Process Engineer

Employer: ESO European Southern Observatory
Job location
Antofagasta, Chile
Job term
3-year contract
Job closing date

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 APEX), 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, the largest astronomical project in existence. 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. Paranal is preparing for the arrival and operation of new systems and of the ELT. For the development of the new operations scheme a process approach is implemented to allow lean operations in the future.

For its Project Coordination Office at the La Silla Paranal Observatory, ESO is opening the position of Process Engineer.


Main Duties and Responsibilities:

The key goal of the Process Engineer will be to define and implement a process-based approach for the development of the new operations scheme. The core responsibilities of the Process Engineer are:

• Establish requirements and guidelines for process development/improvement

• Perform and consolidate process mapping and maintain process data base

• Establish requirements and guidelines for process development/improvement

• Lead process engineering activities for operations process developments

• Establish requirements for projects necessary for process implementation (e.g. enhanced monitoring capabilities for predictive and prescriptive maintenance)

• Establish operational model from process mapping results that allows to:

- Obtain overview on necessary operational resources and their distribution

- Model different operational cycles (daily, monthly, yearly)

- Establish cost-benefit analysis for possible improvements and different operational scenarios.

• Identify and quantify from model results improvement potential and associated implementation costs

• Management and follow-up of consultancy contracts


Reports to:

Head of LPO Director’s Office



The ideal candidate has at least 3 years of professional experience in process engineering for medium to large size industrial plants or similar operations facilities.


Key Competences:

The ideal candidate has several of the following competences (technical and soft):

• Mapping and modelling of maintenance and operations processes

• Predictive and prescriptive maintenance techniques

• Proficiency in working with process modelling software

• Application of Industry 4.0 principles for the optimization of industrial or operational processes

• Project management and contract follow-up

• Analytic skills enabling a systematic approach in process engineering

• Good interpersonal communication skills and ability to work collaboratively in a multidisciplinary and multicultural team, respecting individual differences

• Plan effectively and monitor progress of work, deliver results on time and to standards



A Master’s degree or equivalent in relevant engineering disciplines. A further specialization In Operations Management would be an asset.


Language skills:

ESO is an international organization where the official language is English. It is required that the candidate has a good command of written and spoken English. Good knowledge of Spanish would be an asset.


Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary (tax free), comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational, and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family if needed.

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance  between their professional and private life.

ESO is also committed to offering family-friendly support, creating a work environment and policies which allow staff to balance their professional and private responsibilities through flexible working arrangements and financial support for families.

The contract is for a fixed term duration of three years and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. There may be a possibility of one extension subject to individual performance and organisational requirements, and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. For any further information, please visit ESO's conditions of employment. Please note that the contract policy and in particular the regulations concerning fixed-term and indefinite contracts are currently under review which may lead to changes in the contractual conditions applicable to this position.


Duty Station:

Paranal Observatory located 120 km south of the city of Antofagasta, Chile. The working schedule will be 8 days on duty and 6 days off duty (8x6) with accommodation provided on site, after a probation period with the appropriate shift scheme.



If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at

Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV. Within your CV, please provide the names and contact details of three persons

familiar with your work and willing to provide a recommendation letter upon request. Referees will not be contacted without your prior consent.


Deadline for applications is 22 November 2021

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.


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 and inclusive workforce.

No nationality is in principle excluded; however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Chile irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion.