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PhD Students – Machine Learning for Optimization at Advanced Lightsources

DESY is looking for PhD Students to work towards the aim of improving the performance of the free electron lasers and storage rings

  • Closing soon
  • Closing date: 16 Aug 2020
  • Germany | DESY
  • Date posted: 16 Jul 2020
  • Job type: Research facilities
  • Disciplines: Accelerators, neutron & light sources  | Computational science & software engineering 

Location: Hamburg

DESY, with its 2700 employees at its two locations in Hamburg and Zeuthen, is one of the world’s leading research centers. Its research focuses on decoding the structure and function of matter, from the smallest particles of the universe to the building blocks of life. In this way, DESY contributes to solving the major questions and urgent challenges facing science, society and industry. With its ultramodern research infrastructure, its interdisciplinary research platforms and its international networks, DESY offers a highly attractive working environment in the fields of science, technology and administration as well as for the education of highly qualified young scientists.

Within the frame of the HIR3X project a close collaboration between SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Stanford (USA), DESY in Hamburg (Germany) and the European XFEL in Schenefeld (Germany) will be established to improve the reliability, flexibility and repeatability of output parameters at the most advanced X-ray sources.

The positions are on the interface between algorithmic research with respect to state-of-the-art machine learning/optimization algorithms and its application to advanced free electron lasers and storage rings such as FLASH, the European XFEL and PETRA IV in Germany, LCLS and SPEAR at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in the USA. We are seeking for two highly motivated candidates who are bringing together these two fields in order to improve the performance of the free electron lasers and storage rings. The work is part of the HIR3X project with the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Stanford (USA) and the successful candidates will get the chance for a stay at the collaborating institute, if the travel regulations will allow.

The position

  • Develop and apply machine-learning assisted algorithms for control and optimization for FLASH, the European XFEL and PETRA IV
  • Implement the developed algorithms at the collaborating institute at LCLS


  • Master in computer science, physics, engineering or similar discipline
  • Very good experience in python or C++
  • Background in optimization and machine learning algorithms
  • Interest in accelerator physics and laser physics
  • Ability to work in interdisciplinary teams and good communication skills in English

For further information please contact Ilya Agapov (, Annika Eichler ( or Raimund Kammering (

The position is limited to 3 years.

Salary and benefits are commensurate with those of public service organisations in Germany. Classification is based upon qualifications and assigned duties. Handicapped persons will be given preference to other equally qualified applicants. DESY operates flexible work schemes. DESY is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women.

We are looking forward to your application via our application system by clicking on the red apply button above.

Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
Human Resources Department | Code: MDO002/2020
Notkestraße 85 | 22607 Hamburg Germany
Phone: +49 40 8998-3392

Deadline for applications: Until the position is filled


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