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Materials Laboratory Technician (EN-MME-MM-2020-61-LD)

CERN is looking to recruit a Materials Laboratory Technician to be involved in the testing and evaluation of the large variety of materials and components used at CERN

  • Closing soon
  • Closing date: 04 Sep 2020
  • Switzerland | CERN
  • Date posted: 04 Aug 2020
  • Job type: Research facilities
  • Discipline: Materials science 

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. 

Job description

The Engineering Department (EN) pushes back the limits of technology so that physicists can carry out their research. Within the Mechanical & Material Engineering Group (MME) of the EN department, you will join the Materials, Metrology and Non-Destructive Testing (MM) section that undertakes the development, selection, specification, characterization and analysis of materials such as metals and their alloys, composites, ceramics and thin films. The section provides support for the quality control of materials and components including Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and dimensional controls.  The team conceives and realises a large range of static and dynamic mechanical tests and measurements and performs failure analyses.  

Do you want to work for CERN as a materials laboratory technician? You will be part of a multidisciplinary team involved in the testing and evaluation of the large variety of materials and components used at CERN, in the framework of a wide range of research and development projects. Take part! 

As part of a group of specialists, you will mainly carry out materials destructive tests, namely: 

  • Perform microstructural characterizations and failure analyses of materials, welds, assemblies and components involving various materialographic preparation techniques and microscopic observations also based in specific cases on automatic image analysis 
  • Select, carry out and in specific case set up or develop mechanical tests of materials and components, including fracture mechanics and fatigue tests and tests at cryogenic temperatures, according to standards in force or to customised procedures  
  • Report results and conclusions of your tests and analyses in written form and in oral presentations. Provide a critical interpretation of the results  
  • Follow up and advise on suitable techniques of material investigation, whether available in-house or in external laboratories 
  • Support the continuous improvement of laboratory equipment; watch over developments in the fields of microstructural and mechanical characterization of materials; take part in the technical specification of new equipment


Higher technical diploma in the field of Materials Testing or a related field.


  • Extensive experience in metallographic techniques and microstructural examinations by optical, digital and Scanning Electron Microscopy of a wide variety of metallic and non-metallic materials 
  • Extensive experience in mechanical (tensile, compression, flexural, fatigue, creep, hardness, fracture mechanics…), physical (magnetic permeability, transport properties…) testing of materials and failure analysis  
  • Elemental analysis of materials including spectroscopic techniques 
  • Programming for laboratory testing and in automatic image analysis 
  • Writing carefully drafted test procedures, technical reports and technical specifications 
  • Defining and applying safety procedures namely in handling chemicals and in carrying out cryogenic testing 

Technical competencies

  • Knowledge and application of mechanical testing (destructive): (destructive testing, failure analysis)
  • Knowledge and application of manufacturing methods and work preparation: fabrication technology and processes as applicable to materials and components, including also gluing, welding, brazing, additive manufacturing
  • Knowledge of materials: properties and processing of metallic and non-metallic materials 
  • Knowledge and application of materialography: microscopy and analytical techniques, theory and practice of materialographic preparation and observation 

Behavioural competencies

  • Achieving Results: being rigorous and producing quality results at first attempt
  • Communicating Effectively: ensuring that information, procedures and decisions are appropriately documented
  • Demonstrating Flexibility: readily accepting new tasks or work/projects
  • Learning and Sharing Knowledge: actively pursuing own personal and professional development Sharing knowledge and expertise freely and willingly with others; coaching others to ensure knowledge transfer

Language skills

Ability to understand and speak English and French in professional contexts as well as the ability to write technical reports of the highest standard in English 

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

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 in Radiation Areas.
  • Interventions in underground installations.
  • A valid driving licence is required.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.
  • Shift work, when required by the needs of the Organization.
  • Stand-by duty, when required by the needs of the Organization.

Job grade: 3–4

Job reference: EN-MME-MM-2020-61-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Material Science/Chemical Technician


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