Quality Assurance Specialist

ESO - European Southern Observatory

Quality Assurance Specialist

ESO - European Southern Observatory

Garching, Germany

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.

Due to the need for additional resources associated with the ELT and La Silla Paranal Instrumentation Programme (PIP), for its Project Management Department, within the Directorate of Programmes at its Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising the position of Quality Assurance Specialist.

The postholder will be a member of ESO's Project Management Department and will be the responsible person for quality assurance within the Directorate of Programmes (DoP) supporting the ELT and PIP programmes. ESO recently made a strategic decision to implement a dedicated Quality and Information System (QIS) programme to provide an ESO-wide quality management standard. The postholder will therefore interact with this framework and will support various projects in QA aspects to develop and deploy facilities such as telescope infrastructure, scientific instruments and sub-systems to ESO programmes and observatory sites.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Contribute and maintain requirement definitions for the standards of quality and safety for the various ESO projects;
  • Prepare and maintain the projects' QA documentation, e.g. QA and safety plans; preparation of RfD/RFWs, NCRs and participation in change requests boards;
  • Prepare and conduct audits and inspections of the manufacturing at our contractors’ premises;
  • Manage the NCRs process (corrective and preventive actions, root-cause identifications);
  • Provide expertise in RAMS analysis, review contractors’ RAMS deliverable documents and prepare the relevant documentation (e.g. FMEA, Hazard analysis, etc.) at system level;
  • Participate in the follow-up of partner institutes, sub-contractors in terms of quality assurance and safety standards, perform quality audits, supervise failure investigations;
  • Provide feedback on contractor’s QA related documentation (QA plan, FMEA, inspection and test plan, RAMS analysis, manufacturing plan, etc.) in formal project reviews - internal, with consortia and contractors;
  • Perform formal acceptance of deliverables verifying compliance with ESO QA standards.

The Quality Assurance Specialist will be supporting the implementation of the ESO-wide quality management framework by:

  • Providing support to the definition of the product and quality assurance processes at ESO;
  • Participating in the implementation and monitoring of the ESO-wide quality management;
  • Promoting best practices and continuous improvement;
  • Perform internal quality audits.

The tasks are not limited to the above and a flexible approach and willingness to adapt is required.

Reports to:

The Head of the Project Management Department (PMD). ESO is a matrixed organisation. The Head of the PMD is the functional manager of this position and the postholder will be allocated to the different programmes according to the needs.

Key Competences and Experience:

Essential Competences and Experience:

  • Five years in the field of Quality Assurance for project development;
  • Proven experience in the field of Safety and its various disciplines;
  • Appropriate technical background in a relevant engineering discipline or physics eg. electronics, cryogenics or mechanics;
  • Effective and committed team player with ability to look for pragmatic solutions;
  • Excellent cross-disciplinary communication skills both oral and written.

Desirable Competences and Experience:

  • Expertise in RAM analysis;
  • Experience with industrial QA/PA/QM practices and standards;
  • Experience with design, development, testing, commissioning and operations of astronomical instruments/telescope projects with the scientific community and academic consortia;
  • A thorough understanding of project management principles and practice;
  • Ability to and experience of working efficiently within an international and multi-cultural environment both independently and within a team;
  • Pro-active approach to contribute ideas for improvement and future developments.


Essential educational level:

  • University degree (Master) in Engineering or Physics, or an equivalent educational level; in addition, specific training in quality assurance management is required;
  • Training in safety, the knowledge of European norms and directives for quality and safety aspects is mandatory.

Qualifications which would be an asset:

  • Relevant professional experience in quality management in project support, preferably related to prototype development, science-related projects is highly desirable;
  • Training in RAMS analyses and related experience is beneficial.

Language skills:

The position requires an excellent knowledge of English. Knowledge of other languages such as Spanish, German or French is considered 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 and the possibility to place your child/children in daycare.

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance (https://www.eso.org/public/jobs/conditions/intstaff/#work-life-balance) between their professional and private life. ESO is also committed to offering family-friendly support (https://www.eso.org/public/jobs/conditions/intstaff/#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 extension(s) subject to individual performance and organisational requirements, in particular for the ELT Programme, 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:

The duty station of the post will be Garching near Munich, Germany with regular duty trips to all ESO sites in Chile.

Career Path: V


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit http://www.eso.org for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at http://jobs.eso.org/. 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 31 May 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, race or religion.

Don't forget to mention EuroScienceJobs when applying.

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© EuroJobsites 2021

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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