Communicating Effectively: delivering presentations in a structured and clear way; adjusting style and content to the audience; responding calmly and confidently to questions.

Language skills:

Spoken and written English: ability to understand and speak the language in professional contexts. Ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports and to make oral presentations. The willingness to learn French language would be an asset. 



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 15.05.2024.

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.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: EP-SFT-2024-41-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Applied Physicist


CERN profileAt CERN, physicists and engineers use the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles – to probe the underlying structure of the universe.

Working at CERN
CERN is a truly unique organization. A genuine collaboration between countries, universities and scientists, driven not by profit margins, but by a commitment to create and share knowledge. At CERN, students, recent graduates and experienced professionals work together to push for immense scientific discoveries, answering some of life’s most complex questions and advancing the boundaries of human knowledge.

People are free to work creatively and to trust in, and rely on, their colleagues across the organization. History is being made at CERN – and the excitement is tangible, inspiring, overwhelming at times. It is the only place in the world that you can do this work in this way.

Why work for us
Today, CERN employs more than 2500 people, and if you visit us you will find more than 2500 different reasons why CERN is such a great place to work. Six key reasons that we believe will make you love working here are: challenge; purpose; imagination; integrity; collaboration; and quality of life.

Student and graduate schemes
CERN technical and administrative internships and graduate schemes offer international students and recent graduates the opportunity to work with world-class scientists and engineers on cutting-edge research in particle physics, computational science, life sciences, engineering, international relations, and more. Whichever route you take, it will be an extraordinary experience.

What we are looking for
To conduct experiments of this scale and importance, CERN needs people from various career levels and with a wide range of abilities, skills and competencies. We have job opportunities for students, graduates and experienced professionals, from apprenticeships to PhDs (and beyond). Whatever your background, field of interest or diploma level, CERN could be the place for you.

Geneva, Switzerland

Number of employees
2500+ staff members; several hundred on graduate and student programmes

Positions recently recruited for
Computing engineer, radiofrequency engineer, process operator in cryogenics, web developer, mechanical engineer, administrative assistant, system administrator, power electronics engineer, scientific writer, applied physicist and many more

Desired degree disciplines/class
From apprenticeship to PhD in a wide variety of domains

How to apply
Apply online at

Closing date
All year round

Tel +41 22 76 63 786

Company info
+41 22 76 63 786
Esplanade des Particules 1
PO Box 1211
Geneva 23

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